If you've never tried a mangu recipe before, you've been missing out! I don't know where this dish has been all my life but I get why it's so loved. This dreamy Dominican-inspired recipe is mainly made of mashed plantains and it is a very warm gooey comforting dish. Surprisingly, it tastes so much like mashed Yukon gold potatoes. When I went about making this recipe, I wasn't thinking about making an AIP mashed potato substitute but that's basically what this is!
My husband and kids thought they were potatoes until I revealed the actual ingredients. This works well as an awesome AIP side dish or breakfast and doesn't require many swaps from the typical ingredients used for mangu recipes. Additionally, this dish is Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free, and Vegan.
I used this as a component for my AIP Shepherd's Pie.
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What is Mangu?
Mangu is a popular Domincan dish often eaten for breakfast. It's traditionally made from boiled mashed plantains, water left over from boiling the plantains, oil, and salt, topped with caramelized onions.
Mangu is sometimes called "los tres golpes," which is a Dominican slang term basically meaning mangu served with fried cheese, eggs, and salami.
While it's a popular breakfast dish, it can really be eaten for any meal and makes a wonderful side dish.
What Does Mangu Taste Like?
Mangu tastes like very rich creamy mashed potatoes and thus they work perfectly as an AIP mashed potato replacement.
Mangu vs. Mofongo
As mentioned above, Mangu is a Dominican dish made from green plantains that have been boiled and mashed, then combined with water, oil, and salt. Mofongo is a popular Puerto Rican dish, also made from green mashed plantains. Mangu and Mofongo are very similar dishes but they have one distinct difference. The difference with Monfongo is that the plantains are fried rather than boiled before they're mashed.
Are Plantains Nightshades?
Luckily, they are not. This is why they make such a great alternative for white potatoes which are nightshades.
Can You Eat Plantains on an AIP Diet?
Yes! They are Paleo and AIP friendly and they have a ton of great uses. Aside from being perfect for mangu recipes and AIP mashed potatoes, plantains can be made into chips, fries, breads, cookies, "noatmeal", etc. If you struggle to tolerate various AIP and Paleo flours, plantains are a fantastic tool for so many recipes.
Green Vs. Yellow Plantains
Green plantains are unripe whereas yellow are ripe. As with bananas, unripe plantains are less sweet than ripe ones. Undoubtedly, green plantains are a requirement for mangu recipes.
How Do You Cut Plantains?
There are different ways to do this but here's how I did mine:
- Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut the halves in half lengthwise again.
- Next, remove the seeds if desired.
- Finally, cut the 4 plantain pieces in half one more time but horizontally this time, so you have 8 short pieces. (How many pieces you have or how you cut them isn't crucial for this recipe- you just want smaller pieces so they cook quickly)
Do You Have to Remove the Seeds From the Plantains?
No, it's a personal preference. However, it does make for a smoother mangu if you remove them.
Mangu Recipe Ingredients:
- Green Plantains- It's important that the plantains are green, not yellow or brown. If they are yellow or brown, they will be too sweet and the dish will taste more like a dessert...but topped with onions. Weird.
- Chicken Broth- Mangu is usually made with water rather than broth but broth seems to round out the flavor really nicely. Try to go with organic if possible and look for a brand that doesn't include nightshades or additives. If you don't have broth on hand, go with water.
- Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil- I used coconut oil for this recipe because of its mild flavor and velvety texture. I wondered if the coconut oil would make the dish taste like coconut but it didn't. Both avocado oil and coconut oil work well because they are pretty mild flavored. If you'd prefer to use olive oil, that's fine too. It's really a personal preference.
- Sea Salt- Pink Himalayan sea salt is what I usually use but any sea salt should be fine.
- Garlic Cloves- Garlic isn't always used in typical mangu recipes but I think it adds another nice flavor dimension.
- Red Onions- The onions, being caramelized in apple cider vinegar have a really good tang to them and top off this dish perfectly.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- As mentioned above, ACV brings a little tang to the onions which brings a good flavor contrast to the plantains.
How Do You Make Mangu?
- Peel the plantains and cut them into large chunks.
- Boil the plantains.
- Drain the water and mash them up to your desired consistency.
- Add melted coconut oil, chicken broth, garlic, and salt.
- Saute the onions in a pan over medium-low heat until translucent. Add vinegar and salt.
