Molotes Plantain Patties Stuffed with Black Beans & Cheese

Receta de Molotes de Plátano

Molotes Plantain Patties stuffed with cheese - Plantain Empandas

This recipe for Plantain Molotes is from the southern State of Oaxaca in Mexico. Molotes are stuffed with cheese and formed in a process similar to that of an empanada, except they have an oblong shape instead. In some other states, they are formed like an empanada and stuffed with cheese and beans, or even with delicious “Picadillo”, like in the State of Tabasco.

Growing up, my mom always made sure to have plantains in the kitchen, since we loved to have them for breakfast, either grilled or fried. I remember that my younger sister didn’t like going to kindergarten, so my mom would make fried plantains with a dollop of cream for breakfast and use that as a bribe to get her to go to school. She would have that for breakfast every single day of the week! Nowadays, we still like to tease her about it from time to time, telling her that she grew up on plantains.

Fried plantains are a popular side dish in the State of Tabasco, where people usually serve them along with rice during lunch, the main meal of the day. Plantains are used to make plantain chips, and are also added to soups, stews, and other dishes.

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Plantain Molotes!


  • 4 large plantains*
  • Salt to season (just a pinch)
  • 1 cup of Queso Fresco** cut into 1½ in. sticks
  • ½ cup refried black beans
  • 1½ cup vegetable oil for frying

Optional for garnish:

  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup Mexican cream
  • Spicy salsa of your choice
  • You will also need:
  • 1 piece of plastic cut into a 6-in. square


  • The plantains have to look yellow but not too ripe, and they must still be firm to the touch. You can use plantains that show some brown spots, but only if they are still firm to the touch.
  • If you can’t find Queso Fresco, you can use feta or other types of cheeses.
  • A variation to the process of this dish consists of dusting the molotes with flour, bread crumbs prior and even an egg batter before to frying.


Molotes Plantain Patties stuffed with cheese - Plantain empandas

1. Place plantains (whole and unpeeled) in a large pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the pot and gently steam at medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, or until the banana peels start to burst open and the bananas look cooked.

2. Remove the bananas and let them drain any excess liquid. Peel and place in a large bowl.

3. Mash the plantains using a potato masher. Let them cool for at least one hour, this way the plantain mix will be easier to handle (I usually cook them early in the morning or the night before I plan to make the molotes). You can place the mashed plantains in the fridge to cool.

Molotes Plantain Patties stuffed with cheese - Plantain empanadas

3. Heat the oil to medium-low. This detail is important, because if the oil is too hot the molotes will burn quickly due to the plantain’s high sugar content.

4. To form the molotes, place about 1/3 cup of the plantain mixture over the plastic and spread it as if you were making a tortilla. Next, spread on about ½ tablespoon of the beans and top with one stick of cheese. Proceed to fold the mixture in half like when forming an empanada, by holding the edges of the plastic. Now, using your hands, gently shape the molotes into an oblong shape.

5. Gently place each molote into the hot oil and fry, carefully watching so as to not burn them. Turn as needed to obtain a light golden brown color. Once done, remove and place over paper napkins to absorb any excess oil. Wait until they cool off a little before you eat them, as they retain a lot of heat.

Molotes Plantain Patties stuffed with cheese - Plantain Empanadas

If your mixture is too wet due to over-ripe plantains or because they released too much moisture while steaming, add some all-purpose flour to the plantain mixture. The amount needed will depend on how wet it is, and you will know the mixture is good to work with when it is easy to from the molotes.

Buen provecho!
Mely Martinez

Other recipes with Plantain: Fried Plantain and Plantain puree 

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  1. This sounds luscious ! Especially the picadillo stuffed ones ! Thanks ...


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