These sweet plantains are baked in the oven and then stuffed with a savory turkey picadillo filling and topped with cheese – pretty hard to resist!
Turkey Picadillo Stuffed Sweet Plantains
Similar to a Puerto Rican Pastelón which is really more of a plantain lasagna, instead these are made as individual boats which are easy to make, filling and perfect as a main dish.
If you’re not very familiar with plantains, they are similar to bananas only they need to be cooked. Green plantains are usually meant for salty chips or tostones, but when the plantains are very ripe, almost black, that’s when they are at their sweetest! That’s what you want here, not yellow because they won’t be sweet and soft enough. They should be soft and the skin almost black (see photo below in the directions).
The recipe calls for 6, but as you see here I made the full amount of picadillo and only baked two, and froze the meat for another day. So if you are worried this makes too much, you can easily make what you need and freeze the rest. Hope you enjoy!
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Turkey Picadillo Stuffed Sweet Plantains
- 6 medium ripe plantains, peeled
- 12 tbsp shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the Turkey Picadillo:
- 10 oz 93% lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 2 oz tomato sauce
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp alcaparrado, capers or green olives would work too
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut a slit lengthwise through the length of the plantain about halfway through. Place them on a baking dish and bake covered with foil until soft, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey on medium heat in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro and continue cooking on a low heat.
- Add alcaparrado (or olives and capers) and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and more salt if needed.
- Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 15 minutes.
- Remove the plantains from the oven and fill them with 1/3 cup each of picadillo, then top each with 2 tbsp cheese.
- Return to the oven and bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.
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58 comments on “Turkey Picadillo Stuffed Sweet Plantains”
What would you serve this with. Trying to avoid rice. Some kind of veggies or a salad?
If I am cutting this recipe in half, will I still need to bake at 400 for 40 minutes?
We call them “canoas” here in Puerto Rico. Sweet and salty. It’s awesome.
Not a fan of olives. Should I incorporate some other type of acid, like vinegar?
Capers would be great.
I didn’t have capers so I added a little red wine vinegar. So good, I ate this out of the pan!
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This was ridiculously good. As I was making it, my husband was looking at me like I was crazy because of the random ingredients, olive brine, plantains, cheese, etc, but we both went and had seconds and scraped our plates! I’m trying not to go for thirds now! Definitely adding this to my list of things to make when I’m sick of all of my go to meals!
I made the picadillo last night and tried to roast the plantains in advance – but will stuff and bake tonight. I think that I might have done something wrong with the plantains though. I cooked at 400 covered but they seem harder and potentially dried out. Do you know if they may not be done or should I add some liquid to the pan and roast longer?
Perhaps your plantains needed to be riper? Were they yellow and black?
I have never used plantains in cooking before! You definitely have inspired me to go out and buy some so I can make the recipe.. they look delicious and jam packed full of flavour!
So I made these as soon as I came across the recipe last month. However my plaintains looked "raw and undercooked." I threw them in the oven for a bit longer and removed the foil to see if anything improved but they only got a tinge darker and harder. I'm used to the traditional way of making plaintains which is to fry them until they are fork tender and golden brown. Any way I can achieve the same result in the oven? Obviously I don't want to fry them. Thanks for the input.
Canoas! Love them!
I'd love to use this recipe, but on my iPad as soon as the recipe loads an add for CNN covers the screen and never goes away. I hope you're getting lots of revenue from their adds…too bad it ruins you site.
I made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious!! I omitted the olives/capers/brine, and it was still delicious!! Thanks for the great recipe!
Made this for dinner today and it was absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing! Also, I just pre-ordered your cookbook and I'm so excited to get it in the mail!
Made this tonight. Added red beans and brown rice….absolutely amazing. Tha
This recipe was delicious! I omitted the alcaparrado/brine because we're not an olive-loving family, but it still tasted great. Very easy to make, too. I served this with your latin yellow rice and a side of avocado – we *almost* felt like we were back on vacation in Puerto Rico!
Wow, I have never heard of Plantains before. I'm definitely checking them out!
Gina – do you have any idea what the points plus value of this recipe would be if I substituted turkey picadillo with beef picadillo? I have a bunch of your beef picadillo already made that I would love to use!
You mention "add the brine", but I don't see instructions for it.
The brine is the salty liquid from the jar of olives or alcaparrado that you used for the recipe.
