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Pastelón – Puerto Rican Vegan Banana Lasagna

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How about a slightly different lasagna? This vegan banana lasagna – also called pastelón – will add variety to your weekly menu. Instead of the classic lasagna sheets, you use green bananas. Not only does the lasagna taste incredibly delicious, but it’s also gluten-free by nature, contains a load of vegetable proteins, is rich in healthy nutrients, and keeps you full for a long time. It’s best to unpack the casserole dish and try it out right away!

vegan banana lasagna with green bananas

Puerto Rican Pastelón

What is pastelón?
The title gives it away. Pastelón is lasagna with bananas instead of lasagna sheets. The dish originates in Puerto Rico and is of course not made with sweet bananas, but with sweet plantains. The plantains are cut into slices and replace the classic lasagna sheets as we know them from the Italian version.

The filling is usually made of minced meat and vegetables. To make sure that the whole thing sticks together in the end, a whisked egg is poured over it. Are you already making big eyes now because this doesn’t sound vegan at all?
Don’t worry, of course, there is a completely vegan version of this delicious vegan banana lasagna available for you. I’ll tell you how to do it in the next two sections.

Vegan lasagna with green bananas

I just got 18 kg green unripe bananas. Since my freezer is still full of frozen bananas from the last delivery, I thought I’d use a few of them as long as they’re still green.
Exactly you have read correctly! You can actually eat green bananas, not raw though. But they taste incredibly delicious and almost like green plantains when cooked
Here are a few ideas what you can cook from green bananas:

  • curries
  • soups
  • green banana fries
  • tostones (fried bananas)
  • mashed bananas

Or drum roll please… lasagna!
And so the idea for today’s recipe was born.

Pastelon - puerto rican banana lasagna vegan version

How to make vegan banana lasagna

If you’ve read this far, you already know that the traditional pastelón is anything but vegan. But before you start worrying, I have simply veganized this delicious Puerto Rican banana lasagna for you. All you have to do is buy the ingredients. And, of course, cooking the lasagna.

Instead of minced meat, just use green lentils. The egg used to bind the lasagne can be replaced with a mixture of chickpea flour and water. The cheese with my delicious homemade 5 minutes vegan cheese sauce. So anything but complicated.

To make the vegan banana lasagna a hit, I’ve put together a few tips for you.

  1. Boil down the lentils with the tomato sauce really well. It should not be too liquid, otherwise, the lasagne will not hold together and will be too liquid.
  2. Briefly fry the green banana slices on both sides in a pan with oil or bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This way you make sure that they are completely baked through at the end. Make sure to grease the baking tray well, otherwise, the banana slices will stick to the tray.
  3. You can use very green bananas for the dish, but you can also use lighter ones. The original is made with sweet (already yellow) plantains. These also have a rather sweet flavor. Don`t use completely ripe yellow bananas!
  4. Attention: green bananas have to be peeled the same way as plantains. Simply cut off the two ends, carve the sides with a knife and lift the skin off. It`s a little easier to peel the bananas if you soak them in water after carving them. Wash your hands regularly, because the bananas release a sticky brown juice.

Low waste tips for vegan banana lasagna

Once again some useful tips on how you can avoid food & packaging waste.

  • Buy fresh ingredients at the weekly farmers market.
  • You can bake the remaining eggplant half in the oven and make Baba Ganoush from it or you stuff it.
  • You can plant your own cilantro on the balcony or windowsill.
  • You can get lentils in the bulk shop without any packaging waste.
  • Compost the banana skins.
  • The bell pepper seeds can be washed, dried and then used to grow your own peppers.
  • You can order green bananas from gebana.
vegan banana lasagna - hearty, gluten-free, rich in fiber and protein

Alternatives to the ingredients used

You don’t like any of the ingredients used in this dish? Or you lack access to certain ingredients? No problem! Here you can find alternatives to the ingredients used in this vegan banana lasagna.

You don’t have any green bananas?
As I already mentioned, you can order bananas from gebana. If you don’t want to do this, the shop isn’t available in your region or if you missed the order deadline, you can just use plantains. Works perfectly as well. However, make sure you use plantains with an organic and fair trade seal.

You don’t like cilantro?
Too bad, because it gives this dish that certain something. But you can also just leave it out or replace it with flat-leaf parsley or 1-2 tablespoons of dried oregano. However, before you layer the lasagna, make sure that the lasagna is sufficiently aromatic. Otherwise, you can season it a bit more.

You can’t find green lentils?
No problem! Then you just take brown lentils. I wouldn’t recommend red lentils, because they fall apart and soften much faster.

