With Cinco de Mayo on its way this week, it’s pretty inevitable that today’s recipe would fit right in with that holiday! (Not that I need any excuses to post Mexican food recipes, since I LOVE the cuisine!) I’m also slightly obsessed with plantains. And if you’ve been following my blog, this is not a surprise!
So, my Loaded Tropical Plantain Nachos are actually several little recipes combined into one giant plate of deliciousness! Start with a triple batch of my Savory Fried Plantains as a hearty base for the rest of the nacho ingredients. The thick-cut garlicky plantains are then piled with grass-fed beef and onions, a fruity pineapple kiwi salsa, a creamy avocado lime sauce, and a generous sprinkling of crispy bacon!
I also use the term “nachos” loosely here, since they aren’t crispy chips, they don’t involve baking in an oven, and there’s no cheese, peppers, tomatoes, or sour cream involved! Instead, I took a tropical, AIP approach to make this dairy-free, nightshade-free, grain-free recipe! So many colors, flavors, and textures all in one incredible dish! Grab a few friends, break out the margaritas, and get ready to party with these no-bake Loaded Tropical Plantain Nachos!
If you’re like me, then most multi-component recipes probably seem intimidating and not worth all of the effort. While that can sometimes be true, let me assure you that these Loaded Tropical Plantain Nachos are actually quite easy to make and DEFINITELY worth the effort! 🙂 Plus, everything but the plantains and ground beef can be made ahead of time! Just requires a bit of multi-tasking, but you know you’ll have a mouth-watering meal as a reward!
I’d recommend starting with the bacon first. Normally, I’d say to bake the bacon, but in this recipe, just cook it in the same skillet you’ll use for your plantains, so you can repurpose the bacon fat. While the bacon is sizzling, heat up a second skillet for your beef and onion mixture.
As the meat is cooking away, prep and chop up your Tropical Salsa ingredients. One thing I just have to share is that cutting up a fresh pineapple can actually be a BREEZE, thanks to the handy pineapple peeler/corer/slicer! (I got mine at Aldi, but Amazon carries a similar version!) You just twist it all the way down through the pineapple, then pull it out and you have sliced rings of pineapple. Plus, you end up with a super cute pineapple bowl each time! (You could actually serve the salsa in it!)
Did I mention how delicious this salsa is?! The pineapple and kiwi compliment each other so well, along with the herby cilantro and tangy lime juice. I also liked the refreshing cucumber for crunch! This salsa is easily a standalone recipe and it’s so perfect for spring and summer! (I enjoyed the salsa leftovers on a salmon salad the next day. Yum!)
Next up- the Avocado Lime Crema – which is basically a fancy term for a creamy avocado coconut milk sauce. I opted for a sauce rather than guacamole this time, since I felt like it went so well with the starchy fried plantains. The sauce comes together in a flash with the help of a blender. (I used the blender on my Ninja Mega Kitchen System, which I love!)
And last, but certainly not least, the Savory Fried Plantains! For a step-by-step visual guide, just follow the method I shared in the linked recipe post. The only change I made was that I used bacon fat mixed with some extra coconut oil to fry them in. Totally optional! Once they’re golden brown, give them a generous sprinkle of garlic and sea salt and pile on the ground beef.
To put these Loaded Tropical Plantain Nachos all together, arrange the salted fried plantains on plate or platter, then dump all of the meat and onion mixture on top, followed by the tropical salsa, and a hefty drizzle of avocado lime crema. Finish it all off with the smokey bacon pieces and you have a dish for the ages! Serve it up with some extra chopped cilantro and lime juice and you’ll probably want some forks on hand, since these eat much easier that way!
Before I sign off and let you scurry out to get all the lovely ingredients for these Loaded Tropical Plantain Nachos, I do want to end with a quick note. If you can’t find plantains or if you’re short on time, you can totally substitute your favorite chips in place of them and still have a winning plate of nachos on your hands! Wishing you all a happy, tasty, and fun Cinco de Mayo weekend! Olé!
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 3 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped cucumber
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large avocado, peeled
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
- juice of 3 limes
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 green or lightly yellow plantains
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil, bacon fat, or duck fat
- sprinkle of sea salt and garlic powder
- extra fresh chopped cilantro
- extra lime juice
- In a large cast iron skillet, fry up the bacon. Cool on paper-towel lined plate, then crumble and set aside. Save bacon grease in skillet for plantains.
- Meanwhile, in a second skillet, sauté the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes over medium/high heat, then add the ground beef and cook until browned throughout. Season with spices, turn off heat.
- While the meat is cooking, chop up the Tropical Salsa ingredients and combine everything into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Combine the Avocado Lime Crema ingredients in a blender until thoroughly pureed. Set aside.
- Peel and slice the plantains into ½ inch thick slices and fry in bacon fat with extra coconut oil, if needed. Fry over medium/high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and soft in the middle. Remove from skillet onto a plate or platter and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt, to taste. (For photos of the process, visit my Fried Plantains recipe post!)
- Cover fried plantains with ground beef mixture, then layer with Tropical Salsa. Pour on the Avocado Lime Crema and top with bacon, fresh cillantro, and extra lime juice, if using.
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