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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: 819 kcal

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

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  • 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.

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
    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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 5 stars
    So delicious!! My family couldn’t get enough of it. I made it with chicken but also made a shrimp version and tofu for all the different eaters in my house. Everyone was so happy.

  5. 2 stars
    The flavors were pretty good. But this was 1. A pain to follow the recipe. 2. Took much longer to make than the recipe lists. 3. Made a mess of the kitchen, so many pans, bowls, etc. I so wanted this recipe to be awesome, but for the reasons listed above, I don’t think the finished dish was worth the effort/mess.

    1. Hi Less! I am really sorry to hear that! Is there anything I can help you with? Please let me know! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Let me preface this by saying I’ve had alot of experience cooking and eating really good food. I worked in a professional kitchen, so from filet mignon,to coq au vin, and back to butter chicken Thali I’ve seen alot, and this is absolutely one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. It’s so mind bogglingly simple yet every part of this dish is bursting with flavor. It’s as if ever part was a world class musician, and you’re attending a symphony orchestra of perfectly coordinated flavors. 11/10 would pay 40 bucks for this in a restaurant.

    1. Haha wow that is so amazing! I am so glad this turned out so well for you, Jon! Thank you so much for trying it! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious! Bravo! I cheated and used the already cooked red quinoa from Costco but added your ingredients to it. Just amazing!

  8. Follow up….All of the textures and flavors of this dish worked wonderful together. My favorite part was the fried bananas and the flaked sea salt sprinkled on them is a must. That was my favorite part of this dish. I couldn’t get enough of those bananas!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this a few days ago and I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It involves many steps and its really a lot of work but the end result was incredible. I’ve never had fried bananas before. Guess what I’m going to put my ice cream with a bit of chocolate? I learned you really need to cut the bananas at least 1/2 inch thick or they fall apart while cooking. So, so good!!

  10. 5 stars
    This was a great dish! I made it yesterday for family. I used brown rice instead of quinoa. I also put crushed red peppers in the rice along with some additional seasonings to give it a bit more umph. My challenge was with the plantains (didn’t use bananas). I could not get them to caramelize. I used chicken thighs instead of breast because that’s what I Jason hand. All in all this dish was full of amazing flavors. I will definitely be making it again! Hopefully, improving the plantains.

    1. Hi Shon! I am so glad this turned out so well for you! Please let me know if you have any questions! xTieghan

  11. This looks awesome and I can’t wait to make this. Just wondering though if you think there would be much difference in taste or texture if we were to cook these on the grill? I’ll also probably give this a go with chicken thighs instead, as my husband is not a fan of breasts. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jillian,
      I think these would be great on the grill! I hope you love the recipe and please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  12. This looks delicious. I’m looking forward to making it. My only problem is that I absolutely dislike cilantro (I know I know). Can I replace the cilantro with parsley or another herb?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lorrie! You can use either parsley or basil! Either will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    We loved the flavors of this meal! It did take more prep than I usually do but it’s worth it once in a while. My only comment would be that the amount of quinoa it calls for was excessive for us- hubby and I both would have preferred the beans to play more of a part. Next time I’ll reduce the quinoa to 1 cup. Thanks for a yummy recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    One of my absolute favorite meals ever! I never knew how amazing fried bananas are until this recipe, but the whole dish is just exploding with so much flavor and variety. Yet it all works. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made this now! Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    Good lord this was good! Made it a couple weeks back, and I’m making parts of it again this coming week! The quinoa-black-bean-pepper mix is delicious, and varied in flavor and texture enough to stand as its own dish, which is what I’m doing with it later this week. I also love love love the mango salsa. My only recommendation for this recipe: more! specifically, I would recommend doubling the mango salsa to give the right amount of freshness and acidity to the dish. I also made extra to go with some black bean burgers, and it paired really well. Also a quick tip if you’re impatient like me and can’t wait for the mangoes to ripen, you can just cook them a little in the pan to bring out some of the sweetness. Actually, I found that I preferred the salsa warm to cold. Lastly, don’t skip the chili powder on the bananas! Adds a welcome kick to cut their density.

