Gluten Free Plantain Rice “Quesadillas”

gluten freemeat & poultry

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

I’m writing this post as I’m defrosting these quesadillas. The smells coming from the oven are making my mouth water.

Plantains are a very starchy vegetable, which makes them perfect for “molding” into things. Like with those plantain cups from Thursday. Oops, bad planning on my part! Today, I’ve made a Paleo plantain-rice “tortilla” (made with just plantain, egg and coconut flakes) that’s one of my most tastiest creations.

You’ll definitely be seeing more of these on the blog… and the cookbook (hint, hint.)

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

Since plantain is very starchy, you have to be careful if you’re going low-carb or you’re diabetic. In a medium zucchini, for example, there’s about 6 g of carbs. In one medium plantain, there’s about 57 g.

These are just too good to give up (the flavor is incredible!), so just make room in your daily nutritional intake to fit these in.

The coconut flakes and plantain are a match made in heaven – the sweetness of the coconut matches the savoriness of the plantain. While the plantain roasts in the oven, some of its sweetness comes through also.

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

The consistency is perfect – not too stiff and a bit pliable. If you try to fold these (like a taco), they’ll most likely break in half, unless you’re careful. I tired this, actually. The first time, they broke in half. With the second batch, I  roasted them for about 13 minutes instead of 15-17 and they were a bit softer, so they worked like soft tacos!

I call this a quesadilla, but really, it’s a cheesy-delicious chicken sandwich with Mexican seasonings. The Mexican spices are simple but robust – cumin, oregano, salt, chili powder and garlic.

Adding seasonings to food is a low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat way to add strong flavor to your food. I never cook with butter, so I’ve learned to effectively use fresh herbs and spices to compensate.

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

As for these “tortillas” – they’re much easier to make than they look. All you do is take one plantain, spiralize it, rice it and combine it with an egg and a tablespoon of coconut flakes. Then, you place it on a baking tray and mold it into a “tortilla” and just bake it for 15-17 minutes.

Voila – two gluten-free and Paleo tortillas ready to be piled up with chicken, veggies and most importantly, cheese.

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

These quesadillas are thick – you can spread out the plantain-rice mixture even more to create a thinner “tortilla.” Remember – they puff up slightly as the plantain cooks with the egg and hardens.

I really hope you all try this – and hashtag #inspiralized or @inspiralized so I can see!

And, to circle around back, they can be frozen and defrosted for later – and are even better that way.

Nutritional Information & Recipe

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

Gluten Free Plantain Rice “Quesadillas”

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 1 quesadilla


  • 1 medium-ripe plantain peeled, Blade C
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 heaping cup of small-cubed chicken
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 small avocado peeled, insides small-cubed
  • 1/2 large jalapeno seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese mix


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place your plantain noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like. Then, add the rice into a bowl with the egg and coconut flakes. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine thoroughly.
  • Place down a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and coat the paper with cooking spray. Roll half of the plantain mixture into a bowl and place down on one side of the baking tray. Push the ball down on the parchment paper and smooth out with fingers until its spread out evenly into a circular shape. Round the edges with your fingers. Repeat on the other side of the baking tray with the rest of the plantain mixture. NOTE: if you'd like to make thinner, larger "tortillas" - use two baking trays to really spread out the mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until hardened.
  • While the plantain mixture is baking, place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add in your chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown.
  • Add in the onions, red bell pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado and spices (cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder). Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, or until vegetables have softened. Set aside.
  • When the plantain tortillas are done, place one in a large skillet over medium heat and top with half of the cheese. Top with as much of the chicken mixture as you can fit on and then top with remaining cheese. Top finally with the other tortilla. Let cook for about 2 minutes, pressing down firmly on the top of the "quesadilla" with a spatula. Then, carefully flip over and repeat for another 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
  • Remove from heat, let cook for 30 seconds and then slice into fourths.

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

Gluten Free Plantain Rice "Quesadillas"

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celysestroh says:
These look great! Is there any way to substitute the egg?
You can try cheese or coconut flour! The egg is important for binding the plantain together.
celysestroh says:
Thanks! We don't do dairy but I may try the coconut flour mixed with some water!
Stephie G. says:
If you're looking for a way to substitute egg for binding, try mixing a tbsp. of ground chia seeds with 3 tbsp. of water. This will create a goopy binding agent that great to use as an egg substitute.
celysestroh says:
Thanks! I often use flax meal in the same respect.
B Ansel says:
Ali, in your recipes that call for coconut flakes, do you use the moist type? Or the dried ones like Bob's Red Mill?
realfoodbydad says:
What an awesome idea, love these so much! The pictures are really great too.
Carol says:
I like this idea! How is the consistency of the tortilla when it cools? I'm thinking about trying this recipe but making smaller cracker/ chip size.
It hardens as it cools!
Anonymous says:
Flax meal and water is another option for an egg substitute. It gets really goofy after you let it sit for a bit. These look so yummy!
Anonymous says:
Sorry, meant to say "goopy"
Karen says:
Can you use banana instead of plantains?
Nope! The plantains have the perfect level of starch and texture to form the quesadillas.
Such a unique recipe. Never knew that you could make plantain rice and out of it quesadillas!!
Hannah West says:
These look so good. Have you tried any other fruit/veg to make tortillas etc? I can't find anywhere in the UK that sells plantain :(
Bananamuffin says:
Plantain is very easily available try Asian & Caribbean shops. Urban supermarkets. Even my very rural Co-op recently had some, as did Morrisons in a neighbouring & not very ethnically diverse town. If not try Spices of India to buy online. Hope that helps, Bananamuffin.
susang12 says:
I live in the UK too and plantain is not something readily available ... how about using aubergine? It can be 'riced' then squeezed to remove the excess water, then combined with egg? I used it once to make a rustic pizza dough and it was delicious...
kitblue says:
This looks so yummy, I am drooling! I bought a spiralizer a while ago but haven't tried it yet.
Sarah says:
Is the coconut needed? I've never been a fan of the flavor or consistency.
Yes, it helps bind!
Sarah says:
Can you think of a good binder substitute, maybe an extra egg white?
Naomi says:
How far ahead do you think I could make the tortillas? I'm thinking about doing them at lunch for dinner, but a few days out would be even more convenient for weeknight dinners.

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