Beef, Bacon and Plantain Casserole

Yeah, you could call this a ‘I pulled this out of my ass’ kind of recipe. Because it is. I had bacon. I had ground beef. And I had plantains. So why wouldn’t I put them in dish together and call them a casserole? That’s something that is so great about paleo. Pretty much everything tastes good together. So if you have no idea what to make one night, just pull everything out of your fridge, cook it in a pan together, and call it a casserole. Or stir fry. Either will work. And people will think you know what you’re doing. Fake it ’til ya make it.

I want a quesadilla. Like those ones from Qdoba that are super bad for you. And you can dip them in queso to make them even worse for you. That’s what I want. I’m sorry. I won’t eat it, but I’ll sure as hell dream about it right now as I type.

Ok, I’m over it.

I’m totally not.

So I’ve been a bit on edge lately. I don’t know what it is, but I think it has to do with traveling a bunch and not getting as much sleep. As I age (just a reminder, I’m only 25) I’m starting to feel the effects of not sleeping as much. When I was 22 or 23, no problem whatsoever. I slept around 3-4 hours a night, work 9+ hour days, and worked out 2-3 times within that day, and did it all over the next day. Now, if I have a crappy night of sleep, I’m dead to the world. Well, I usually have a great morning then a great afternoon workout, but once 4pm hits, I’m done. I don’t want to talk people, I don’t want look at a computer, but I do want to eat sweets. I got the sweets-emotional situation going on right now. Damn it to hell sweets. Why do you have to be so sweet and scrumptious? Pretty sure the only thing that will solve this situation is not eating sweets. Or sleeping. But neither of those things are going to happen anytime soon, so I must cope. With more sweets.

So I got caught in the act the other day. Believe me, it’s not what you’re thinking, damnit. I was sitting in my car, minding my own business, and what song low and behold came on? This Drake song. And if you haven’t seen Starbucks Drake Hands, you’re missing out. Anywho, when I was in Pittsburgh, it was an ongoing joke that George, Hayley, Bill and I had. Mostly because that song is on EVERY TIME you get into your car. So we made multiple videos, like any blogger would do. You can see some of the videos here. So once I got back to Colorado and the car instantly began to play in my car outside of my house, I had to make a video for a group text message. Obviously. So I did my best impression of Drake hands, noticed that I wasn’t even pressing record, did it again and then found myself feeling some eyes on the back of my head. It was my roommate, pulling up in her car, staring directly at me with a disgusted look. And it’s all on video. She said I was the creepiest person she’s ever seen, which says a lot based on the men she’s dated in her day. I think this may be one of those ‘you have to be there’ types of stories. My b, my b.

I can’t stop picking my nail polish off. How do women do this?


Beef, Bacon and Plantain Casserole

  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 3 yellow plantains (you want them to be slightly brown, but not green)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, cook bacon until slightly crispy. Set aside.
  3. Drain excess bacon fat, leaving behind about 1-2 tablespoons.
  4. Cut off the ends of the plantains and remove the peel. Thinly slice the plantain lengthwise into 3 slices. Repeat with other 2 plantains.
  5. Add plantain slices to bacon fat pan and cook about both sides for about 2-3 minutes until they are slightly browned. Set aside.
  6. In the same pan, add minced garlic clove, ground beef, onion and salt and pepper. Cook until meat has broken down and completely cooked through.
  7. Now for the stacking of the casserole, you can do this any way you’d like.
  8. Place 3 plantain slices on the bottom, then 2 slices of bacon on top, then a couple spoonfuls of the ground beef mixture. Repeat two more times on top of the ground beef mixture.
  9. Put in oven and cook for 12-15 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  10. Scoop out and serve.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


62 thoughts on “Beef, Bacon and Plantain Casserole”

  1. Awesome timing, I was just wondering to do with my aging plantains (other than make plantain “bread”). Don’t have ground beef, but will be using leftover (Canadian) Thanksgiving turkey. So kind of like a club sandwich casserole. Thanks for the idea!

  2. You’re definitely right about the beauty of paleo. So strange how basically everything is good together.

    I would like to purchase your cook book on amazon, but I’m just wondering if there are going to be separate recipes then the recipes on your blog?

  3. This shall be the first recipe I have after this 21 day sugar detox. I lied, it will be jenni’s ice cream and then this recipe.

  4. Becky Ryan (@rBecky94)

    Where the h$%# were you when I was blankly staring at my plantains 2 days ago thinking, “Why hasn’t Juli concocted something simple for a meal with my soon-to-be-rotted plantains?!”. Great-NOW you give me this…sigh. I’ll shut up now and make this! 😉 Love ya girl.

