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So….these Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas…..YES!

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

I am on a huge “bowl” food kick right now. I think it’s all this healthy, fresh eating that I’m currently into at the moment. It seems that when it comes to healthy, fresh food it just works nicely in a bowl!

I don’t know, either that or I really just like making giant bowls of delicious food.

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

But umm, happy Wednesday!! I am so excited for today because I am back in the kitchen cooking. Yes! I spent Monday and Tuesday catching up on computer work (ugh) because I had people finishing up in my kitchen and photo room. They were finishing the final coat of paint and other miscellaneous things, which meant no cooking for me. I cannot even remember the last day I didn’t cook for practically the entire day. With Christmas and New Years, I’ve honestly been cooking for three weeks straight – and pretty much all of December too. My new kitchen surely got a good workout though, especially over Christmas.

Oh my gosh, I was tired, but believe it or not, I still hated sitting and staring at my computer screen all day long.

That is just so not my thing, but everyones gotta do it at some point…I guess. Bottom line is I am crazy exited to get back to cooking and photographing today. I guess I kind of love it…obviously.

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Oh, and I also spent a decent portion of my Monday night pulling my brother’s friends giant trailer full of snowmobiles out of my driveway. Yup, I didn’t even know I had it in me, but apparently I am pretty good at getting people unstuck. Even if their trailer is the biggest I have ever seen and they don’t have snow tires (ahh..yes). Who doesn’t have snow tires up here (his friend IS from Michigan though)? And yes, I do have five brothers…wonder where the heck they were?

Ah ah hmmm…..the bar. Yes, I’m serious, or at least the older ones were. Brothers.

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

And back to these Cuban chicken and black bean quinoa bowls, because my rambling is making me tired.

Doesn’t this just look so pretty and delicious? I think so, especially the delicious part. So many good flavors, so many textures. Besides being a flavor freak, I am also a texture freak, so this is totally my kind of bowl.

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Plus, hello! Cuban food. YUM!

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Now I realize there are a fair amount of steps to this recipe. DO NOT let this scare you off. I will not lie, these bowls take a little time, but nothing is that hard and you make them to your liking. I of course would not recommend skimping on even one part of this meal, because I think everything in it is a must. The fried bananas? FOR SURE? The Mangos? WITHOUT A DOUBT. The quinoa? Well, rice would totally work awesome here too, but quinoa gives us protein and whole grains. The chicken? THE BEST.

And that pretty much sums up how I feel about this meal.

Meaning I clearly love it to death, which is why my caps lock has been on way too much throughout this post. Sorry, but how else am I supposed to show you my excitement. I mean you can’t actually see me, so caps lock it is. Don’t get annoyed, just know I really, really love this bowl.

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

And I am kind of mildly (or maybe wildly?) exited for you guys to make them too. I hope you love them as much as we all did!

Oh, but before I go – fried bananas done in a savory dish? Best. Thing. Ever.

Seriously, do not be freaked by them. They are delish!

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Chili Spiced Bananas + Spicy Mangos.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 862 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 red chile seeded
  • good pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 cup + 1/4 orange juice divided
  • the juice of 4 limes + 1 lime zested
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Black Beans + Quinoa

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans rinsed + drained if using canned
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bananas + Mangos

  • 2 bananas sliced + chili powder if desired
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 red chile seeded + chopped
  • 1/2 of 1 lime juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped


  • To a blender, add the cumin, 3 cloves garlic, red chile, pinch of pepper, 3/4 cup orange juice, lime juice + lime zest, honey, soy sauce and cilantro. Blend until everything is finely chopped and smooth. Next, add the chicken to a bowl or a ziplock bag and pour half the marinade over the chicken. Toss to coat and allow the chicken to sit for 20 minutes, or even overnight, in the marinade.
  • Meanwhile, work on the quinoa. Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the oil and onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the red pepper and quinoa, cook another five minutes until the red pepper is soft and the quinoa is lightly toasted. Now pour in 3 cups of water or chicken broth, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and then simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and fluffy. Once the quinoa is done cooking, scoot it over to the side and add another drizzle of oil to the skillet if needed, add the black beans, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through. Alternately, you may just stir the black beans into the quinoa.
  • While the quinoa cooks, fry the bananas. Remove the peels from the bananas and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. Lay down your banana slices and sprinkle with chili powder if using, fry for 4-5 minutes on each side. Be sure to watch the heat and turn it down if the bananas are browning too quickly. You want enough heat to caramelize and brown the slices, but you don't want them to burn. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Add the mango, red chile, lime juice and cilantro to a bowl. Toss well.
  • To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add half the chicken and cook, 3-5 minutes or until browned all over and cooked throughout. Remove and repeat with the remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is cooked, cover with foil. Add the remaining marinade + 1/4 cup orange juice to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and cook about 5 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in some chopped cilantro if desired.
  • To serve, divide the quinoa among bowls. Top with chicken, black beans, mangos and bananas. Drizzle with the the mojo sauce and chopped cilantro if desired.
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Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Fried Bananas | @hbharvest

