Mofongo Stuffing (Green Plantain Turkey)

Green plaintain turkey stuffing recipe

The Spruce / Nita West

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Originating in Puerto Rico in the 1500s, mofongo is a mixture of mashed green plantains, garlic, peppers, and other ingredients. It was born out of the cross-pollination of culinary practices of enslaved Africans and Indigenous Taino peoples on the island. Mofongo is especially tasty as a turkey stuffing and serves as an excellent alternative to the traditional "bread and meat" dressing. This particular mouthwatering recipe is made from green, unripe plantains, bacon, garlic and ajíces dulces—sweet chile peppers. If you prefer ripe plantains instead, try Cuban fufu as an alternative.

A plantain is a member of the banana family. It's bigger and less sweet than a banana, and it's not particularly appealing in its raw form. Plantains are sometimes called "cooking bananas" because they're at their best when they're cooked. They grow in warm climates and are common in India and the Caribbean. ​

Ingredients

  • 6 green plantains
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 pound cooked bacon, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 sweet chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oil to 375 F. 

    Ingredients for green plaintain turkey stuffing
    The Spruce / Nita West
  2. Peel the green plantains and cut them into 3/4-inch slices while the oil is heating. 

    Peel plaintains
    The Spruce / Nita West
  3. Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a light golden color and semisoft.

    Fry slices
    The Spruce / Nita West
  4. Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.

    Remove plantain slices
    The Spruce / Nita West
  5. When the plantain slices are cool enough to handle, usually about 1 minute, smash them into flat rounds.

    Smash slices
    The Spruce / Nita West
  6. Fry the rounds in the hot oil for an additional 3 minutes. They'll turn crisp and golden brown.

    Fry the rounds in hot oil
    The Spruce / Nita West
  7. Remove the slices with a slotted spoon and drain again on paper towels.

    Remove slices and drain on paper towels
    The Spruce / Nita West
  8. Mash together the plantains, bacon, garlic, peppers, onion, and olive oil in a mortar and pestle. Add each ingredient a little at a time until everything is well incorporated.

    Mash together
    The Spruce / Nita West
  9. Add the broth. You can add more than 1/3 cup if the stuffing doesn't seem moist enough until you get the consistency that you prefer.

    Add broth
    The Spruce / Nita West
  10. Serve the stuffing as is, or use it to stuff your turkey. 

    Serve stuffing
    The Spruce / Nita West

Tips

  • Plantains take a long time to ripen, so you can safely buy them in advance of your meal or the holiday. They should still be green when you're ready to make this stuffing, particularly if you store them in the refrigerator. 
  • The temperature of the oil is important. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure it's at 375 F before you add the plantains. Take care to maintain the oil’s temperature while the plantains are cooking by checking it periodically. Adding any food to heated oil brings its temperature down.
  • If you want to serve the stuffing as a side, you can keep it warm in the oven until you're ready to set your holiday table. The onion and oil will prevent it from drying out. 

Recipe Variation

  • If you're a bacon lover, try sautéing the chopped onion in the bacon grease after you've prepared the bacon rather than adding raw onion to the mixture.