rss facebook The Food in My Beard logo

Plantain Chili


When I get together with Kim and Rich, it is common for us to make chili. The 3 of us really like chili and are often trying to find new ways to make it. Last year, they made a vanilla chili when I wasn't around so I never got to taste it! Today's batch uses plantains as a thickener and it really added a neat flavor to the overall bowl! I think this is the best chili I have ever made and I will definitely repeat this recipe in the future.

The plantains needed some simmer time with the chiles to help them soften.

Then they were mashed.

And mixed with yogurt.

The chile stock is ready, so it gets blended.

Start browning all the meats.

In the same pot that the meats were browned in.

Tomato paste at this stage adds a nice depth to the flavor.

The stock went in, followed by all the meats.

Have you guys tried this Magic Hat seasonal? I have been loving it lately! It has a slight coffee flavor.

In goes the plantain mix.

A quick spice blend.

Now this just sat for an hour and a half. Taste it about half way to see if you need to add anything.


It was really thick and had a slight banana background flavor

Not a tough recipe, but time consuming. First take like 15 dried chiles, a few different varieties if you can, and put them into 4 cups of boiling water. I also added half a small tin of chipotle peppers to this mix.  Take out the seeds, but keep all the juice from in the tin. Drop 2 plantains in this mix but remove before blending. Turn the heat down and let them simmer for a half hour. Then blend it all up in a blender or with an immersion blender. Keep this chile juice around near the stove.
Dice about 5 cloves of garlic, 3 celery stalks, an onion, a bell pepper, and 3 jalapenos. Brown in batches, a pound of ground beef, 2 pounds of chuck (cut into small pieces), and half pound of bacon (chopped) and set aside. In the same pan, with the fat and everything, cook the celery, onion and both peppers on high. add some salt. When everything looks slightly brown, add the garlic. Then add a small can of tomato paste. Next add the chile juice and all the meats. Toss in a beer. Mash up those plantains from earlier and mix in yogurt, then add it to the pot. Add 2 cans of beans. The last step is to add some sugar and spice. I added sugar, cumin, coriander, and a small amount of cinnamon and clove. Let this simmer for like an hour and a half, tasting occasionally to adjust seasonings, and you will end up with something amazing.


Oh, I love the Howl! I'm actually on sort of a winter ale kick - if you like Howl, you'll like Otter Creek's Stovepipe Porter, too.

Dan, you do such good work in the kitchen. Thanks for everything this weekend. That Chili was so good. I hope there's still some left for me for dinner this week.
Everybody needs to make this.

yep. that chili sure was awesome.

i honestly didn't taste the plantains at all.

I really wish I were more adventurous with food, but sometimes I just don't know where to begin. Luckily I've found your blog and you give me lots of interesting ideas. I actually really want to try this recipe...and I want to see if i can get it past my dad without him realizing that it is made with bananas. haha! that'll be a fun joke for me.

are 15 chiles pretty spicy, though? I don't know much about chiles and am sometimes afraid of them. my family doesn't like too spicy...maybe I should cut it down a bit?

I think you're starting to get the hang of that new lens... good stuff!

This looks amazing! I've only ever had plantains fried on the side of jerk chicken and rice n peas before :) I might just use the recipe for my Christmas party next week. How much does this make? I'm looking to feed like 12 to 15...

I made this Chili for the staff at work, and it rocked. One would think that the sweetness would be too much, but it offset the spiciness just nicely.

I also had some guajillo chilis. They really ramped this dish up.

Thanks on that!

Man, thank you so mucho for this recipe!, i have just finished it!, im just waiting some time for it to simmer... its coming out soooo good!, i skipped the plaintain/yougurth part, but anyway it smells, and tastes great!


I made this yesterday as promised for my Christmas get together. Have to say, Dan, out of a huge soup pot made, only a tiny bit is left this morning! It is so, so good and it went down a storm. One person had five bowls full and another claimed it cured his cold!

My friends were skeptical about it when a couple of them breathed in the fumes of the chilli stock when I was blending it (note to self: doing this in batches to avoid streaming eyes, sneezign and coughing fits) but they were soon eating their words once they tasted it. I did skip the extra jalapenos, but it was still super spicy and went great with some cheese and sour cream.

Thanks for the recipe!

We threw down on this one the other night, but couldn't get any of that sweet plantain taste -- just heat. I left the seeds in on the chilis, and didn't double the jalapenos, but did double the plantain. Any thoughts? Did I just use super spicy dried chilis? (a mix of guajillo, new mexico, and negro)

I think the seeds are the thing... and hey man, don't feel bad; we got a massive pot of chili out of the experience, grubbed it, and then baked some of the leftovers with eggs for some breakfast awesomeness. Good times...

Leave a comment