These Plantain Burrito Bowls Are the Perfect Meal Prep Dinner for Summer
These plantain burrito bowls are a festive and satisfying summertime dinner. Ripe plantains make a tropical addition to any bowl, and nutty quinoa is an ideal base to balance their natural sweetness.
We love a great bowl recipe for dinner. They’re easy to throw together, everyone can add their favorite toppings and flavorings, and you can even make most of the components ahead of time. This tropical twist on burrito bowls is no exception.
Creamy, sweet plantains are the star of the show, complemented by ripe tomato and avocado, protein-packed black beans, and cumin-spiced quinoa.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 limes, juiced, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup minced cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 2 large ripe plantains, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley (leaves and stems)
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave for vegan
- 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened dairy-free yogurt
- 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, to taste
Making Burrito Bowls with Plantain
These burrito bowls include the following components:
- Cumin-lime quinoa
- Black bean salsa with avocado and ripe diced tomato
- Crispy pan-fried plantains
- Chimichurri sauce
Start by getting the grains cooking. Then, you can begin cooking the sliced plantains in a large skillet. When you’re cooking the plantains, make sure not to crowd the pan, as you want a nice golden crust on both sides.
While the plantains sear, whip up the vibrant green chimichurri sauce. It’s easiest to do this in a high-speed blender. However, a food processor or even an immersion blender will also get the job done.
Finally, toss together the simple black bean salsa. And assemble your bowls!
Ingredient Substitutions and Swaps
The base of these bowls is quinoa, but you could easily swap in brown or white rice. Another hearty grain, like farro or barley will work too—just note the difference in cooking times.
You can also substitute the black beans for another cooked legume, such as chickpeas, red kidney beans, or white beans. If you’re not a fan of beans, you can keep the salsa simple with just avocado, tomato, and red onion.
If you don’t like the taste of raw red onion, feel free to omit them altogether or use finely sliced scallions instead.
For the chimichurri sauce, if you’re sensitive to spice, you can leave out the jalapeño pepper. Or, for more heat, feel free to leave the seeds in the pepper (that’s where most of the heat is).
The yogurt in the chimichurri sauce gives it a wonderfully thick, creamy texture. We love using plain coconut yogurt to complete the tropical feel of these bowls.
You can prep the grains, plantains, black bean salsa, and chimichurri ahead of time if you like. If you’re using this recipe for meal prep, however, it’s best to cut the avocado just before serving to keep it fresh and green.
The bowl components will stay fresh for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.
In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the grains are tender, about 12 minutes.
When the grains are cooked, stir in the juice from one lime, cumin, and cilantro.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add as many plantain slices as will fit comfortably in the pan without crowding and cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with salt, then flip and repeat on the other side. Repeat with remaining plantain slices.
To make the chimichurri, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
In a small bowl, combine the beans, tomato, avocado, onion, remaining lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the quinoa between bowls and top with plantains and black bean salsa. Garnish with chimichurri and cilantro.