Plantains Are The Tropical Fruit That Can Double As A Savory And Sweet Pizza Crust

Plantains are starchy, tropical fruits central to many Latin American, Southeast Asian, and African cuisines. They're sometimes called cooking bananas thanks to their curved, boomerang shape and yellow color. However, unlike the sweet and creamy flavor of bananas — which work best with desserts – these uniquely-flavored fruits are often used in savory dishes like stir-fries, empanadas, curry, or even chips. For those cutting back on carbs or looking for a gluten-free substitute, consider using plantains to make a mouthwatering pizza crust.

Since plantains are denser, you may find this pizza crust keeps you full longer than classic dough crusts. Plus, they offer a wide range of nutrients. According to Healthline, plantains are a good source of complex carbohydrates and contain vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. The best part is, thanks to their nuanced flavor profile, plantains can work with savory and sweet dishes, so your options for toppings are limitless.

Making a pizza crust of out plantains is surprisingly easy. Boil them until soft, blend or mash them, toss them in flour, roll them into a dough-like shape, and either fry or bake the dough. Finally, assemble your toppings as you would with a classic pizza. Keep in mind that if you're using meat as toppings, it's best to cook these through before baking them so you don't end up with half-cooked meat and a too-crisp crust.

What toppings work with a plantain pizza crust?

After your plantain pizza crust is finished, picking the perfect toppings to match its distinctive flavor is a must. You can keep it simple with garlicky red sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, but you can also get creative! One creator on TikTok made a plantain pizza with red sauce, shredded mozzarella, arugula, spinach, and freshly-cooked lobster to evoke a taste of Italian-Caribbean fusion.

If seafood isn't your thing, try assembling the pizza with pulled pork atop a generous barbecue sauce layer. The subtle sweetness of the plantains will balance the hearty smokiness of the pork and barbecue sauce. Not big on pork? Jerk chicken on a bed of spicy-sweet sauce adds a burst of Caribbean flavor. For something sweet and delectable — pizza purists,  prepare yourselves — we think this a perfect time to add pineapple to pizza. Smother your plantain pizza with goat cheese and top it with pineapple, mango, and other tropical fruits to create a slice of paradise.

When planning side dishes, it's best to opt for subtle options that complement this dish without overpowering its distinct flavors. For example, a simple arugula salad with a tangy vinaigrette or a side of mango salsa will bring out its flavors without taking your pizza out of the spotlight. After you try this recipe, you may never look at pizza night the same again!