Puerto Rican pastelón in a glass dish on a wooden table
Pastelón Is The Puerto Rican Plantain Casserole You Need To Know
In Puerto Rico, plantains are utilized in a casserole known as pastelón. Split into layers with ground beef nestled in between, the dish resembles a Caribbean-influenced lasagna.
Loaded with spices, the soft fruit melds delectably with aromatic browned meat. It's garnished with melted cheese on top and an egg wash to tie it together.
Once baked, all the flavors blend into a delicious medley of taste and texture — a casserole at its best. The dish is fairly young, as it was first mentioned in a cookbook in 1948.
While pastelón is most strongly interlinked with Puerto Rico, various renditions are consumed across the Caribbean, and many consider New York City to be its birthplace.
Its resemblance to lasagna is more than coincidence — it's likely the Puerto Rican diaspora was inspired by the Italian-American classic and substituted in local ingredients.
Today, pastelón has become a traditional dish in Puerto Rico's cuisine. Like other casseroles, it's a heart-warming and convivial dish shared in the family.