Jerk Meatball and Plantain Melt

Jerk Meatball and Plantain Melt

For some reason I have been obsessed with jerk chicken this summer, and I get it every chance I have. So as you can imagine, I have been coming up with ideas to feature it in new recipes. I thought it would be fun to put the jerk marinade ingredients into a meatball, and serve it in a grilled cheese with some sweet tender plantains and it came out awesome. I needed some sauce, so I used the new BBQ sauce from tabasco and it matched with the flavors perfectly. They actually have a jerk version of their BBQ sauce, but I wanted to see how the meatballs tasted on their own before adding more jerk flavor to this sandwich. This recipe is originally from a stream, and you can watch the replay below, or keep scrolling for the recipe.

The bread is important to this recipe. I used a sweet Cuban roll from a nearby bakery.

Make sure you get a mostly black plantain so when you cook them, they are soft and sweet.

Mine could have been slightly riper to be honest, but they were right on the edge so they still were soft and sweet in the sandwich.

The meatballs were full of jerk flavor and were tender and spicy.

Lots of cheese, bbq sauce, sliced meatballs, plantains, and more bbq sauce!

Nice crispy edges and melty goodness in the center. YUM! Everything in this sandwich was in perfect balance, the cheese calmed down the heat from the meatballs, and the sweetness from the bread, bbq sauce, and plantains was a counterpoint to the savory meatballs and cheese.

Jerk Meatball and Plantain Melt

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban, Jamaican
Servings: 3 sandwiches



  • 3/4 pound ground Beef 85% lean
  • 3/4 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 2 habaneros seeds removed and minced
  • 2 scallions minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs


  • 2 black ripe plantains
  • 3 Cuban bread rolls
  • BBQ Sauce
  • chihuahua cheese


  • In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together until well combined. Preheat the broiler and form golf ball sized meatballs. Spread the meatballs out on a baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes per side to brown. Remove from heat.
  • Slice the plantains into 1 inch slices. Preheat some vegetable oil in a pan and shallow fry the plantains for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and soft.
  • Build the sandwich first with the bread, then the cheese, then bbq sauce, then meatballs sliced in half, then plantains, more bbq sauce, and more cheese. Put the top bread on.
  • Cook the sandwich in a pan with some butter, pressing it so it is very thin and gets a nice crunch on the top and bottom. Once the cheese is melted, remove from heat, slice, and serve.

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