Baked Plantains with Guava and Cheese (Plátanos Asados con Bocadillo y Queso) are a traditional Colombian recipe that tastes comforting, and makes a great dessert or sweet side dish. Inspired by my travels to Colombia, this easy recipe will transport you to the street corners of Bogota!
Baked Plantains and Guava with Cheese - a perfect match
Plantains are a treasured ingredient in Colombian cooking. They’re most often found as crunchy, salty, fried morsels from street food vendors across Bogota.
But to recreate the feeling of those bustling streets, I love to make this stuffed plantains recipe loaded with guava and cheese.
This is a popular dish throughout Colombia, mainly due to its incredible flavor combination. The baked plantains provide a deeply rich sweetness that’s amazing alongside the guava paste and salty cheese. If sweet and salty pairings are a favorite for you, then this recipe is the perfect treat.
Choosing the right plantain for sweet plantains
But what is the right plantain for making sweet baked plantains, you ask?
Plantains are banana shaped fruit that are common throughout the Caribbean coast. The plantain is actually a relative of the banana - and if you are ever confused about what is plantain and banana, plantains are usually longer and tougher, with a thicker peel that doesn't come off as easily.
Green plantains are less ripe, more savory and become more crispy when cooked, which is why I love to cut them into plantain slices and use them for recipes like my air fryer plantain chips.
But for sweeter recipes like this stuffed plantains recipe, ripe, golden brown or even brown plantains are perfect. Riper plantains are starchier and become naturally sweeter! Ripe plantains start to develop dark spots and shift their color towards yellow plantains, and then past that into the territory of brown and black.
The BEST plantains to bake with guava and cheese are the darkest plantains you can get - think banana bread territory!
TOP TIP: My Colombian husband, who taught me this recipe, uses practically black plantains for this amazing recipe. I love that little trick, because then, you get a mouthwatering sweet dish with very little added sweetness needed.
Are baked plantains with cheese and guava healthy?
These baked plantains aren’t just delicious, but they’re incredibly healthy as well. Plantains are filled with fiber to help with digestion and are also packed with important vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Though plantains themselves are healthy, please keep in mind that you are using guava paste, which is also quite high in natural sugars. So treat this as a sweet indulgence that's on the healthier side!
Why I love Colombian Baked Plantains with Guava paste and Cheese
This recipe is simple to make, but filled with flavor. You’ll be itching to make it for any and every occasion.
- Effortless: It truly doesn’t get easier than this stuffed plantains recipe. Although the plantains require a decent amount of baking time, the prep time is extremely minimal.
- Gluten-free: As long as the cheese you choose is also gluten-free, this recipe is a fantastic option for a gluten-free diet. The best cheese to use in this recipe is mozzarella or queso fresco.
- Versatile: I love that this baked plantains with guava paste and cheese recipe is versatile enough to be used as either a dessert or a sweet appetizer or side dish.
- Kid-friendly: The sweet flavor, stringy melted cheese, and soft texture makes this Colombian recipe a hit with kids.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED to make Stuffed Plantains with Guava and Cheese
- Very ripe plantains - think of baking plantains like making banana bread - you want the ripest, darkest plantains you can find. In fact, they should be practically overripe - go past the black spots and into black plantain territory! These plantains are sweet and starchy, and will cook faster into a more pleasing, softer texture.
- Guava paste - a specialty Colombian ingredient, guava paste – also called guayabate or goiabada - is a concentrated mix of fresh guava and sugar, cooked them and thickened into a gelee with pectin.
- Cheese - traditionally, this recipe is made with queso fresco, which is a soft, white, freshly made cheese that has some grittiness and saltiness to it when it melts. As the most important factors here are the meltiness and the contrast with the sweet guava paste, mozzarella or fontina cheese are the best Western cheeses to use in a guava with cheese pairing.
See recipe cards for exact quantities.
Where to buy guava paste?
