Loading... Please wait...

Our Newsletter

Pasteles Recipes


Puerto Rican Pasteles from Elboricua.com

(18 pasteles)

Make the dough one day ahead. It is easier to handle when it's cold and it won't be so hard on the cook. Have a pastel-making get-together with your friends. The time will pass quickly if you are having fun with friends and are listening to Puerto Rican music. We do it all the time and it's great fun.

If you are making a bunch of pasteles order the guineos from your local produce vendor. They sell to grocery stores and can be found in the yellow pages. Tell then that you want them very green and not to "gas" them. You can buy them by the case dirt cheap.




Masa (dough)

1 1/3 lbs. yautía 
3 lbs. guineos verdes 
1 lbs. potatoes 
1 green plantain 
2 tbsp. milk 
¼ cup achiote oil 





Relleno (filling)

¾ lb. pork, chopped in small pieces, seasoned with "adobo" - or buy coarsely ground pork.

2 tablespoons "achiote" oil 
3 oz. chopped ham 
½ chopped onion 
2 chopped garlic 
4 ajíes dulces - chopped 
3 recao leaves chopped (may use cilantro instead) 
1 -8 oz. can tomato sauce 
½ can garbanzo beans 
½ cup cooking olives with pimento, chopped 
1 -6 oz. can chopped pimentos
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. black pepper 
1 tbsp. orégano


Banana leaves (or aluminum foil & butcher paper) 

If you have just a few plantain leaves you can cut them in small pieces and add a piece to each pastel to improve the flavor.

½ cup achiote to grease the plantain leaves or paper.

string to tie pasteles

A large pot of boiling salt water


Masa (dough)

HINT - Boil the green bananas for a few minutes until the peel begins to turns black. Then you can just pull off the peel and grate the guineitos in the food processor. Make sure you don't leave them in the pot too long.

Peel the rest of the vegetables, rinse them and grate in a food processor. Add milk, oil, and salt. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

It is best to do this the day before actually putting the pasteles together. It makes for easier handling masa.

Relleno (meat filling)

Heat the oil in a "caldero" and cook the meat and ham for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for approximately 25 minutes until the pork is completely cooked. Cool.

The Wrapper (use either banana leaves or aluminum foil)

Banana leaves. Use 10 bundles of plaintain leaves. Remove the central ridge on each leaf. Divide leaves into pieces, about 10" square. Wash and clean leaves with a damp cloth and blanch them (toast them slightly over gas stove flames).

If you have just a few plantain leaves cut them in small pieces and add a piece to each pastel for more flavor. 

Aluminum foil.Use aluminum foil with butcher paper or plastic wrap on top to make a "wrapper." You may add a piece of banana leaf (if available) right on top. 

Assembling the pasteles 
(Cover the kitchen counter with newspaper for easier cleanup time)
Turn on your Puerto Rican music. . . .

Grease center of the wrapper - using the back of a spoon dipped in achiote oil.

HINT - Use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop dough (this helps keep the pasteles the same size). In the center of the wrapper place ½ cup of dough and thinly spread it not more than 5" long and about 4" wide. Keep a small ruler handy to determine size until you can "eye-ball it."

HINT - Use a 1/8 cup measuring cup to scoop the meat filling and fill just a bit over the brim. That should measure 2½ tablespoons. Place 2½ tablespoons of meat filling on the masa - a bit off the center.

Fold the wrapper in half to close the pastel. If using foil, fold the edges over until tightly sealed. If using leaves just fold one over the other until completely sealed.

Tie the pastel. (You may skip this part completely if you are using foil paper - simply make sure the folds are pressed securely.) Tie the pastel with string to hold it together. Make one run of string lengthwise and two runs the other way (see picture above). This will hold the banana leaves secure. 

Got leftover dough? Make alcapurrias.

Cook the pasteles for 1 hour turning them once half way through cooking. Freshly cooked pasteles taste much better.  Freeze them raw.

¡Buen provecho! . . . .


Puerto Rican Pasteles by Daisy Martinez of the Food Network

Makes about 24

For the pork stock:

2 pounds pork bones 
Half a small onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
Fine sea or kosher salt
Black peppercorns
For the meat filling 
2 pounds pork, preferably Boston butt, cut into ½-cubes
¼ cup Achiote Oil 
1 bay leaf
Add 1/3 cup Sofrito
1 tablespoon chopped fresh culantro or ½ bunch fresh cilantro tied with twine

For the Root Vegetable Filling:

8 pounds green bananas, peeled
¾ pounds yautia, peeled,
¾ pound calabaza, peeled
1 small green plantain, peeled 
1 small (about 7 ounces) russet potatoes, peeled 
1/3 cup Achiote Oil
1 cup (or as needed) Pork Stock (see above) 
2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
¾ cup milk
¾ cup broth from the pork stew
2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
You will also need:
1 pound banana leaves, cut into twenty-four 7-inch squares 
½ cup Achiote Oil for assembling the pasteles
24 pieces (12 x18) parchment paper
24 whole small hot peppers, such as cayenne or bird peppers
24 thirty-inch lengths kitchen twine

Make the pork stock: Preheat the oven to 400° F Toss the pork bones, onion, and bay leaf together in a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably. Roast, stirring once or twice, until well browned, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the bones to a 5 or 6-quart pot. Pour in enough water to cover the bones. Add a big pinch of salt and a dozen or so peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the liquid is at a lively simmer. Cook, skimming off any foam or fat that rises to the surface, 1 1/2 hours.