You don’t like one of the vegetables I used or it’s out of season?
You can also use other vegetables. Carrots, for example, would also be a good choice. Therefore, you are welcome to use other seasonal vegetables. However, any kind of cabbage is not very suitable.

You can’t buy chickpea flour anywhere?
Not that bad. You can leave it out. The lasagna will then be a little less compact and may fall apart a little when served. It still tastes good though.

Meal Prep tips

The vegan banana lasagna can be prepared well in advance. Simply prepare the lentils and banana slices as described. Then store in separate sealable containers. Only layer shortly before preparation and pour the chickpeas-water mixture over.

I haven’t tried freezing the lasagna. However, it’s quite conceivable, both in the non-baked and the baked state.

vegan lasagna with green bananas

Why you should try this vegan banana lasagna

It’s:

  • vegan
  • made from fresh ingredients
  • full of plant-based proteins
  • gluten-free
  • lactose-free
  • nutrient-rich
  • saturating
  • healthy
  • suitable for Meal Prep

More delicious vegan dishes from the oven:

If you are trying this vegan banana lasagna, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.

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Pastelón – vegan Banana Lasagna

How about a slightly different lasagna? This vegan banana lasagna – also called pastelón – will add variety to your weekly menu. Instead of the classic lasagna sheets, you use green bananas. Not only does the lasagna taste incredibly delicious, but it's also gluten-free by nature, contains a load of vegetable proteins, is rich in healthy nutrients, and keeps you full for a long time. It's best to unpack the casserole dish and try it out right away!

Course dinner & lunch
Cuisine Central & South America
Keyword pastelon, vegan lasagna
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Velvet & Vinegar

Ingredients

banana layer

  • 6 green bananas fairtrade
  • canola oil organic
  • salt organic

filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil organic
  • 1 onion organic
  • 3 cloves garlic organic
  • 200 g brown mushrooms organic
  • 1/2 eggplant organic
  • 1 red bell pepper organic
  • 1 green bell pepper organic
  • 1/2-1* bunch cilantro organic
  • 200 g green lentils organic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • salt & pepper organic
  • 250 g water or vegetable broth
  • 350 ml tomato sauce organic

chickpea-water-mix

  • 90 g chickpea flour organic
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tsp Kala Namak
  • salt & pepper organic

vegan cheese sauce

  • 200 g oat cream or oat milk organic
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tsp potato starch app.10g
  • 2 tbsp fine yeast flakes app. 10g, organic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt organic
  • 1 pinch of paprika powder
  • 1 pinch of turmeric organic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200° Celsius. Peel*, halve and cut the bananas into 5 slices. Grease baking tray with oil, spread banana slices on top and brush with a little oil on both sides.

  2. Bake the bananas for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven*. Turn slices after half time. Remove the tray and let the bananas cool down. Repeat this step until all slices are baked.

  3. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Remove the stalk and seeds of the peppers. Cut the bell peppers, eggplant and mushrooms into small pieces. Finely chop the coriander.
  4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add all ingredients up to and including paprika powder and sautée for approx. 8 minutes at medium heat. Deglaze with stock and tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer again for about 10 minutes until the filling is not too liquid*. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Grease the baking dish. Put a thin layer of filling on the bottom. Then lay banana slices lengthwise on the filling. Place another layer of filling on top, followed by a layer of bananas. Continue until the casserole dish is full. Finish with a layer of bananas.
  6. Place the chickpea flour, water and Kala Namak in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk so that no lumps form. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the lasagne. If necessary, tap the casserole dish gently several times on a flat surface so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
  7. Bring oat milk and water to the boil. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese sauce has the desired consistency. Spoon over the lasagne *.
  8. Bake lasagna in the middle of the preheated oven at 180° Celsius for 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

* depending on how intense the cilantro taste is desired, take 1/2 – 1 bunch. I took about 1/2 bunch.

* In the text you’ll find instructions on how to peel the bananas easily. Preparation time of the recipe is without soaking the bananas.

* If you want it faster, you can also fry the bananas in a frying pan with oil. This version is faster, but a bit unhealthier because you need more oil.

*If the filling gets too dry, you can add water. In the end, the filling should not have any visible liquid left.

*For the lasagna, half of the cheese sauce is enough. The cheese sauce is a recipe that I have been using for a long time and it was not developed especially for this lasagna. So in the recipe, you’ll simply find the basic recipe. However, you will not need all the cheese sauce. Use the rest for a delicious Mac and Cheese.

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banana lasagna - vegan with green bananas

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