Plantain is a versatile fruit, belonging to the banana family, that can be used for savory dishes when green and sweet recipes when ripe.
Plantains can be boiled, fried, baked and used as a substitute for potatoes or bananas.
Here are some wonderful plantain recipes for you to try.
#1 Boiled ripe plantain
This is a healthy plantain recipe and one of the easiest to make. It works best with ripe to very ripe plantains which have yellow and black skins. The black spots occur when the starches in the fruit turn into sugars, so the darker the peel, the sweeter the plantain.
To make boiled plantains, simply cut the plantain into 1-inch slices and add to boiling water on medium heat. It will take about 15 to 25 minutes to soften. Once soft, drain the water, rinse the slices, peel and enjoy!
Check out my post on making boiled plantains for more.
#2 Fried green plantain chips
Fried green plantain chips are a great alternative to regular potato chips. And if they’re half-ripe, they can have a slightly sweet taste too! Mix in salt, seasonings and pepper and you can have yourself a wonderful crisp.
To make fried plantain chips, peel the fruits and cut into thin slices. A mandoline slicer works great here. Deep fry the chips in hot oil for 8 minutes, turning once at the 4 minute mark. Remove from the oil and sprinkle with a little salt and your favorite seasonings. Enjoy it while it’s hot.
Find my simple recipe for plantain chips here.
Tostones are popular in the Caribbean and Latin America. They are made with green plantains and are served as an alternative to potato chips and french fries.
To make tostones, peel the fruits and cut into 1 inch thick slices. Fry the slices in hot vegetable oil for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil, smash the slices until they are 1/4-inch thick and refry them in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and sprinkle with some salt. Serve with your favorite seasonings, sauces, meat, and more.
Check out this video from Chef Patrick on how it’s done.
Mofongo is a delicious Puerto Rican dish that originated from fufu (a popular West African dish). Mofongo is made with green plantains and other simple ingredients and is often served with meat like chicharrón, chicken broth, sauces, condiments and more.
To make mofongo, peel the fruits and cut into 1-inch discs. Fry in hot oil for 7 minutes per side. Remove and mash in a small mortar and pestle with olive oil, garlic, salt, seasonings and meat if you prefer. Add more of each ingredient and continue to mash completely. Turn the filled mortar over onto a plate and that’s your beautifully shaped mofongo. Serve hot.
Here is Chef Erica explaining how to make mofongo.
Mangu is a popular dish in the Dominican Republic. It is similar to mofongo in that it also originated from fufu but there are distinct differences. For instance, mangu is made using boiled green plantains whereas mofongo uses fried plantains.
To make mangu, peel and cut green plantains. Add the pieces to boiling water and cook until tender (about 20 to 30 minutes). Remove and mix with butter or oil and some of the plantain water. Mash until smooth. Mangu is often served with sauteed red onions, cooked with oil and vinegar. The oil and vinegar mixture is sometimes added when mashing the plantains.
Find my simple mangu recipe here.
#6 Fried ripe plantain
Fried ripe plantains have a very different taste and texture to the green plantain. They are much sweeter and softer so they aren’t able to be crispy. But, they are so good as a sweet burst in sandwiches, with sada roti, or in any savory meal.
To make fried ripe plantains, peel the fruits and cut into 1/4-inch slices. The slices can be circular or strips (about 2- or 3-inches in length). Deep fry the slices in hot oil, flipping often to ensure even cooking and browning. Remove when the slices are soft (and not too dark). Place on paper towels to soak up the oil.
Check out Deddy’s video on making fried plantain.
#7 Plantain lasagna
For a gluten-free lasagna, use long, fried (or baked) plantain slices in place of the lasagna sheets. You’ll need a lot of plantains to make enough slices for the different layers!
To make plantain lasagna, peel and slice the fruits along their entire length. Fry (or bake) until golden brown, soft and cooked all the way through. Remove from the oil. Cook your desired filling (like ground beef, turkey, or veggies) with aromatics and seasonings. Make a cheesy sauce or use tomato sauce. Then, put the lasagna together. Add a little sauce at the bottom, then the plantain slices, then the filling, and top with cheese. Repeat for multiple layers.
Lets Eat Cuisine’s video explains how she makes plantain lasagna with ground turkey and tomato sauce.
#8 Baked plantain
For a wonderful treat, try making baked ripe plantains. They are sweet and really delicious. There are a number of ways to bake the plantains – you can add spices, sugar and oil too.
To make baked plantains, peel and cut into thin strips. Mix with oil, sugar and your favorite baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until completely soft.
Try this recipe from Cook Like A Jamaican:
#9 Plantain bread
Do you enjoy delicious banana bread? If yes, you should definitely try using plantains as a substitute!
To make plantain bread, peel and mash ripe plantains before mixing in oil, vanilla extract, and sugar. Combine with flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder. Add the batter to a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 50 minutes.
Roma makes hers slightly different to how I make mine. Check her video out below
#10 Plantain pie
If you’re fed up of macaroni and potato pie, then try making plantain pie.
Check out Laura’s plantain pie recipe (video below). She peeled and mashed ripe plantains before combining with flour, baking powder, egg, cream cheese and some cheddar cheese. She spooned the mixture into a buttered casserole dish, flattening the top before sprinkling a nice layer of cheese on top. She recommended baking in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 30 minutes.
There are lots of other recipes using green, half-ripe and ripe plantains but I’ll stop here for now. What are your favorite plantain recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.