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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 (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)

4.60 from 5 votes
8
Cals:282
Protein:20
Carbs:30
Fat:9
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!
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!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 35 mins
Yield: 9 servings
Serving Size: 1 /9th slice

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.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 /9th slice, Calories: 282 kcal, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Protein: 20 g, Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 314 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 13 g

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118 comments on “Turkey Pastelón (Sweet Plantain Lasagna)”

  1. Avatar photo
    Julian Brazier

    let me just say that I dont really think I've had many Cuban dishes ever. I made this tonight mostly bc it just looked so good on your blog!! Well, not only is this a beautiful dish but omg I can't believe how much wonderful flavors and textures are in this!! My husband and all five of my kids loved it!! Thank you!!! So good!

  2. Avatar photo
    Claysandy Carolina

    I'm from the caribbean (Curacao) and I just made this recipe for lunch tomorrow. Just opened the oven and…….WOW (eyes rolling, angels singing). Couldn't resist and dropped a fork in it…..and folks…..this is AWSOME! Tnx Gina, this is nothing else than soul food.

  3. Made it this week! It was a hit with my husband, my parents and myself of course! So delicious! Thanks! I always appreciate the Latin dishes! (Cuban/Colombian from Miami lol)

  4. I wanted to share, that I make one similar to this but use 2 boxes Goya Baked Ripe Plantains (freezer section) & put 1 can french-style green beans in my meat & microwave caserole (covered w saran-wrap) for 10mins. Saves time while still keeping recipe light & nutritious.

  5. Gina! This was so good! My family loved it. My picky husband even had two helpings. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  6. Has anyone tried this yet with the other turkey piccadillo recipe? Did it work? How much did you use? My family loves piccadillo and it freezes so well so I make a huge batch and freeze some for a busy night.

  7. I truly can not wait to try this. I make the piccadillo almost weekly as my "go to" meal for I always have everything on hand.

  8. Gina, do you have an idea roughly how much picadillo goes into this dish? I doubled the recipe for your picadillo last night anticipating that it would be great, and in retrospect I should have divided the recipe in half before eating, but I couldnt put my fork down after the first taste. After dinner for two and a lunch, I have about 4 cups left, but that seems like too much for this dish, however I wouldnt complain if it wasnt. Thanks, this was awesome.

  9. I made this last night and even though I forgot an egg white it was amazing. I could have ate the whole pan. My family dies not like plantain but I love them. I cut up the leftovers and froze them for easy lunches.

  10. Avatar photo
    Marlies Hager

    This looks amazing! I am definitely going to give this a try. 🙂 How do you think it would work with cauliflower or eggplant in place of the meat?

  11. As the child of two Puerto Ricans, I've always wondered about your connection to the Puerto Rican cuisine. Glad to finally know its from spending many summers there (as did I!). I myself have tried over the years to find "lighter" versions of my favorite recipes – arroz con pollo, habicuelas, pernil! I love that you provide so many of them here for me. Can't wait to try this one out as well and thanks for the delicious recipes – both Puerto Rican and not!

  12. This looks divine. I live in Mexico and we have a couple dishes with plantains that are super delish, but I have never seen this before! My toddler wants lasagna (she hasnt ever had it before, so wont know the difference if I make it with something other than nooodles) for her birthday thia week, I am thinking about making this!

    Also, I love platanos fritos , but A) they are fried and B) I cant fry anything to save my life. Cn I cook the poantains the same way you did here to make those you think? Or do I need to cook them longer to make sure they are cooked through?

    1. I heat up my nonstick frying pan and spray it with my Misto Olive oil sprayer them I put the platanos in the hot pan and reduce the heat and cover so they steam first, when I see that they are soft I raise the flame to brown them, so much better and not full of grease

  13. Have this is the oven now, I used 1-lb. Organic 93% Ground beef instead of Turkey, can't wait to try it for lunch today, thanks again Gina for all the great and delicious recipes!

  14. Thank you for this! I can't wait to try it. I was raised in the Northeast, but married a Puerto Rican, and I would love to make more of his traditional comfort foods. Do you have any other slimmed down Puerto Rican recipes? Love that I know I can find all these ingredients as we live in an area without a large hispanic influence.