5 Puerto Rican Plantain Recipes

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Puerto Rican Plantain Casserole - Pastelon - Caribbean recipe

Puerto Rican Plantain Casserole – Pastelon

It acts like a potato or a banana depending on when you use it, and appears in dishes from the savory to the sweet. Delicious in all of its varied forms, it doesn’t get much more versatile than the humble plantain…. It’s no wonder then that this tropical fruit is such an important Puerto Rican staple! We’ve put together a list of five of our favorite Puerto Rican Plantain Recipes below, but first read on to learn a little bit more about cooking with this multi-talented fruit.  

Depending on their ripeness, plantains offer completely different flavors and textures. Green, unripe plantains have a high starch content and mild flavor, similar to potatoes or rice, and work well in soups and stews, or alongside savory dishes, boiled and mashed with seasonings. As plantains ripen their starch converts to sugar and they become sweet, soft, and yellow, and are often fried and served in sweet and salty combinations.

So while you check out this amazing list of 5 Puerto Rican Plantain Recipes, keep in mind that the ripeness of the plantains really matters- If a recipe calls for green or ripe plantains, you’ll want to use completely green plantains, and if it calls for yellow or ripe plantains, be sure to choose plantains that are very yellow with a few brown spots, which are extra sweet and soft. Here we go!

1. Pastelon (Plantain Casserole)

Pastelon has layers made from mashed sweet plantains, savory melted cheese, and a filling of delicious, spicy ground beef called picadillo, all baked to perfection. The sweet and salty flavors complement each other well in this recipe. Try this traditional recipe for Pastelon.

2. Plantain Piñón (Plantain Lasagna)

Also a layered, baked dish with seasoned ground beef, sweet plantains, and cheese, Piñón certainly shares a few similar features with Pastelon. However the plantains are used sliced rather than mashed, and the use of tomato sauce, capers, and green olives makes for a dish with more complex and potent flavors. Get the recipe for Puerto Rican Piñón.

Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna - Piñón - Caribbean recipe

Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna – Piñón

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