My Spin on Pastelón

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I had to put “my spin” into the title because I can see someone who grew up on pastelón coming after me since this is not an authentic recipe. I have a Peruvian recipe on my website which originally has parmesan cheese and white bread in it, so I figured out a way to make it without those ingredients…and he was PISSED. Insulted, actually. So just a warning here – this is not an authentic Puerto Rican. And I don’t mean to offend anyone with my recipe creation. But from what I know, an authentic Puerto Rican pastelón dish which is a plantain lasagna, normally is filled with delicious cheese. So I made it with no cheese. And I made it in a way that would still combine everything without the cheese. I wish paleo included cheese, that would be pretty rad, but it doesn’t. So I work around it. Not trying to insult, just trying to eat, ok?!

PaleOMG My Spin on Pastelón

I made this recipe after eating at the new Latin restaurant in town, Candela Latin Kitchen. Latin food has always spoke my language. I’ve made recipes like Carne Mechada and Lechón Asado in my cookbook and Ají de Gallina and Lomo Saltado on my website. So when I found out about this restaurant, I was pumped! And they did not disappoint. Candela Latin Kitchen has menu items like mofongo (which I tried and LOOOOOOVED…need to make a recipe for that!), yucca fries, tostones, pastelón, and lomo saltado. And they have brunch, too. I know this sounds like an ad for this restaurant, but I’m just honestly obsessed with this place and it got me so inspired in the kitchen! Which is why I made this recipe!

Speaking of obsessed, I got a new rug and I’m simply in love! Especially because when I put a deposit down to have it ordered to the store, it wasn’t on sale. But when I picked it up, it was!! And so I was able to get the rug on major sale! And now I just want to walk on it all day because it’s like walking on a giant blanket. And they have A TON of rugs on sale right now. I wish I had more rooms to buy rugs because then I would buy this one and this one. I know like this sounds like an ad for rugs, but I just really like rugs. I think I may do a blog post about it soon and how to set the tone for your room with a beautiful rug.

OMG you guys. One of my close friends had her little baby boy yesterday! I watched on as her and her husband tried to get pregnant for 2 years then finally did and she gave birth to a healthy little guy yesterday. I haven’t had many of my own friends get pregnant or give birth yet so this is so exciting to see, especially since they live just down the street from us. It’s just so cool to watch people who want a child so badly to finally have that beautiful little baby in their lives. I’m so dang happy for them! And I know you don’t know them and probably don’t give AF but I had to congratulate Ben and Sarah!

Ok, enough about babies and rugs. Go make this recipe. You’re going to love it!

PaleOMG My Spin on Pastelón


My Spin on Pastelón


  • Author: juli
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 1x



For the Picadillo:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup green olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup raisins

For the plantain layers:

  • 4 medium ripe (brown) plantains, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee
  • salt, to taste
  • roughly chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • lime wedges, to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish. 
  2. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add ground beef to brown and break into pieces.
  3. Once almost cooked through, add onion, bell pepper, oregano, cumin, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Then add tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, vinegar, olives and raisins, mix well then cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. While picadillo cooks, fill large saucepan with water and place over medium-high heat to bring to boil. Once water is boiling, add plantains and cook for 8-10 minutes, until completely soft. Drain.
  6. Place plantains in a food processor along with egg, ghee and salt and blend until completely smooth and combined.
  7. Scoop 1/2 of the plantain puree into the greased baking dish and spread evenly throughout. Then top the plantain mixture with the picadillo, spread evenly and top the picadillo with the rest of the plantain mixture.
  8. Place in oven to bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked through, let rest for 10 minutes to set before slicing and serving up with lime wedges and cilantro!



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PaleOMG My Spin on Pastelón

PaleOMG My Spin on Pastelón


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


52 thoughts on “My Spin on Pastelón”

  1. Thanks for this recipe. Added to dinner for next week! Also Mofongo is amazing and I cannot wait for your take on it! I’ve tried making it before, but it wasn’t as good (or easy) as I thought it should be.

  2. So I’m Puerto Rican and the recipe my mom uses does not have raisins or Ghee. Instead the plantains are thinly sliced and fried. In stead of raisins use slice green beans. Assemble like a lasagna then pour one beaten egg over the pan. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy.

    1. Lizette-I agree about the beaten egg and crispy slices. The eggs work well to hold it together. I have made it with the raisins. Now I need to make it again soon.
      Juli’s recipe looks good to me!

  3. Can’t wait to try this! It combines a couple of my favorite things picadillo and plantains! By the way I’m making your jalapeno popper chili from your last cookbook tonight for dinner but I’m going to use my instant pot since I’m currently obsessed with using that thing. Hoping I do it justice : )

  4. This looks fantastic and delicious! We have hardwood floors throughout our house, even in one of the bathrooms (house built in 1905). Can’t wait to see a blog on rugs!

  5. Ok, I love that this is essentially a plantain pancake sandwich (for dinner). Thank you for enabling me, this looks heavenly delish.
    But I do eat cheese, so what cheese would typically be used for this dish in a non-paleo recipe?

  6. Four plantains might have been too much! I have so much plantain!!! I think three would have been fine. Maybe next time can you specify “large” or “medium” plantains? I guess I bought extra big ass plantains by accident ????

  7. Hey you!

    I started following you 2 weeks ago on Instagram. I’m a newbie at paleo lifestyle and I was looking for some recipes. Your blog is so helpful and the way you write is so easy to understand.

    I made this recipe last night, omg sooooo delicious! I’m so happy that I found you!

    I’ll be here a lot!

    Have a great day!

  8. We made this for dinner last night, and I’m having leftovers for lunch right now. SO GOOD. The beef mix in particular is AMAZING. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

  9. I made this and it was delicious! Took longer to cook than I usually like to spend on a weeknight dinner, but the family loved it.

  10. My local grocery store doesn’t carry fresh ripe plantains, and I want to make this tonight!! Do you think I can use frozen ripe plantains, and if so would I still boil them the same way?

  11. I made this last night and it is so good! I was skeptical about the olives and raisins…but it is fantastic! I want to eat this every day! Keep the great recipes coming!

    Ps. I just started listening to your podcast while washing dishes. So funny!

  12. Can I freeze the left overs and reheat in the oven for another day. Amazing!!! I did have w fresh mozzarella and the other half plain. We love it both ways.

  13. I made this last week to take for lunches. I have loved every recipe I have tried of yours, but this one is seriously the best! I want to make it again today for the week, but am going to refrain and try the Spaghetti Pie. Thank you for making a Whole30 delicious!

  14. Your spin on pastelon is now our spin too! This was dinner last night and an instant hit with the whole family. Looking forward to having the last piece for lunch today!! I only added some egg on top before putting in the oven. So delicious!! Thank you.

  15. I just finished my last leftover helping of this and it was the sheeeeit! SO good! Very first paleo meal I’ve tried and I’m so happy with the results. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  16. Just finished eating dinner and this dish was seriously was so incredible. I think it’s my new favorite recipe of yours! Thanks for always being so creative and keeping food fun!

  17. My family can’t eat eggs. Do you think it’s possible to make this without eggs or replace with something else? It sounds amazing!!

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