Turkey Pastelón (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

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Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It’s that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!Turkey Pastelón (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

Lasagnas are such a treat. A few of favorites are Noodle-less Butternut Sausage Lasagna, Veggie Lasagna Zucchini Boats, and Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna. And if you want a more savory plantain recipe using green bananas these Air Fryer Tostones are a must!

It’s Hispanic heritage month and in it’s honor I thought this delicious Puerto Rican comfort dish (made light of course) would be an excellent recipe to honor it. My Mom is from Colombia, so we grew up eating plantains a lot in my home.

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Plantains are like a cousin to the banana, and depending on the ripeness you’ll cook them in different ways. For this recipe, you’ll want them pretty ripe (they should be browned and soft). My plantains could have used a few more days to ripen, but I couldn’t wait, I needed to make this.

I spent many summers as a kid with Aunt and cousin who moved to paradise (Puerto Rico). Those were some of my best childhood memories and the food I ate their were some of my favorite meals. Pasteles, empanadillas, pernil – their food is like no other, and they cook with so much flavor, only sometimes they tend to be a little on the not-so-light side. But with a few tweaks I was able to make this dish lighter, I just used a little less oil to cook the plantain, and to further lighten it, I made the picadillo with turkey instead of beef, and part skim cheese and I think it’s just as good as the real deal – without the extra fat. To serve this, I sliced it into 9 slices and served it with a big salad on the side and my husband and I felt totally satisfied.

This is delicious (and gluten-free!), and now that it’s gone, I’m craving some more! I just bought more plantains and this time I’m letting them get really ripe. Enjoy!

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

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Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!
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4.60 from 5 votes
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Turkey Pastelón (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

282 Cals 20 Protein 30 Carbs 9 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Yield: 9 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Turkey Pastelón is a latin lasagna made of strips of sweet plantain layered with savory picadillo and cheese. It's that sweet salty thing that makes it taste SO good!

Ingredients

For the Turkey Picadillo:

  • 1.25 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 to mato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 4 oz 1/2 can tomato sauce
  •  kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp alcaparrado, capers or green olives would work too

For the Pastelon:

  • cooking spray, I used my mister
  • 4 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 large egg whites, beaten
  • 2 tbsp fat free milk
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese

Instructions

  • Brown the ground turkey on medium heat in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper.
  • Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces.
  • Add the chopped onions, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro and continue cooking on a low heat.
  • Add alcaparrado (or olives and capers) and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and more salt if needed.
  • Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat to oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with oil.
  • Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
  • When hot spray with oil to lightly coat the bottom.
  • Cook plantains for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden; set aside.
  • Assemble by layering the plantains, then the cooked turkey picadillo, then about 1/4 cup of cheese and repeat.
  • You want to finish with a layer of plantains.
  • Beat the egg and egg whites with 2 tbsp of milk and pour over the pastelón to help bind everything, letting it sit for a minute or two to soak in.
  • Top off with the remaining cheese.
  • Cover tight with foil and bake in the oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until completely heated through.
  • Cut into 9 equal pieces and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/9th slice, Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 314mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g
WW Points Plus: 7
Keywords: gluten free lasagna, spanish lasagna, sweet plantain lasagna, turkey lasagna, Turkey Pastelón (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

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118 comments

  1. This is one of my favorite recipes ever. It’s a lot of work and I am horrible at peeling plantains even when they are ripe. The flavor is unmistakably delicious. Savory and rich and make a you feel good – what a comfort food! I make this once a yea for my family and the hardest part is waiting for the plantains to ripen.

  2. I WISH I KNEW THIS BEFORE MAKING IN ADVANCE:  DONT DO IT!!!  The plantains become hard and rubbery and there is nothing you can do about it.  TIP:  iff you want to make this in advance, simply make the meat filling and store it in the refrigerator.  Make sure you use Saxon and Adobo seasoning salt.  Please don’t leave out the capers…trust me. PLEASSSEEE prepare the plantains on the day you plan to serve the Pastelón.  Enjoy!!!

  3. I loved the flavor profile of this recipe.  I didn’t use the sweet plantains and regret it because the plantain became very dense following cooking.  

  4. This was amazing!!! My whole family devoured it! I used 98% lean ground beef instead of turkey and it was beyond delicious!

  5. This is FANTASTIC!!! I used turkey and beef, and capers. I’m not sure how the other two options will taste, but the scent changed after adding the capers and brine so I believe it had a significant impact on the taste. I’d never cooked with plantains before and they did not disappoint. My husband and I struggled not to eat the whole thing! Can’t wait to make this again!!

    PS I’m guessing a mandoline slicer would speed things up and make better slices. Anyone recommend a good affordable one for slicing lengthwise?

  6. Hi Gina!

    Here in Dominican Republic we make that dish with ripe  plantain and grilled eggplant… you should try! I think you’ll love it!

    It’s my husband absolutelly favorite! 

  7. If I was to make this with leftover crockpot picadillo, how many cups do you think I would need for the full recipe? I have been dying to make this for a LONG time but your picadillo recipe tastes so great over rice we keep eatingt the leftovers that way! Thank you for some awesome recipes!

  8. I was so excited to try this that I jumped the gun and used unripe plantains (I think…it’s my first time cooking with plantains). It was delicious!  But, the plantains tasted just like potatoes. The dish didn’t taste sweet…I’m assuming if the plantains were ripe it would be sweeter??  Regardless it was GREAT!!! ?

  9. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again. As with all recipes that are made from scratch, this one does take a bit of prep, but it is so worth it. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I wanted to share, that I make one similar wow

  11. Look so delicious!i want to have them!

  12. Has anyone actually made this? I see lots of people like the idea and want to try it. Mine is in the oven. I sliced the plantains with the skin still on, seemed to make it easier 🙂

  13. Easy to follow recipe (and the pictures helped!). I added a few more spices like chili powder and cayenne pepper to bring slightly more heat to the dish. I also used a can of Rotel instead of a fresh tomato (that's what I had on hand at the time) and substituted with regular sharp cheddar instead of reduced fat. My version yielded 7 servings (9 oz apiece). My boyfriend is still raving about the dish days later!

  14. so nice, Add the chopped onions, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro and continue cooking on a low heat.

  15. You could use the frozen Goya Baked Plantains, they are very ripe & sweet

  16. I just had this dish in a Puerto Rican restaurant, but they used pulled pork– have you ever tried that? would it change the calories? would you use the same seasoning in the Picadillo? We LOVED this dish and I want to make it at home and "lighten" it up a bit!! Love your recipes Gina…