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puerto rican lasagna (pastelon) recipe

September 16, 2009

No, really.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not your standard, run of the mill Italian style lasagna doused with sprays of Hugo by Hugo Boss, Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger, or similar cologne (save the hate mail, please).  All said and done, there really is such a thing as Puerto Rican lasagna, also known as Pastelon, sans male olfactory concoctions.

My personal and doctored up version of this dish yields a sweet and savory casserole composed of ripe plantains (the noodles), a good chorizo and turkey mixture (the meat), and a nice cheese sauce courtesy of a simple béchamel sauce (most pastelon recipes call for grated cheese covered with beaten egg –meh).  A half way decent grocery store, a lasagna tray, just a bit of cooking know-how, and an oven (!) later, this recipe will make any rookie/clueless cook giddy with prowess.

Ingredients:

8 ripe (semi to all black) plantains

Today's plantain victims

Today's plantain victims

1 diced green bell pepper

1 diced onion

3 minced cloves of garlic

8 ozs. of chorizo, cut into fine pieces

20 ozs. of ground turkey (can use ground beef)

1-2 finely chopped jalapeno or habanero peppers (optional)

3 TBS white flour

5 TBS vegetable oil

1 quart of 1-2% milk

8 ozs. of grated medium sharpness cheddar cheese

1 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

To make the cheese sauce, heat the milk, a bit of salt, and the paprika over medium low heat until just boiling/scalding.

Mix 3 TBS of vegetable oil and the flour to a large pot over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes.

Oil and flour -utterly delicious.

Oil and flour -utterly delicious.

Add the just boiling milk and stir —the mixture will thicken -béchamel, baby.

Turn the heat to low and gradually add the grated cheese, mixing to incorporate.  Once all added turn the heat off -done.

To make the meat mixture add the remaining oil along w. the green bell pepper, hot peppers, garlic, and onion to a medium skillet over medium heat, cooking for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped chorizo, salt and pepper to taste (or adobo), and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the ground turkey and cook until, well, cooked.  Done.

Meat-a-licious

Meat-a-licious

To make the noodles peel the plantains and cut into ¼ inch pieces, lengthwise.

Vegetable noodles.

Vegetable noodles.

To assemble the actual lasagna/pastelon arrange a layer of plantains on the bottom of the tray followed some of the meat mixture and some of the cheese sauce.  Repeat, building the layers, until all the ingredients have been exhausted.

Awaiting cheese sauce

Awaiting cheese sauce

Add to a pre heated 350 degree over for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Fully baked.

Fully baked.

Serve with:

Medalla light, Hugo, and Tommy

served puerto rican lasagna (pastelon) recipe

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Walker permalink
    September 16, 2009 7:48 pm

    Wow… that looks fantastic!

  2. Chris permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:26 pm

    Oh stop. Lasagna made out of plantains? This may be my favorite.post.ever.

    Fantastic idea – I cannot wait to try this out!

  3. Juan Ruiz permalink
    May 16, 2010 8:27 pm

    I am Puerto Rican, and My mother has never made anything like this in her life. I wish she would have because lasagna and planto’s are favorit dishes! If she did,Then maybe I would have been home more for dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. July 2, 2011 6:30 am

    Crazy Puerto Ricans, this might just work!

  5. jojo permalink
    June 11, 2012 5:39 pm

    BORIQUA! Love this recipe….

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