Turkey Pastelón

Turkey Pastelón

Hi all — it’s time for a recipe!

I know I haven’t been the best at bringing you consistent posts over the past couple of weeks! BUT I have been hard at work making back end changes on the website, getting my email list under control so you can actually get notified of my recipes, and of course, I’ve been cooking and going out and having all this fun that I try to bring back to you guys on the blog! It is exhausting, but someone’s gotta do it. 🙂

I volunteer as tribute! 

This one comes from Gina over at SkinnyTaste and if you have never heard her or checked out her site, I recommend it! She has tons of healthy and easy weeknight recipes, complete with Weight Watchers points and nutritional info for anyone in need. She even has a couple of cookbooks on the market and they are awesome. Check them out! I actually gave one as a wedding present just a few days ago. I knew our bride was a wise one by putting it on the registry 🙂 I’ve found lots of recipes that have entered my rotation on SkinnyTaste, and given our love for all things plantain, this one definitely made the cut!

Turkey Pastelon 1 - Edited

A pastelón is a plantain “lasagna” which includes sliced and sauteed plantains taking the place of pasta in forming layers for the lasagna, and a filling made usually of ground meat, garlic, onions, butter, and spices. The result is a sweet and savory hearty dish that will fill you up from one “small” square.

For anyone wondering, plantains are the starchy relative of the banana often used in Caribbean  and African countries’ cuisines. Plantains are typically served cooked, either by frying or sauteeing as an appetizer or as part of a meal. They are a little different in that the skin should be brown when using ripe plantains. This occurs as the fruit matures and converts more starch to sugar. Just like a banana, plantains are high in both fiber and potassium.

Plantains
Here we used ground turkey and sauteed it with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and spices to form a tasty picadillo filling layered in with the plantains. The lasagna is held together with cheese and egg, and is then baked to melty perfection.Turkey Pastelon 7

The recipe calls for an edible garnish of alcaparrado, a mix of olives, pimientos and capers, but I just used capers since olives are not really welcome in this house unless they are in the form of olive oil! Not a fave.

I recommend going bravely outside of the box and trying this one for anyone looking for some easy, make-at-home Cuban food. Some of the ingredients may sound foreign but they should all be right at your neighborhood grocer.

Turkey Pastelon 4 - Edited

 

Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Turkey Pastelón
A Cuban-style lasagna made with layers of sauteed sweet plantains and spicy turkey picadillo, baked under a layer of melted cheese.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Caribbean
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30-35 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Turkey Picadillo:
For the Pastelón:
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Caribbean
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30-35 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Turkey Picadillo:
For the Pastelón:
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground turkey on medium heat in large saute pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces.
  2. Add the chopped onions, garlic, salt, pepper, tomato and cilantro and continue cooking on a low heat. Add alcaparrado and about 2 tbsp. of the brine, 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x9 baking dish with oil. Heat a large nonstick saute 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.
  4. Assemble lasagna 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 remaining cheese. Cover tight with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until completely heated through. Cut into 9 equal pieces and serve.
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