The next time you’re looking for a cheap meal that is filling, don’t blindly grab that bag of rice in your pantry. There is another starchy staple that is just as satisfying: plantains. The Paleo-friendly bananas that dominate Latin cuisine can be eaten at any ripeness, and the color tends to dictate how they are used. Green can be fried or cooked in a stew (like below), and the dark ones are usually a sweet addition to any meal. Both are usually served as side dishes, but for some main dish inspiration, try these 14 plantain recipes below.
1. Green Plantain Kofta Curry Recipe: Take a trip to India with these soft-centered balls that are made with plantains and potato. They sit in a tangy curry sauce and, as much as we don’t want to admit it, go well with rice. (via Archana’s Kitchen)
2. Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef Bowls: If you’ve ever taken a trip to Mexico, you’ll be extremely pleased by the combination of the tender beef, sautéed pepper, and plantains. Here, they’re fried in coconut oil. (via Running to the Kitchen)
3. Roasted Sweet Potato, Plantain, and Cacao Mole Tacos: This recipe will make you scream holy mole! The plantains are sweetened with coconut sugar, pairing nicely with the creamy avocado slices and the chocolate-based spread. (via Vidya Living)
4. Black Beans and Plantain Stew: Green plantains make this fiber-packed stew even more filling. Cooked in tomatoes and a spice mixture, the black beans and plantains soak up all of the vegan deliciousness. (via Afrovitalityeats)
5. Black Bean Plantain Chili: It doesn’t get any more American than chili. With a spicy tomato base, the ripe (and sweet) plantains are literally just chopped into chunks and thrown into the mix. (via Connoisseurus Veg)
7. Plantain Carnitas Nachos: Swap the oil-drenched tortillas for these non-grain plantain nachos. Top the smashed and fried tostones with flavorful beef, guacamole, and red onions and you’re on your way to your very own nacho fest. (via Unbound Wellness)
8. Black Bean Cilantro Lime Rice Bowls With Plantains: Mangos and plantains cooked in coconut oil sweeten this meatless meal. The cilantro rice adds a savory flavor while the black beans add a nice chew. (via Emilie Eats)
9. Plantain Lasagna: This Latin-style lasagna might be made with plantains, but it’s all the same fixings that you know and love. Spiced beef serves as the filling while cheese adds a saltiness to the dish. (via Immaculate Bites)
10. Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders: Twice-fried plantains serve as the buns for this Southern sandwich. They add a crunch to the shredded and OH SO tender center, so you’re going to want seconds, maybe thirds. (via Real Simple Good)
11. Green Plantain Arepas: For a taste of South America (specifically Colombia and Venezuela), ground up some plantains for this circular-shaped bread. These are topped with cheese, but they can be filled with any of your fave ingredients. (via My Colombian Recipes)
12. Three Cheese Plantain Crust Pizza: It’s like one big tostones covered with tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables. The sweetness of the blackish brown plantains serve as a contrast against the tang of the red sauce. (via Healthy Nibble Bits)
13. Plantain Shakshuka: Shakshuka is a tomato stew that is most commonly recognized in Middle Eastern cuisine. The plantain adds a little more substance to this skillet-made meal. (via Lerato Loves Food)
14. Cheesy Baked Plantains With Chili: This West African meal — Sierra Leonean to be exact — checks all of the boxes when it comes to this simple side dish. It’s salty from the cheddar cheese, spicy from the chili flakes, and a little sweet from the baked ripe plantains. (via Recipes from a Pantry)
15. Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos: Plant-based and super delicious is the best way to describe this meal. Plantains pair with black beans for a hearty chew and jalapeños bring the heat to this 20-minute Taco Tuesday meal. (via Minimalist Baker)
For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Pinterest!