Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls

30 reviews / 4.6 average

Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good!


The end. And thanks for coming mmkkay baiyyyy!

Kidding. I should - WILL - stop obsessively eating this beautiful bowl of fried plantains, black beans, seasoned rice, and garlic cilantro lime slaw for at least two seconds so I can share the spicy, creamy, burrito bowl wealth with you in its internet form.

I'm not even trying to say that you should fall in love with it as hard and fast as I did, or that every person who reads this blog will like to smother their food in a garlic cilantro lime slaw and that leftover creamy sauce - I'm just letting you know that, for me, this combination is EVERYTHING.

These Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls are comfortably sitting in the Top Recipe of the Year place in my food blogger mind. I make a lot of recipes every year - some really super good, some bad, some legitimately frighteningly bad. But all that sort of fades away when I have this bowl in front of my face. Seriously, it's the best thing I've eaten all year. Don't give me a lot of time to think about that because I might be visited by a Ghost of Recipes Past and be forced to withdraw that bold statement. No, just let me have a strong, unshakeable statement for once in my Minnesota life.

Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan. | skillfulcook.us

Alright. I'm going to come clean about the story behind this recipe in list format ready go.

  • Part 1: Bjork and I went to California not too long ago. Okay ummmm it was a while ago. Maybe I'm slow. I ate delicious food and, in an effort to collect food-inspiring memorabilia, I snagged a menu from a vegan restaurant called Sage (♡) knowing that its fantastic recipe descriptions would inspire me to near-vegan greatness. There were strong feelings involved because I am a wannabe vegan. And SAGE.
  • Part 2: I found the Sage menu when cleaning out my desk, like, ten years later. But inspiring food is still inspiring food, so I opened up the menu and circled 90% of the dishes that sounded re-create-able. Starting recipe: Brazilian Burritos. The Brazilian Burritos involved mole sauce. Do you guys know/make/eat mole sauce? I thought I did, but then I made it and poured it all over my burritos, and found out that, in fact, I do NOT like mole sauce. Either that, or I got a little heavy handed with the chocolate. <- 99% likely. I rarely have a fail so bad that it finds its way into the garbage, but alas. You can't win them all. So long, mo-lay.
  • Part 3: I just couldn't leave the Brazilian Burrito theme alone, so once the house stopped smelling like an overly chocolatey mole sauce fail zone, I decided to try again. This time with a **tried and true** sauce that you may remember from these shrimp tacos. Also: arranged in an actual container from Chipotle because it's not ever going to be a REAL burrito bowl without one.
  • Part 4: A few hundred fried plantains and a gallon of sauce later, I found myself swooning over this bowl-o-love that features them golden crispy plan-taters, black beans, crispy-creamy cilantro lime slaw, and seasoned rice. And just like that, Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls were born.

*casually flips hair over shoulder*

Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan. | skillfulcook.us
Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan. | skillfulcook.us
Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan. | skillfulcook.us

In full disclosure, I'm talking to you about Plantain Burrito Bowls today from the steamy locale of New Orleans, Louisiana!

I am sort of loving the humidity, which is exactly the sort of naive we-don't-live-here statement I used to hate coming from people when we lived in the Philippines, but here I am, being that girl, pretending like I love humidity for a hot second. I don't know - it gives me bad hair excuses. It requires the wearing of a cute summer dress. It just feels good.

Also feeling good to me are the oysters and fried shrimp that are resting nicely in my belly. Except not the oysters - I chickened out last minute. 🙈 And then my food snob spirit was crushed by my real self.

Besides oysters (unless you are the person who can convince me that putting a weird, slimy, grey-ish, goobly-goop shellfish alien creature in my mouth is going to be a likable experience), what else do we need to be eating in NOLA?

Hurry up plz - we have, like, two minutes before we go home.


Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan. | skillfulcook.us

Source notes: This recipe was previously titled “Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls” but was updated in August 2021 to better reflect and respect the cultural origins from which this dish came from. While this burrito bowl was inspired by a delicious Brazilian-inspired restaurant meal I had, it is not a traditional Brazilian dish. Just a delicious fusion of fried plantains, spicy sauce, rice, beans, and all the fixings!

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Brazilian Burrito Bowl with limes.

Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls


Spicy Plantain Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good // almost vegan.