Make the meat filling: Put the pork in a 4-quart pot. Add the achiote oil and bay leaf and pour in enough cold water to cover the pork. Bring to a boil. Cook 45 minutes.

Stir in the sofrito, culantro or cilantro, and salt and continue simmering until the pork is tender, about 45 minutes.

When the pork stock and pork filling are ready, set them aside. Gather the twine, parchment, achiote oil, and banana leaves together before making the root vegetable filling.


Make the root vegetable filling: Grate the root vegetables by hand on the finest side of a box grater. Don’t be tempted to do this in a food processor (She's referring to mainstream food processors found in stores--not Guaya-Force). Stir in the achiote oil, pork stock, salt, milk, pork cooking liquid and broth. The mixture should be the color of a sweet potato and the texture of a sticky muffin batter.


Oil the center of a sheet of parchment paper and place a banana leaf over the oil. Oil the leaf lightly. Spoon about ¾ cup of the masa over the center of the leaf. Make a little well in the masa and spoon about ¼ cup of the pork stew and some juice into the well. Top with an olive and piece of red pepper from the alcaparrado. Also a whole cayenne.Spoon the masa from the edges over the meat and vegetables. Fold the top and bottom sides of the leaf over the filling. Fold the bottom of the paper over the leaf so the two long edges meet at the top. Make two folds along the long edge so the pastel is wrapped nice and tight. Make a 1-inch fold along one the short ends, then bring that end of the paper and banana leaf over the filling. Repeat with the other short side. You now have a pastel made up of the filling tightly wrapped in both banana leaf and paper. Set it aside folded side down on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining filling, leaves and paper. Tie the pastels: Fold one length of string in half and set it on your work surface with the loose ends closest to you. Center a tamale folded side down over the string, about 4 inches from the folded end. Bring each half of the string outward slightly so it is sitting near the ends of the folds. Bring the loose ends of the string over the packet then under the loop in the string. Keeping the string centered under the folds, pull the loose ends up and out. If this all sounds too complicated, simply tie the folds tightly with shorter lengths of string.


Pasteles En Hoja (Dominican Republic Version) from Food.com recipes

By Kitty Kat Cook on December 20, 2007

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 10 mins
  • Servings: 4

About This Recipe

"If you are familiar with Caribbean food, then you should know almost everything is made or is accompanied by plantains (unripe bananas). This looks like the Mexican tamale, and is made almost the same way, but with different ingredients. And of course instead of a corn outside layer it is made with plantains. This is a holiday staple. You can find the plantain leaves in any Hispanic market, in the frozen foods section. If you can't find it replace with parchment paper."


    • 1 unripe plantains ( as bright green as you can find)
    • 1/2 lb yautia ( malanga)
    • 1/2 lb white yams ( Niame)
    • 1 -2 tablespoon goya brand adobo seasoning
    • 3 -4 plantain leaves
    • 3 dried bay leaves, crushed
    • 1/2 lb ground beef or 1/2 lb pork loin or 1/2 lb chicken
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 garlic cloves, mashed
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 small red onions, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
    • 1 green peppers, seeded and chopped
    • fresh ground black pepper
    • tying string


  1. Cut the banana leaves into 8x8-inch squares wash, pat dry and reserve.
  2. If using pork or chicken:.
  3. Place a small chicken (about a 2lbs) or pork loin in a crock pot and liberally sprinkle with adobo seasoning until covered. Set on low for 6-8 hours When done, allow it to cool and shred it with your fingers. Now you can use it for the pasteles.
  4. If using ground beef:.
  5. In a bowl combine the meat with the onion powder, oregano, basil, 2 tbsp adobo seasoning.
  1. In a pan over medium heat, heat up oil and add garlic, onions and pepper. Sauté until tender. Add 1/2 lb of meat.
  2. Cook until no longer pink and drain. Return to heat and 2 tbsp of water and tomato paste. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Reserve.
  3. If using cooked pork or chicken:.
  4. Heat up oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions and pepper until tender; add 1/2 lb meat. Season with oregano, bay, onion powder, black pepper and salt if needed. Stir until combined. Add 2 tbsp water and tomato paste, heat through, for about 2 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Reserve.
  5. Peel the plantains, niame and malanga. Grate the raw niame, malanga and plantain and mix with 1 tsp of adobo seasoning and 1 tspn salt. Add the broth either store-bought kind or the broth made if you slow-cooked the chicken. It will look like a doughy mass. Don't make it too wet.
  6. For assembly:.
  7. Put 2 tbsp of the plantain mixture on the center of a banana tree leaf, on top put 1 tspn of meat, and top that with 2 more tbsp of the plantain mixture. Wrap the leaf around it to form a rectangle; about 5-7" in length and 3-4" in width. Wrap another layer of parchment paper over each one. Tie string once around and once the other way to resemble a present, and tie a knot in the middle. At this point you can freeze them by wrapping a third layer of foil over each one and store for up to a month, just remove foil before cooking.
  8. When ready to make, put half a gallon of water in a very large pot and boil them for 20 minutes. Remove the banana leaf before eating.
  9. We usually eat them with Tabasco sauce and/or ketchup. Enjoy!



Guayadora/Maquina para Pasteles Guaya-Force JAWS

Grater/Machine for Pasteles Guaya-Force JAWS