Keyfood Recipes

Pastelón: Sweet plantain casserole

Pastelón: The Caribbean’s Answer to Lasagna

Pastelón is a beloved dish in both Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, often described as the “lasagna” of the Caribbean. This savory casserole layers sweet ripe plantains with a spiced meat filling, usually ground beef or pork, seasoned with a blend of onions, bell peppers, garlic, olives, capers, and a mix of spices.

A Harmonious Blend of Sweet and Savory in Caribbean Cuisine

Once layered, it’s typically topped with cheese and sometimes beaten eggs are poured over before baking, resulting in a dish with a beautiful contrast between the sweet plantains and the savory meat. It’s often served on special occasions or as a comforting family meal, accompanied by a side salad or rice. The unique combination of sweet and savory flavors makes Pastelón a standout dish in Caribbean cuisine.


  • 4-6 sweet plantains
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
    1/3 cup of milk of your choice (optional)
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    1 pound ground beef
    2 teaspoons of oil I use avocado oil
    1 small onion chopped (red or white)
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 garlic cloves (minced) or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 green bell pepper
    6 green olives stuffed with peppers, sliced
    ½ cup tomato sauce

A Step-by-Step Guide On How to Make a Delicious Pastelón – Keyfood Supermarket


Meat filling:

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion until it becomes transparent.

Add ground beef and season with garlic (minced or powdered), salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until browned, breaking it up into small lumps.

Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then set aside.


Sweet plantains Mix:

Next, sweet plantains. You can boil plantains with or without removing the outer covering (peels). If you want to keep the skins, cut the plantains into 1-inch round pieces. This cut will take 15-20 minutes to cook. Thicker slices will take longer to cook.

If you want to remove the skin, run the knife the length of the banana and cut about 1/8-inch deep into the peel. Peel the plantain with your fingers, then cut it into 1-inch pieces. I prefer to leave the peel on because removing it causes the banana to absorb more water and become a bit soggy.

Place a large pot over medium heat, add water, and bring to a boil. Add the plantains and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until completely tender (check with a fork). Remove them from the heat and discard the water. If you left the peels on as I did, remove them after the sweet plantains have cooled.

Keep the plantains in the same pot and add the butter. Using a masher (or a fork), mash the plantains until smooth. Add an egg, combine, and reserve.


Plate up:

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Grease a saucepan, add a layer of mashed bananas to the bottom, and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with half the cheese.

Next, add a second layer with all of the picadillo (cooked ground beef). Distribute evenly.

Then, spread another layer of plantains and cover it with the rest of the cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Cut the casserole into squares and serve. Enjoy!


Each region might have its own variations in terms of specific seasonings or additional layers, but the core concept of the sweet plantain casserole remains consistent.

Make It a Meal

Pastelón: A Caribbean culinary gem where layers of sweet ripe plantains embrace savory spiced meat, creating a dish of delightful contrasts.

Shop and Dine with Convenience

Experience the Caribbean’s answer to lasagna – Pastelón, where the sweetness of plantains meets a seasoned meat filling, topped with melted cheese.

Pastelón, the heartwarming casserole of the Caribbean, masterfully balances the sweetness of plantains with the richness of spiced meat, often garnished with cheese.

Wrapping Up

A festival of flavors in every bite, Pastelón melds sweet plantains with savory meat fillings, symbolizing the essence of Caribbean comfort food. Find it at Keyfood Supermarket in Hollywood Florida