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Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Black Beans & Mango Salsa

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Mango Salsa – This easy vegan burrito bowl gets tons of flavor from black beans, cilantro lime rice, crispy plantains, and a fresh mango salsa. (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Crispy Plantains, and Fresh Mango Salsa. Lime Wedge and Jalapeño Garnish.

This post is written in partnership with Sprouts Farmer’s Market–my favorite stop for fresh produce, gluten and dairy free goodies, and so much more! All opinions are my own.

Build-your-own dinners are my family’s favorite kind of dinners. Why? Well no one flat-out refuses the meal because it’s “ruined” (aka mixed together). AND everyone builds their own combinations, so both my picky eaters feel MUCH happier getting to eat something they “made.”

Burrito bowls are one of our favorites–both kids love rice and each one loves to mix and match options for the toppings. These vegan plantain burrito bowls with black beans and mango salsa are a BIG WIN.


Ingredients for Fresh Mango Salsa - Diced Mango, minced jalapeño, fresh cilantro, diced red bell pepper, and minced red onion.

What Makes This Recipe Great:

Everyone Can Build Their Own! To start with, kids often feel more likely to try and eat new foods when they feel like they have some control. Build-your-own dinners eliminate short-order cooking and give kids a sense of ownership and participation in their meal. A win for everyone!

Fresh Mango Salsa – Next, I love, love, love this quick homemade mango salsa. Sophie (my mango lover) does too! Ripe, juicy mango brings sweetness, while a little onion, cilantro, lime, and jalapeño round out the flavors. And YOU control the heat in this mango salsa. Don’t miss my tips for controlling the heat below!

Quick Cuban Black Beans – Then, there’s the beans! These are shortcut seasoned black beans with a Cuban-inspired twist. Pantry staple spices like Sprouts organic cumin and chili powder wake up canned black beans and give them a cooked-all-day flavor without much effort! (I love Sprouts’ no salt added organic canned black beans!)

Cilantro Lime Rice – I love this combination. Adding cilantro and lime juice brightens up plain rice and makes it extra delicious. Feel free to swap in brown rice, or cooked quinoa for a more nutrient-dense option. Or, take a lower-carb route and go for cilantro lime cauliflower rice!

Crispy Plantains – No deep-frying necessary! I’ve pan-fried some plantains in just a little bit of high-heat oil (see my notes below) and the end result is delicious. A little crispy, a little salty, a little starchy…they’re perfect!

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Crispy Plantains, and Fresh Mango Salsa. Lime Wedge and Jalapeño Garnish.

New to Plantains? Here’s What You Should Know:

They’re not bananas. They *look* like bananas and they’re often sold near the bananas, but plantains are not bananas. They’re actually a starchy cousin of the banana, and they typically don’t taste very sweet. Like bananas, they’re a great source of potassium, but they have more fiber and they’re more like a potato in texture–starchy and light.

They need to be cooked. Unlike a banana, which you can easily eat raw, you’ll probably want to cook your plantains before eating them.

Green vs. Yellow vs. Brown. Green plantains look like super unripe bananas, but are totally usable. They cook up more crisp and starchy and make great chips or crisps. When the plantains turn yellow, they take on a sweeter taste and will get nice and caramelized when you cook them. They’re perfect for making fried plantains! By the time they get to the brown/black stage, they’re still perfectly find to eat, but they’ll be at their sweetest and would be more likely to be used as dessert.

Where to Find Them – They’re a fantastic grain free starchy option that works well for paleo eaters and grain eaters alike. I get them at Sprouts near the bananas. They’re inexpensive, easy to fix, and a fun meal option to add into your rotation!

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime rice, Cuban Black Beans, Fresh Mango Salsa, and Crispy Plantains mixed together.

Notes on these Vegan Burrito Bowls:

Some Like it Hot (and Some Don’t!) – You can easily control the heat in this dish to match your spice tolerance. The amount of heat below is great for mild salsa lovers, but you can easily add more jalapeño to turn up the heat, or add a little chipotle chili powder to the salsa to spice things up even more! If you like it super-duper mild, I’ve also got a tip for that in the recipe notes!

Tricks for Plantains – I buy my plantains green and let them ripen to the yellow stage on the counter. It only takes a day or two, but then I don’t have to worry about them going brown before I get to them. It’s easy to keep an eye on them this way! (I actually do the same thing with avocados–works like a charm!)

High Heat Oil & My Favorite Tips for Getting Perfectly Golden Plantains – I like to cook my plantains in a cast iron pan. They get the most even golden color on cast iron. Do know that cast iron retains heat a bit better than other pans do, so if you find your plantains are browning faster than you like just turn the heat down a bit. For frying, I always recommend high-heat oil. You can choose avocado (more neutral in taste) or coconut oil (which will add some sweetness), which both hold up well under high heat.

Other Goodies to Add to These Bowls – These are terrific as written, with cilantro lime rice, quick Cuban black beans, mango salsa, and crispy plantains. If you want more crunch, you could easily add a scoop of my honey lime cilantro slaw (swap agave for the honey for a vegan version!). I also love adding a drizzle of tomatillo ranch and some sliced avocado (who’s surprised?) or some fresh guacamole to top them off!

PS – Not Vegan? You might like to add some beef carnitas or sweet pork to your burrito bowls.

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Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Crispy Plantains, and Fresh Mango Salsa with Tomatillo Ranch Dressing Drizzled on Top. Lime Wedge and Jalapeño Garnish.

