Black bean burritos with fried plantains are a wonderful mix of savory and sweet. Onions, garlic, and spices bring the beans to life. Fried plantains become caramelized and sticky sweet in a frying pan. Bring them together with brown rice and guacamole in a burrito.
It’s an easy weeknight meal that feels like a special indulgence.
Whenever I have plantains, it feels like a mini celebration.
They’re like that friend that you bump into downtown, and immediately start talking and laughing. You wonder, “Why aren’t we hanging out all the time? We should be best friends.”
Having a few fried ripe plantains in a black bean bowl or stuffed into a burrito takes up the fun quotient in a meal by at least 50%.
It’s amazing how one small addition can make such a big difference.
A black bean and rice burrito is standard. It’s nice and all. It’s the cardigan sweater of meals.
But stuff that baby with plantains? Now you’ve got a meal worth talking about.
This black bean burrito recipe was inspired by a menu item at Sage in Los Angeles. They call it the Brazilian burrito.
Savory black beans, rice for staying power, sticky sweet fried plantains, and a hefty dollop of guacamole. It’s that balance of flavors that makes each bite a surprise, making it a meal that should be in your regular rotation.
Never made plantains from scratch?
Check out this sweet fried plantains post for play-by-play pictures. It shows how ripe your plantain needs to be, as well as how to slice the peel.
Remember, for sweet plantains you want to make sure that the peel is dark with plenty of spots, and that when you press on it, there’s a gentle give.
A completely yellow or green peel means that the plantain will taste more like a potato than a banana. That’s fine and all, but not really what makes this burrito sing.
If your plantain isn’t ripe enough, allow it to ripen on the counter for a few days. (If it’s ripening too fast, move it to the refrigerator.)
Homemade or canned beans?
You can use either homemade or canned beans for this recipe. These days, I tend to use canned beans. They’re a convenient pantry staple that’s ready to go at any time. Great for weeknights!
But if you’d rather use homemade beans made from scratch, that works too.
Either use one 15-ounce can of beans that’s been drained and rinsed. Or use 1 ½ cups of cooked black beans.
Brown rice timesaver
This burrito includes the fiber-rich addition of brown rice. You can either make your own, or use store-bought frozen rice.
I buy boxes of cooked brown rice from Trader Joe’s that come with three packages to a box. Then it’s just a matter of heating the rice on the stove or in the microwave. Your call!
How to make black bean burritos with plantains
In one skillet, sauté onions and garlic in oil.
Once they’re translucent & fragrant, add the following:
- Black beans
- Ancho chili powder
Then let the beans warm & the liquid reduce.
Use a knife to cut off the ends of the plantains, as well as slice a seam down the center of the peels. Then cut the plantains into half inch pieces.
Bring a second non-stick skillet to a medium high heat with organic canola oil.
Put the plantain slices in the warm oil. Brown on each side.
Let the plantains continue to cook until they’re fully warm and soft inside.
Then put the following into warmed tortillas:
- Black bean mixture
- Fried plantains
- Cooked brown rice
What to serve with them
Black bean and rice burritos are a complete meal on their own. But if you’d like to fill them out a little more, here are some ideas of things to serve on the side:
- Pineapple salsa & chips
- Vegan chili cheese dip
- Southwest salad with grilled corn
- Loaded vegan nachos with cashew queso
- Vegan ceviche with hearts of palm
Vegan black bean burritos with plantains
For the black bean mixture
For the fried plantains
- 1-2 Tablespoons organic canola oil or other neutral, high heat oil
- 2 ripe plantains peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
For the burritos
- 4 tortillas
- 1 cup cooked Basmati brown rice
- 1 batch guacamole
To make the black bean mixture
- Bring a skillet to a medium heat with oil. Sauté garlic and onions in oil a few minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
- Add black beans, paprika, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt, and water to skillet. Cook for 5 or 10 minutes more until the beans have warmed, the liquid has reduced, and the spices have fully combined. (If the skillet gets too dry, add another splash of water.) Remove from heat and set aside.
To make fried plantains
- Bring a separate non-stick skillet to a medium high heat with organic canola oil. (Put a shallow layer of oil into the skillet. The amount will vary, depending upon the size of your skillet.) Test the oil to see if it is hot enough by putting in one plantain slice. If bubbles immediately form around it, you know it's hot enough.
- Put the plantain slices into the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd. (If necessary, work in batches.) Fry the plantains on one side until they are nice and brown, then flip them. Brown on the other side for a few minutes. Lower heat and continue cooking for several minutes more until the plantains have fully softened. (Flip again if the plantains start to burn.)
- Once they are fully browned and softened, move the plantains to a separate plate.
To make the burritos
- Warm each tortilla in a dry skillet over a medium heat.
- Move tortillas to a separate plate. Fill each tortilla with a scoop of brown rice, black beans, guacamole, and plantains. Fold in the sides and roll into a burrito. Serve right away.
Content, recipe, and photos updated September 2020. Originally posted October 2016.