This is a traditional holiday family meal. This recipe has been in our family for years. It is a Puerto Rican dish. It is customary to make this and give them away to all the people you love.



Recipe Summary

55 mins
1 hr 23 mins
2 hrs 18 mins
2 dozen


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine yuca, green plantains, yautia, and milk in a blender; puree into a thick paste the consistency of oatmeal.

  • Combine lard and achiote seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat; heat until lard is melted, and reddish in color, about 5 minutes. Strain out achiote seeds. Mix half of the lard into the yuca paste.

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and green bell pepper; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add pork, ham, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce, olives, capers, orange juice, cilantro, oregano, salt, and garlic; cook and stir until pork is no longer pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Mix 2/3 of the remaining lard into the pork mixture.

  • Smear each plantain leaf with a small amount of remaining lard. Place a large spoonful of the yuca paste in the center of each one; top with a scoop of the pork mixture. Fold up the sides of each leaf to enclose the filling and create a rectangular pastel.

  • Stack 2 pasteles and tie them together with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining pasteles.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasteles. Cook until filling is tender, about 1 hour. Unwrap pasteles before serving.

Nutrition Facts

417 calories; protein 11.8g 24% DV; carbohydrates 31.2g 10% DV; fat 28.2g 43% DV; cholesterol 45mg 15% DV; sodium 1118.8mg 45% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
DELISH! Lots of work but good fun and super flavorful pasteles. Read More
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
DELISH! Lots of work but good fun and super flavorful pasteles. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great recipe! This recipes results were exactly how my mom use to make them! Made enough to freeze! Read More