Vegan black bean burritos with plantains are a perfect parcel of spicy and sweet. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that feels like an indulgence.
“I kind of forget about plantains, but I could eat them every week,” David said after our second meal of plantain and black bean burritos.
He’s right. Somehow plantains fall to the background.
The little basket where they rest at the market is tucked away from my usual grocery store produce route. I can go months without making them.
But whenever I have them, it feels like a mini celebration.
They’re like that friend that you bump into downtown, immediately start talking and laughing, and then wondering, “Why aren’t we hanging out all the time? We should be best friends.”
They’re a fruit that can slide right into dinnertime.
And while we don’t eat loads of fried stuff, having a few fried ripe plantains on the side or stuffed into a burrito takes up the fun quotient in a meal by at least 50%.
It’s funny 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 vegan black bean burrito with plantains has been on my recipe to do list for years.
It stems from our visit to Sage Vegan Bistro in Los Angeles. I ordered their Spicy Brazilian Burrito. The big draw for that particular order was that the burrito came with fried plantains inside. But sadly, they were forgotten.
I remember digging around in the rolled tortilla as if I was looking for a favorite necklace in my jewelry box. Alas, they were nowhere to be found. It meant that I’d wasted one of my precious few LA meals on a bean and rice burrito.
But now the situation has been remedied. I’m happy to say that these vegan black bean burritos with plantains were totally worth the wait.
Vegan black bean burritos with plantains
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.
You can giddily catch up on old times and wonder why you don’t do this more often.
Never made plantains from scratch? Check out this post on how to fry plantains.
Remember, for sweet plantains you want to make sure that the peel is dark with plenty of spots.
A completely yellow 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.
Fried plantains are also amazing in a black bean bowl.
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 guacamole
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 avocado pitted and removed from peel
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- Pinch salt
For the burritos
- 4 regular-sized wheat or white tortillas not the extra large burrito-sized tortillas
- 1 cup cooked Basmati brown rice
To make the black bean mixture
- Bring a skillet to a medium heat with extra virgin olive 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 guacamole
- In a glass mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients with a fork until mashed and fully combined.
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.