Sweet Plantains and Picadillo Casserole ~ Layers of mashed sweet ripe plantains with a filling of savory picadillo – a Latin dish of ground meat, tomatoes, and spices – make this dish a delicious and easy dinner.
As I write this post, my kids are watching Master Chef Junior before going to bed and it’s just making me reminisce about my first time learning to cook. Now, I was in no way as good a cook as those kids on the TV show. Those kids are amazing. But, the first dish I ever make turned out to be really, really good.
This sweet plantains casserole was the first dish I ever learn to make. I was eight years old.
When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with sweet plantains or maduros as many like to call it (Maduro is the Spanish word for ripe). My favorite meal to eat was fried sweet plantains with scrambles eggs. My mom could have made it for me three times a day, everyday and I would eat with the same pleasure as if it was my first time having it.
It would make sense that the first thing I ever cooked involved sweet plantains, right? I didn’t make it with picadillo then. Instead, I shredded cooked ham and added it to the middle layer.
Although the ham works pretty well, this casserole tastes a thousand times better with picadillo.
And, what is picadillo? You ask.
Picadillo is a Latin dish made of ground beef, tomatoes and spices, such as cumin, adobo and oregano. It is great with everything! You can have it with rice and beans, use it to stuffed empanadas and add as a layer on different casserole dishes like this sweet plantains casserole or this Pastelón de Papas.
The sweet and savory combination in this dish is absolutely delicious, and the gooey cheese is just the final touch that makes this easy meal absolutely perfect.
Sweet plantains are really one of my favorite food ingredients in the whole world. I don’t think I could ever pick just one dish with sweet plantains. I love anything and everything made with this delicious food.
How about you? Have you had sweet plantains? What is your favorite dish made with maduros?
Sweet Plantains and Picadillo Casserole (Pastelón de Plátano Maduro)
- 6 sweet, ripe plantains
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup red onion , chopped
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt , divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon roasted pepper stuffed olives
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
- 1 cup mild cheddar cheese , shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium pot, boil the plantains with 1 teaspoon of salt, until tender. Remove plantains from the pot and using a potato masher, mash the sweet plantains until they are made pure. Add the butter and combine well. Set aside.
- Season the meat with the onion, pepper, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
- In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium-hot heat. Add the meat and let cook until brown. Add the tomato sauce, olives and water. Let simmer until all the liquid had evaporated.
- Lightly butter a 7x11 inch baking pan or 4 mini casserole dishes like the ones pictured. Add a layer of mashed plantains to the bottom of the pan. Then, add a second layer with all the picadillo, cooked ground beef. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese. Spread another layer of plantains and top with the rest of the cheese.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
- Serve warm.