How to Make Boiled Plantain

Boiled plantain is a wonderful, starchy side dish that pairs well with any savory lunch or even breakfast. Ripe plantains have a wonderful, sweet, mild banana taste while half ripe and green plantains are much starchier and not sweet.

How long to boil plantains? Simply, cut the fruit into one-inch discs with or without the skin and add to boiling water on medium heat for 15 to 25 minutes to soften. Drain the water, rinse, peel, and serve for boiled plantains.

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Ingredients for boiled plantains

For this recipe, you will need:

  • plantain: Although you can use plantain at any ripeness stage for this recipe, I highly recommend using very ripe plantains. They are much sweeter and taste better as a side dish in savory meals. But, how to tell if plantains are ripe? Well, the peels of ripe plantains have a deep, yellow color with lots of dark, black spots. Those black spots show up as the starches in the fruit become converted to sugars, so the more black spots, the sweeter, the better. Green to half ripe plantains can also be used here but they are much starchier and not as sweet. You can find plantains at your local supermarket or on Amazon.
  • water
ripe plantain for boiled plantain

How to make boiled plantain

Prep the ingredients

Step 1: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Wash the plantain and cut off its ends.

Step 3: You can choose to boil the plantain with the peels or without. If you are leaving the peels on, simply slice the plantain into 1-inch circular pieces (thicker slices will require a longer cook time). If you want to remove the skin, run the knife along the length of the plantain, cutting about 1/8th-inch deep into the peel. Pull off the peel with your fingers then slice the plantain into 1-inch pieces. Removing the peel can cause the plantain to soak up more water and become slightly soggy, so I prefer leaving it on.

slice the plantains

Boil the plantain

Step 4: Add the sliced plantain to the water. How long to boil plantain will depend on the thickness of the slices. They usually take about 15 to 25 minutes to soften completely. This batch with the 1-inch pieces took about 20 minutes.

boil the plantains

Step 5: Turn off the heat when the boiled plantain pieces have a vibrant yellow color and a fork can easily go straight through the softened plantain.

Step 6: Strain the water out. Give the pieces a quick rinse with cold water to remove any residual white starchy froth.

Step 7: If you left the peels on like I did, remove them after the plantain has cooled down.

peeling the boiled plantain

Step 8: Serve as a side dish with a savory lunch or even for breakfast. Boiled plantains are incredibly versatile and go well with pelau, rice and beans, and more.

finished boiled plantain

Are boiled plantains healthy?

On average, one hundred grams of plantain provides around 120 Calories. That makes plantain a source of carbs, similar to potatoes and wheat. Plantains also contain 2% fiber, moderate levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.

What can you eat with boiled plantain?

Boiled plantains go especially well with lunch time rice dishes. So, serve the plantains with rice and stewed lentils or red beans, pelau, dhal and rice, fried rice and macaroni pie. The options are endless.

More plantain posts

Boiled plantain recipe

boiled plantain featured image
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5 from 1 vote

Boiled plantain

This simple plantain recipe to quick and easy to make – it’s basically fool-proof. All you need are very ripe plantains and boiling water. Twenty minutes later, you’ll have a delicious, sweet side dish that pairs well with any savory lunch.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: boiled plantain
Servings: 4
Calories: 53kcal
Author: Ros Singh


  • 2 plantains
  • 4 cups water (boiling)


  • Place pot on medium heat. Add boiling water.
  • Wash the plantains. Cut off both ends.
  • Cut the plantain into 1-inch pieces. (Or remove the peel then cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • Add the plantain pieces to boiling water.
  • Leave to boil until soft (approx. 20 minutes).
  • Strain.
  • Rinse to remove froth. Strain again.
  • Remove the peels (if left on).
  • Serve alongside savory meals especially rice dishes.

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