Fried Ripe Plantains, the Ultimate Caribbean Snack

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Fried plantains recipe - Dr. Axe

You’ve likely seen a plantain before; although, you might not have recognized it as one — they look similar to bananas and are a relative. They’re larger than bananas in size and have thicker skin. But this delicious, starchy fruit deserves to be in your kitchen on its own merits.

Plantains are less sweet yet starchier than bananas. Unlike their cousins, they’re often cooked rather than eaten raw. They’re full of vitamins, especially vitamins A and C. They’re also loaded with potassium and are high in fiber, keeping your digestion system running, ahem, smoothly.

If you’re ready to add plantains to your menu but aren’t sure how, you’re in luck. My fried plantains recipe is super simple and so tasty. It makes an excellent side or a quick snack.

What Are Fried Plantains?

Plantains are commonly enjoyed in the Caribbean islands and Latin America. They’re enjoyed at almost any time — as a snack, alongside your meal or for dessert. While this fried plantains recipe is already naturally sweet, if you’re craving an even sweeter treat, you can adapt this recipe to include a bit of coconut sugar, which will create a caramelization on the outside of the plantain slices.

Once you eat caramelized or fried plantains, you won’t want to stop. The best part is you can enjoy this tropical dish in the comfort of your own home … but you’ll feel like you’re on a beach in Jamaica.

Another way to enjoy plantains is using green plantains and slicing it thin and then baking in the oven for plantain chips.

How to Make Fried Plantains

Here’s how to fry plantains. First, make sure you wait until the plantains are ripe, when the peels are mottled yellow and black.

Start by heating a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. While it warms up, diagonally slice the plantains crosswise about a half-inch thick.

Pay attention here: if the slices are too thin, the plantains will burn quickly, but if they’re too thick, the “face” will brown while the middle stays raw. At a half-inch thick, they’ll be just right (and Goldilocks-approved).

Fried plantains step 1 - Dr. Axe

Add the plantains to the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let the slices cook for 5–6 minutes before flipping and sprinkling the rest of the cinnamon on top. Cook for another 5–6 minutes or until the fried plantains are cooked through and browned. That’s all there is to it!

Fried plantains step 2 - Dr. Axe

Fried plantains are yummy served hot but still tasty cold — and they reheat beautifully.

Fried plantains recipe - Dr. Axe

Try serving them alongside a spicy chicken and rice dish or as a snacking alternative to popcorn or crackers and hummus. Plantain recipes are versatile, unique and delicious. You won’t mistake them for a banana again.

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Fried plantains recipe

Fried Plantains Recipe


  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Plantains are less sweet yet starchier and delicious in recipes. Waiting until the fruit is ripe, this fried plantains recipe is super simple to make. It makes an excellent side or a quick snack.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ripe plantains (with peels mottled yellow and black)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Peel and diagonally slice the plantains into half-inch slices.
  3. Add the coconut oil to the heated pan, allowing it to melt.
  4. Add the plantains to the pan. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon evenly over the plantains. Allow plantains to cook for 5–6 minutes.
  5. Flip, sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon and let cook for another 5–6 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 3 min
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Category: Sides Dishes, Snacks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (188g)
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 26.9g
  • Sodium: 7mg
  • Fat: 7.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.2g
  • Fiber: 5.5g
  • Protein: 2.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: fried plantains recipe, jamaican fried plantains, fried green plantains, fried ripe plantains

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25 Comments

  1. Mauvette Bailey on

    Although plantains look like bananas, they’re quite different because they must be cooked before being eaten. If you eat them raw, you’ll find that plantains are quite bitter!

    Reply
  2. John on

    If I remember correctly, bananas are sweeter than plantains. That is why you need to let the skin get pretty black. I have eaten them several times and the flavor is more subtle than a banana, kind of like a dried banana.

    Reply
  3. Nancy Sanchez on

    Plantains are much like bananas. When they are green, we peel them, cut 1/4″ , fry and make chips. Also, we make plantain soup.
    When the plantain becomes yellow and softer, we slice it to fry it or we bake it whole to accompany chicken, beef, bean dishes.
    Do not eat a whole one since they very high in calories.
    I am too from South America and plantains are my favorite food.

    Reply
  4. Cheri Cywinski on

    I have never been able to cook these at the right time. I was told to wait until they turn black to do them, however I see you are doing them when they are yellow like a just ripe banana. I love these things and SOOOO want to cook them to taste like I have sampled them. Might you post another picture o two of what they look like when they are ready to be cooked?? Thanks so much!

    Reply
  5. Michele on

    My family is from Cuba. For green plantains, we cut 1/2 in. thick, fry in olive oil (covered 1/2 way in oil ) until they turn pale yellow, flip fry the other side. Take them out of oil, put on a paper bag, and smash gently (with your fist, bottom of a mug) so the spread out. Then brown them in the oil. Dry on paper towel. Add salt when cool. Or you can grate them , ( shredded grated, or thin sliced ) fry in little oil, salt when cooled. Salty Banana chips called Tostones and can be eaten as a snack, or paired with a meal.

    Reply
  6. Deyanira on

    I am from the dominican republic and this is something we regularly eat whether is green plantains or the ripped ones
    We make them in deferent ways

    Reply
  7. Suruj on

    Add sour cream and honey to the plantain when done coking. Also make sure the plantain has a yellow color skin tone. When it’s green in color it wouldn’t be tasty.

    Reply
    • Shannon on

      Dr. Axe I’m sure was trying to give a healthy, simple way of frying these. Coconut oil is the healthiest to cook with. In my opinion, if you don’t like coconut oil then avacado oil or sesame oil will still remain healthy. If none of those, extra virgin olive oil will do.

      NOTE: If buying coconut oil, look for the UNREFINED and COLD PRESSED. This way, it was not refined in a factory and lost some of its healthy properties. Cold pressed means no heat was used. Still in its natural state. It’s a little more expensive than refined, but MUCH healthier, and smells/tastes better. HTH :)

      Reply
    • Nancy Sanchez on

      Green Plantains can be peeled to be made into chips by frying them. Can also be cooked in broth to help with stomach problems.
      Ripe plantain (yellow,soft and black spots)can be peeled, sliced and fried to go with chicken, beef bean dishes. Also, it can be peeled left in one piece to be baked until darker but not burnt-it will be sweeter. It can be served with chicken, bean, and beef dishes.
      I like it as I can get it in Asian markets or Mexican stores. If I eat it whole, I like to open it in the middle, a bit of butter with some white cheese!!!

      Reply
  8. Juj on

    I fried mine for about 6 min per side and even then some were darker than I’d like. 10-15 min per side would have tended black crisp slices. Delicious though!

    Reply
  9. Ruth on

    Does anyone know how to select the best plantains for frying at the supermarket? In the past, I have tried to bake plantains, and they turned out like bricks. Someone suggested that I didn’t buy the right kind or maybe they weren’t ripe.

    Reply
    • Laura on

      I get mine at my local Mexican grocery store. Very common there, but I have seen them in the other grocery stores. They look just like large bananas. They get sweeter as they age and turn brown, then black. You can fry them up when they are light and they taste similar to potatoes or wait until they are dark and sweet and use them like a dessert. They have completely replaced french toast in our house.

      Reply

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