Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito)

Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito)

The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

Prep: 19 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 31 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
637 Calories
40g Fat
54g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 637
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 52%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 800mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 25mg 125%
Calcium 275mg 21%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 1307mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Puerto Rico, jibaro is a reference to the island's rural, agrarian population. However, in Chicago, a jibarito is a unique and original sandwich created by Puerto Rican immigrants at the Borinquen restaurant in Humboldt Park. Today it is served throughout the city.

The distinguishing feature of this sandwich is the replacement of bread with smashed, fried plantains. It's brilliantly delicious and you can add any of your favorite sandwich fixings.

This particular jibarito recipe features roast beef topped with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a spiced mayonnaise. You can make these full-sized and enjoy them as a meal or cut the plantains down and build them into small party sandwiches.


Click Play to See This Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito) Recipe Come Together

“Using plantains in place of bread is ingenious! Not only was it fun to flatten the plantains and refry, but the sandwich was absolutely delicious. I loved the simple spicy aioli combined with the bold flavors of the cheese, onion, and roast beef. I added pickles, too, for an extra punch.” —Diana Andrews

Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito)/Tester Image


A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups neutral cooking oil, such as canola

  • 2 large green plantains

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 large lettuce leaves

  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

  • 1/2 pound roast beef, thinly sliced

  • Olives, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito) ingredients

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  2. Heat the oil to 350 F in a large skillet or pot for shallow frying.

    oil in a pan

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  3. Peel the plantains, cut them in half crosswise, then cut each half lengthwise.

    Peel the plantains, cut them in half, then cut each half lengthwise

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  4. Fry the plantains in oil for 4 minutes. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels.

    plantains cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  5. Flatten the plantains. Re-fry in the hot oil in batches, if necessary, for another 4 minutes or until the plantains are crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Salt lightly. Set aside.

    Flatten the plantains and continue to cook in a pan

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  6. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.

    mix together the mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin powder, and garlic powder

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  7. Spread the mayonnaise mix on one side of the flat plantains.

    Spread the mayonnaise mix on one side of the flat plantains

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  8. Build your sandwich by layering the tomatoes, onions, cheese, roast beef, and lettuce using the flat plantains as if they were bread.

    Build your sandwich by layering the tomatoes, onions, cheese, and roast beef

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  9. Stick a toothpick with olives in the middle of the sandwich and serve immediately.

    Smashed Plantain Sandwich (Jibarito) on a plate

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo


  • It is important to use green plantains, as they are firm enough to resemble bread, whereas yellow (and definitely black) would be too soft.
  • Ensure the plantain slices are fried until they're nice and crispy and are drained very well, otherwise, you will end up with a greasy mess. 

Recipe Variations

  • If you scour Chicago's restaurant menus, you will find jibaritos with everything from chicken to shrimp and even vegetarian versions with tofu. Whatever you choose, be sure to top it with a great cheese and the freshest, crispest vegetables you can find. 
  • Garlic mayonnaise is a popular condiment for jibaritos. It's easy to make at home; simply mix garlic with mayo, salt, and lemon juice, which is a classic aioli recipe.
  • You can increase or decrease the size of this recipe to fit your needs. Simply keep in mind that one plantain will make two full sandwiches.

Is a Jibarito sandwich gluten-free?

As long as you use gluten-free fillings, a jibarito is a gluten-free sandwich, since it uses fried flattened plantains instead of bread.