Pasteles with Yuca and Plantains


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.

Prep Time:
55 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 23 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 18 mins
2 dozen


  • 2 pounds yuca, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 pounds green plantains, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 pounds yautia, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 pound lard

  • 1 pound achiote seeds

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder roast, cut into small cubes

  • 1 pound ham, cut into small cubes

  • 2 cups garbanzo beans

  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 1 (5 ounce) jar pitted Spanish olives

  • 1 (4 ounce) jar capers

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

  • 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 24 plantain leaves

  • kitchen string


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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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 (per serving)

417 Calories
28g Fat
31g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 417
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 1119mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 48mg 242%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 588mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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