  16. 5 stars
    This was soooooooooooo delicious!! So many different flavors and textures bursting on my tastebuds! I used a plantain instead of banana, My only recommendation would be to drain or dry chicken from marinade so it browns more easily. Otherwise….a fabulous meal.

  17. I tried making this yesterday and ran into some quesitons. In the instructions it mentions to add cilantro to the marinade but didn’t see it in the ingredients for the marinade. Also, i bought bananas, but seem to think that maybe it should have been plantain bananas. can you clarify? thanks,

    1. HI, the cilantro is a typo, sorry about that. The bananas are just regular bananas. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night. It took me a lot longer to make than the 30m prep + 30m cook time indicates here, but I may be a little slower in the kitchen than some top-notch chefs. Oh well! It was totally worth the time because this recipe is so delicious! My suggestions: Definitey use the chicken broth to cook your quinoa. It might be possible to downsize on the 1.5 cups quinoa. I have a considerable amount leftover after serving generous portions.

  19. 5 stars
    wow – this was truly delicious! I could only find microwavable quinoa so simply cooked it as explained on the packet and then added to the pan with the fried onions and peppers for a few minutes to get the flavour. There are a lot of steps but nothing complicated and very much worth it – YUM

  20. Hey, how many servings does this yield? I’m making this dish for my workplace lunch club this week and hoping to feed about 12 people!

    1. This will serve about 4 people, so I would triple the recipe. Let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love the this. thanks! 🙂

  21. We’ve made this recipe multiple times… and about to start making it tonight… because it is soooo delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  22. I love this recipe, and I’ve made it a few times now. I uploaded my adaptation on my blog today, if you would want to check it out. I was in Cuba in 2015 and was extremely let down regarding the food, however this is such an amazing dish.

    1. Hey Stine Mari! I am so glad you like this recipe, especially because you did not enjoy the food in Cuba. Yours on your blog looks great and thanks for mentioning me ?

  23. Any thoughts on trying to make this chicken in a crock pot? Would most likely be a different texture but would it work?

    1. I think it would work great actually. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  24. I am obsessed with this dish and make it regularly. However, I CANNOT get my chicken beautiful and browned like yours. What’s the secret? I use medium high heat with oil in the pan. I squeeze out all the extra marinade possible to chicken is dryish but it’s still white.

    1. Hmm, I am honestly not sure. I just cook the chicken in the pan as directed. Is it possible you are cooking the chicken a little too long? That might be cause the outside to look dry. Maybe hight the heat to brown the outside of the chicken. Let me know if I can help in any other way. Thanks!

  25. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is nothing Cuban in this dish, I should know I’ m Cuban. Cuban food is not spicy n we don’t eat quinoa and platanos maduros (plantains the ripe ones) don’t need anything but it did photograph great.

    1. Did you try the recipe? What was your opinion on taste and flavor?

      Oh! You are making a pointless comment about the WORD Cuban? Really?!

      I made this recipe and it was REALLY REALLY good. It was a bowl full of flavor and interesting to eat. Perfect for a girls night in with wine night!

      Thanks for the great recipe and keep up the awesomeness!

      1. Awe! Thank you so much, Ana! Thrilled you enjoyed the recipe so much and your kind words have me smiling big!!

    2. Exactly what bubble did anyone burst?? lol In my opinion, she can call it whatever it is she wants. Let’s just agree to disagree on who the heck cares what it is called. However, this dish is absolutely delicious and I am thrilled to have found it!

  26. This has become one of my favorite recipes! Making it for the third time tonight for my son’s birthday dinner. I noticed the pictures show the quinoa and beans plated separately, not mixed as the recipe directs. I made it like the picture, except with rice. Also, I made a sauce with 1/2and1/2, sour cream, cayenne pepper, salt, coriander, and chili powder. I drizzled it on the chicken and beans. Delicious!! Thanks for posting!

    1. WOW!! So happy you like it so much Peter!
      Sounds delicious!! Thanks so much (and happy birthday to your son)! 🙂

  27. Please view your website content on other media – maybe because I am trying to view this on my phone – but I cant read the first parts of the marinade because it is backdropped by the pic.

