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Puerto Rican Pasteles Recipe

Updated on April 4, 2015

Puerto Rico has a big variety of food; good, tasty and nutritious! This characteristic comes from our history mix with the Taino Indians, Europeans, Africans and Americans. This Hub is to share our way of preparing one of our favorite dishes.

Pasteles make a great lunch or dinner any time of the year. The following saying is very true: “Christmas in Puerto Rico without pasteles is not Christmas”. It takes a lot of work, reason enough to prepare many of them and you may keep them in your freezer. .Preparing pasteles, in most cases, is a family sharing activity; then for all to eat and enjoy.

Pastel is also known as a cake but this pastel is totally different...this one is a real Puerto Rican Pastel recipe. I will share the common way to prepare the Puerto Rican Pastel. Hope you understand and start yours.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Ready in: 4 hours
  • Yields: Many

Pastel Combination

Pasteles are made in many different ways, as all the recipes. I believe that you can make your changes and adapt any recipe. Pasteles are also made by any combination, the most frequent are:

  • Green banana with pork
  • Yucca (taro) with pork
  • Green banana with chicken
  • Yucca with chicken
  • Vegetarian without meat

Nutrition Facts

  • 7 pounds of Yucca (taro)
  • 1 pound pumpkin
  • 12 green bananas
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • Annato oil
  • Banana leaves

Taro (yucca), Pumpkins, Bananas
Taro (yucca), Pumpkins, Bananas
Milk, Salt, Achote (Annatto) oil, Banana leaves
Milk, Salt, Achote (Annatto) oil, Banana leaves
  1. In the food processor grind the mixture of taro, pumpkin and bananas, with the aid of warm milk, but until smooth and creamy consistency.
  2. Give color with annatto oil
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 1/8 pound of chopped bacon
  • 3/4 pound of chopped cooked ham
  • annatto oil
  • 2 pounds lean minced pork
  • 8 chopped sweet peppers
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 green peppers chopped
  • Cilantro minced
  • 4 minced oregano leaves
  • 8 chopped oregano leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 12 stuffed olives chopped in half
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 small can chopped pimentos
  • 2 hard boiled eggs chopped

Bacon, Ham, Pork
Bacon, Ham, Pork
Sweet Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Pepper
Sweet Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Pepper
Cilantro, Oregano, Tomatoes, Olive, Capers, Raisins, Boil Egg
Cilantro, Oregano, Tomatoes, Olive, Capers, Raisins, Boil Egg
  1. In a hot pot or pan, toss while cooking the bacon until golden.
  2. Add the ham and toss while cooking a few minutes.
  3. Add raisins, annatto oil and toss while cooking.
  4. Add the meat until cooked.
  5. Add onions, sweet peppers, garlic, peppers, cilantro, oregano and toss while cooking until shiny.
  6. Add tomatoes, olives, capers and raisins and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients.

Examples of Mounting

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Individual Pasteles

  1. Place a square of banana leaf on plastic wrap.
  2. Spread sheet with oil.
  3. Put three tablespoons of dough.
  4. Flatten and place one to two tablespoons of filling in banana leaf.
  5. Seal as in a plastic wrap package.
  6. Boil in water with a little salt for 40 minutes.
  7. Chill and cut the paper to serve.
  8. In the traditional form the role of plastic wrap is replaced by the pastel role wrap.
  9. They are prepared in pairs and tied as one package.

Big Amount

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a lasagna pan.
  3. Line the bottom and sides with cushioned banana leaves
  4. Place half of the dough on the leaves and then add filling.
  5. Finish with the remaining dough and cover with more banana leaves.
  6. Place in center of oven and bake for one hour or until dough is firm.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes before serving, cut into squares like a pastry.

Puerto Rican Pasteles Ingredients

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5 stars from 6 ratings of Puerto Rican Pasteles

Buen Provecho! Enjoy Your Meal! Bon Appetit!

Once you know the procedure it is fun to prepare pasteles. They are very nutritious as you can see by the ingredients. You may add rice or your favorite side dish; it can be eaten with almost anything. If for any reason you cannot make them, get them; you may find a dozen with a low cost from 15$ to 20$, I think they are worth the price. This is all until now, it will be nice to share more of our favorite "Puerto Rican Cuisines".

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • BoriquaFlavorSoul profile image

      Angelique Santos 20 months ago from Bronx, New York

      Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.... I love me some pasteles. Thank you for your article. I love cooking but this is one recipe that is intimidating. I've been wanting to learn how to make pasteles. I know how to cook alot of Puerto Rican dishes but this one I know takes alot of time. I love the way you break down the steps and show photos. I will definitely try your recipe. I will keep you posted on how it turns out. Thanks.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      vespawoolf thanks for your visit. I know you cooking, If you ever try our pasteles recipe it will be nice to see your personal touch.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love the way you formatted this Hub! Very colorful and easy to follow. Puerto Rican Pasteles remind me of Peruvian tamales, although yours are much more varied and flavorful. I would love to try them sometime! Thank you for sharing.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks to you Ericdierker. If reading put five more pounds on, just imagine eating and than laying on a hamaca. Eating is a necessity, but we need to have auto control with a good diet and exercise.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just reading this article, put five more happy pounds on! There is a dead giveaway to a great cook -- portions. "Chinsy" does not cut it. Very similar to our area enchiladas and our Vietnamese of the same genre (I cannot pronounce it much less spell it)

      Thanks much my lady

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks Bill! What are friends for? Just ask and we will mail them.

      Blessings to you and yours also!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What an interesting recipe, Maria! I have never heard of this but it sure sounds delicious. Thank you and we will give it a try if we can find all the ingredients. Have a great weekend.

      blessings, today and always


    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks honey, no they aren't but I can prepare a peanut butter sandwich.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Now I am hungry. Are those pasteles done yet? Good hub--voted up!