Plantain Lasagna is a sweet and savory version of lasagna, made with sweet plantains, beef, and cheese. It's perfect for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner. Give it a try; you'll love it!
If you want to switch up your traditional lasagna recipe, try replacing your lasagna noodles with sweet plantains, resulting in a delicious Sweet Plantain Lasagna.
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In Puerto Rico, there is a traditional dish called Pastelón or Puerto Rican Lasagna, which is a variation of this recipe.
Plantains are precious gems. They are rich in fiber and potassium. You can bake, boil, fry, and add them to stews and soups. You can find them in different ripening stages:
- Green plantains are not ripe yet and have a green peel. At this point, they are firm and not sweet.
- Yellow plantains are ripe and have a mild sweet taste to them.
- Black peel plantains are at the peak of their ripeness and are usually super sweet and soft to the touch. Mostly used in desserts.
A few typical Panamanian recipes with plantain are Platanos en tentación, Fried Plantain (Patacones and yellow fried plantain), Patacones rellenos with beef or shrimp, and Chocao, which is a dessert. Another recipe which I almost forget plantain tarts.
The majority of these recipes have a Caribbean flair to them.
⭐️ Why you'll love this recipe
- You can make it ahead of time.
- It's naturally gluten-free, freezer, and meal-prep friendly.
- No deep frying, so there is no excess oil to remove from the plantains.
- It's the perfect comfort food.
You'll use ripe or yellow plantains for this recipe since they are soft and sweet. You can get ones that have a couple of black spots on them.
You need them to be firm but soft to the touch, not mushy. You'll also need the following ingredients:
- ground beef
- cottage cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- diced tomatoes
- olive oil
- seasonings: salt, pepper, dried oregano, Italian seasoning
You'll have the complete measurement of each ingredient in the recipe card below.
As for utensils, we will use a cutting board, a spoon, a large skillet, a loaf pan, and a large frying pan.[cp_popup display="inline" style_id="6373" step_id = "1"][/cp_popup]
📝 How to make the plantain lasagna? Step by Step
I divided the recipe into four sections, to make it easier to prepare. Remember to preheat your oven to 350ºF.
The first section we'll be preparing is the beef. To start, finely dice the onion, carrots, and celery stalk.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add half of the olive oil and the ground beef to brown for a few minutes, or until there are no visible pink pieces.
Then transfer to a dish and set aside.
In the same skillet over medium heat add the remaining olive oil and saute the vegetables (carrots, celery, and onion) until tender. Next, add the minced garlic and saute for one more minute or until fragrant.
Add back the ground beef and mix with the vegetables. Reduce the heat to low, add the diced tomatoes and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. This will result in a thicker sauce.
Fried Plantains and Cheese Sauce
Our next section to prepare will be the plantains.
First, we are going to peel the plantains. For this, you'll need to cut the ends off. Then score the plantain skin with a paring knife along the seam and pull the peel back.
Next, you'll make long strips cutting the plantain horizontally, not so thin slices.
In this recipe, we'll avoid deep-frying the plantains, so there is no need to drain them on paper towels.
Spray some oil in a large frying pan and fry the plantains until golden brown on each side. Do this in batches. Since my plantains were on the softer side, I didn't want them to soak up oil, for that reason I use some oil in spray form.
Next, mix the cottage cheese with the Italian seasoning and the egg. Set aside for the assembly.
Plantain Lasagna Assembly
Now the fun part is the assembly.
I used a loaf pan to make this lasagna. You can double the recipe and use a large baking dish if you need to feed a bigger crowd. To prevent the lasagna from sticking, line your loaf pan with parchment paper.
Start with layering the fried plantain strips, then the cottage cheese mixture, the meat mixture, and the mozzarella cheese. Repeat once more. The third layer of plantains will be the last one.
💡 Tip: You can cut the plantain strips to fit into the loaf pan.
Mix the remaining ground beef with the cottage cheese mixture, add to the final layer of plantains, and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting and garnish with some chopped basil leaves and enjoy!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
You can serve this lasagna with:
- a green salad on the side,
- garlic bread,
- avocado slices,
- sauteed veggies, like broccoli, green beans, etc.
🔖 Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- You can customize your beef sauce as you traditionally make it. Instead of onions, celery, and carrots, you can use onions, garlic, and green bell pepper.
- You can use any seasoning and aromatics you prefer, like adobo, sazón, culantro, or cilantro.
- To make it spicy, add some chili powder or pepper flakes to the meat sauce.
- Ground beef: you can use lean meat or a fattier beef percentage. You could even use ground chicken or even shredded.
- Cottage cheese, substitute it with some ricotta cheese.
- Diced tomatoes, replace them with tomato sauce or roasted tomatoes, or use a little tomato paste. You could also use fresh instead of canned ones.
👩🏽🍳 Recipe Tips
To make ahead, you can cook the beef sauce in advance. Or you can assemble and keep it refrigerated and bake it the day you need it.
I have used a square baking pan for this recipe and it worked perfectly. You can double the recipe and bake it in a larger baking dish.
Storage: You can store any plantain lasagna leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
Reheat: You can reheat them in the air fryer or the oven at 350-360F for 10 minutes or until heated. You can also use the microwave.
🥘 More Latin Recipes to Try
Hope you give this recipe a try, I know you won't regret it! 😉
If you tried the Plantain Lasagna recipe or any other recipe on Nashi Food, don't forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I love to hear about your cooking experience.
- 3 ripe plantains
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 basil leave, chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 small carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, aprox 1 clove finely chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes, (14.5 oz )
- 1 teaspoon oregano
Cottage Cheese Mixture
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Gather all your ingredients
- Finely dice the onion, carrot and celery stalk.1 medium yellow onion, 1 small carrot, 1 celery stalk
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and add the meat. Brown it for 5 minutes. Transfer the ground meat to a dish and set aside.2 teaspoon olive oil, 1 lb ground beef
- In the same skillet add the remaining olive oil and saute the onion, carrots, and celery stalk until tender.2 teaspoon olive oil
- Next, add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Add back the ground meat to the vegetables and mix everything. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 lb ground beef, 1 teaspoon oregano
- Reduce to low heat, add the diced tomatoes and let it simmer for 15 minutes.1 can diced tomatoes
Cottage Cheese Mixture
- In a medium size bowl mix the egg, cottage cheese with the Italian seasoning.1 cup cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Peel your plantains and slice them into long strips horizontally.3 ripe plantains
- In a big skillet spray some oil and just lightly fry the plantain strips until golden on each side. Repeat until you have finished with all the strips.
- To assemble, line a loaf pan with some parchment paper to prevent the lasagna from sticking.
- Start layering: plantain strips, cottage cheese mixture, ground beef mixture, and then mozzarella. Repeat one more time.1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Mixed the remaining ground beef with the cheese mixture, and add it onto the top layer of the lasagna. Add remaining mozzarella.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes, garnish with the chopped basil leaves and devour!3 basil leave
Note: This recipe was originally published on June 8, 2017 and updated on July 10, 2022, with additional tips and helpful process shots.
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