  28. This really looks delicious! One thing though, I was looking through your blog and you use quinoa in quite a few recipes. I read that because of the recent popularity of quinoa in the Western world the prices have tripled in only a couple of years, and now people in South America can no longer afford quinoa, which was one of their staple grains. Also, a lot of land that used to produce all sorts of products, is now becoming quinoa monoculture. I wondered if you could maybe use less or no quinoa in your recipes anymore?
    This does still look like a great recipe, and I’ll definitely give it a try, but with rice.

    1. Hi! Yes, I do like quinoa a lot, but please feel free to replace the quinoa in any recipe with rice or a grain you love. Thank you!

  29. I wish there was a prize to give you for this.
    Absolutely delcious and healthy.
    Most beauitiful combination I have ever seen.
    Just WOW…

  30. I am going to try this, this evening. Sadly I don’t have the time to marinade over night, which is obviously ideal, but I bet this is still going to taste yummy! Will let you know what I think, but it’s perfect for me because I want healthy and tasty.

      1. Good Morning all. To begin with, the dish is beautiful. It’s so tasty and healthy which is a really nice break away from the usual snore-fest that so many recipes offer. I was quite rushed yesterday evening and so I found it very difficult to follow the instructions. Personally I found them a little confusing, but then my wife argued they were quite straight forward (lol) –

        There are a number of separate steps required in this dish in order to make it happen. An example of where I was confused was whether to cook the chicken with the marinate in the pan or to extract the chicken on it’s own completely and cook it, whilst then adding butter etc to the marinate on it’s own. I also got confused about how much juice to use at certain points.

        Like I say, I was rushed though.

        Taste wise it’s a big hit, and the mango pieces work a treat against against the spice. It would also work very well with pineapple I reckon. It’s lovely to be able to throw it all into one bowl and chow it down without having to worry about eating unhealthily. Thank you so you much for this dish. We will be definitely making it again

  31. This sounds incredible and I’ve been wanting to make it for a good month lol! Do you think Jasmine rice would go well with this instead of quinoa? My bf and I aren’t crazy about quinoa…if not jasmine, would any other starch work?

  32. WOW!! ??? Just made this tonite and Everuone LOVED it – I didn’t seed the chilies as we can take the heat – I will be making this again! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  33. I have to let you know that in your recipe the one ingredient that you said was banana, it is suppose to be plantain. It is family to the banana but completely different. You Cannot eat it as you do a banana. Must be cooked. The recipe looks great thinking about trying it out.

    1. Hi Berecia Todman! I actually used bananas and not plantains. Thank you!
      please let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this!

  34. I made this in Saturday and it was delish! The flavours are unique and blend nicely together. I’ve never had fried bananas before so I started with plantains, but at the last minute decided to include the bananas which were actually quite good. This is a keeper and I will definitely make again. I’m going to try the Greek chicken recipe. Very excited.

  35. Looks good, definitely going to try this. By fried bananas do you mean fried plantains? They look similar but they are different fruit. Typically plantains are fried, especially in Caribbean food. I just want to make sure to buy the right thing!

  36. I made the chicken only and will have it with black beans I made a couple days ago and possibly fry the bananas as well. The chicken looks nothing like the picture – are the ingredients correctly listed? My chicken completely light colored, not dark at all. There is so much lime juice & orange juice in the marinade, I don’t understand how you got the dark brown color of the chicken? Also the marinade has no real texture to due to the large amount of OJ and lime juice. What am I missing??

    1. HI! Sorry for the trouble. I like to remove some of the marinade before cooking. This should give you the color you see in the photos. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you and enjoy!

  37. I WILL make this…but I was wondering if epazoate would be a good substitute for the cilantro or in addition to….I love me some epazoate with my black beans and have stored it in the freezy? BTW…I made the single lady’s lava cake (with coffee yogurt on top) and it was heavenly! Love love love your recipes!

  38. I am definitely going to try this but had a question – have you made fried plantains with this dish by chance? I love plantains but never cook with them and this recipe is inspiring me!!
    ….just curious.

  39. This looks amazing, but I’m allergic to mangoes & cilantro. Do you think substituting pineapple & a combination of fresh parsley and oregano would work?

  40. Looks great, but one question. At the end it mentions drizzling with mojo sauce, did I miss that in the recipe?

    1. Hey Ellen! The mojo sauce is within the recipe, it is optional. It it leftover from the marinade. You boil it towards the end. Sorry if that is confusing. Let me know if you have any other questions. Tieghan!

