This is a lovely Caribbean dish that my mother taught me to make, and it’s one that makes me both hungry and happy to think about. It’s rich, creamy, cheesy, clean eat and very simple to make!
To make it you’ll need the following:
- Green (cooking) bananas: not to be confused with green plantains.
- Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth can be used. You can also use a bone broth or stock.
- Milk: I’m using whole milk. I highly recommend this for the best results. However if you’re in a pinch, you can replace the milk with equal amounts of broth (in addition to the broth the recipe calls for).
- Flour: I’m using some whole wheat pastry flour but you can also use white whole wheat flour or a gluten-free blend such as Bob’s 1-1 Flour.
- Breadcrumbs: I’m using whole wheat panko-style breadcrumbs but you can also use a gluten free panko variety if you prefer.
- Butter: I’m using salted but you can also use unsalted if preferred.
- Salt: I’m using my favorite Himalayan Pink salt but you can use sea salt if you prefer.
- Black pepper: Pre- or fresh ground, the choice is yours.
- Dried oregano: This adds great flavor to our sauce.
- Garlic: I’m using fresh grains of garlic but you can also use ground or dehydrated if you prefer. For a great option, you can use some Roasted Garlic.
- Cheeses: I’m using a combination of smoked Gouda, jalapeno cheddar and a marbled mozzarella/cheddar mix. You can use any semi-soft or hard cheese that you enjoy.
In the original recipe, a bouillon cube is used to flavor the roux and the dish itself, which, if you read the ingredients you’ll quickly realize is not clean. The solution to this is either to make your own bouillon cubes or more simply swap out some of the milk used in the roux for organic chicken or vegetable bone broth which is both healthy, nutritious and delicious!
Here’s how to make this Caribbean Pie!
Set your bananas to boil: To a large pot, add water and a splash of oil. We will leave the bananas in their skins because it makes it so much easier to peel them once cooked. To make your life even easier, you can slice off the bottom tip and score along the length with a knife so that once boiled, you have a mark that will allow you to peel them easily.
Now, onto our sauce: We’ll begin by melting the butter. When it begins to bubble and brown ever-so-slightly, we’ll lower the heat and add the flour and make a paste (we’re essentially making a roux).
The flour and butter will cook for a minute or two (moving it around so that it doesn’t brown or burn and so that all the fat from the butter can be fully absorbed by the flour). Then, once it’s cooked, we’ll add in the milk and broth and whisk continuously to ensure that there’s no lumps and that the roux comes together nice and smooth. Raise the heat to high to allow it to thicken faster. Once thickened, lower the heat to med.
Next we’ll mix in the salt, pepper, and dried oregano….
And finally the garlic and 2/3 of the cheeses.
Reserve 1/3 of your cheese for later. I personally love the flavor imparted by the jalapenos as well as the smoothness of the mozzarella and slight bite of the cheddar in the sauce. The smoked Gouda was set aside, you’ll see why in a moment.
The sauce will thicken up with the cheeses added in so if it gets too thick feel free to add more milk or broth to thin it out (but do keep in mind that we do want it to be on the thicker side. For reference it should be about the consistency of canned condensed soup).
Once all the herbs and spices and cheeses are well mixed in our sauce is done!
After boiling for 15-20 minutes the bananas will be ready. We’ll drain and peel them. If you didn’t score them beforehand that’s not a problem, all you need to do it pinch the top near the stem (I use a pair of tongs to do this since the bananas will be very hot) and the skin will split which will allow you to easily peel it like you would a regular banana.
We’ll chop and partially mash the bananas but we’re not aiming for a smooth mash, instead we want it to be partially chunky.
Now, to bring the pie together! Our thick, cheesy roux sauce gets added to the mashed bananas…
…and mixed in so that each piece of banana is coated. If you like, now is a good time to taste test and adjust your seasoning to taste.
Then using the 1/3 of cheese we set aside earlier, we’ll cut it into small cubes and fold it in. Do not over mix at this step. You want the little cubes of cheese to remain whole so that they turn into cheesy pockets when we bake our pie instead of just blending in with everything. I use smoked Gouda because I love the flavor but you can use whatever cheese you like or have on hand.
After filling a baking dish with the green banana mixture, we have the option of topping it with either whole wheat panko breadcrumbs or with more cheese!
I’ve opted for the breadcrumbs since they offer a great crunch and textural variation.
After a quick bake to melt the cheese and brown the top, our green banana pie is done!
Whether used as a side dish or main dish, this pie is flavorful and addictively delicious. See the little pockets of smoked Gouda goodness sidled between our green banana chunks? The savory flavor explosion is phenomenal.
A great pairing for this dish is a Caribbean Style Stew Chicken (pictured above) which is made and seasoned with fresh herbs and spices and coated in a flavorful sauce made from a caramelized sugar base!
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out in the comments below! 💖
Clean Eat Green Banana Pie
- 8 grains green bananas
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 3 tbsp stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I use organic chicken bone broth)
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/2 cup jalapeno cheddar (shredded)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheddar blend (shredded)
- 1/3 cup smoked gouda (small cubes)
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs (or shredded cheese)
- Boil the bananas: Wash and separate the grains of bananas from each other and place them in a pot of water with a tbsp of oil. Bring the pot to a boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Make the cheesy roux: Begin by melting the butter. When it's frothy and slightly brown lower the heat to low and add the whole wheat flour and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly to avoid it from burning or browning.
- Add the milk and broth to the butter/flour mixture and whisk vigorously to ensure there are no lumps and that the roux is smooth. Raise the heat to med-high and allow the roux to bubble and thicken.
- Season the roux with the salt, pepper and dried oregano.
- Lower the heat once more and add in 1 cup of freshly shredded cheese (I used jalapeno cheddar and mozzarella/cheddar but you can use whichever cheese you like) and grated garlic and whisk until the cheese is melted and fully incorporated. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Peel and cut the bananas: Drain the water from the pot with the bananas and (using a pair of tongs) peel the bananas and discard the skins. Cut and slightly mash the bananas being sure to allow some larger chunks to remain.
- Assemble the pie: Add the cheesy roux sauce to the chunked and mashed bananas and fold together.
- Cube the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese (I used a smoked Gouda)and fold to incorporate it throughout the mixture. Do not over mix, you want the cubed cheese to form pockets and not melt and be blended into to the pie.
- Add the cheesy banana mixture to a baking dish and tamp the mixture down to create an even layer. Top with either wholewheat panko breadcrumbs or shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes until the top is browned (if using breadcrumbs) or the cheese is melted.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Lowering the heat when you add the flour to the butter for the roux is essential in allowing the fat in the butter to be wholly absorbed by the flour and cooked.