By Julie Davis Canter Jul 28, 2022 • 30 min

This diabetes-friendly version of the Puerto Rican classic includes lots of veggies, providing lots of fiber and nutrients. The plantains are boiled rather than fried to keep it healthy, and lean ground beef and part-skim cheese lower the saturated fat.


  • Nonstick olive oil spray
  • 4 very ripe plantains, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion 
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (7% or less fat)
  • 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. adobo
  • 1/2 c. part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Step 2

Bring the plantains and enough water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the plantains are very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the plantains to the pot and mash with a vegetable masher, adding the salt and the cooking liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth.

Step 3

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

Step 4

Add the beef and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the mixed vegetables, tomato sauce and adobo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

Step 5

Spread half of the plantain mixture evenly onto the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture evenly over the plantain mixture. Place the remaining plantain mixture over the beef. Top with the cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and browned around the edges, about 25 minutes.

Nutrition facts

6 servings 

Serving size: 1 cup

Amount per serving

Calories 310

Total fat 9g; saturated fat 3.5g; trans fat 0g

Cholesterol 55mg

Sodium 310mg

Total carbohydrate 39g; dietary fiber 4g; total sugars 17g

Protein 20g

Potassium 910mg

Phosphorus 250mg

Adapted from