This Plantain Casserole is made with mashed sweet plantains and white sweet potato and a ground beef filling mixed with fresh herbs, capers and olives. It’s AIP, paleo and dairy-free.
This Plantain Casserole is an AIP, paleo and grain-free take on Trinidadian Pastelle Pie. Pastelles are found widely across the Caribbean, though are said to have originated in Venezuela. They are similar to tamales in that they are made from cornmeal that is wrapped around ground meat or fish mixed with raisins, olives and capers and steamed in banana leaves. They are my absolute favourite Christmas treat and were always a prized possession in my home growing up because they take a lot of time and care to make.
Many families – mine included – would order our pastelles each year in time for Christmas. Pastelle pie is a much simpler though just as tasty, deconstructed version of pastelles. This dish is inspired by pastelle pie and uses mashed plantains and Japanese sweet potatoes in lieu of cornmeal.
Here are the main ingredients in this Plantain Casserole:
- ripe plantains
- Japanese or white sweet potatoes or cassava/yuca root
- ground beef or pork
- olives (I recommend Castelvetrano, Kalamata or Picholine)
- coconut aminos or nomato sauce (for coconut free option)
- fresh cilantro, fresh thyme, garlic and onions
To make this Plantain Casserole, begin by boiling the plantains and sweet potatoes or cassava in a large pot until fork tender. Remove skins and use a food processor or potato masher to blend into a mash along with sea salt and set aside. In a large skillet, add olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until onions turn translucent and then add in fresh herbs, ground meat and salt, and cook until brown. Next, add capers, olives, raisins and coconut aminos or nomato sauce. Once meat is fully cooked, taste and adjust salt as necessary. In a casserole dish ( 8 x 8 or 9 x 13 inch works well), add ground meat mixture in a thin layer and top with plantain and sweet potato mash. Bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
FAQs about this Plantain Casserole
Can I use orange sweet potato instead of Japanese sweet potato?
Orange sweet potato will be too sweet in combination with the plantain. Instead, I’d recommend replacing the Japanese sweet potato with green banana, cassava, or another neutral-tasting root vegetable.
Where do you purchase plantains and white sweet potatoes?
Here in Toronto I purchase these at most major grocery stores including Whole Foods and No Frills. The Caribbean market I shop at also carries these and frozen, peeled cassava root which is super convenient.
Can I use another ground meat?
Yes, you can use any ground meat in this recipe. Beef and pork are my favourite and offer the best flavor in my opinion.
Looking for more Caribbean inspired AIP recipes? Check out:
- AIP Beef Patties
- Trinidadian Sorrel
- Salted Cod in Coconut Milk
- Caribbean-inspired Beef and Sweet Potato Soup
If you try this Plantain Casserole I would love if you could give the recipe a star rating and short review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedeliciousPrint