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5 from 5 votes

Sweet Plantain Lasagna

Sweet Plantain Lasagna, also known as Pastelón, is a sweet and savory Puerto Rican dish and a delicious alternative to classic lasagna. This gluten free, island recipe uses ripe plantains, instead of pasta noodles, which are fried until golden, bright yellow and fragrant. Puerto Rican Lasagna is the perfect make ahead meal, guaranteed to please a crowd.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 8
Calories: 616kcal


  • 6 ripe plantains (peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices)
  • oil for frying
  • 1 medium onion (diced small)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon adobo
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (minced)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 4 cups Mexican 4-cheese blend (shredded, see notes)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat just enough cooking oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat so that it will cover the plantains. Once water sizzles when sprinkled over the oil, add the plantains so that they are not touching. You will need to work in batches. Cook until they turn brighter yellow and are lightly browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  • Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil out of the pan and return to the stovetop. Add the diced onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the ground beef, adobo, cumin, and oregano. Cook until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in the sauce, cilantro and golden raisins. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
  • Place a layer of plantains in the bottom of a large baking dish. The one that I use is 12.5 x 8.5-inches. There may be some space between them and that’s okay but you can also mash them some, if you’d like.
  • Top the plantains with half of the beef mixture.
  • Top the beef with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
  • Add another layer of plantains, the remaining beef and another 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Top with a final layer of plantains and 1 cup of cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated throughout.
  • Top with minced fresh basil and serve hot.



  • If you have a favorite picadillo recipe, you can use that in place of the ingredients in this recipe for the beef.
  • Easily adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes. Many people like to add bell peppers, olives, Sazon seasoning and/or capers. You can also swap out the cheese to your favorite. Just be sure to use one that melts easily.
  • Pre-shredded cheese does not melt as nicely. You can swap out the Mexican blend cheese for cheddar or mozzarella, if preferred.
  • Store leftover lasagna tightly covered in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days.
** Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary. It does not include any oil the plantains may absorb while frying.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1339mg | Potassium: 1461mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 2299IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 417mg | Iron: 5mg