Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

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Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

When I spent last Thankgiving with my boyfriend’s family in Puerto Rico, we spent some time meandering around “Old San Juan,” the historical colonnial part of San Juan. I loved the cobblestone streets, the colorful buildings, and the quaint restaurants and bars that were tucked away. On a mission to get quality mofongo (basically a fried plaintain mash), we stopped at a restaurant that served theirs with “shrimp in sofrito sauce.” 

Let me stop and preface the rest of this story with the fact that I had never heard of mofongo or sofrito. When the dish was brought out, I obviously stuck my fork right in there. 

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

Wow. You can’t go wrong with fried mashed plantains – or a sofrito sauce. Since then, I haven’t tried to make mofongo or sofrito. Today, that changes! Well, it was Saturday when I made this dish, so – Saturday it changed! 

Now, this dish would be most authentic/appropriate with pink beans, but I only had black beans in my pantry and didn’t have time to rush out to buy them. This bowl of zucchini pasta with sofrito sauce is so easy to make and packed with flavor and smells that’ll sneak up your nose and put a smile on your face. It’s satisfying, interesting, and much different than a traditional Italian pasta sauce.

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

I’m not a sofrito expert and depending on if you come from Spain, Portugal, Latin America or even the Caribbean, sofrito can be prepared different ways. I read up a bit on this. As an Italian woman dating a man of Colombian and Dominican descent who was born and raised in Puerto Rico and does not cook at all, I was out of luck. He sure does look pretty, though. 

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

So, I decided to combine flavors I thought would taste best together from all the different versions. Unlike a traditional Italian tomato sauce, sofrito is made of yellow onions and red and green peppers. I tossed in some chopped manzanilla olives for saltiness and spiced it up with smoked paprika and gave it a delectable aroma with some chopped cilantro.

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

Oh, the plantains. I really tried my hardest not to fry the plantains, but I couldn’t resist. I only used a half tablespoon of olive oil, so I call that “lightly fried.” I chose plantains that were green but ripe and soft, so they were slightly sweet. Once fried in the olive oil with some salt and pepper, their sugars popped through and when topped on the savory and spiced zucchini pasta, they tasted fantastic

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

It passed the Lu test, since he slurped it up even after it sat there for 20 minutes while I photographed and poked at it. 

If you like Spanish flavors, this is the meal for you. Don’t skip on the “lightly” fried plantains – they’re the best part, especially when you can dip them in the leftover sofrito sauce! 


Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

Yields 1

20 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 green plantain
  • 2 half-tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 round red tomatoes, chopped (or 1/2 a 14-oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp chopped manzanillo olives or green olives
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 medium zucchinis, Blade C
  • 1/3 cup pink beans or beans of choice


  1. Chop the ends off your plantain. Slice the skin lengthwise and peel the skin off the plantain. Slice the plantain lengthwise and chop it in four quarters. Set aside.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the half tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Once the oil heats, add in the plantain pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let cook for 2 minutes and then flip over, cooking for about another 2 minutes or until plantains are browned on both sides. Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
  5. Place a large skillet over medium-low heat and add in the other half tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic, cook for 30 seconds and then add in the chopped onion and chopped peppers. Cook for 2 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
  7. Add in the tomatoes, smoked paprika and stir. Cook until the sauce reduces, about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is almost done reducing, add in the cilantro and olives and stir to combine.
  8. Add in the zucchini noodles, beans and cook for about 2 minutes or until zucchini softens, tossing frequently.
  9. Place the noodles in a bowl and topped with plantains.

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains


Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains

Sofrito Zucchini Pasta with Beans and Lightly Fried Plantains


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sowudai says:
Wow, these sound heavenly..
Beautiful pasta dish and beautiful color, i would love to taste it.
Debbie says:
Made this today with some variations. Absolutely delicious. My husband was on the roof putting up lights and came in because he smelled it and said it smelled amazing out on the roof! Ha. Thanks for the recipe. This was my first one to try from your website and I am excited to try more
Debbie - thanks for sending me this note, I'm so glad you liked this recipe! It's definitely a winner at home!
Marcia says:
I made this last night for our dinner...OMGosh, it was delish! The zucchini pasta so resembles pasta and has a fresh, light, al dente flavor. This was a huge hit and so easy, I love it! It is now on our let's-do-this-again-soon list! Thank you for such a beautiful and tasty dinner. It was like a party in our mouths! YUM. Marcia
Adylure says:
So... say you already have a sofrito... Basically, just erase steps 6 and 7 and cook... what would you say, half a cup of sofrito? For how long, would you say?
Nursen says:
I would love it if post-partum Ali would go through some of these older recipes and give the caloric info. <3

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🎄 is up and christmas cookies were baked (second year in a row making @ambitiouskitchen’s sugar cookies - MAKE THEM! 👏🏼)⁣

can we get real and talk about holiday decorating and christmas cookie making for a sec? instagram makes you think it should be all “gumdrops and rainbows” but it’s not really that at all. the kids were breaking ornaments. luca spilt an entire jar of sprinkles all over the floor while decorating the cookies and that was after they fought over who would do each step with mama while making them. 😩 ⁣

yes. holiday music was played, but it was not peaceful and at times, it was chaotic and I said to Lu, “is this worth it?! do they even like this?!” ⁣

and then luca, with me in roma’s room after baths, looked up at me getting roma in her jammies and said, “mama, we make more cookies tomorrow, okay mama?” ⁣

and then I thought about my childhood memories and why I started this christmas cookie making the day after thanksgiving tradition in the first place. because I have one very, very vividly happy memory of decorating christmas cookies with my family. and it made me love this time of year and remember that time fondly. and knowing my mom, they were probably slice and bake 😂😂⁣

anyway. it may look “perfect” on instagram and then when you go to do it yourself, it seems like a disaster. but remember... kids just love your undivided attention and that’s exactly what they had tonight. they don’t remember the burnt cookies or the mess or their screaming sibling. they were too busy having a blast eating cookies with their parents. 🤍💚❤️ and that’s perfect.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 🦃🍂 luca and roma helped mama put together the thanksgiving table this year with their hand turkeys (my favorite part of the table 🥰)! we’re celebrating at home with my parents and while there is other family who can’t be with us this year, we are grateful for our health and the family with us today. 🖤 there is much to be grateful for this year, more than ever. sending love, strength, and gratitude to all of you this year. I’m thankful for this community, more and more every year 🙌🏼 #happythanksgiving ...

there won't be any new recipes on the blog this week, because it's THANKSGIVING WEEK! 🦃 but don't go too far... this VEGAN creamy potato and kale soup is coming to the blog first thing sunday morning! 🥣 🥔 and yes, you can stir that leftover turkey in there, if you so please. 😇⁣

for those signing off early from work, have a lovely thanksgiving week staying safe and well, however you're spending the holiday 💓