Ripe sweet plantains are a delicious staple food in the Caribbean and some countries in Central and South America. They are enjoyed in different ways: fried, baked, as the main dish, as a versatile side, or as part of delicious recipes, like these stuffed ripe plantains.
Let’s start by saying that plantains are not the regular banana you are familiar with; they are a bigger, starchy version that needs to be cooked before consumption. Plantains can be used green for tostones, but when they’re ripe, they become sweet and dreamy. And if you’re wondering when plantains are ripe, just wait until they are almost black, with a few yellow spots. This will guarantee that they’re sweet, ready and easy to cook.
In this recipe, we won’t fry the sweet plantains; we’ll bake them, stuff them with tasty ground meat and sofrito and finish them in the oven with melted cheese. Craving it yet? This Stuffed Ripe Plantains recipe with Tropical Queso Blanco can be an appetizer, a snack, a family dinner, or even lunch.
Peel the plantains by cutting off the ends and making a vertical cut in the peel to remove it more easily. Place on a large baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
Bake for 20 minutes and turn the plantains over. Then cook them for 20 minutes longer or until golden brown. If not soft enough, cover plantains with foil; cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or until tender.
In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook onion and green pepper in hot oil for about 5 minutes until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove to plate.
In the same skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until well browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Add sofrito, cumin, salt, and pepper; heat to boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Make a horizontal slit down the center of each plantain, opening up the center. Spoon some ground beef mixture into each plantain. Sprinkle with shredded Queso Blanco. Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.
Top with Tropical Crema Centroamericana and enjoy!