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!