Pastelon Recipe | PBS Food

This dish has both Puerto Rican & Dominican roots. Originally called pastel horneado (baked pie) it was not made with cheese. It is believed that mid-century when Puerto Ricans mingled with Italians in NYC the dish evolved into a Latin version of Lasagnas, which is where cheese was added to the recipe as well. The new version was introduced to the Island of Puerto Rico and has continued to involve over the years.

This recipe from Irma appears in Episode 1 of Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Prep time: 30 Minutes

Cook time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings



  • 6 sweet plantains
  • 1-2 bags of shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 & ½ lbs ground beef
  • Ground annatto/achiote
  • Ground coriander/cilantro
  • Turmeric (little bit)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 1cup of sofrito
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • salt to taste
  • You can also add olive juice to taste
  • 4-5 Eggs
  • Butter for dish


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. You will peel, slice and fry your sweet plantains and set aside on paper towels in order to soak up excess oil.
  3. Prepare and cook your ground meet to your liking ( one cup sofrito & one cup tomato sauce, olive juice ), and set aside.
  4. Whisk up an egg or two for binding you casserole.
  5. Now you are prepared to layer your dish.
  6. Butter the bottom of and begin by lining your mini dutch ovens with your first layer of sweet plantains.