Crab Meat Piononos

Level: Intermediate
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Cooling Time:
Yields: 6 servings (2 piononos each)


Originally a cream-filled cake, piononos were named after Pope Pius IX or “Pio Nono” because he loved this confection. Italian immigrants brought different versions to Latin America, such as this savory Puerto Rican one that incorporates two island staples—plantains and seafood. Peppers, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice add depth of flavor to the creamy filling. They are also delicious filled with picadillo (ground beef hash). Serve them as appetizers or for lunch, brunch, or a light supper with Island Mojo.


  • 4 very ripe plantains, each cut lengthwise into 3, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices, cooked (fried in oil or baked in microwave*) until tender
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 6 sweet ají peppers, finely chopped or 1/4 cup cubanelle pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked crab meat, chopped shrimp or flaked fish
  • Ground black pepper and salt to taste (optional)
  • 2 slightly beaten large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • Island Mojo
  • Cooked white rice


PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 12 muffin cups.

PLACE plantain slice in each cup, bending slice to line edge of cup. Repeat with others. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green pepper, ají peppers, onion and garlic, stir occasionally, until onion is tender. Add bouillon, cilantro, lime juice, tomato and crabmeat. Mix well; remove from heat. Season to taste with pepper and salt, if desired.

DIVIDE crab meat mixture evenly in the center of each muffin cup lined with plantains. Combine eggs and evaporated milk in small glass measure. Pour milk mixture in each muffin cup (use fork to make room for milk in mold).

BAKE for about 25 minutes or until set. Serve warm alone or accompanied with Island Mojo and white rice.

NOTE: The ripe plantains can be prepared in the microwave: Cut the ends and make an incision in the peel. Wrap in paper towels. Cook one plantain on HIGH (100%) power for 3 minutes, or cook two for 5 minutes.

Works with salmon too.

by C. Christine , Eagle River, AK on Apr. 2010

I tried this with our most available fish in Alaska, salmon. And it worked. Now I have another way to use salmon.

crab meat piononos

by n. nan , Tarpon Springs, FL on Feb. 2009

love crab meat usually with something other than plantains. love plantains sauteed in butter, then add cinnamon and brown sugar and that is superb served over a nice french vanilla ice cream.

Tasty and not hard to do.

by V. VIVIAN , STONE RIDGE, VA on Mar. 2008

As a child, piononos were a favorite dinner of us. It was always done with ground beef. Trying this one with crab was different and delicious. I highly recommend everyone tries their hand with this recipe.

Good recipe.

by M. Mary , JACKSON, MS on Mar. 2008

These were good, moist and great for any occasion. I will prepare it again.

Try Something New

by P. Paula , MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA on Feb. 2007

This recipe sounded different so I read through it. I had never cooked with plantains so decided it was time to try. The recipe is simple, I used imatation crab meat - it worked just fine. Be sure and include time to make the sauce. This was a new taste for my family but was well received. It can be fun to try new tastes. It's fun to get a little info about the country of origin also. Will be making this again.