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Puerto Rican Rice Pasteles - Vegan

Puerto Rican Rice Vegan Pasteles are a delicious version of the traditional Puerto Rican pasteles.
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 12


  • Food Processor
  • Large Pot
  • Medium bowl


Rice Masa

  • 2 cups medium or long grain rice
  • 2 cups veggie broth or water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp achiote oil - annatto seed oil

Achiote Oil - Annatto Seeds Oil

  • 6 tbsp annatto seeds *see notes*
  • 2 cups sunflower oil

Pasteles Filling

  • 2 tbsp annatto seeds oil
  • 1/2 cup sofrito *see notes*
  • 1 pack vegan meat replacement I used a plant-based chicken brand
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp cumin, dried
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, diced
  • 1 packet sazon I used "Chuleria en Pote"
  • adobo seasoning, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder add more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder add more to taste
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 Green plantains or yuca (cassava), shredded


  • Banana leaves, 12 -14 cut into 6x8 inches *see notes*
  • pasteles paper or parchment paper cut into 12 x 16 inches
  • butcher's twine cut 12-15 pieces 2 yards per piece


Achiote Oil - Annatto Seeds Oil

  • Over low-medium heat add oil and seeds. Do not overheat or it will turn green and bitter.
  • Stir for a few minutes until you see the oil changing to a red color. Turn off stove and let it cool completely before draining over a fine mesh strainer.

Rice Masa

  • In a medium bowl add rice, water and salt.
  • Let it sit for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  • Drain rice, add annatto oil and set aside.

Pasteles Filling

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat add oil and sofrito. Cook until fragrant for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the vegan meat replacement. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes. Add more broth, if necessary.
  • Take 1 cup of the pasteles filling liquid and add it to the rice. Let the rice sit until it absorbs most of the liquid.
  • Using a fine shredder blade on your food processor or manual grater, grate the green plantains or cassava. Stir mixture into rice and let it sit until ready.
  • Get your banana leaves ready by washing them and drying with a paper towel.
  • Turn on your stove over low heat. Taking one leaf at a time, quickly heat both sides of the leaf over burner, or microwave leaves for 1 minute until pliable. Continue until all leaves are done. Wipe down leaves using a damp cloth.

Assembly *see video for reference*

  • Have your rice, filling, banana leaves, paper and twine ready. I recommend you to set everything on a big table and find a comfortable chair.
  • Scoop 1/2 cup of rice masa onto the banana leaf and spread out into a rectangle.
  • Place 1-2 tbsp of filling down the center of the rice masa.
  • Using the banana leaf fold the rice masa over the filling.
  • Bring the leaves ends together. Fold over twice to create a tight seal. Tuck the ends under. If the banana leaf breaks, don't worry we will fold it with paper.
  • Do the same wrap with the paper.
  • Tie pasteles like a present using the twine. You can boil them right away or freeze them for later.
  • Boil a large pot of water with salt to a boil, drop in pasteles. Boil for 45 minutes if they are fresh or 1 hour for frozen pasteles.
  • When pasteles are ready carefully using a pair of tongs remove them from water by the string. Put them on a plate with a paper towel, cut the twine, carefully unwrap it and enjoy!
Keyword Pasteles de arroz, pasteles de puerto rico, pasteles puertorriqueños, puerto rican pasteles, vegan puerto rican pasteles
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