Costa Rican Plantain Empanadas: A Sweet Twist on a Latin Classic


Empanadas are a beloved Latin American treat, and Costa Rica’s version with ripe plantains offers a delightful sweet twist. These plantain empanadas are a fusion of savory and sweet, making them an irresistible snack or dessert. Let’s explore how to make this Costa Rican delicacy.


The perfect plantain empanadas start with the right balance of ingredients.

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (Costa Rican Turrialba cheese if available, otherwise mozzarella or a mild white cheese)
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Creating these empanadas is a delightful process that brings out the best of Costa Rican flavors.

Prepare the Dough:

  1. Peel the plantains and boil them in water until soft.
  2. Mash the plantains while warm, then mix with flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, egg, and melted butter to form a dough.

Form the Empanadas:

  1. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out on a floured surface to prevent sticking.
  2. Place a spoonful of cheese in the center of each rolled-out dough piece.

Cook the Empanadas:

  1. Fold the dough over the cheese to form a half-moon shape and seal the edges with a fork.
  2. Heat oil in a deep fryer or pan to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Fry the empanadas until they are golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels.

Finishing Touches:

  1. While still warm, sprinkle the empanadas with sugar.
  2. Serve warm for a gooey cheese center.

FAQs: Common Questions About Making Plantain Empanadas

These sweet empanadas often lead to inquiries about preparation and variations. Here are some FAQs to guide you.

Can I bake these empanadas instead of frying?

Yes, for a healthier option, bake at 350°F (175°C) until golden brown.

What if I can’t find ripe plantains?

Ripe bananas can be a substitute, though the flavor will be slightly different.

Can I add other fillings?

Absolutely, feel free to experiment with fillings like beans, meat, or different cheeses.

Are these empanadas gluten-free?

To make them gluten-free, substitute all-purpose flour with your preferred gluten-free blend.

How long can I store the empanadas?

They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated in the oven.


These Costa Rican Plantain Empanadas are a testament to the country’s love for combining sweet and savory flavors. They’re perfect for any occasion and sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them.

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