Units Scale

For the Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups white long grain rice, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa (mild, medium, or hot! you decide)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter

For the Black Beans:

  • 2 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons EACH chili powder and cumin

For the Garlic Cilantro Slaw:

  • 1/4 cup EACH oil and water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (less if you're sensitive to garlicky things)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (I just used a bagged slaw mix)

For the Plantains:

  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 green plantains


  1. Rice: Place the ingredients in a rice cooker and cook until done.
  2. Black Beans: Heat the black beans with the spices in a small saucepan until warmed through, adding a little water or oil as necessary. Keep heat on low to keep warm.
  3. Slaw: Pulse the oil, water, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, lime juice, and Greek yogurt in a food processor until mostly smooth. Toss the cabbage with enough sauce to coat - reserve the remaining sauce.
  4. Plantains: Peel the plantains and chop them into chunks about 1 inch wide. Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet so the plantains will be partially covered in oil. Preheat over medium high heat. Add the plantains, fry for a few minutes (you should see bubbles - if not, turn up the heat), flip and fry for a few more minutes, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Smash them with the back of a wooden spoon until they break open slightly. Put back in the oil and fry for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate; sprinkle with salt. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, like French fries. 😀
  5. Assembly: Serve a scoop of rice, beans, and slaw into the bowls. Add the plantains on top with a few cilantro leaves. Drizzle with extra sauce. DEVOUR.


These make for great leftovers! The plantains won't be as crispy, but IMO they're still good heated up a day or two later. 🙂

The slaw is the one element that should not be tossed together until you're ready to serve. If making ahead, just save everything separately in the fridge and toss the slaw together just before serving.

To make this vegan, sub the Greek yogurt in the sauce with a vegan alternative or just use a little more oil to make it more like a dressing.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Brazilian-Inspired

Keywords: plantain recipe, burrito bowls, spicy bowl recipe

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Food GENIUS.
    there…I said and you earned it
    Making this PRONTO…or realistically…when I locate plantains in middle Georgia.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I am always surprised how easy it is to find them here in MN! they always have them at my regular grocery store! 🙂

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Out of curiosity, where do you shop for most of your groceries? I’m in Prior Lake and haven’t been able to find a few of the things in your recipes at Lunds.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      laughing out loud that you ACCIDENTALLY ate some. I did have chargrilled oysters which were phenom! fried next, raw last. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks delicious.
    I think the slaw makes it for me, im a big slaw fan. i could eat it straight out the tub and have been known just to eat that in a sarni. ( ahh , student days)
    I also have never tried plantaines, maybe its because im from the uk. i shall keep an eye out.
    Can’t wait to give it a go.
    thanks for sharing

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this idea so much! Who needs meat with all that good stuff in the bowl?

    On the subject of mole, I used to hate it because it’s so strongly flavored, but then I learned to love it when I was teaching in TX and one of my kid’s moms would bring me her homemade version, which was so good. I’ve made it but it has about a thousand ingredients, and tastes way better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two…just seems like a lot of work to put in a burrito. This garlic cilantro sauce looks just as amazing to me!

    P.S. I also weirdly enjoy smotheringly hot, humid weather. Hope you have an amazing time in Nola!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      just seems like a lot of work to put in a burrito — agree 100%! I was like… why am I even making this? I don’t even like it. But maybe I’ll keep working on the recipe for the future…

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh yum! My dad grew up in Brazil so we used to have beans and rice for dinners regularly. I thought it was the most delicious, simple meal. This recipe is bringing back those memories. I am going to have to make this for my family now. It looks like a hit!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks absolutely delightful! I love the colors and all the excitement around it! I’ll have to try this out because I’ve never made plantains at home, but this looks like such a delicious reason to start!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay,

    Sometimes menus might not be the best source of knowledge about a country’s cuisine, especially a cuisine as misunderstood as Brazil’s. I lived in Brazil for quite a few years and aside from the fried plantains in the recipe, Brazilians don’t eat this. Or anything like it. First and foremost, burritos are not Brazilian. They are Mexican. When in Brazil, you can basically only find burritos in Mexican restaurants, which are infrequent at best. Even in regards to the original inspiration, molé is Mexican and is essentially absent in Brazilian cooking. Cumin and chili powder are also virtually unused in the overwhelming majority of Brazilian homes and you will never find them in beans, which are typically served unsalted and as a side for rice and greens or as part of a feijão. Brazilians do not prepare rice in the fashion described, either. A very few Northeastern Brazilians make a very distant cousin of salsa, but it is rare anywhere outside that region. Brazilians have almost no spicy food. Throughout the North, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and the South, a spritz of black pepper is enough to send people begging for the spiciness to stop. As a last note, slaw is distinctly European, though in Paraná through Rio Grande do Sul you’ll find people who make it due to the European (particularly German, Italian, Polish and Ukrainian, though the Ukrainians don’t make much slaw) heritage of the people there. That said, most of the Brazilians who do make it are of Polish heritage and as such produce a slaw with onion, green pepper, carrot and, surprisingly, sugar alongside the cabbage. Very different than the preparation found here.

