Plantain lasagna

Plantain Lasagna: Enjoy recipes for meat or veggies

Plantain Lasagna is common on the island of Puerto Rico where it is known as Pastelón. Combining the sweetness of ripe plantain and the savoury flavour of beef, it is the prefect side dish. You may also use turkey or chicken if you desire. The vegan version is just as delicious as plantain complements any food.

So, if you are looking for a change or just have access to plantains, the Plantain Lasagna recipe is a combination that would please any palate. See the recipes for beef and veggies below and feel free to share your recipes with us at contact@sweettntmagazine.com.

Meat Plantain Lasagna

Ingredients

4 to 6 ripe plantains

1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

1-pound ground beef or ground turkey or ground chicken

1 medium onion, diced

1 green sweet pepper, diced

6 stuffed green olives, diced

1 teaspoon capers, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup tomato sauce

2 pounds cheddar cheese

2 large eggs (optional)

Plantain lasagna

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Lightly grease a casserole dish with oil

Prepare the plantains

Cut off both ends from the plantain, then use the tip of your knife to cut a slit down the back. Using your two thumbs, remove the peel from the plantain and discard the peel.

Once you’ve peeled all the plantains, slice each one in half down the length. Separate the two halves and flip them onto their flat sides to create a stable base. Place your palm flat on top of the plantain, and use a sharp knife to slice parallel to the cutting board and cut the plantains into very thin slices (about 1/4-inch thick). Set aside.

An alternative method is you can use a mandolin slicer to slice the plantains thinly, but be careful because the plantains are soft and the mandolin slicer is sharp.

Fry the plantains

This step is optional, since the casserole is going to be baked, so you can skip this step. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil to 300°F over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels or use a baking rack to drain the plantains after frying, and set next to the stove.

Place four or five slices of plantains into the oil and fry for about 1 and a half minutes on each side, or until the plantains are browned slightly. Remove from the skillet to the paper-lined plate or rack to drain. Continue frying the remaining plantains.

Cook the beef, turkey or chicken

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan you used to fry the plantains. Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and season to taste.

Finish the filling

Return the ground beef to the pan with the vegetables, along with the tomato sauce, and then stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat.

Continue to cook the meat, breaking it up into crumbles, for 6 minutes or until browned. Drain the meat by pouring it into a colander, but leave a bit of the grease in the pan to cook the vegetables.

Cook the vegetables

Return the empty pan to the heat and cook the onions and bell pepper for 3 minutes or until glossy. Add the olives, capers and dried oregano. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Assemble the Lasagna

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with a single layer of the fried plantain strips.

Plantain lasagna

Spoon a 1-inch layer of the ground beef mixture onto the plantains. Use vegetables for the vegan option.

Plantain lasagna

Top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of plantains, meat, and cheese (reserve the remaining 1 cup of cheese). Top with a final layer of plantains.

Plantain lasagna

Add the egg layer

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and baking soda until frothy. Pour this mixture over the plantains.

Bake the Plantain Lasagna uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the remaining cup of cheese. Return the dish to the oven and cook for an additional five minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Remove the Plantain Lasagna from the oven. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving, which helps it maintain its shape when sliced.

Plantain lasagna

Vegan Plantain Lasagna

If you are looking for a Vegan Plantain Lasagna, you simply substitute the ground meat with minced soya or vegetables of your choice. You may combine cabbage, pak choi, broccoli, potatoes, beet root, ground provisions, and carrots. Add some soy sauce along with your other seasonings and these make a flavourful filling for your Vegan Plantain Lasagna.

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