    1. Almost rotting plantains are THE BEST for frying!! they caramelize so beautifully! …you can also peel them, “impale” them with a stick of cinnamon, pour some honey over them and put them in the oven with a wad of butter in the pan, HEAVEN!

  5. I make P.O.O.M.A dinners all the time, breakfast too. The Hubster loves those kinds of recipes and always asks me if I remembered to write them down and of course I never do because what if it is crap- I don’t want to remember crap but then when it turns awesome I’m screwed and cannot remember how I made it.

  6. You actually made a pretty typical Dominican dish!! We call it Pastelón de Plátano Maduro, you can also make it by boiling the plantains and mashing them, add cheese or whatever you want! It’s yummy!!!

    1. that might be a bit too sweet, but if you don’t mind that, that’s ok! i have a recipe with a plantain mash and shredded pork which uses black plantains and would taste great!

  7. This was delicious but I actually want to try this with green plantains to get rid of the sweet factor. With all the squash recipes going on, I need something more salty and savory. I’m thinking making it with green plantains and adding avocado on top after would be a delicious dish! FYI, when I find that I’m not sleeping well and tired all the time AND craving sweets, then I’m usually magnesium deficient. I don’t know if you supplement or not, but I find that if I start supplementing or increase the dose, I start sleeping better and feeling better and the sugar cravings decrease or go away. 🙂 Thanks for this recipe. It was really good and perfect way to use up the plantains sitting on my counter.

    1. If you think you maybe magnesium deficient you can also just take epsom salt baths instead of supplements. Relaxing and ups your magnesium. Also I’m going to try this recipe it sounds yummy.

  8. Excellent recipe…. I’m Puerto Rican, grew up on this stuff. My mom would add eggs, serves as an adhesive to hold everything together. She would also add green beans, tried your variation Juli and it was excellent!

    Next up, search Jibarito sandwhich recipe… I’d like to see you OMG it out….love your site!

    1. Juli is going puertorican without knowing it! Woohoo! I look forward to reading blog every chance i get! .. So GRACIAS for all the laughs! .. And making my favorite foods paleo friendly!!! 😀

  9. OMG! This was AMAZING! Who knew plantains would be soooooo delicious fried in bacon grease! Thank you 🙂 Also, I used ground elk instead of hamburger– so perfect!

  10. I am a Paleo virgin, learning a lot an loving your site. I am from Puerto Rico and grew up eating a non bacon version of this frequently, probably because it hasn’t occurred to any one back home to put bacon in it. Lol 🙂 its actually the Puertorrican lasagna if you will…we have it loaded up with veggies as well. You can also use a beaten egg and pour over at the end as a binder, it will cut nicely to serve!
    Thanks for all you share!

  11. Hey Juli,
    This really looks delicious!
    I can’t wait to try it, but I need to know what size/ shape banning pan to use? Your photo almost looks like a loaf pan . . . ?

  12. In Venezuela we make something similar but with fish. It’s called Pastel de Chucho. Here In the north we use shredded salmon and cook it with onions, red peppers, green olives, garlic, etc. You make layers of plantains and fish add eggs to keep everything together, and at the end you add a layer of cheese.

  13. just want to say i did this dish last night and OMG i had to put it up and away cuz i would have ate the whole thing in a sitting I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT (bananas is my favorite fruit)!! You pulled an amazing recipe out of your you so gently put it….i am in love with your website

  14. I made this earlier this week. Prepping the plantains took more time and energy than I thought. I thought it would be more like peeling a banana. I also used a bigger pan so I ended up using all of the bacon in the package and I cut the plantains into 4 sections. I was worried when I was putting it all together but once cooked and I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised. The plantain really makes this dish work.

    1. Hey Katie. Yeah, plantains don’t usually peel the way a commercial banana does. The trick with plantains is to slice the ends off first, then make an incision down the full length of the plantain only the depth of the peel. You can then hole the plantain in both hands with your thumbs at the top. Using your thumbs pull either side away, making your way down to the bottom. The riper the plantain the easier this will be. If you are making a recipe that calls for green plantains then you may need to cut the plantain into smaller sections first, or you may even need to use a paring knife to peel it away. Peace.

  15. I am making this for the second time tonight, only I’m not just doubling it…not just tripling it…not just quadrupling it. I’m…uh…how do you say it? Six timing it? Sextupling it? Doesn’t it sound like I’m cheating?