This looks amazing! I definitely want to try this. Yum! I love plantains. 🙂
It was lovely meeting you today and talking food.
I just made this today and both my husband and I loved them. He was surprised to learn that it was low fat. The only change I made was to use fire roasted organic crushed tomatoes which I had on hand in the freezer. I am looking forward to receiving my copy of your cookbook! Meanwhile, thanks for freely sharing your recipes online! We have enjoyed every one we've tried.
do you think it will still taste good if i make them ahead of time and pack it for lunch? and does it make a difference if i don't use a bay leaf or olives? not sure if i have those two items at home.
This looks yummy (I LOVE plantains) and can't wait to make it! What (kind of) tomato sauce did you use? Homemade or jarred?
I have never eaten plantains. Looking forward to trying this recipe.
This looks amazing. I love plantains.
Wow this looks outstanding! I went to Puerto Rico this summer and loved the mofongo. This looks waaaay less greasy! Yum!
These look delicious! Would never have though bananas could be paired with savoury things!
Ohhh I saw some plantains at the grocery store but didn't buy them. Now I have a recipe to make! I've been looking for creative recipes that use ground meat so I can just saute a large amount of ground meat with some onions and use it in recipes every few days. My friend in college used to sauté plantains as a snack and they were soooo delicious! yum :-). I will try this and let you know how it goes.
Stuffed plantains?! That sounds amazing. Kind of like mofongo but so much easier. What an awesome idea. I've been obsessed with plantains lately but I haven't thought about stuffing them. Yum!
I thought you were posting the slow cooker pork chop today?
I just made a veal, beef, and pork picadillo just did not get the mozzarella although it is low fat, I had too much fat from the meat I already had in my freezer and did not want to waste. I am on a round of whole 30 as well and chose to stay compliant. Thanks for showing such a great recipe. I am puerto rican and my mommy makes the pastelon. It's quite phenomenal.
OMGGGGGGGGGGG!!! This looks amazing.
Can you freeze the plaintain with the turkey picadillo in it?
I've had plantains before. Hispanic neighbors of mine gave me some years ago. they fried them and put sugar and cinnamon or something like that on them. I've never had them with meat. These look like cheese steaks!
Looks absolutely delicious. Catherine
I have to cook an extremely low sodium diet. Do you think this would taste good without the olives and brine?
I make mine with no olives and brine sometimes to watch sodium intake and it's still delicious
This looks fantastic! The picadillo filling has so many delicious ingredients I wanna get stuck into one of these plantain boats as soon as! 😀 And the cheese on the top adds that little bit of creamy, yum! x
OMG! That looks AMAZING! I've tried to make pastelon but it never comes out how my mom's did. This is a great compromise and I can absolutely not wait to try this! I never need to make the complete amount of a recipe and would hate for it to go to waste. I'm glad you mentioned making 2 and freezing the meat for another day. As always, your recipes look great and I'm sure this one tastes just as wonderful as your others. I'll let you know how mine comes out. Of course, it won't look as pretty!
Gina has a Patelon Recipe on her website and it’s absolutely delicious, I made it, look it up and give it a try
What a fantastic way to eat plantains! Yum!
I can't wait to make this!! My family and i love plantains! we always just try them but this new way is so creative!..
How creative of you, what a great idea! I live in Florida, love picadillo, and I love your new twist using the plantain. Gonna' try this for sure!
I've always wondered what to do with plantains other than make chips and these stuffed ones look like something my whole family would love. Pinned for later!
Am living in Ecuador where plantains are very plentiful and inexpensive. Always looking for a new way to prepare them. Thank you!
I have never worked with plantains. In the photo you slit the plantain while still in the skin. It seems you remove the skin before baking; is that correct? Also can the plantains be baked ahead and just reheated before filling? Thanks so much! Absolutely love your recipes…and so does my family!
Yes, I removed the skin before baking, slit the skin down the middle to remove it. I think the plantains taste best when baked and eaten but you can make the picadillo ahead.
Thanks so Much, Gina! Looking forward to trying it this week…
YES! I'm making this tonight…if I can find sweet plantains in my supermarket. Otherwise it will have to wait until I can get to my old hood later this week.
In Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican's call this dish bote de platano.
We actually call them “canoas”, canoes in spanish. ?
I've been wanting something different to cook, and this would fit that bill! Can't wait to try!