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
Plantain Casserole (AIP, paleo, grain-free)
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
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 grain-free.
- 2 ripe plantains (should be very yellow with a few brown/black spots)
- 2 medium-sized Japanese sweet potatoes or 1/2 lb cassava/yucca
- 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 lb ground beef or pork
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 TBSP capers
- 3 TBSP olives (green or kalamata), chopped
- 2 TBSP raisins
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos or nomato sauce
- Boil plantains and sweet potatoes with skins on in a large pot until fork tender. Remove skins and use food processor or potato masher to blend into a mash along with sea salt to taste.
- 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 (about 5 – 7 minutes)
- Reduce heat slightly and add capers, olives, raisins and coconut aminos or nomato sauce and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
- Once meat is fully cooked, taste and adjust salt as necessary.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- 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 middle rack of oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Casserole
Keywords: aip, paleo, whole30, casserole, Caribbean-inspired, pastelle pie, plantain
Excellent recipe. I used orange sweet potatoes with the ripe plantains because that’s what was available. We liked the sweetness as a counterpoint to the olives and capers. I mashed the plantains and sweet potatoes by hand but next time (and there will definitely be a next time) I will use a food processor to help eliminate the lumps. Also used basil instead of cilantro because I have a huge, lovely basil plant. Served with steamed lemon pepper broccoli and salad on the side. Recipe made enough for 6 but since we are only 2 that means there are 2 other nights I won’t have to cook dinner. Love that!
This recipe (like every other on the website Ive tried) is absolutely delicious. Im always looking for ways to change up my meals each week and this recipe was just simply amazing and very tasty. I am not an olive lover so I did not include those or raisins. It reminded me in many ways of shepherds pie but with a slightly sweeter and savory twist. But lasted me all week and another kid favourite too!
Our family has been cooking this for years. Just getting around to leaving a review now. This recipe is the bomb! The perfect comfort food. I like cooking a big batch and saving a bunch of leftovers to have on hand for breakfast.
Heal Me Delicious Team
We’re so glad you like it! Thank you for leaving a review.
I made this last year and LOVED it! Such good flavor and texture.
We love this recipe, have made it several times using the sweet potatoes. I found some frozen, grated cassava and would like to try the recipe with this. Do you know if this has to be boiled before adding to the mashed plantain? Grateful for all your recipes, and for any comment you may have on using this type of cassava.
Nicole, THANK YOU for this fantastic recipe.I have made this dish several times now and it always comes out perfect. Now I can once again enjoy the taste of delicious pastelles in an AIP-friendly version since I can’t tolerate corn. I am also from Trinidad and have a thyroid condition so I’m always looking for recipes and learning about food options. I am grateful to you and others in the community for sharing your experience and recipes! It is a source of comfort when this healing journey can sometimes be a challenge. Well done!
You’re welcome, so happy you enjoy!
This was so yummy!! I’ve been making your recipes since I first needed to switch to AIP and YUM!!! I’m Nigerian so it’s nice having cultural dishes I can eat in lieu of my tomato stews. I added more raisins, some dried blueberries, drizzled a bit of olive oil and cilantro on top and it’s impeccable.
Very different flavors than what I’m use to but in a good way. It’s easy to get caught in one genre of food based on limited knowledge. When I think of Caribbean food, I think of jerk chicken and curry. This was a pleasant change with a nice balance of sweetness and saltiness. Thanks so much again for making my aip journey a pleasurable one. Second recipe down, many more to go! 😊
This is so good. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
this recipe is such a go-to in my apartment! it is on heavy rotation and somehow touches my near-weekly desire for pastelón, which i used to make regularly (with minimal goat cheese) pre-AIP. i’m excited to experiment with the “cheese” from Nicole’s beef and kale casserole: https://healmedelicious.com/beef-and-kale-casserole/ on my own version of an AIP pastelón but there is close to no possibility it will be as good as every one of Nicole’s recipes which are so helpful and life-changing! ty!!! in the meantime, i continue to be so grateful for this casserole which comes together quickly and re-heats perfectly
I revisited this recipe recently when my shop was out of plantains for the day and when I was a bit low on groceries in the house during a particularly busy passage. I only had ground turkey in the house and had already assigned my white sweet potato mash to another recipe so made this recipe with orange sweet potato mash. I am a firm believer that Nicole’s recipes are perfect and amazing and I try to follow along closely without swaps but I was in a pinch and the orange sweet potato mash and the turkey worked well together. I am such a fan of the ground + raisin + caper + olive combo and find myself regularly craving this recipe. I can’t wait to do a big shop of plantains to make as-is again soon!
Another winning recipe from this site! We loved it and I felt it came together a lot quicker than a lot of AIP recipes . Added some chopped kale for extra veggie and the whole family enjoyed it.
Delighted to have made this recipe this week and continually grateful for your work, Nicole! I made Beef Patties: https://healmedelicious.com/aip-beef-patties/ a few weeks ago and tripled up on the meat filling then froze one third of it. I happily defrosted it for this recipe, added the capers and raisins and combined with the plantain / white sweet potato mash before baking with a little avocado oil brushed on top. My partner and I are still transitioning from strict Paleo to AIP and are both very accustomed to a savory breakfast with a side of kale. (We regularly ate fried plantains w/ eggs for breakfast prior to our AIP journey.) This dish has been great for both breakfast and dinner and we are happy to have it rotation! Thank you!
This recipe is my go-to AIP recipe! It’s a MUST! Even when I’m not on my AIP diet this is an amazing dish I will always revert to. It was difficult looking for some AIP recipes with some culture in it. Having a west African background, this Plantain casserole is heaven sent.
Just about to put finishing touches on this . It looks so and tastes wonderful. Does it freeze with success. What is to outcome if the plantains are less ripe – greener ?
Hi Diana, I haven’t frozen it but think it should be fine. I would allow to defrost in the fridge and then reheat in the oven. If the plantains aren’t ripe they wont be as soft so your mash will likely be chunky and the taste won’t be very sweet
This was SO GOOD and so easy! I didn’t boil my plantains for long enough so it was a little chunkier than intended, but it was still great. It also fed me all week! Thanks so much for sharing these!!
Thanks so much for your review, Kelsey. I’m glad you enjoyed!
This recipe is fantastic! I love Caribbean food and this is no exception. I added some chopped kale for extra greens in with the meat. We will be enjoying the leftovers tomorrow!
Thanks Angela! So glad you enjoyed. FYI you can filter by Caribbean-inspired meals on the blog for more recipes like this 🙂
I had ripe and half ripe plantains, so i used those 2 and got inspired by this recipe and added a Moroccan touch to it with dried apricots and ras el hanout, this is BANGING! i never heard of this dish before, its an elevated Sheppard pie in my eyes. Sooo good!
This is delicious. I left out the olives, since I’m not a fan, but put in extra raisins and capers. I wish I would have doubled it for more leftovers!