Pan fried sweet plantains topped with tender, spicy Barbacoa Beef, smashed avocado, and pickled onions… all Whole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free. Make it as an appetizer or serve for dinner, made in the Instant OR Slow Cooker!
Why It Works
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, Paleo 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.
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.
- Chuck roast
- Cumin, Oregano
- Beef broth
- Chipotle peppers. If you’re using canned peppers, look for a brand without added sugar (I use San Marcos Chipotle in Adobo).
- Ripe plantains
- Coconut oil and ghee
Serve with pickled onions, avocado, fresh cilantro, lime.
Step by Step Instructions
Cooking the Plantains
For sweet plantains: 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.
Green plantains are great too, but they’re starchier and need to be cooked a second time. If you want a more savory vessel, just do a google search for “Whole30 Tostones” or for a tutorial!
- Slice the plantains into rounds. Heat the coconut oil and ghee in a large pan.
- In batches, quickly pan fry the plantains, turning to crisp on both sides.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt, and they’re ready to go!
Cook the Beef
You can either cook the beef in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. A chuck roast needs lots of time or pressure to break down the hard working muscle fibers and render the fat, so either method works great!
- Instant Pot: Cook on High Pressure for 70 minutes, then use a NPR (natural pressure release). Shred the beef into bite sized pieces, then return it to the slow cooker. Set to Saute mode and simmer the meat for 3-4 minutes.
- Slow Cooker: Cook on Low heat for 6-7 hours. Shred the beef and return to the slow cooker. Allow it to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Once the beef and plantains are cooked, all that’s left to do is assemble the bites! Assemble and layer the cooked plantains, smashed avocado, barbacoa, pickled onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
It’s best served right away, but it can be prepped in advanced, and then assembled just before serving.
Making this recipe? I’d love to heat about your experience with it.
Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Fried Plantain and Barbacoa Beef Sliders
- 2 lb. chuck roast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.5 Tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 lime juiced
- 3 Tablespoon diced chipotle peppers or canned chipotle in adobo.
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 3 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 plantains very ripe
- 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon ghee
- pickled onions
- 1 avocado smashed
- 3 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1 lime sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the Barbacoa Beef
- Pat your roast dry with a paper towel and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode, heat about 3 tbsp of oil, and brown the roast for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Add in all the other ingredients, cover, and set to High Pressure for 70 minutes. Allow for a Natural Pressure Release. Remove the beef from the Instant Pot and set it in a large bowl.
- 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. Keep warm until you're ready to eat.
Make the Fried Plantains
- Peel and slice the plantains into 1/4 inch slices.
- In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil and ghee over medium heat.
- In batches, add the plantain slices to the skillet and pan fry for about 1 – 1.5 minutes per side. They should gently release when they're ready to be turned (they should be golden brown).
- 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
- Slice the lime and cilantro. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and smash the flesh with a fork.
- 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!
- Add the roast to the slow cooker.
- Mix together garlic, cumin, oregano, broth, lime, salt and pepper. Add in 2 to 3 Tbsp. of diced chipotle peppers or 2-3 tbsp. canned chipotle in adobo.
- Pour the mixture over roast in slow cooker.
- Cover and set to low. Cook for 6-7 hours, until the beef is fall-apart tender.
- 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.
- 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!