  41. Wow!! What an amazing dish!!…could not have thought of a better way to start culinary 2016!…

    one question…wasn’t clear whether to cook the chicken with or without the marinade…in the end I figured not, because otherwise how to get such nice blackened chicken? 🙂


    1. I like to sear the chicken first and then add the marinade for extra flavor, but it is not necessary. So happy you loved the recipe, thanks! Happy 2016!

  42. I know this is an old post and don’t know if you still read these comments. You wrote that you were “exited – to leave” twice. I think you meant “excited – enthusiastic and eager”. Found you on Pinterest. Love all your food.

      1. Misspelled word below.

        Bottom line is I am crazy exited (should be “excited”) to get back to cooking and photographing today.

  43. This recipe is delicious. Easy and tasty! Cooked it for my chef boyfriend who loved everything about it. Didn’t even mind it was healthy ! Thanks!

  44. This recipe is INCREDIBLE! I’ve made it twice so far and will again! The 2nd time I actually cooked the chicken in my crockpot with the marinade and shredded it for the bowls, it was delicious!

  45. Being Cuban myself, I know that so many of those ingredients for the chicken are never used in any Cuban dishes so not sure if this really needs to be called “Cuban chicken” since the only ingredients we would use out of that list is the garlic & cumin.

  46. The colors in this dish look amazing! Everything looks delicious. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try it.

  47. we just made this for dinner and it was absolutely delicious! thank you for sharing such a great recipe, I will definetly be making this again 🙂

  48. Hey!

    So I was super excited about this recipe. This was the first of yours that I’ve tried. I guess it just went without saying – fried bananas and mangoes! ( I am Pakistani after all). I didn’t have the black beans because the store was out of them but I substituted with this black bean and red chili sauce (it came in a jar) and it tasted great! I mixed two tablespoons in with the quinoa (omg – first time with quinoa…too bomb)

    I attempted to fry the bananas but they turned into mush which was disappointing as I really did take care. The consistency was like fire roasted marshmallows (and the taste was similar too). So, how did you fry them EXACTLY?

    Boyfriend hates cheese. Sometimes I wonder why I am even with him…:( anyhow, he is literally the pickiest person on Earth when it comes to food but he did enjoy this.

    GUYS – I don’t think anyone has mentioned it – but this dish is even better the next day!!! I inhaled it.


  49. I made this recipe last night, with a few changes, and my husband and I loved it!! Thank you!

  50. I had a wild hair to make mojitos today with a pile of extra basil (I know, I’ve already lost you) and Google served up this recipe to my “Cuban chicken quick” search. Since I had most everything in the larder, save quinoa, red chile, mango, and a king’s ransom of limes, I made a quick trip to the store and got to cooking.

    The results were wonderful: spectacular flavor, warm reception from the romantic partner, and really low unit cost. I made a few notes for next time (and you better believe there’ll be a next time!):

    -Since the red chiles are used as a marinade spice and garnish spice, by turns, I think you could sub crushed red pepper with no substantial change in dish quality. If they were required to brown they’d need the moisture of a fresh chile, but in this recipe they exist alongside plenty of wet ingredients.
    -This makes enough quinoa for 16 people, 14 of whom has better love quinoa. Like, Freudian love. Next time, I’m using a single can of beans, half an onion, and a small bell pepper with only 0.75 cups dry quinoa.
    -Okay, who am I kidding, I’ll probably make it with one cup dry Farro. ‘To thine own relationship-with-quinoa be true.’
    -The marinated chicken pushed the edge of my palate’s tolerance for lime, and was so wet as not to brown beautifully. Next time, I’m going to marinate the intact breast, THEN cut it into morsels for the pan. This will cut down on the adsorbtion of the marinade without reducing the amount of liquid left for the mojo sauce reduction, and will aid in browning.
    -I think I would happily drink the contents of the blender, as a beverage. Yes, there’s garlic; get off my butt. I subbed tangerine juice for the orange because I had it leftover from Mexican night (tequila, Campari, tangerine, thank me later). Smelled good, looked good.

    Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try another.

