Whole30 Barbacoa Beef & Plantain Sliders

Whole30 Fried Plantains topped with spicy Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef, smashed avocado, and pickled onions. The best Paleo and gluten free appetizer or dinner. Slow Cooker Adaptation included!

I’m officially naming these Whole30 Barbacoa Beef and Plantain Sliders “Party Bites,” because (and I haven’t said this since like 9th grade), it’s like a party in your mouth! The sweet, crispy, creamy fried plantain slices are topped with ultra tender spicy Barbacoa beef, a little smashed avocado, and super bright sugar-free pickled onions. They’d be a great gluten free or Whole30 appetizer for your picnic or backyard cookout, but I’m just eating them as my dinner tonight. And let’s be honest, any leftovers will be definitely be tomorrow’s breakfast.

Now I never thought I’d say this, but one of my coolest things about Whole30 is how it makes you learn to really love leftovers, even for breakfast. When you start thinking about your meals just as meals 1, 2, and 3, and not strictly in terms of what you’d traditionally see for each meal, life becomes soooo much easier! Eggs are great for dinner, and dinner leftovers become the perfect breakfast! I guess it makes sense for me, though. Before Whole30, I used to love to have cold, leftover pizza for breakfast the next day. Now I love eating leftover beef and plantains (cold, too!). Does that make me weird? I hope not! JK, I don’t even care if that makes me weird. I do it, and I do it proudly.

Whole30 Barbacoa Beef and Plantain Sliders

Do you want more Whole30 Barbacoa Goodness?

Of course you do! I mean, honestly, what’s not to love when it comes to this fall-apart tender beef, spiced to total perfection? Hop over to check out my copycat Chipotle Whole30 Barbacoa Beef Salad Bowls recipe! They’re seriously SO GOOD and really, really simple!

And please make sure you make my Whole30 Pickled Onions recipe for this. So many pickled onion recipes call for added sugar, but you do NOT need it! They’re a total staple in my home, the best and easiest condiment in my Whole30 arsenal, and so many people have told me that they love them too!

Back to this Whole30 Barbacoa Recipe!

I used to only use my slow cooker for recipes like this, because that’s what I had. But ever since I got my Instant Pot, I tend to use that more…. because I’ve kind of turned into an Instant Pot fan-girl. Don’t get my wrong, I love my slow cooker too, but my pressure cooker is the absolute best time-saver in my life right now. Don’t worry, even though my poor crock pot has been benched for a while, I’ve included a slow cooker adaptation to the recipe below.

Whole30 Barbacoa Beef and Plantain Sliders

Tips for Choosing your Plantains:

Okay, now back to this recipe! Fried plantains are absolutely unbelievable! Are you as obsessed with them as I am? If you haven’t made them yourself yet, I highly recommend dropping whatever you’re doing and going to the grocery story and to buy yourself some plantains. Seriously! They’re so simple! Just quickly pan fry them to perfection and enjoy as a Whole30 snack or side dish to any meal. They’re one of my favorite things all by themselves, so you know as I was making dinner last night, a few plantain slices were quickly fried, sprinkled with salt, and dipped in salsa. I had to crack open a Coconut Lacroix, too!

The same way you want to wait until your bananas are brown when you cook banana bread, wait until your plantains go from green to yellow to pretty much completely brown/black before you fry them. I like to wait until the plantains are totally black with almost no spots of yellow, because then they’ll be ultra ripe and sweet, soft enough on the inside to only require a quick pan fry. Green plantains are great too, but they’re starchier and need to be cooked a second time. Just do a google search for “Whole30 Tostones” or for a tutorial on that!

Fried Plantains

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my recipes on your plates, so if you make these, will you let me know? Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!

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5 from 2 votes

Fried Plantain and Barbacoa Beef Sliders

Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free.

Fried Plantains topped with spicy Instant Pot or Slow cooker Barbacoa Beef, smashed avocado, and pickled onions. 

Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings


Barbacoa Beef

  • 1 2 lb chuck roast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 3 tbsp. diced chipotle peppers If fresh isn’t available, use canned chipotle in adobo (watch for added sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil

Fried Plantains

  • 2 plantains very ripe
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Serve with

  • pickled onions
  • 1 avocado smashed
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Barbacoa Beef

  1. Pat your roast dry with a paper towel and season on all sides with salt and pepper. 

  2. Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode, heat about 3 tbsp of oil, and brown the roast for about 2-3 minutes per side. 

  3. Add in all the other ingredients and set to High Pressure for 70 minutes. Allow for a Natural Pressure Release.

  4. With forks, pull the tender beef apart, setting aside any large fatty pieces. Add the meat back into the Instant Pot and set to Saute mode. Bring to a simmer and cook together for about 3-4 minutes, stirring. 

Fried Plantains

  1. Peel and slice the plantains into 1/4 inch slices. 

  2. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil and ghee over medium heat. 

  3. In batches, add the plantain slices to the skillet and pan fry for about 1 – 1.5 minutes per side. Like potatoes, they should gently release when they’re ready to be turned (they should be golden brown).

  4. Flip the plantains and cook for an additional 1 – 1.5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. 

Assemble the sliders

  1. Slice the lime and cilantro. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and smash the flesh with a fork. 

  2. Assemble the sliders by topping each plantain slice with a bit of smashed avocado, Barbacoa beef, and sliced pickled onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, a little cilantro and a squeeze of lime! 

Recipe Notes

Be sure to get my pickled onion recipe

Slow Cooker Adaptation:

  1. Place roast in slow cooker (I prefer to brown it on all sides in a large pan first, but a lot of people skip this step and its just fine!).
  2. Mix together garlic, cumin, oregano, broth, lime, salt and pepper. Add in 2 to 3 tbsp. of diced chipotle peppers (or substitute 2-3 tbsp. chipotle in adobo, but check the label!).
  3. Pour the mixture over roast in slow cooker. 
  4. Cover and set to low. Cook for 6-7 hours, until the beef is fall-apart tender. 
  5. Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred in a bowl with two forks. Set aside any tough fatty pieces and return the shredded meat to the slow cooker
  6. Allow to cook together for an additional 15 minutes.

And sure to check out some of my other Appetizer recipes, like these Whole30 Big Mac Potato Skins! They’re always a hit!