Plantain Recipes

You can cook both green and ripe plantains in a variety of ways

Fried ripe plantains on a plate

 The Spruce

When it comes to staple foods in the Caribbean and South America, plantains are at the top of the list and are as popular as rice. They are cooked in a variety of ways, from boiled and mashed to deep-fried, and are part of savory dishes and desserts. Both unripe and ripe plantains are used; unripe are green or yellow in color and difficult to peel, the fruit hard with a starchy flavor, making them perfect for boiling and frying. Plantains turn black when fully ripe, and have a flavor that some describe as similar to a banana but not as sweet. Ripe plantains are fried, sautéed, and baked, and used in dishes that call for a bit of sweetness.

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Watch Now How to Make Crispy Fried Plantain Chips

  • 01 of 12

    Sweet Fried Ripe Plantains

    Close-up of fried ripe plantains on a plate

    The Spruce

    The key to an excellent plate of sweet fried ripe plantains is to ensure that the plantains are at the right degree of ripeness—the riper the plantain, the sweeter it is. The skin should be almost black or, in some cases, have a dull yellow color with patches of black. The plantains are simply peeled, cut into rounds, pan-fried in oil, and sprinkled with salt.

  • 02 of 12

    Tostones (Twice-Fried Green Plantain Chips)

    Tostones stacked on a plate

    Arnold Gatilao / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    These twice-fried plantain chips, called tostones, are a wonderful alternative to potato chips. Green plantains are sliced and fried in oil until a light golden color and soft. Then they are drained and cooled and flattened into rounds before frying again until crispy. Dip into a mojito garlic dipping sauce for a delicious appetizer or snack.

  • 03 of 12

    Jibarito (Plantain Sandwich)

    jibarito sandwich with tomato, lettuce and onion

    Rosidae / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    This unique sandwich created by Puerto Rican immigrants in Chicago replaces the bread with slices of fried plantain, adding an interesting layer to any sandwich filling. This jibarito is made with roast beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and flavored mayonnaise, but you can use a variety of ingredients.

  • 04 of 12

    Mofongo Stuffing (Green Plantain Turkey Stuffing)

    Green plaintain turkey stuffing recipe

    The Spruce / Nita West

    Green plantain turkey stuffing, also called mofongo stuffing, is an excellent alternative to the traditional bread and meat stuffing associated with a ​Thanksgiving turkey. This version is made from plantains, bacon, garlic, and ajíces dulces (sweet chile peppers), making for a sweet and savory combination with an interesting texture.

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  • 05 of 12

    Cuban Fufú (Sweet Plantain Stuffing)

    Freshly picked plantains on leaves

    Maximilian Stock Ltd. / Getty Images

    This Cuban fufú is similar to mofongo stuffing, but the recipe calls for ripe plantains instead of green. The sweet plantains are boiled and mashed and then folded into a mixture of fried bacon, onion, and garlic, making for a sweet yet savory turkey dressing or side dish.

  • 06 of 12

    Cazuela de Camarón (Shrimp in Plantain and Peanut Sauce)

    Bunches of plantains being washed

    Chunyang, Lin (Taiwan) / Creative RF / Getty Images

    In this traditional Ecuadorian recipe, the plantains are blended into a sauce with sautéed vegetables and seasoning, then cooked with some peanut butter, making for a rich and creamy consistency. Cilantro-scented shrimp are added, and the stew is spooned over rice.

  • 07 of 12

    Plantain and Steak Tostones

    Plantain and steak tostones with layered with seasoned skirt steak, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion

    The Spruce 

    Fried green plantains are flattened into a bun shape as they cook and take the place of the bread in this delicious steak sandwich, another type of jibarito. After being spread with a ketchup-mayo mixture, the plantains are layered with seasoned skirt steak, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion.

  • 08 of 12

    Tajadas (Fried Ripe Plantain Strips)

    Fried plantain strips in a baking dish

    princessdlaf / Creative RF / Getty Images

    Tajada means "slice" in Spanish and refers to the way the plantains are cut before frying. In this recipe, ripe plantains are formed into long slices and fried in oil until golden and crispy. Tajadas are often served alongside plates of rice and beans and add a little bit of sweetness to a savory dish.

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  • 09 of 12

    Bakabana (Fried Plantain With Spicy Peanut Sauce)

    Fried plantains with a bowl of spicy peanut sauce

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    Suriname, a small, South American country on the northeast coast, is home to this simple plantain dish, although its origins are Indonesian. Very ripe plantains are coated in a batter of egg, flour, cornstarch, and buttermilk, then deep-fried until golden brown. As a nod to the recipe's birthplace, serve the bakabana with a Thai peanut sauce for dipping.

  • 10 of 12

    Puerto Rican Pasteles

    Pasteles with a pork and sweet pepper filling, wrapped and unwrapped

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

    In many Latin cultures, tamales are a Christmas tradition. This Puerto Rican version, called pasteles, is made with plantain masa instead of corn. A pork and sweet pepper filling is nestled inside the plantain and yautia masa and then wrapped and tied in a banana leaf. The package is simmered in water for an hour, carefully opened, and served.

  • 11 of 12

    Aborrajados (Fried Sweet Plantains With Cheese)

    Close-up of aborrajados, fried sweet plantains with cheese on a plate

    anamejia18 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Both savory and sweet, this Colombian delicacy can be eaten at any time of day. Slices of plantain are fried, topped with grated cheese, sandwiched together, and sealed closed. Then the bundles are dipped into a thick batter and fried again until golden brown and crispy. For a dessert version, feel free to add a slice of guava paste with the shredded cheese.

  • 12 of 12

    Oven Salmon With Roasted Plantains and Pineapple Salsa

    Roasted salmon and plantains with white rice

     The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    This recipe may not have true Caribbean or South American origins, but it showcases plantains in a different and delicious way, matching the fruit with complementary flavors and ingredients. The plantains are roasted in the oven along with pineapple and salmon, all dressed with a maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce mixture. To finish this dish, the pineapple is made into a cilantro-lime salsa and spooned over the roasted salmon, which is served alongside the roasted plantains.