  51. I made this tonight for dinner. While the flavor was good, i do have some …. not problems but …. well. here they go.

    The pictures are lovely but for instance, the picture with the beans shows cilantro in them but in the recipe you dont mention adding cilantro to the beans while they are cooking. So a little confusing.

    The chicken had good flavor but not as strong as I was hoping it would be. I also had some trouble with frying the banans. Followed the recipe to a T and they were all kinds of mushy. Like baby food mushy. Did I miss something here? are they supposed to be like green bananas??

    1. Hey Melissa, really sorry about the cilantro. I will add that to the recipe. As for the bananas, they should have been firm bananas, but not green. Did you use brown bananas?

      Sorry for the trouble,

  52. I made this for dinner last night, and it was great! The flavors came together so well. I am definitely bookmarking the site.

  53. I just made this tonight Tieghan – WOW! So so tasty. I can’t believe how jam-packed full of flavor this dish is. You have quite the talent and I thank you for sharing it with the rest of us 🙂

  54. Ok, this recipe took me about 3 hours to prepare and cook, but that was partly because my damn kindle kept turning off and I zest/chop/juice really slow. That being said, it was well worth the effort. I couldn’t find red chiles so I used serrano chiles instead. I thought it would’ve been too spicy considering all the chiles in it, but it was delicious.
    I think next time I’ll do the marinade the night before.

    Can’t wait to try the next one.

  55. Tieghan, this recipe (and lots of your other ones) looks amazing, and I would love to make it. However, I need to be mindful of nutrition information. I don’t know your background, or how difficult it is to figure that out for each recipe, but have you ever considered adding nutrition info for your recipes?

  56. I drizzled honey over the bananas just before serving. It really brings out the flavors of the sea salt and chili powder!

  57. I made this tonight–amazing. It is labor-intensive but well worth it. Being Cuban, I can attest to the genuine flavors in this dish!

  58. I just made this and after the first bite my husband declared his love for me. I’m a big fan of mango salsa, but the mango AND the fried bananas is pure genius. So, so good. I’ll be making this again.

  59. I made this recipe tonight for dinner & it was awesome!!! So many layers of flavours , I was scared of the fried bananas but it made the dish ! thank you so much , I love your recipes -You keep me coming back for more!

  60. Although I haven’t made this yet, I thought I would share this with you. My (almost) 16 year old daughter texts the picture of this recipe to me she found on ‘we heart it’, and wants me to make it, but has no idea where it came from. Being the wonderful mother that I am (and wanting this myself!), I Googled quinoa bowl with mango, fried bananas and black beans, and this popped up! Can’t wait to make this soon!

  61. This was quite possibly one of the best recipes I’ve ever tried. The fusion of flavours in this dish are MIND-BLOWING! I never thought I’d see the day where I would mix chicken with bananas, or even beans with bananas OR heck, anything savoury! But fried bananas are just…..the best (sometimes when I have a sweet tooth, but little to nothing in my pantry to make a proper dessert, I will grab some bananas and deep fry them in butter and then sprinkle them with a bit of maple syrup! uh-mazing!) My favourite part of this dish was digging into everything on the plate and leaving the banana until the very end for an exquisite burst of sweetness! I can’t say enough good things about this dish. Honestly, a work of art. Thank YOU so much for sharing! I have a feeling this meal will become a dinner staple in my house.

    1. YEAH!! I so excited you loved this recipe so much. Thank you for this kind as ever comment!! It put huge smile on my face! 🙂

  62. I so enjoyed making and eating this dish. My kitchen was a wreck but certainly worth it! Crank up the cuban music and go to town

  63. I aM Cuban. I Have been cooking cuban food for 50 years. This recipe should be delicious, but it has noThing to do with cuban cuisine. We NEVER use chilies or black pepper. We don’t fry bananas, we fry plantains. We love mango but not In the cooked food. We don’t cook with cilantrO Or coconut OIL. We don’ t eaT Quinoa.

  64. In the instructions you say to add a handful cilantro to the marinade, but it’s not on the ingredient list for the chicken? I’m making this for dinner tonight so I wanted to get the chicken in the marinade!

    Looks delish!

    1. Hey Stacey, really sorry about that. I only just men a handful of cilantro, maybe about 1/3 cup? Really sorry if that was confusing. Hope you love this!