    In other words, I’m not exactly sure how this qualifies as a Brazilian burrito when it in large measure does not identify with Brazil. The pictures are GORGEOUS, the cooling impact of cilantro is perfect for summer and it seems to be very healthy. Plus the fried plantains (which ARE very Brazilian) look like they were done exactly the way they do them in Brazil. It might be a good idea to research a country’s cuisine before putting labels on recipes, though. I’m sure that you meant nothing malicious by it, nor did the restaurant that inspired the dish.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        In Lindsay’s defense, I don’t think she meant that this was a Brazilian dish. It’s kind of a fusion of flavors with a little Brazilian influence from the main ingredient of tostones. The rest is in fact “Mexican” influenced which is why the Chipotle paper bowl is used. We have a restaurant here in Scottsdale called Sumo Maya. They serve Japanese influenced Southern Mexican food. So to sum it up, I didn’t get the impression that she was trying to pass this off as authentic Brazilian food, but rather a fusion creation of flavors inspired by a vegan restaurant she once visited.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Wilson is right.
      As a brazilian, born and raised, I went like crazy to see what Lindsay had prepared for “us” this time. Rarely I torn my nose for some ingredient … but got a little sad, have to admit, because whatever this dish has, it’s a Mexican recipe. Brazilians eat, definitively rice and beans ALL the time, but white and black respectively.
      In some parts of the country, they use to have some sort of “sweet” as BANANA, not plantanos, even though on the Northeast they fry the salty green bananas but … with sugar and cinnamon.
      And ALWAYS, a piece of meat … chicken, linguica (sausage), beef (for sure not tenderloin).
      With this wave about “healthy”, they are serving tofu as protein … healthy my “patushky” because 95% of the tofu produced today is make with soy that was plant/grows using GMOs seeds. But this is another discussion.
      And old “school” like me, we call MEAT, not PROTEIN.
      BEEF is BEEF … edamame is … well … the thing that is served at japanese rest.
      There is not such thing “starch and starch” … it’s RICE and POTATOES.
      But HEY! Amazing recipe … amazing taste … amazing pictures!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Wilson – I definitely didn’t mean to make any authentic claims here. Without knowing much about Brazil’s food, I just assumed that the burrito part was Mexican-inspired and the plantains, rice, and beans were Brazilian-inspired, and therefore it became somewhat of a creative mashup (and not even my creative mashup, at that, since it was inspired by a restaurant). I appreciate you shedding some light on the food in Brazil!

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      Who cares! It looks delicious! The fried plantains are called tostones and are from the Caribbean, but again, who cares!

    4. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thank You!!! I’m Brazilian and isn’t such a thing as Brazilian Burrito. The food looks amazing but we don’t eat burritos. I believe burritos a Mexican food.

    5. Skillful Cook Logo

      Being Dominican, I love plantains! Most Brazilians I’ve talked to though don’t even know what plantains are 🤔. They think it’s a green banana which it’s not. Cilantro isn’t even that popular I don’t think either in Brazil. They tend to use parsley more. Tomato sauces/products and spicy foods is definitely not Brazilian. They don’t even put ketchup on their burgers or pizza sauce in their pizzas (they claim to have pizza sauce, but I don’t taste any). Maybe this dish would be better called Central American, but of course calling it Brazilian makes it sound more exotic or whatnot 😜😏

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks yummy–although I’m not sure if I want to fry plantains in the summer…

    While in NOLA, have beignets, a muffaletta sandwich, and some FRIED oysters (not so gloopy that way). Enjoy!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    You must must MUST go to Liuzza’s by the Track for their BBQ shrimp poboys. Because to them, Cajun BBQ = marinated in butter overnight with heaps of fresh black pepper and thyme. Girl.. just. Just go. I beg of you. BEG.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so glad you are enjoying your travels! I was in NOLA for spring break and it was my food-cation. So fabulous! Best place: Willie Mae’s Scotch House. Best Fried Chicken and Best Red Beans and Rice. It’s a little house off the beaten path, but that doesn’t stop the line running out the door. FAB-U-LOUS! They are even featured on Food Network. Great place and a really humble group of people. Let me know what you think if you go!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Starting with BAKED oysters, is my advice. They’ll cover them with melted cheese and other goodness and then you can add cocktail or tabasco sauce (Or both. Recommend!) and eat them on crackers and by the time you fall in love with them THIS way it’ll be impossible to imagine NOT trying them fried and also RAW with a side of good beer because YUM. Trust me!!!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my gosh…I do have to try this. I’m missing some of your sweeter recipes, since you went on the sugar-free wagon, and I have a huge sweet tooth. Savory is great, but sometimes I just want a good ol’ chocolate cake, you know? Anyway, this is the first savory recipe I’ve seen from you in a few weeks that I MUST try. I can’t stand how good it looks. I have to have it!

    And…ummm…the whole aunthenticity issue of is-this-actually-Brazilian? I don’t care. I’m gonna stuff my face either way. Thanks for sharing.