Fried Plantains

Fried plantains are an unexpectedly delicious side dish with their crispy exterior and soft, creamy insides. Try them as a side dish instead of sweet potatoes or add a few to a salad for a dose of healthy carbohydrates.

This post was originally published on June 29th, 2017. Updated on September 22nd, 2021.

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Change up your side game with Fried plantains

Plantains, which look like large green bananas with thick skin, are a member of the banana family but they’re starchier and lower in sugar and don’t taste like bananas. Plantains are native to India and the Caribbean but grow year round in tropical countries across the globe and are enjoyed as part of many traditional diets around the world. Because plantains are starchy like potato, they are often treated more as a vegetable than a fruit and prepared as a savory side dish.

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How to tell if a plantain is ripe

Plantains are ripe when they are just slightly green and overripe when they turn yellow and develop black spots. This slightly overripe stage is how we prefer our friend plantains but they can be prepared when green (tostones) or solid black (maduros). The more ripe they are, the sweeter they will be. They’re all delicious so we encourage you to try this fried plantain recipe using plantains of varying degrees of ripeness to see which you prefer.

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Ingredients for Fried Plantains

You only NEED three ingredients from the pantry to make these fried plantains. The lime wedges are optional but add a nice touch to this mildly-sweet-and-savory side dish.

  • Plantains – We recommend choosing ripe (yellow and light green) or slightly overripe plantains (yellow with dark spots)
  • Coconut oil – Avocado oil or another neutral-tasting oil can also be used for a dairy-free and vegan option. If you don’t need your fried plantains to be vegan or dairy-free, we recommend using ghee for a delicious buttery flavor and deep golden color.
  • Coarse or flaky sea saltCoarse grain kosher salt or Maldon sea salt flakes are our favorites for sprinkling on fried plantains because they add an irresistible salt crunch
  • Lime wedges – These are totally optional but add a bright and zingy flavor that complements many dishes

How to Make fried plantains

They’re so simple to make and budget-friendly too. You can use a variety of cooking fats to suit your tastes and dietary needs. Today we’re using coconut oil because we love how the slightly nutty flavor complements the creamy plantain. If you don’t need these fried plantains to be vegan or dairy-free, we suggest using ghee in place of the coconut oil for a rich and buttery flavor and deep golden color.

  1. Using a paring knife, cut both ends from the plantains.
  2. Holding a plantain in the palm of your hand, carefully pierce the skin at the top of the plantain where you cut the end off. Draw the knife down the length of the plantain through the skin, being careful not to cut yourself.
  3. Use two hands to peel the skin off. It should come off in one piece, kind of like a wrapper. If you are using slightly underripe plantains, you may need to cut the skin away using the paring knife or by slipping a spoon between the skin and the plantain. 
  4. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Place the plantain on a cutting board and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds.
  6. When the pan is hot, add half of the cooking fat to the pan, swirling to coat once the fat melts.
  7. Carefully place the plantain rounds into the skillet being careful not to crowd them. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat as necessary until all of the plantains rounds have been fried.
  8. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Are plantains healthy?

Plantains are an excellent source of carbohydrates in the diet. The contain roughly the same amount of carbohydrates as potatoes but are higher in certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. Plantains are also a good source of fiber which aids digestion and contributes to feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.

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Can Fried Plantains be reheated?

While fried plantains are best when enjoyed right away (hello, crispy edges) they can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, microwave in 30-60 second intervals until hot or place in a toaster oven that has been preheated to 350℉ and cook for 8-10 minutes or until hot.

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What to serve fried plantains with

While they are delicious on their own with a squeeze of lime juice, they’re also delicious when dipped in salsa or homemade guacamole. Try them with our Slow Cooker Picadillo, Easy Beef Taco Bowls, or alongside your favorite grilled protein for an easy and delicious alternative to potatoes.

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Recipe

Fried Plantains

Fried plantains are a delicious and easy starch option to add to any meal. Choose plantains that are yellow with black spots if you want them on the sweeter side or choose yellow to light green plantains for a more savory option. 

Prep: 10 minsCook: 10 minsTotal: 20 mins

Servings: 4 1x

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow plantains, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Coarse or flaky sea salt
  • Fresh lime wedges, optional

Instructions

  1. Using a paring knife, cut both ends from the plantain.
  2. Holding the plantain in the palm of your hand, carefully pierce the skin at the top of the plantain where you cut the end off. Draw the knife down the length of the plantain through the skin, being careful not to cut yourself.
  3. Use two hands to peel the skin off. It should come off in one piece, kind of like a wrapper. If you are using slightly underripe plantains, you may need to cut the skin away using the paring knife or by slipping a spoon between the skin and the plantain. 
  4. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Place the plantain on a cutting board and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds.
  6. When the pan is hot, add half of the oil to the pan, swirling to coat once it melts.
  7. Carefully place the plantain rounds into the skillet being careful not to crowd them. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat as necessary until all of the plantains rounds have been fried.
  8. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: ½ medium plantain
  • Calories: 175
  • Fat: 6 g
  • (Sat Fat: 3 g)
  • Sodium: 55 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 30 g
  • (Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 15 g)
  • Protein: 2 g

Dietary

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