Like most special Colombian ingredients, guava paste can be found in most Latin stores and supermarkets. Because it's used in Colombian, Cuban, Brazil and several other Latin cuisines, it's actually fairly widespread! The most popular brands are made by Goya and Cochinita. Nowadays, you can even get it online. I buy my guava paste on Amazon, but it's available in Walmart and Unimarket in Canada.
How To Make Colombian Baked Plantains with Guava with Cheese
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat.
Cut off the ends of the plantain. To peel the plantain, score the skin lengthwise without damaging the flesh. Then remove the skin with your hands.
Transfer plantains onto prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until plantains have fully softened.
Make a long, lengthwise slit in the middle of the plantains, but don't cut the plantains all the way through - think of them like a hot dog bun.
Prep guava paste with cheese
Slice the guava paste and the cheese into ½-inch thick slices.
Stuff plantains with cheese and guava
Stuff each plantain with two slices of guava paste, and two slices of cheese (or as many as it takes to fill your plantains).
Bake stuffed plantains
Bake plantains with guava paste and cheese in a 400F oven for 10 minutes, until the guava paste has softened and the cheese has fully melted and begun to ooze out.
This recipe is best enjoyed fresh from the oven, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- Avoid oil - many recipes for baked plantains will call on adding coconut oil or another neutral-flavored oil. This recipe and method saves so much oil - in fact, if you bake the plantains as instructed you don't need to use any oil!
- Choose ripe plantains. Green, unripe plantains are extremely tough with a stiffer texture. As they ripen, however, plantains soften and produce a deliciously sweet flavor. Before cooking this recipe, wait until your plantains are a deep yellow with brown spots all over them.
- Cook the plantains in their peel. To help create the silkiest texture possible, cook the plantains in the plantain peel first. This step will insulate moisture while the plantains bake. Plus, it means one less step in the kitchen.
Variations on this Colombian Baked Plantains with Cheese and Guava
- Omit the guava. For a more savory dish, omit the guava for a classic Plátano asado con queso recipe instead.
- Swap the cheese type. Mozzarella cheese is the usual Western cheese used for this baked plantains recipe, but you can substitute for other cheeses if you prefer. Havarti and Muenster cheese, for example, have a similar flavor and melt extremely well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Simply use your favorite vegan mozzarella cheese in place of the mozzarella to make this dish vegan-friendly.
To reheat the cooked plantains, place them on a lined baking sheet and pop them in a 350 F degree oven until warmed, around 10 minutes.
You can make these Colombian Baked Plantains with Guava and Cheese ahead of time and reheat them according to the directions above. However, the best part of this recipe is how easy and effortless it is to whip up, so you likely won’t need to make them in advance.
The texture will be slightly different, but in a pinch you can absolutely make these in a 400 F degree air fryer for about 10 minutes. Just take note that you will first have to bake them in the air fryer for an additional 20-30 minutes to soften them.
What to serve with stuffed plantains?
Explore more Colombian cuisine with these dishes:
- Colombian fruit salad - Ensalada de frutas Colombiana
- Colombian arepas de queso
- Colombian Ajiaco recipe that will transport you to Bogota
- Colombian Chicken tamales
Baked Plantains with Guava and Cheese (Plátanos Asados con Bocadillo y Queso)
- 4 very ripe plantains
- 8-12 slices guava paste
- 8-12 slices mozzarella queso fresco, or fontina cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the ends off the plantain. To peel the plantain, make a shallow cut through the skin lengthwise, without damaging the flesh. Then remove the peel like you would a banana peel with your hands.
- Transfer plantains onto prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until plantains have fully softened. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork.
- Slice the plantains lengthwise through the middle, not cutting all the way through - like a hot dog bun.
- Slice the guava paste and the cheese into ½-inch thick slices. Fill each plantain with slices of guava paste and slices of cheese, side by side with each other.
- Bake in the oven set for 400 F for 10 minutes, until the guava paste has softened and the cheese has fully melted and begun to ooze out.