Canoas (Sweet Plantain Boats)

Canoas (Sweet Plantain Boats)


Puerto Rican sweet plantain boats filled with a delicious beef mixture and topped with creamy mozzarella cheese make the perfect savory dish to share with your loved ones.

Cook Time
48 minutes
Total Time
1 hr 3 min
4 canoas

How to Make It

1. Step
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
2. Step
Make the beef filling: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and green pepper and sauté until softened and translucent, 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook for another 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.
3. Step
Add the ground beef, breaking up with a spatula to incorporate into the vegetables. Season with the adobo, garlic powder, and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid.
4. Step
Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium-low heat, stir in the tomato sauce, and cook until heated through, 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
5. Step
Make the plantains: Heat the vegetable oil in a large, high-walled skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the plantains and fry, turning every 30 seconds or so, until golden brown on sides and soft enough to be pierced with a fork, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain until cool enough to handle.
6. Step
Transfer the plantains to a cutting board. Cut a slit lengthwise down each plantain, being careful not to cut all the way through. Use 2 forks to gently pull each plantain open. Use a fork, flat-side down, to press the base of the “canoe” to widen. Season with salt. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish.
7. Step
Fill each plantain with ¼–⅓ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, add about ½–¾ cup of the beef filling to each plantain, then top with ¼–⅓ cups more cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil.
8. Step
Bake for 20–25 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for another 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with torn cilantro.
9. Step


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