Below: Learn how to make this delicious and healthy lasagna recipe using ripe plantain, which is a variation on a dish also known in Puerto Rico as pastelon.
Lasagna is one of my favorite recipes. In fact, it is one of my husband’s specialities that he makes often when we have family visiting since it always turns out perfectly for him. My kids and all of our extended family love it too. It is one of the recipes that won me over and that always wins over everyone else when he makes it for them too.
It used to be part of our weekly meal plan, but since being diagnosed with lupus, I have cut out gluten. This has benefited my health in many ways, but unfortunately it means that I also can’t enjoy my husband’s delicious lasagna any more.
With that said, there are many different ways to make healthy lasagna using alternatives to pasta like zucchini and in this case layers of plantains!
Plantains are very versatile and popular in many Latin American cultures. There are many ways to use them in different dishes when they are green, or when they are ripe which is when they have a sweeter taste that they are known for.
In Mexico, it is very easy to find plantains since they are used in so many dishes. Here in the United States though, they can be more difficult to find, especially in the winter months.When you do find them, a lot of times they are still very green and take a while to ripen. Since I love thsi ingredient so much, I like to buy bags of these tasty plantain chips as a perfect option when I want a lighter snack.
The healthy lasagna recipe I am going to share today uses ripe plantains instead of pasta, ground beef, and other ingredients to give it a familiar lasagna feel, but which is still different from Italian lasagna. In Puerto Rico, this type of dish is known as pastelon or Puerto Rican lasagna. I won’t say that this is an authentic Puerto Rican version, but I wanted to mention that since it is similar.
First, I want to talk a little bit about some of the benefits of using plantains in your diet.
What are some benefits of eating plantains?
Plantains are a great source of magnesium and potassium, just like regular bananas. They are also full of vitamin k, vitamin a, thiamine. riboflavin, and fiber.
They are also a great source of energy, are easy to digest, and can help reduce cramping during physical activity. Green plantains have also been shown to be good at reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses.
Plantains can be used as snacks, side dishes, or as a main ingredients in a recipe like this lasagna recipe.
The potassium that plantains include is good for blood circulation and reducing high blood pressure as well. It can also help with the elimination of excess sodium in your blood.
The vitamins a and c that it contains help with cell growth, renewal, and strength to help defend our bodies against viruses, bacterias, and more which is good, especially during flu season.
How do you make healthy plantain lasagna with ripe plantains?
This recipe is very simple and easy to make. As I mentioned, instead of using sheets of lasagna pasta, we will use plantain slices. To do that, you will take each plantain and cut it lengthwise into thin slices which will act as the base of the lasagna recipe. You can use ripe plantains or green plantains. If you use ripe ones, the flavor will be sweeter, and if you use green ones, it will be more savory.
You will need the following ingredients to make this recipe:
- 3 plantains (sweet plantains or green plantains)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 pound of ground bison or ground turkey (you can use ground beef if you prefer).
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1/4 bunch of chopped cilantro
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
- Manchego cheese
- Salt, Black Pepper, Cumin to taste.
We will start by making the meat mixture. To do this, add the olive oil, onion, peppers, and cilantro to a large skillet with the ground meat. Cook for ten minutes and add the seasonings, mixing well. Add the tomato sauce and continue cooking over medium-high heat for about 8 more minutes.
While the meat is simmering, you can slice the plantains lengthwise into thin strips and season them lightly with salt and black pepper.
In a large casserole dish, add a layer of plantains to the bottom of the pan first, and then add a layer of the meat mixture. Add a bit of the manchego cheese, and then continue, adding a second layer of plantains, meat, and cheese. Continue until you have run out of plantains and end with a final layer of the remaining plantains and cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit or until the cheese is melted. Serve hot and enjoy this popular dish. Again, this is similar to the puerto rican pastelon recipe, but with some healthy substitutes for a lighter version for an anti-inflammatory diet. Like most recipes, there are different preparations and you can substitute ingredients for whatever works best for you.
Let me know in the comments below how it turns out!
Healthy Plantain Lasagna Recipe (Pastelon)
- 3 Plantains Ripe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground bison or ground turkey
- 1/4 white onion diced
- 1/4 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup Manchego cheese grated
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Cumin to taste
- Cook the ground bison in a large skillet with the olive oil, veggies and herbs, and seasonings. Let cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and continue cooking for 8 more minutes. Set aside.
- Slice the plantains lengthwise, season with salt and pepper, and add a layer to the bottom of a prepared baking dish. Add a layer of the meat and a little bit of the cheese.
- Continue adding more layers of meat and plantains, ending with a layer of plantains with the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees fahreneheit for about 10-15 minutes.
Hi, I’m Charbel!
I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father. A mother to four and wife to a marvelous husband. I am also a Lupus Fighter. I Love to cook. I love inspirational podcasts. I am also lover of all things creative and a fearless DIY-er. A Homebody. A wellness and Relaxation lover. Welcome to The Healing Cookbook! Read more...