    Sorry. I’m cracking myself up here, but really, this dinner feels like cheating when you add the bacon to it! 🙂 My clan of 7 is excited I made this one again. Tonight I threw in a little oregano, just to see how it would taste. Tomorrow we might even serve up the leftovers alongside some eggs (over easy) for breakfast. That is, if there are leftovers!

  16. This recipe sounds great. I only take issue with the garlic. The only thing that 1 clove of garlic is good for is adding it to 5 more cloves of garlic. I am making this tonight. I will use 6 cloves of garlic

  17. To this day I can’t hear Darke’s song and not start laughing at the visual of you creeping out in your car! Enjoy the laughs and the wonder food ideas you provide to us

  18. This was a weird combination for me. I am pretty open to trying many types of dishes in foods, and I always give things a try before assuming it is good or bad. This was good for sure but I ended up eating the plantains after I ate the rest of the meal. I didn’t hate it but I wouldn’t necessarily make it again.

  19. My recipe turned out soo sweet. it felt like i was eating banana flavored meat (even though i used plantains). not sure if i did something wrong…

  20. Made this last night for dinner! 4th recipe from this blog that I’ve made this week. It was fantastic. Love all the comments about this being a Puerto Rican/Dominican dish haha. I’m Puerto Rican and my grandmother used to make this for me when I was a kid haha. She would add cheese. Which really isn’t missing honestly. My boyfriend and I loved it!

  21. Made this last night. I wanted to love it, but it ended up being very dry and tasteless. Not sure what went wrong, followed all directions, but it just didn’t have any flavor. Had to add tomato sauce and some chili powder to give it a kick.

  22. I am planning on trying this soon! I just started following you on Instagram, and need some ideas and motivation to get back on track with healthy eating…I get bored with the same things, but need relatively fast easy meals. I’m also usually cooking for myself, or just a few people. I actually just saw someone at work with this and though it was so interesting….so I will give it a try! Can you freeze this by chance??

  23. so so so good! The sweet from the plantains and the salty from the bacon compliment eachother so well! I thought it would need hot sauce, ranch, something – but no – nothing – i was so impressed and VERY EASY! Thanks a million!

  24. This is basically a Puerto Rican dish known as “pastelón”.
    Here’s a different way to prepare it. First you start with sofrito.

    1 onion, 1 whole garlic, 1 red pepper, 1 italian pepper, a bunch of cilantro, 1 small tomato, 1 tbsp of olive oil, tspn salt, tspn of pepper, and blend all of this, 2 ingredients at a time. Freeze whatever you don’t use.

    In a pot heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of the sofrito. Add ground beef and 1 jar of gluten free tomato sauce. Cover and allow the beef to cook in the tomato sauce for about 20-30 min and then add salt, pepper, and paprika for taste.

    Cook bacon, cut 4 sweet plantains ( the blacker the better in half and Fry in coconut oil.

    Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Scramble 4 pastured eggs and bake in a Pyrex for 6-8 min.

    Layer plantain halves over the egg, then the bacon, than the ground beef, than another layer of bacon, the other plantain halves, and then pour another 4 scrambles eggs over the top and bake on 350 degrees for about 30 min.


  25. Made this last night but with veal and no garlic (GASP…I know, but my gut can’t handle garlic no matter how much my mouth wants it!). DELISH…. even to my non-Paleo husband.

  26. Loving your blog! I’ve made several of your recipes and all of them have been a hit! So easy and delicious. This is my go to blog for meal planning. Thank you so much!

  27. The flavor was dynamite but mine turned out extremely dry. Like a previous commenter said….will be a fantastic hash with an over easy egg for breakfast. Mine really needs that yolk. Thanks for the recipe!!

  28. Loved that I could use up an over-ripe plantain and not have it go to waste. And the rest of the recipe calls for simple, staple items I always have around. The recipe gets a win for simplicity of ingredients. However, it’s a bit heavy and a bit dry. It needs something else added to it. I think I might like trying to add thinly shredded sauteed cabbage or greens to the layers. Maybe a “green” sauce such as chimchurri might taste good on this? Eggs would work, but if I go full AIP, they’d be out. Next time, I would crumble up the bacon because it was a bit hard to cut through the “casserole” with the bacon strips. It does take quite a bit of time cooking up all the parts, too, and that was with me, cooking some parts simultaneously. I’m not exactly sure if it really makes a difference to place this in the oven at all. Does it make a difference? Otherwise, it seems like a good recipe to play around with.

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