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Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Crispy Plantains, and Fresh Mango Salsa. Lime Wedge and Jalapeño Garnish.

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Mango Salsa


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: about 4 servings 1x

Description

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Lime Rice, Quick Cuban Black Beans, Fresh Mango Salsa, and Pan-Fried Plantains are the perfect meatless meal to add to your meal plan! 


Ingredients

Scale

For Cilantro Lime Rice:

  • 1 cup white rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • ¼ cup finely minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For Pan Fried Plantains (Tostones):

  • 12 medium yellow plantains, peeled and sliced into ½” thick slices
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil or coconut oil
  • Salt

For Fresh Mango Salsa:

  • 2 cups diced mango (about 3 yellow or 2 red mangos)
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 Tbsp. minced jalapeno*
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • Salt and pepper

For Quick Cuban Black Beans:

  • 2 cans Sprouts Black Beans, drained but not rinsed (I like no salt added)
  • 1 tsp. Sprouts chili powder
  • ½ tsp. Sprouts cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Start the Cilantro Lime Rice:

  1. Add rice, water, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan.
  2. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then reduce heat to LOW and allow rice to steam for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  3. When the rice is cooked, remove lid and stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste. Gently fluff with a fork to combine.
  4. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, lime juice, or cilantro as needed.

Meanwhile, Start Plantains:

  1. Slice your plantains into ½” slices.
  2. Heat avocado or coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, add sliced plantains to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining plantains until they’re all cooked.
  4. When all the plantains have been cooked, flatten the plantains. To flatten, place the cooked slices between sheets of parchment paper and press down on them with the bottom of a glass, or the back of a spoon.
  5. Return flattened plantains to your skillet and cook an additional 2-3 minutes per side. Season generously with salt, to taste.

While the Plantains are Cooking, Make Your Mango Salsa:

  1. Combine diced mango with bell pepper, red onion, minced cilantro, 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, and the juice of 1 lime. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Taste for seasoning, adding additional jalapeno, lime juice, salt or pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For Quick Cuban Style Black Beans:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cans (drained, but not rinsed) of black beans with chili powder and tsp. cumin until the beans are warm. Keep on low heat until ready to serve.

To assemble burrito bowls:

  1. Layer cilantro lime rice, Cuban-style black beans, mango salsa, and cooked plantains.
  2. Add additional toppings as desired (such as guacamole, avocado, or tomatillo ranch).

Notes

*Some Like it Hot (and Some Don’t!) – The amount of heat above (about 1 Tbsp) is great for mild salsa lovers. Jalapeños vary in spiciness, so it’s always a good idea to start small and add more as you go. If possible, wear gloves or protect your hands while handling jalapeños as their oils can be irritating to skin, nose, and eyes. To add more spiciness, add more jalapeño, or 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder to spice things up even more! If you like it super-duper mild, you can try skipping the jalapeño and just sprinkling on a bit of chili powder or cumin over your mango salsa (start with 1/8 tsp and add from there, to taste.)

Tricks for Plantains – I buy my plantains green and let them ripen to the yellow stage on the counter. It only takes a day or two, but then I don’t have to worry about them going brown before I get to them. It’s easy to keep an eye on them this way! (I actually do the same thing with avocados–works like a charm!)

High Heat Oil & My Favorite Pan for Getting Perfectly Golden Plantains – I like to cook my plantains in a cast iron pan. They get the most even golden color on cast iron. You can choose avocado (more neutral in taste) or coconut oil (which will add some sweetness), which both hold up well under high heat.

Other Goodies to Add to These Bowls – These are terrific as written, with cilantro lime rice, quick Cuban black beans, mango salsa, and crispy plantains. I also love adding a drizzle of tomatillo ranch and some sliced avocado (who’s surprised?) or some fresh guacamole to top them off!

PS – Not Vegan? You might like to add some beef carnitas or sweet pork to your burrito bowls.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Cuban

Keywords: cuban black beans, mango salsa, cilantro lime rice, burrito bowls, plantains, fried plantains, tostones, vegan burrito bowl, gluten free burrito bowl, cuban burrito bowl, beans and rice

Vegan Plantain Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Crispy Plantains, and Fresh Mango Salsa. Lime Wedge garnish.

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12 Comments

  1. These bowls are absolutely amazing!!! I have made this several times and it’s always delicious!! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe

  2. OMG my husband and I loved this recipe, everything goes so we’ll together! One of my favorite recipes, thank you so much! 🙂

  3. This was AMAZINGLY full of FLAVOR!! I love how you can include what you like best and each person can pick their own ingredients. I spiced it up as I like heat, finished it with drizzled toasted sesame oil, radish sprouts and dollop of Sriracha. Next time I’m going to try it with a poached egg as well! YUM, YUM, YUM! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kelly – I’m SO HAPPY to hear that! That’s wonderful! We love this dinner so much. I love your idea of sesame oil + radish sprouts + sriracha! I bet that was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Love this recipe and will make this in lieu of plantain black bean tacos from now on. I used Greek yogurt in the dressing in lieu of mayo and it really kept the flavors of the entire dish fresh and tangy.

  5. We made these burrito bowls pretty much as written except we air-fried the plantain instead of pan frying it. We opted to add in 1 diced avocado as well. This meal was such a treat! We will definitely be making it again and again while mangos are in season. Thank you for sharing!

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