Easy Recipe: Black Bean and Cheese Canoas (Sweet Plantain Boats)


When I first started my business, one of my friends from Puerto Rico asked me “what about the canoa?” Not being Puerto Rican myself, he had to explain it to me, but as soon as he did I was obsessed. Canoas are sweet plantains stuffed with protein (like beef, chicken, or beans). Flavorwise, they’re a perfect combo of sweet and savory, and I loved how quickly and easily they came together.

I adjusted a classic canoa recipe to be vegetarian (makes for easier prep too), and made it roasted instead of fried for less clean up and active cooking time.

Altogether, this recipe will take about 25 minutes start to finish, if you start with pre-cooked beans. Serve with a simple side salad (I prefer tomato and avocado slices) for an easy and satisfying weeknight meal.

Important tip: Make sure you use a ripe plantain to get the sweet flavor and ensure accurate cooking time. Choose a plantain with mostly yellow and brown peel, or pick a plantain with a green peel and store at room temperature on your countertop for several days until the peel turns yellow and brown.

plate with baked sweet plantains and sliced avocado and tomato

Black Bean and Cheese Canoas Recipe

Black Bean and Cheese Canoas

Sweet plantains stuffed with black beans for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: plantain, skillet recipe, vegetarian, weeknight dinner
Servings: 2
Author: Krista Linares


  • 2 Ripe Plantains
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 – 3 tbsp queso oaxaca or your favorite shredded cheese
  • 2/3 cup cooked black beans canned is fine


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat
  • Place 3 tbsp olive oil in the skillet, heat until shimmering
    3 tbsp olive oil
  • Peel the plantains, leave the plantains in one whole piece
    2 Ripe Plantains
  • Place the plantains in the warmed skillet and brown on all sides (7-10 minutes)
  • Remove the plantains from the skillet and place in a baking dish.
  • Cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of each plantain. Use two forks to widen the opening.
  • Place a small sprinkle of cheese into the opening in the plantain.
    2 – 3 tbsp queso oaxaca
  • Add 1/3 cup of black beans into the opening.
    2/3 cup cooked black beans
  • Add another sprinkle of cheese on top of the black beans.
  • Place the plantains in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Plantains are done when the cheese is melted and golden brown on top.

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