- Serve the mashed plantains topped with the caramelized onions.
How Do You Make Mangu Smooth?
- Remove the seeds- This is completely optional but will make a smoother mangu.
- Be sure to boil the plantains long enough so they’re easy to mash.
- Add additional liquid as needed until you get the consistency you want.
AIP Friendly Foods to Serve with This Mangu Recipe
- Bacon slices or Pieces- Paleo on the Go has a sugar-free, nitrate-free AIP compliant bacon that is pretty reasonable. US Wellness meats also sells AIP compliant bacon.
- Ground Beef
- Avocado Slices
- Fresh Herbs- Oregano, Cilantro
- Lime Juice or Lemon Juice
- Green Onions
Mangu Recipe Tips
Consistency: The consistency of mangu is completely a personal preference. With mashed potatoes some people like smooth, and others like them lumpy. Similarly, people have their preferred way to eat mashed plantains.
Be Patient- Allow the plantains to boil for long enough to get nice and tender. This will make them much easier to mash. Take out a test piece to check for tenderness before draining the water.
Plan Ahead- As mentioned above, it's important to use green plantains for mangu so it doesn't turn out sweet. When you buy the plantains, buy them extra green and plan to use them within a couple of days as they tend to ripen pretty quickly.
How Long to Store Mangu in the Fridge
This dish will stay fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for up to about 3 days.
Can You Reheat Mangu?
Yes, just heat it on the stove or in the microwave. Mash as you reheat and add a little liquid as needed just to soften it.
If you're a fan of the cute little bowls in this post, Amazon has a ton of different ones. They're so fun!
Other Foods That Work as AIP Mashed Potato Alternatives
- Celery Root Acorn Squash
If You Like This Recipe, You May Like:
Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon Crumble
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you tried this mangu recipe: Do you think it works well as an AIP mashed potato option? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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Mangu Recipe (Mashed Plantains)- AIP/Paleo, Whole30, Vegan
- 4 green plantains
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil
- 1 cup chicken broth or water reserved from the boiled plantains
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 2 large red onions thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Peel the plantains: Cut off the ends of the plantains, then make 3-4 shallow cuts all the way down each plantain, along the ridges. Gently separate the peel from the plantain flesh.
- Cut the plantains in half lengthwise, then cut the halves in half lengthwise again. Remove the seeds if desired. Cut the 4 plantain pieces in half one more time but horizontally this time, so you have 8 short pieces. (How many pieces you have or how you cut them isn't crucial- you just want smaller pieces so they cook relatively quickly)
- Boil 1- 1 1/2 liters of water in a medium pot over medium-high heat with a dash of sea salt.
- Add the plantains to the water (make sure the water is enough to cover them completely). Boil for 20-25 minutes.
- Drain the water (If not using chicken broth for your mangu, be sure to save 1 cup of the plantain water to add back while mashing). Start mashing the plantains with a fork or potato masher.
- Add the chicken broth (or water), coconut oil, garlic, and 1 tsp salt. *Add the broth/water a little at a time up to 1 cup to desired thickness.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5-10 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the vinegar and salt. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve the onions as a garnish on top of the mangu. Enjoy!
Just made this dish and used it as the topping for an AIP shepherds/cottage pie! Thank you- the perfect savory element. Last time I used mashed white sweet potatoes but it’s nice to have something different. Didn’t make the caramelized onions but absolutely will next time!
Arika | FoodCourage says
Great!! I'm so glad you liked it.
4g of protein is a lot for one serving - on what serving size is this nutritional info based?
The onion garnish definitely makes this dish! I had to boil my plantains almost 30 minutes to get them soft enough to be mashed.
Arika | FoodCourage says
Hey Anjali, I don't recall exactly how big each serving was but I'd estimate 3/4-1 cup. I entered all the recipe ingredients into a food tracker and then divided by 4. The protein per serving may be closer to 3 grams. Currently, I use Spark People to calculate the nutritionals and depending on which version of the food item you choose, the nutritionals will be a little different. When I entered 4 large plantains, it came up with 13 g (in reality, probably closer to 10). Then it estimated 3 g for a whole onion (in reality may be closer to 2). Keep in mind too- plantains are widely variable in size so it's an estimate. Glad you liked the onions. Thanks for the feedback.