Deliciously hot and crispy pastelón empanadas stuffed with sweet plantains, ground beef picadillo and cheese. The ultimate sweet and salty snack!
I call these “mini pastelón” or “pastelón in a pie.”
Pastelón is a Caribbean dish that can be described as Puerto Rican Lasagna.
It features layers of sweet plantains instead of noodles, ground beef picadillo and cheese.
It’s a sweet and savory MASTERPIECE!
If you’ve never had it, I recommend you check out my pastelón recipe and change that as soon as possible.
These empanadas are handheld versions of pastelón which is a large casserole.
Not to be confused with piononos, which are also a handheld version.
These make great party appetizers or a quick lunch.
Inside each empanada is a spoonful of picadillo, a slice of cheese and a piece of sweet fried plantain.
The perfect bite!
There are several ways you can make these, so read on for my tips and substitutes.
An exact recipe is posted at the end.
To begin you will need empanada dough.
I have a homemade recipe that you can make, or you can purchase frozen wrappers from the store.
Goya brand sells packets of 10 and calls them discos.
For this recipe I did not add the potatoes to my picadillo.
I like to make triple batches of picadillo at a time and freeze the extra for later.
Like when I get a craving for pastelón empanadas!
You can use any cheese you like, but my favorite is sharp cheddar.
I think the sharpness of the cheese brings the perfect balance to the sweet and salty filling.
Mozzarella or any white cheese would be good as well.
You can shred it or slice it thinly.
Plantains need to be cooked before eating and there are two main stages of plátanos – green and yellow.
When plantains are unripe they are firm and green.
They have a starchy texture and fairly plain taste.
We use the green plantains to make tostones.
As they ripen they will turn yellow, black and sweet (plátanos amarillos).
We fry slices of sweet plantain and they are called maduros.
For this recipe you will need one plantain that is completely yellow with black spots.
See this post if you’re not sure how to peel plantains (hint: not as easy as bananas).
You can also find packages of frozen maduros in some grocery stores.
All you have to do is thaw them for this recipe which makes it really quick and easy.
Another quick (and healthier) option is to boil the plantain until tender and then mash.
Now that you have your 4 components, all you need is to assemble the empanadas.
On one half of each disco place a slice of cheese, spoonful of picadillo and one maduro.
The order is not important.
Don’t overstuff these – they’re empanadas not burritos!
Fold the other half of the dough over and pinch the edges to seal.
If the edges are not sticking, moisten with a little water.
Crimp the edges with a fork. Or you can use an empanada maker.
Fry each pastelón empanada in hot oil until crispy and golden, turning once.
It doesn’t need to be a lot of oil – just enough to come halfway up the side of the empanada.
For the Maduros:
- Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan with about ½ inch of oil. Set heat to medium.
- Peel the plantain and cut into 10 slices.
- Fry the plantain slices in the oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
For the Empanadas:
- On one half of each disco place a slice of cheese, spoonful of picadillo and one maduro.
- The order is not important. Just make sure there’s not too much filling so you can still fold and seal them.
- Fold the other half of the dough over and pinch the edges to seal.
- If the edges are not sticking, moisten with a little water.
- Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Fry each pastelón empanada in hot oil (350°F) until crispy and golden, turning once, about 2 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels and serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 196Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g
Or these guava empanadas with cream cheese for dessert: