Puerto Rican lasagna
Ever heard of a pastelon? I hadn’t either before I met Sam. It was only when I was researching Puerto Rican food that I stumble across it. Paston is lasagna without the lasagna sheets. Instead, very ripe plantains are used. This is my version of Puerto Rican lasagna veganized.
What are plantains?
Plantains are super popular in the Caribbean. They are a type of green banana that is very firm and usually looks very unripe or overly ripe. When they are yellow and black they sweeter. They shouldn’t be consumed raw.
For this vegan Puerto Rican lasagna we use the very ripe plantains. I once used unripe ones and it didn’t taste as good.
For the mincemeat, I used textured soy protein otherwise known as TVP. It’s usually available at International food stores or Amazon. I’ve also seen it in some grocery stores in the health section and health shops. TVP can be cooked to taste JUST like meat. I kid you not, the texture is so good and if season correctly, you will end up with BOMB mincemeat.
Puerto Rican cooking relies heavily on sofrito. Sofrito is a blend of onions, garlic, green peppers and a few other spices. See my recipe here on how to make a 5-minute Sofrito and keep a jar of this in your fridge or freeze in ice cubes for future use.
Lastly, you will need a vegan grated cheese for the top. I used vegan mozzarella from Wholefoods but Daiya (which I love) works great or your favorite vegan grated cheese.
Time and effort
This lasagna might seem like a little more work and it is more than a usual fast weekday meal, but it’s definitely something you should try when you want something different. I don’t make this often but when I do I know my husband loves it and so do I.
Here’s my recipe, I hope you give it a try and comment below if you do. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Vegan Puerto Rican Lasagna
- 150 g soy protein aka Textured vegetable protein
- 3 tbsp sofrito recipe link in post
- 1 red bell pepper
- 5 olives green work best
- 1 can tomato puree tomato sauce in USA
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 very ripe plantains
- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 cup grated vegan cheese
- Soak the TVP (mincemeat) in hot water for 10 minutes
- Make your sofrito or buy from an international store.
- Chop your garlic, olives and red bell pepper.
- Drain the mincemeat.
- Heat a pot with 2 tbsp olive oil on high and add 3 Tbsp sofrito to the pot. Cook for 40 seconds.
- Add the garlic, red pepper and olives. Cook for 1 minute
- Add the mincemeat and cook for a few minutes until the excess water has dried up.
- Add the can of tomato puree and decrease the temperature to low.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
Plantain lasagna sheets
- Add the cooking oil to a pan. I used coconut oil.
- Cut the skin off the plantains, cut them in half and then slice them into sheets.
- Heat the oil to medium heat. When you add the plantains the oil should start to bubble immediately. Fry on both sides. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
- Layer the plantains in the bottom of an oiled baking dish.
- Add the mincemeat. You can add another layer of plantains and mincemeat to make it a deep dish lasagna.
- Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake in the oven on 400F or 220C for 30 minutes before serving.