Cheese-Crusted Ripe Plantain Balls

Cheese-crusted ripe plantain balls recipe

Welcome to my latest obsession: ripe plantains and finger food. Of all my obsessions this is probably the least insane one. I am sure you agree.

Please say you do and I’ll share with you the recipe for these incredible cheese-crusted ripe plantain balls filled with melted cheese.

Cheese-crusted ripe plantain balls

The greatest thing about cooking is that it satisfies my mad scientist tendencies without having to harness the power of lightning or going through the trouble of trying to conquer the world.

I am too lazy to try to conquer the world, or worse, keeping hold of it once I conquer it. Too much work, I say.

Cheese-crusted ripe plantain balls

So, I had some ripe plantains left from when I made piononos, and decided to see what I could do with them. Something easy, something relatively healthy (read: “no deep-frying”) and something I could eat while walking around. Because being obsessed by many things (including ripe plantains and finger food) means no time to sit and eat.

This was a pretty good result for my experiment. At least nobody was hurt. Trust me, I consider that a victory in itself.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara
Cheese-Crusted Ripe Plantain Balls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crusty on the outside, sweet inside and oozing with melted cheese. The recipe for these little ripe plantain balls is so simple, you'll surely love it.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 ripe plantains (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup hard mozzarella, diced
  • ⅓ cup butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup ground Parmesan or Pecorino
  1. Peel the plantains. Cut them into quarters. Boil until soft adding 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Remove from the water. Remove the center of the plantain (looks like a nerve) and mash until there are no lumps. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Make small balls (about a tablespoon of plantain puree). Poke a hollow in the ball and put a piece of mozzarella in it. Form a ball around it. Repeat until you finish with all the mashed plantains. Resist eating them now.
  3. Brush some butter on the balls. Cover with Parmesan or Pecorino, making as thick a layer as you can. Place the balls on a baking tray.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400 ºF [200 ºC].
  5. Bake until they are golden brown outside and remove from the oven.
  6. Serve warm.

Use plantains that are ripe but firm (no black spots).

How many balls you get depend on the size of the plantains you use.

Make sure to use hard (dry) mozzarella, the fresh type will break the balls in the baking.

You can prepare them beforehand and keep refrigerated, bake them just before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 balls (aprox.)
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{ 29 comments… add one }

  • Carmen May 6, 2014, 10:00 PM

    Can’t wait to try this recipe but thought I mention that in your recipe it says to use fresh mozzarella but in your note it says “Make sure to use hard (dry) mozzarella, the fresh type will break the balls in the baking.”

    I recently joined your site and love the photos, your blog and amazing recipes! Looking forward to future posts.

  • Odell James February 8, 2014, 9:07 AM

    I love ripe plantain but only know 2 ways in which to cook it boiled and fried so I am saying thank you for this recipe.

  • Anna February 7, 2014, 4:15 AM

    I tried this recipe and it didn’t come out well. The mozzarella oozed out of the plantains and they didn’t get golden brown. Should I freeze the mozzarella b4 using it in the recipe and how long should u bake them to get them golden.

    • Aunt Clara March 1, 2014, 1:09 AM

      You need to use firm, dry mozzarella, as mentioned in the instructions.

  • Sandra Paez October 25, 2012, 9:25 AM

    Tia Clara you’re the best!! This recipe looks so easy & delicious. I am definitely making it this weekend. Thanks again for all your help in the kitchen 😉

  • nina October 15, 2012, 6:37 PM

    I tried this recipe, but it didn’t come out well for me. How long did you boil the plantains for? I boiled the for about 30 mins, but when molding them into balls, they didn’t seem tender enough. Any advice?

    • Aunt Clara November 21, 2012, 10:54 AM

      Are you sure they were ripe? In any case, I have yet to find any plantains, ripe or otherwise that would take 30 minutes to cook.

  • Annie September 25, 2012, 4:14 PM

    how many does it make???

  • Malte May 22, 2012, 5:03 AM

    That looks great! Unfortunately I don't have an oven at the moment. Although not beeing so healthy anymore frying them wouldnt harm them, would it?

    • Aunt Clara May 22, 2012, 5:08 AM

      I wish I could tell you, but I have never fried them. The cheese crust won't survive though.

  • Sandra March 3, 2012, 10:35 AM

    This looks delish. I am going to do these tomorrow for my bookclub meeting. We read "In the time of the Butterflies" about 3 Dominican sisters killed by Trujillo….very good book. Anyway thought I'd make some Dominican finger foods…

  • Lila February 17, 2012, 10:55 AM

    Hola Clara!

    I just discovered your site and I'm already a fan. I plan to do this recipe (bolitas de platano maduro), as we have a "dominican dinner" para celebrar los 168 anios de nuestra independencia maniana sabado.

    One quick question, a cuantos grados pongo el horno?

    Te agradeceria si me confirmas cuanto mas puedas, ya q maniana me toca hacer esta receta 😉

    Mil gracias de antemano! and keep posting good stuff! de verdad que esta super bien realizado, ni hablar de las fotos… wao!

    • Aunt Ilana February 18, 2012, 4:43 AM

      Thanks for your kind words, Lila, I hope the meal turns out well. If you look closely 😉 the oven temp setting is stated in the recipe instructions: 230 C or 450 F.

      • Lila February 18, 2012, 5:48 AM

        no puedo negar que soy dominicana…. gracias Iliana! y perdon pero crei haber "leido"…. es parte de nuestro "charm" supongo 😉

  • haidee December 7, 2011, 9:05 PM

    I will make this :)

  • CookingDiva007 November 25, 2011, 10:44 AM

    Thank so much…i made these for thanksgiving and everyone LOVED them!

  • CookingDiva007 November 23, 2011, 4:09 PM

    Hi!, I am a BIG fan of your website I wanted to know if you can prepare the balls a night before…and bake them the following day…

  • Maria D'Veras November 11, 2011, 8:31 AM

    Sounds like a keeper!!! Thanks so much for this website…

  • Yadsia @ShopCookMake September 21, 2011, 4:42 PM

    Creo que voy a soñar con esto esta noche. Delicioso!

    • Aunt Clara September 25, 2011, 5:39 AM

      Ah, Yadsia, it shows you're Puertorican. You are the second most-obsessed about ripe plantain people in the world. :)

  • MéLisa B. September 15, 2011, 7:06 PM

    Se parece delicioso! No puedo esperar a probarlos!

    Gracias Títí!

  • Sandra B Gomez September 14, 2011, 1:39 PM

    I can't wait to make this! no frying I like that!

    • Aunt Clara September 15, 2011, 9:35 AM

      I would love to know how you liked them when you make them.

  • Amity September 14, 2011, 9:36 AM

    Wow. I will have to fry mine, since I don't have an oven. Somehow I think they will still taste ok :)

  • Alex September 14, 2011, 6:52 AM

    you are genius! trying this soon.

    • Aunt Clara September 15, 2011, 9:37 AM

      Genius? Tell that to my Calculus professor!