  65. Okay, I don’t often leave reviews (although I’m an avid Pinner) and even though I frequently cook from blogs, I don’t usually read into them. But today I found this on Tastespotting, and immediately headed to the grocery store for the couple of ingredients I didn’t have on hand. All I can say is, WOW! This was so, so delicious. I got the chicken marinating a few hours in advance, and I put together the mango “salsa” then too. I added a chopped shallot to that because, hey, why not. I had a big batch of black beans that I’d made a few days ago with orange and onion, so those were the perfect go-along and all I had to do was heat them up. I sautéed the onion and red pepper (and added a few cloves of garlic) and tossed those along with the quinoa and broth into the rice cooker, then I friend the bananas, cooked the chicken, and threw together the sauce (double triple yum.) I can totally agree with other reviewers that this recipe rocks, I can’t wait to try your Vietnamese beef and lemongrass spaghetti squash bowls next. In the mean time, this recipe goes into the “Recipes I’ve made and recommend to others” board and will be a regular on my rotation. Thanks for posting!!

    1. I bet those black beans were amazing with these flavors!!

      Thanks so much for this beyond nice comment. SO happy you loved this bowl! 🙂

  66. Found this recipe on a round up of “healthy but great” recipes for 2015 on It looked so good I didn’t waste any time making it. The results:
    In a word: Amazing.
    I did make a few small changes (mostly out of laziness) – I added all of the quinoa stuff to the beans and made cilantro-lime quinoa instead, and I used chipotle on the bananas.
    Every flavor is perfect – the bananas pair so well with the chicken/beans, the mango and lime brighten everything, the sauce is superb over the chicken/quinoa, etc etc etc.
    This may be the best thing I’ve made in a while. I was very impressed.
    Only negative (and it’s not enough of a deterrent!): for a one bowl meal, I probably used most of the pots/bowls in the kitchen!
    Anyway, thanks for sharing this kickass recipe. I am definitely going to make this again. Keep ’em coming!

  67. Looks delicious! I have a question about the amount of orange juice Recipe calls for 3/4 + 1/4 cup orange juice, divided, but I only see 2/3 cup used in the instructions. Did I miss something? Thanks!

    1. Hey Bonni,

      I am really sorry about that. I fixed the recipe, so not everything actually makes sense. Hope you love this and please let me know if you have any other questions.

  68. OK…I used to follow Ree Drummond’s blog before she was on the Food Network. You’re next. Seriously. You have a way with flavors.

  69. Just WOW. This looks incredible!! And I’m absolutely heading to the stove right now to fry up some bananas– I need!! 🙂

  70. We went to Cuba a few years ago, and the hotel we stayed at had Italian, Japanese and French restaurants…so it was basically what Cubans thought Japanese food should taste like, which wasn’t quite right! Your Cuban chicken bowls look amazing…much better than the food we ate on that trip 😉 Love all the fresh ingredients you have in there, and it looks like it would be a great packed lunch!

  71. Wow, WOW this is the best thing I’ve seen all day! Pinned! And for sure I’m making this recipe this coming weekend. I only wish it was this weekend now.

  72. Five brothers! And you were the one pulling the huge trailer out with the snowmobiles. What a woman. And you cook too!!! I am being silly. Gosh I love food like this—the chicken most particularly.

  73. Okay, we have to be on the same brain wave or something because I’m not even kidding when I say that I made a vegan version of this on Monday, photographed it, and scheduled it to post on my blog next week! haha! I used plantains and it doesn’t contain meat but wow do great minds think alike! Your photos are insanely gorgeous. The clarity is so true to life.

  74. When you say fry the bananas, do you mean real yellow bananas or the green bananas that we find in the Farmers Markets? I’ve seen plantains which are the hard yellow bananas and the green bananas, as well as the regular yellow bananas. Not sure which one to cook.


    1. I mean real, yellow bananas, but you want them to be firm bananas.
      Hope you love this and let me know if you have any other questions.

  75. This whole thing looks amazing, but… to be honest, I think I could just eat a whole bowl of those fried bananas and be a happy camper. They look incredible!