Thinking 2015 may be all about food in bowls? Bring it on!

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  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious! Even my husband who is a little suspicious of quinoa loved it. The sauce and the salsa are outstanding and I envision incorporating them in other future meals. Yes, there are a lots of steps but each one is pretty simple.

    1. Hey Judy,
      Happy Monday!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT

  2. 5 stars
    I LOVED this recipe so much when you first published it! This was in my rotation for several years, but in the past few, we’ve started eating vegetarian in our household. Would the marinade work with cubed tofu which we can then sear/sauté? I would think that would work, but was hoping it wouldn’t make the tofu get weird, haha. Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe!!

    1. Hey Alicia,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe so often:) I am so glad it is always enjoyed! Sure, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with tofu! Hope you’re off to a great Monday! xxT

      1. We made this tonight with tofu, and oh my goodness it’s just as delicious as I remember! Drained and pressed tofu, then cubes and marinated for a half hour. Sautéed just like the chicken and it turned out so well!! Thank you so much again, Tieghan!

        1. Hey Alicia,
          Thanks for your comment! So glad to hear that this dish was a winner, thanks a lot for giving it a go! ?xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Made this dish along with yams cooked in Coconut milk with curry, cumin, & cilantro and a Coconut Limeade beverage as a prelude to watching VIVO on Netflix! This recipe is 5 Star Fabulous!!! And our family asked me to make this one again!
    Also just a note, I dusted the banana slices with powered Gaujillio Chile – they carmelized beautifully. I also used a little achiote in making the quinoa. All the flavors blended so well! I wish we could post photos to show how well this turned out!!!

    1. Hey Jonathan,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and I appreciate you giving it a try! xTieghan

  4. 2 stars
    A finicky and labor intensive recipe that yields disappointing results. Too many conflicting flavors and not very Cuban in taste. Not to mention a recipe that was poorly laid out and not proofread. Plus all the jabber in the beginning was clearly meant to make you read all the ads.

    1. In what world is this an acceptable comment on someone’s page? Your behavior is uncalled for and repellent. If you don’t like the recipe, you may want to recall that you aren’t the only person on this planet and everyone celebrates different flavors. Attempting to break someone’s livelihood down is abhorrent. You should be ashamed.

    1. Hey Sammy,
      Those are chili peppers. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

        1. Hi Kelly,
          You are going to use a fresh Chile pepper in this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  5. 5 stars
    This is quite a tasty little recipe! I wanted to save time so I only made the chicken, then served it with cilantro lime rice and seasoned black beans out of the can. The bananas were pretty good but I’m not sure they were worth the extra cleanup — just chopped mango and some avocado felt like enough. I ended up reducing the sauce and cooking the chicken in it a little longer to make it tender, but I saved out some of the sauce in its original form and just cooked it for a few minutes with vegan butter for my vegan daughter, and the sauce is much better with less cooking (as it says to do in the instructions here). Adding a tiny bit of brown sugar on top of the chicken when searing it gave it a nice caramel color and coating, though I’d leave out the honey in the marinade on the next go-around just so it’s not so sweet, plus add more peppers (it wasn’t spicy).
    Next time I might grill the chicken and have the sauce on the side, like the sauce is meant to be served, to preserve its zesty flavor. It was bright and delicious and fresh, my favorite part of the dish. Everyone gobbled up all parts of this, not even one scrap of leftover for my lunch tomorrow. A keeper!