I came across pastelón a few months ago through a friends social media page. It immediately spoke to me. How have I not heard of this dish sooner? A combination of sweet plantains, meat, sauce, and cheese all layered up like a lasagna. Yum! As we are in the reintroduction phase of the Whole30 I figured this would be a great meal for trying out dairy. I did go very light on the cheese and was completely satisfied with my results.
This dish is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. You use ripe plantains, lightly browned and soft, which adds the sweetness. The salty comes from the meat and sauce. I used cumin, cilantro, and olives to flavor meat and sauce, a sort of picadillo style. You can always add sofrito into your sauce for flavor but I chose to leave this out and instead added in zucchini for extra vegetable. This did not disappoint and will definitely be made again. And soon!
- 1 lb ground chicken
- olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped green olives
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 3 medium zucchini, julienned (or chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 large ripe plantains (yellow)
- coconut oil
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1/4-1/3 cup mexican shredded cheese
- Heat up olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Once onion starts to soften add chicken and brown. Season with s&p and cumin. Stir in green olives and 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from pan and stir in cilantro.
- Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sauté the zucchini until it starts to soften. Season with s&p and garlic powder. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and simmer a few more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Slice plantain lengthwise as thin as possible. Thinly coat pan with coconut oil and fry plantain slices in batches a few minutes each side until lightly browned. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a bowl scramble eggs and milk.
- Coat 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil.
- Assemble pastelon.. use 1/3 of the plantain to layer the bottom of the dish, top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the zucchini, and a thin layer of cheese. Continue with 1/3 of the plantain, the remaining 1/2 of chicken, remaining 1/2 of zucchini, and a thin layer of cheese. Top with the rest of the plantain slices. Pour egg mixture over everything and sprinkle on the last bit of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before serving.