  76. I didn’t know you could make fried bananas! I thought you had to use plantains. Glad I found that out now, instead of later 🙂

  77. your bowl recipes ALWAYS make me smile, colorful and balanced and creative, love this T.

    also, first time here since the holidays and lovin’ the little blog spruce up! looks great 🙂

  78. This look amazing! Just a question–how many portions do you think this will make?

    I can’t wait to give it a try!

    1. Thanks so much, Ali! It should make four decent size bowls with probably a little quinoa left over. Hope you love this!

  79. Completely obsessed with this! We should be friends, I was just talking about how I wanted to learn more about cuban food— LOVE!

  80. Tieghan, looks delicious as always! Thanks for all your hard work and creativity. My husband and I make at least one of your meals every week and always love how flavorful they are.

  81. Food in bowls is my fave as well. I LOVE cuban food, and fried plantains have always been such a treat in my book. I’d eat this thing every day of my life!

  82. Every single component of this dish is absolutely wonderful. So full of color and flavor. I need a fork so I can dig in!

  83. Happy New Year!! I love food bowls . . and this chicken!!! and dang girl, you seriously are talented. . not with just the recipes and cooking but your photography too!! Are you going to post photos of your new kitchen and photo room? Would love to see it!

  84. My mouth is watering just looking at this! Love fried bananas SO much and put in a bowl with black beans, quinoa, mango and a whole bunch of cuban spices is genius. Love this!

  85. Are you not linked to Pinterest any more? I like to pin your recipes and the last few posts I have not been able to find the Pinterest link

    1. Hey Mimi, the pinterest button is located on every photo, just hover over the photo with your mouse. Sorry if you had a hard time seeing it. I will also be adding pin it buttons at the bottom and on top of every post. Please let me know if you still do not see the pinterest button over each photo.


  86. As someone who has traveled to Cuba a couple of times, I’ve never had “spicey” food there, but I do like your recipe

  87. My husband’s office is on the street with an amazing street market, loads of international food but Cuban pork with rice and beans topped with fried plantains is by far our favourite! Every time we meet up for lunch in the city we get those bowls and all I can think about while eating it is-I NEED their recipe! I haven’t managed to get it, it’s probably kept in a vault somewhere yet but yours looks gorgeous and I am going to make it this week. Thank you for sharing!

  88. Bowl food is the BEST food in my books! All these flavours are reminding me of when I lived in Florida.
    And I like it. I like lots. Pinned!

  89. I’m loving bowls right now too! They’re usually so fresh and light and this one looks like its packed with Cuban flavors…Love! I’m looking forward to that kitchen post 🙂

  90. thanks . looks great. i am trying work out just how to cook it friday afternoon, before Shabat starts and serve it warm for lunch Shabat morning. any ideas?

  91. I am all about bowls right now too! What more can you ask for? Entire dinner rolled into one single dish. Perfection.

  92. WOA – this IS a flavor and texture feast! Gorgeous photos as always – glad you are back to doing what you love 🙂

  93. OK here I go again–I really like my steel cut oats on these very cold mornings and I don’t get to eat my lunch until 11 or as late as 12:30 but these wonderful pictures get to me in the morning–ugh–lol.
    Oh keep all the wonderful recipes coming but I do hope you have a day off from the kitchen once in awhile.

      1. Good Morning all.

        To begin with, the dish is beautiful. It’s so tasty and healthy which is a really nice break away from the usual snore-fest that so many recipes offer. I was quite rushed yesterday evening and so I found it very difficult to follow the instructions. Personally I found them a little confusing, but then my wife argued they were quite straight forward (lol) – There are a number of separate steps required in this dish in order to make it happen. An example of where I was confused was whether to cook the chicken with the marinate in the pan or to extract the chicken on it’s own completely and cook it, whilst then adding butter etc to the marinate on it’s own. I also got confused about how much juice to use at certain points.

        Like I say, I was rushed though.

        Taste wise it’s a big hit, and the mango pieces work a treat against against the spice. It would also work very well with pineapple I reckon. It’s lovely to be able to throw it all into one bowl and chow it down without having to worry about eating unhealthily. Thank you so you much for this dish. We will be definitely making it again

  94. I’ve had fried bananas served up in Cuban restaurants, but I’ve never given them a go myself. Definitely going to try this!