Recipe // Tostones Crostini + Empanadas

crostini + empanada .001

A few weeks back, we made these two appetizers for a Super Bowl party that we attended, along with the Guava Mozzarella Empanadas I shared a few weeks ago.  I wanted to make something Puerto Rican, but with a twist (insert brainstorming sessions here).  The empanadas were an easy addition to the menu, having already made a sweet version, adding a savory option felt appropriate. We went with a traditional picadillo filling, but with ground turkey instead of beef.

Now the next dish is where the creativity kicked in... I thought, what about a crostini but with tostones instead of toasted bread.  Sounds yummy right?! Using the rest of the picadillo, adding a cherry tomato and fresh oregano for garnish, we had ourself an original appetizer. If the fact that they were all devoured within 5 mins of our arrival is not an indicator that they were delicious, then I don't know what is.

Keep reading for more pics and the recipe... 



  • 4 green plantains
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, pounded to a paste
  • 1/2 cup sofrito
  • 1 3/4 cups spanish tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup recaito (cilantro cooking base)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 pounds ground turkey


  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Oregano, for garnish
  • 1 package 6″ plantilla rounds (turnover dough)



  • Starting with the tostones... Tostones, by definition, are twice fried plantains.

how to make tostones

  • First off, you want to peel the plantains and then cut into several 1/2" think slices
  • Meanwhile heat your vegetable oil over a medium stove top, about 2" think
  • Add the plantains and fry for about 6 mins or until they start to turn golden brown

tostones, recipe

  • Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel

how to make tostones

  • Using the bottom of a pan, smash the plantains; if they stick, remove quickly using a spatula
  • Quickly dip the tostones in a bowl of salted water
  • Remove, shake off excess, and place back in the hot oil to fry a second time, for another 5-6 minutes
  • Remove from oil, drain on paper towel, and sprinkle with salt

how to make picadillo, ground turkey picadillo

  • Moving on to the picadillo
  • Gather ingredients (listed above)

how to make picadillo, ground turkey picadillo

  • In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  • Add onions and cook for appox. 2 min
  • Add red peppers, garlic, sofrito, and recaito;  stir and let cook for 3 min.
  • Add tomato sauce and oregano; stir
  • Season with 2 tablespoons salt; cook for an additional 1 min
  • Add meat;  cook for 4 min, stirring and breaking up meat along the way
  • Season with a dash of salt; continue to cook for 20 min, until meat is throughly cooked; stir occasionally

how to make empanadas

  • Lay out your dough and add 1 large spoonful of picadillo on one side
  • Dip you towel into bowl of water and tap the edges of the dough before closing, helping to ensure empanadas are properly sealed
  • Fold dough in half and press firmly along the edges with fingers to seal; use the edge of  a fork to crimp the edges; set aside and repeat
  • Once all empanadas are formed, heat 2″ of vegetable oil, in a frying pan
  • Add 3-4 empanadas at a time and fry for 1-2 min on each side, until golden brown; remove from oil and let cool on top of a plate of paper towels (this helps soak up the access oil)

how to make empanadas

picadillo empanada

  • The final step, is to assemble the crostini; do this step, right before serving to ensure the tostones don't become soggy

how to make tostones

  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • For each tostones, top with a small spoonful of picadillo
  • Add 1-2 fresh oregano leaves
  • Top with cherry tomato, middle facing up
  • Sprinkle with additional salt (optional)
  • Serve and enjoy!

how to make to stones, tostones crostini

tontones crostini

 Try it out, let me know how you like it! 


{recipe for picadillo adapted from Puerto Rico True Flavors cookbook}