Guineos en Escabeche (Puerto Rican Green Banana Salad): Great Thanksgiving Side Dish Idea! {Recipe}

by Melanie Edwards on November 22, 2014 · 14 comments

in Puerto Rico, Recipes

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Growing up, Thanksgiving in my family always included a mix of traditional Puerto Rican food. Along with the turkey, you could always find yellow rice on the table, sometimes beans, and many times, guineos en escabeche – green bananas tossed with sauteed onions, olive oil, and vinegar. Guineos en escabeche is easy to make and complements arroz con gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) very well. If you’re looking for a new and different Thanksgiving side dish idea, try making these Puerto Rican guineos en escabeche! And for more Thanksgiving side dish ideas, check out the Walmart Holiday Hub [aff], full of recipes and how-to videos!

Guineos en Escabeche

Puerto Rican Guineos en Escabeche Recipe (Green Banana Salad)


  • 6 green cooking bananas (If unable to find at your local Walmart, check a Latin food market.)
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups onion (your preference), julienned
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • About 5 green olives (Spanish salad olives), sliced [aff]
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 bay leaves, loosely chopped

Green Bananas for Guineos en Escabeche


1. Cut off ends from each green banana and make a slit in the peel. To do so, simply cut down the middle of the peel, being careful to not slice the banana itself.

2. With the peel still on, add green bananas to a large pot of salted water. Add milk to the pot (this helps prevent the green bananas from staining the pot) and bring to a boil.

3. Boil bananas until fork-tender.

4. While bananas are boiling, sauté onions in a small pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. You’ll want to cook onions until tender, but not over-cook.

How to Make Guineos en Escabeche

5. Remove bananas from pot, peel, and slice (about 1/2 in. – 1 in. slices).

6. In a large bowl, mix bananas with vinegar, olives, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Stir to incorporate ingredients.

7. Add onion mixture and mix well.

8. Serve as-is (warm) or refrigerate to serve later (cold). Guineos en escabeche is a great side dish to make-ahead the night before Thanksgiving!

Guineos en escabeche is widely-known in Puerto Rico and typically eaten as a side dish or appetizer, especially for parties or a family get-together. My mom typically made guineos en escabeche as one of her Thanksgiving side dishes, which perfectly complemented the rest of our Puerto Rican Thanksgiving meal!

Guineos en Escabeche

Will guineos en escabeche make it to your Thanksgiving table this year? What non-traditional side dishes do you serve for Thanksgiving?

All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™

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1 Maria Aponte November 24, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Esto es un clásico muy importante! Qué hambre!

2 Melanie Edwards November 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Delicioso, verdad?

3 Eleanor November 25, 2014 at 12:09 am

This looks yummy would of never thought of preparing bananas this

4 Melanie Edwards November 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

It is yummy! And yes, bananas can be eaten green or ripe. 😉

5 Rick Rivera December 8, 2014 at 11:46 am

My mom used to make guineos escabeche during Christmas time. She would make the with chicken mollejas and I loved it.

6 Melanie Edwards December 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Yes, many people add mollejas! But, it’s not something I personally like. 😉

7 Mara February 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I love this recipe!! It’s too bad that when my kids first tried these in PR they thought they tasted like crayons…lol! Thanks for sharing, maybe now that they’re older I can get them to try again.

8 Melanie Edwards February 6, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Crayons??! That’s funny. I hope they give it a try again!

9 Marisol January 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

What happened to the mojellas

10 Melanie Edwards January 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

I know that many cook guineos en escabeche with mollejas, but I personally don’t like them. 😉

11 Yara January 16, 2016 at 7:12 am

I’m Puertorican, I will give you a tip, if you don’t want an acid flavor or strong flavor you can use one tbsp of Brown sugar in the mix of oil and onions, we use milk when the bananas are boiling toó. Good Luck!!! And Enjoy it!!

12 Melanie Edwards January 19, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Yes, the milk is a must. Thanks for the brown sugar tip for those that may want to try it!

13 A. Llamas February 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

I remember this as a child but they didn’t slice the bananas and they also served Bacalao with it.. I loved this dish…Will have to try the banana salad.. Thanks for sharing..
Would Coconut milk do..?

14 Melanie Edwards February 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

There are several dishes we cook with guineos verdes. I know we do eat boiled guineos served whole with bacalao or other meats, which sounds like what you’re describing. That’s also delicious! I’m not sure how coconut milk would work vs regular milk, but let me know if you try it and how it goes!

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