Pastelón (Plantain Shepherd's Pie)

Pastelón (Plantain Shepherd's Pie)
Recipe photo may include foods and ingredients that are not a part of this recipe and not included in the nutrition analysis.
Source: Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthy. Recipe Credit: . Photo Credit: Mittera.

If you love shepherds pie, you will love this Plantain Shepherds Pie, inspired by a Puerto Rican dish called pastelón. A traditional pastelón uses fried plantains; this recipe is made healthy by boiling the ripe plantains and them into a mash, creating a dish taht resembles a shepherd's pie. The sweetness of the plantain combined with the savory beef is heavenly!

Receta en Español: Pastelón

To make your own salt-free Adobo seasoning, combine 1 tbsp each of lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried parsley, and achiote powder and 1/2 tbsp cumin. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Find this recipe and more in our bilingual cookbook, Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthy, by Ingrid Hoffmann. To order directly from the American Diabetes Association, click here 


  • Prep time
    20 min
  • Cook time
    1 hr 18 min
  • Servings
    6 Servings
  • Serving size
    1 cup
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

6 Servings

  • Serving Size
    1 cup
  • Amount per serving Calories 310

  • Total Fat 9g
    • Saturated Fat 3.5g
    • Trans Fat 0.3g
  • Cholesterol 55mg
  • Sodium 310mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 39g
    • Dietary Fiber 4g
    • Total Sugars 17g
  • Protein 20g
  • Potassium 910mg
  • Phosphorus 245mg

Choices/Exchanges: 2 Starch, 1 Nonstarchy vegetable, 2 Lean protein, 1 Fat



  • Nonstick olive oil spray
  • very ripe plantains (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • salt
    1/4 tsp
  • olive oil
    1 tbsp
  • diced red onion
    1 med
  • green bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • garlic (minced)
    4 clove
  • lean ground beef (7% or less fat)
    1 lbs
  • frozen mixed vegetables
    1/2 cup
  • tomato sauce
    1/2 cup
  • Adobo seasoning
    2 tsp
  • part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/2 cup
  • paprika
    1/4 tsp
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
    1 tbsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

  2. Bring the plantains and enough water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, until the plantains are very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the plantains to the pot and mash with a vegetable masher, adding the salt and the cooking liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth.

  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

  4. Add the beef, and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables, tomato sauce, and adobo seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

  5. Spread half of the plantain mixture evenly onto the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the plantain mixture. Place the remaining plantain mixture over the beef. Top with the cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and browned around the edges, about 25 minutes.