Cuban Quinoa Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

These Cuban Quinoa Bowls are loaded with seasoned black beans, juicy plantains and an addictive sweet and spicy pineapple salsa!

Top down shot of cuban quinoa bowl on a white table.

So here’s a bold statement: I’m pretty sure I was doing bowl foods before everyone else was; everyone else being the internet. I know…what?! Yet I’m sure that many of us woke up one day, saw that bowl foods were a thing and thought,  that’s how I’ve ALWAYS been eating!! Food in bowls seem to just taste better; all the flavours are mixed, you get a wide range of textures and you can arrange food beautifully – win, win and win. These Cuban Quinoa Bowls with Pineapple Salsa are no exception; so much to the point that I have made them about five different times in month, which is major for me. My absolute favourite part? Those INSANE plantains.

Overhead shot of cuban quinoa bowls with forks on the side.

These Cuban Quinoa Bowls are a play on Cuban Rice Bowls, except with quinoa of course, which I am officially obsessed with (it is always in our fridge). Putting together this bowls was also really easy since 1) I actually always have all of these ingredients in my house, all the time, 2) because none of them take a lot of time to prepare separately and 3) I eat plantains with everyone and anything as much as possible, so I was EXTRA excited to putting this bowl together.

Simply put, this is one of the best bowl foods I’ve ever had. The combination of well seasoned black beans, delicious fluffy quinoa, avocado sweet and spicy pineapple salsa and fried plantains works so incredibly well. Let’s talk about this pineapple salsa for a bit. Make sure you get a sweet pineapple and pair it with raw jalapeños if you can. You get the best combination of flavours this way and the best delicious contrast of sweet and spicy. This salsa actually goes with pretty much every bowl food one earth so be prepared to see it featured here again. The plantains? Oh wow. I buy plantains at the farmer’s market every time I go, and the key is making sure your plantain is extremely ripe before pan frying it – so I’m talking black skin. It’s the sweetest at this point and the best texture. I love pan frying mine – just a bit of coconut oil and frying on either side until golden bake, but you could also easily bake these.

All in all, this is a complete winner, and already on rotation in my household. Make this, and I guarantee it’ll be one of the best things you’ve done all year. Even better, make this for me and invite me over, m’kay?

Top down shot of a quinoa bowl on a white table.


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Cuban Quinoa Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

These Cuban Quinoa Bowls are loaded with seasoned black beans, juicy plantains and an addictive sweet and spicy pineapple salsa!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, cuban

Pineapple Salsa:

  • 2 cups pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley/cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2-3 teaspoons chopped jalapeño

Seasoned Black Beans:

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups black beans cooked and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro or parsley


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large ripe plantain peeled and thickly sliced ( 1/4 inch)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa


Pineapple Salsa

  • Mix the ingredients for the pineapple salsa together in a bowl. Set aside and allow the flavours to meld together until ready to use.

Black Beans

  • In a pan over medium high heat, heat the ½ tablespoon coconut oil. Add the black beans, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder, stirring to combine with the black beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and allow everything to cook together for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Set aside


  • In a pan over medium high heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the plantain slices to the oil and pan fry on each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the heat and season with sea salt. Set aside.

Quinoa Bowl

  • Add ½ cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup seasoned black beans, ½ cup pineapple salsa and ¼ fried plantains slices to each bowl. Feel free to mix and match and increase or decrease any quantities that you want, and enjoy!
  1. This recipe is gluten free and vegan. You can make everything at the same time, or at different times and just use the same pan after each portion is cooked. Remember to use a sweet pineapple and a very very ripe plantain.
  3. If you want to prepare this bowl ahead of time, I recommend preparing all the ingredients ahead of time for prep in separate tupperware containers, so that you can just reheat them put the entire bowl together. You can make the bowl a day in advance then eat it, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it together for longer than that.
  4. If you’re making this for lunch, just assemble it all together the morning of, or in a mason jar.


Calories: 755kcal | Carbohydrates: 136g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 464mg | Potassium: 1663mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 1530IU | Vitamin C: 113mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 8mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. I haven’t eaten much Cuban food before, but I am loving the sound of this. I ate so many plantains when we were in Jamaica!

  2. Monica says:

    This looks amazing! So much love goes into a good bowl, doesn’t it? : ) I had the chance to try out lots of Cuban food when we were in Miami Beach last year…I discovered so much deliciousness! I love the combination you have here. Each component is special but all together in a bowl is such a treat.

  3. wow that looks so flavorful! such a great meal Jessica, thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  4. I love quinoa! Don’t know anything about cuban kitchen, but if everything looks like this, I am sure I would love it!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Angie!! This ingredients worked so well together.

  5. Holy Beautiful Bowl! This is full of everything I love! I was doing smoothie bowls since I was about 12, so totally before it go popular 😉

  6. Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

    That sounds great Hanifa! Thank you for your comment! We’re glad you liked it. Happy Holidays!

  7. Theresa says:

    This looks amazing. I don’t see a serving size though, how many people would you say this serves?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Theresa thanks for reading! It serves 2

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