BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

Maybe it is because I have been traveling lately, or maybe it is because it is the season of picnics, hiking, and camping, but I have really been finding myself annoyed by a lack of convenient finger food these days. So much of the AIP lifestyle involves creating delicious meals in a kitchen that require copious amounts of dishes and at the very least a fork and knife. I don’t miss the bread of my former days, but I miss the convenience and ease of a sandwich. There are also just a few things out there that don’t feel complete without some sort of bread or bun. Hamburgers and BBQ are two of those things for me. I usually eat them bun-less but given the choice I would love to sink my teeth into a nice complete sandwich and let out a happy sigh of contentment.

Earlier this week I made my NC Style Pulled Pork recipe for dinner, but I wasn’t feeling terribly excited about it so I started looking at other BBQ ideas on Pinterest ( a dangerous rabbit hole, let me tell you) I came across a few recipes for Chinese BBQ Pork Buns and I was intrigued. I had never seen these before and they just looked so delicious. I also ran across of a few recipes for pulled pork empanadas that utilized plantains in the dough so I decided to see if I could create a sort of hybrid recipe. The result was fantastic. The dough worked perfectly and was easy to manage and the flavor was delicious. Best of all there was nothing fragile about these buns like so many paleo or AIP baked goods. They are so easy to just pick up and eat, no fork or knife required.

I am definitely planning on making some more of these for picnics and road trips this summer because they are so convenient to carry around and eat and they are just downright delicious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)


BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)


4 Green plantains

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/paleo) 2 TBS Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 TBS Grass Fed Gelatin 

1 TBS Cold Water

2 TBS Hot Water

1 ½ cups of AIP Pulled Pork BBQ

1 TBS olive oil

coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take two of your green plantains, peel them, and chop them into chunks. Place them into a medium pot and cover them with water. Boil until tender when poked with a fork. Meanwhile, take your other two plantains peel them and then grate them with a cheese grater or a grater food processor attachment. Put the grated plantains into a large mixing bowl and set aside. When your boiling plantains are tender drain the water and add the plantains to your food processor. Add in the 2 TBS of olive oil , salt and minced garlic and blend until a ball of smooth pureed plantain forms. Add the ball of plantain to the mixing bowl with the grated plantain. In a small bowl combine your gelatin with 1 TBS of cold water. Stir it until combined, then add in 2 TBS of hot water a stir until the gelatin has dissolved and there are no clumps. Add your gelatin mixture to your plantain mixture and mix with an electric or stand mixer until well combined and smooth. Then, transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and either roll or mat the dough until it is between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Cut out circles that are about 3 ½ inches wide and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Continue to roll dough and cut our circles until you are out of dough. Put about 2 TBS of pulled pork in the center of each circle and then fold up the sides and roll them into complete balls. Coat the buns with olive oil and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are firm and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!





Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.


  • S – I LOVE the look of these. I’m thinking they may be a candidate for our next AIP picnic down here in Sydney. I’ll keep you posted!

  • loove the idea of these, but had a hard time makeing the dough and rolling it out. I am dead set on giving it a few more tried, if you have any ideas please share! they look so awesome and yummy

    • Hello Mona,
      What types of problems did you have?

  • I had issues, too, Mona. It was the line about using the electric mixer that got me. That did absolutely nothing (except make a huge mess)! I had to put the dough & the grated plantains & the gelatin egg into my high-powered blender with a bit of hot water to help it blend. That’s the only thing that pulled the dough together and made it smooth. Also, I used a mason jar lid as a cookie cutter-and then I used 2 cut circles to make each bun. 1 wouldn’t have fit any meat at all. 2 worked great and they still were cooked perfectly after 25 minutes. Fantastically fun recipe-just needed some adjustments 🙂 We ate them like pork cookies! They really would be great for travel or picnics 🙂 Thanks, Samantha!

    • Hello Erin, Thanks for telling me about your experience. It sounds like your blender worked well for mixing. I have a stand mixer that worked well for combining the grated plantain and the pureed plantain with the gelatin egg, but the dough does not need to be entirely smooth it just needs to be combined. As for the size, the mason jar lid would definitely be much to small. I made circle that were about twice the size of a standard mason jar lid. Making two circles and pinching them together with the meat in the middle would work just as well though. I’m glad you still enjoyed the recipe though!

      • It was fantastic 🙂 Just so you know, a mason jar lid is exactly 3.5 inches wide…which is what you said in the recipe. So you might want to change that 🙂

  • How much plantain would you say this is? Plantains can come in such different sizes!

    • all of my plantains were large so I would say that the four plantains probably equaled around or a little over 2 cups of puree. Next time I make the recipe I will measure it out and add a note. But they were large plantains.

  • Hi there! I’m making this for the first time. My ‘dough’ is not a dough at all but just a plantain puree. It’s nowhere near firm enough to to roll out and shape around the filling. What can I do at this point to save it?
    Thanks! Anna

    • I would try to chill it and see if that helps, it sounds to me though like your plantains may have been ripe instead of unripe which would make the dough less starchy and more runny.

      • Thanks Samantha

        I ended up adding a bunch of tapioca starch and coconut flour to make it less wet and and runny. It made it easier to work with but it changed the flavour and texture and I’m not sure that I like how it came out.

        My plantains were definitely very green and unripe. I had been expecting the plantains to make a firm dough like in regular baking, and after googling some videos on using plantains in similar recipes I can see that you just have to work with it as the sloppy mess that it is! ; ) I will try again.


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Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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