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Pasteles tradicionales de Masa de Puerto Rico (English version)

For many Boricuas, Christmas is the season of Pasteles. As soon as November arrives, we embark on making Pasteles in preparation for the upcoming festivities. A complicated and labor-intensive festive dish. Making the Pasteles is often a family event, as the dish requires many hands and days to assemble. In my case I divided the work into two days, one to prepare the masa and the other to assemble the Pasteles.

Ingredients for the meat stew;

  • 5 pounds of butt roast (no bone)
  • ½ onion
  • ½ cubanelle pepper
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • Olives to taste
  • 3 tablespoon of sofrito
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon annatto oil (you can make this yourself)
  • 2 packages of sazón with Annatto (achiote)
  • 2 tablespoon of adobo

Ingredients for the masa;

  • 4 pounds de yautía (malanga lila [purple])
  • 8 pounds green banana
  • ½ cup of annatto oil
  • 3 tablespoon of adobo
  • ½ cup of the stew’s broth
  • 3 packages of sazón with Annatto
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds of squash
  • Roasted bell pepper to taste
  • Half a green plantain (optional)

Other ingredients;

  • 1 package of banana/plantain leaf
  • 1 package of parchment paper (the one you use to bake with)
  • butcher’s twine

How to make the meat stew;

In an instant pot, or large pot

  1. cut the meat into approx 1-1.5 inch cubes
  2. season the meat with the adobo
  3. add the rest of the ingredients
  4. Use «Stew» function

If using a pot, bring the pot to a rolling boil and then turn it down and let is simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until meat is tender.

How to prepare the masa;

In a blender, or food processor

After peeling the skin off all of the ingredients.
Cut them into approximately 2 inch chunks and put it in salted water
Start adding the chunks into the food processor/blender and blend until it becomes sort of a paste.
Use the broth to help process the ingredients but be careful because if you put to many broth the pastel will become fluffy
After all of the bananas, plantains, squash, and root vegetables have been turned into the paste, add the rest of the seasoning and ingredients. Taste the flavor, something that I do is that I take like a small spoon and put that in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then you can taste it.

Procedure to assemble the Pasteles;

If you can’t find the pastel paper you can use baking paper (this is the one I am using). We cut the paper about 9-10 inches in a square shape. We cut the banana leaf about 7-8 inches in a square shape. Clean the leaves with hot water and put them in the microwave for 20 seconds or instead Carefully Heat them slightly on the stove to make them malleable.

In this order; paper, leaf and then we put a few drops of the achiote oil on the leaf and spread it with a spoon until the leaf is completely covered with the oil. The important thing is that the area where you put the masa has oil because this will help us so that masa does not stick to the leaf. Then put 3 large tablespoons in the center of the sheet, spread with a spoon until the masa covers a large amount of the leaf. In the center of the masa we put the mixture of meat, chickpeas and olives. Close the pastel by joining the two ends. You have to do this movement quickly. With your fingers, push the filling towards the center of the pastel. Make a crease where the pastel paper meets. Turn it over to bring the folded seam to the other end of the pastel. Fold the two sides by pushing the masa again with your fingers and fold the corners. Close with thread. (See photos) You can join two pasteles or make them simple.

Step by step in Spanish version

Publicado en Recetas



  • 2 palitos de canela
  • 2 estrellas de anís
  • 6 clavos de especias
  • 1/4 taza agua
  • 1 lata de leche evaporada
  • 1 lata de leche condensada 
  • 1 lata de crema de coco 
  • 1 lata leche de coco 
  • 1 1/2 paquete de turrón molido
  • 1/2 cdta. de extracto de vainilla
  • 1/2 cdta. de extracto de almendras
  • 1 taza de ron blanco

Echa en una olla pequeña la canela, el anís, los clavos y el agua. Cocínalo a temperatura baja hasta que el líquido reduzca a la mitad formando un té de especias. Cuélalo y resérvalo.

En una batidora o procesador poner a triturar el Turrón hasta que quede bien molido. Luego agregas el resto de los ingredientes junto al té de especias. Mezclas todo bien y refrigeras antes de servir.

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Receta Arepitas de Maíz


  • 1 1/2  Taza harina de maíz
  • 2/3  Taza  de leche
  • 1  Huevo
  • 1/4 Taza de Azúcar


En un recipiente mezcla la harina  y el azúcar. Luego añadir el huevo y la leche a la harina y el azúcar y mezclar hasta que quede todo húmedo.  Utilizando tus manos y con la ayuda de una cuchara grande hacer la forma de la  arepa. Freír en abundante aceite caliente. Dejar dorar por ambos lados.

Si la quieres con queso en el centro es el mismo procedimiento solo que al momento de hacer la forma de la arepa solamente tomas una parte de la mezcla haces la forma y luego pones el queso en el centro y cierras la arepa con otra parte de la mezcla.