Fried Plantains

Fried Plantains might be quick and easy to make but boy oh boy do they slap! That means they taste amazing boos. You start by slicing ripe sweet plantains then you fry them until that golden irresistible caramelized texture develops making them crisp on the outside and perfectly soft and tender on the inside. With just 2 ingredients in this fried plantains recipe, they can be made in no time. You can serve them up as a snack or as a side dish so delish it might compete with the attention of the main course.

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A white plate against a white background with slices of fried sweet plantains

My love affair with fried plantains started so long ago. I ordered them whenever I grabbed Jamaican takeout because they are absolutely necessary. There’s nothing like that caramelized exterior with a soft, sweet interior. It wasn’t until I tried them at the crib for the first time that I realized how low maintenance they are. The amazing Aline from Brazilian Kitchen Abroad showed me how to make them.

The Lowdown of the Best Fried Plantains Recipe

Closeup of Jocelyn in pink dress smiling

Cuisine Inspiration: Caribbean and Jamaican Vibes boo

Primary Cooking Method: Pan frying

Dietary Info: Gluten-Free and Vegetarian but can be made Vegan with a simple swap

Key Flavor: The natural sweetness of ripe plantains, deepened by the frying process and richness of butter

Skill Level: Easy (No Sweat, Fam!)

Using just-ripe plantains ensures the perfect balance between sweetness and structure, giving you slices that hold up in the pan but melt in your mouth.

The frying process gives each slice a caramelized crispy edge.

Serve these up as a side, a dessert, or a sweet snack. Do you boos!

Super short ingredient list and an even shorter cook time. Win, win!

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Fried Sweet Plantains

Plantain slices in a white bowl with butter cubes on a white background
  • Plantains: Make sure these babies are very ripe. I’m talking mostly black everywhere ripe so you can get that perfect sweet caramelized flavor.
  • Butter: We are using cold cubed butter to create that rich, golden brown goodness during frying.

How to Fry Plantains

Step 1: Prep the Plantains and Start Frying

  1. Start by peeling your ripe plantains then slice them on a diagonal about an inch thick. You can slice thinner if you want them a bit more crisp.
  2. Toss some butter into a large skillet over medium heat then add in the plantain slices in an even layer. Make sure you don’t overcrowd.
  3. This process takes some time but you will start to notice some browning happening. Use your kitchen tongs to flip them as they cook and watch the butter so it doesn’t burn.
A collage of black plantains that are super ripe and a black skillet frying them sliced in butter

PRO TIP: It can sometimes bit a bit harder to peel ripe plantains because they are so sticky. To make it easier, cut off both ends then make a lengthwise slice along the ridges of the skin to peel away super easy.

Step 2: Fry Until Golden

  1. Keep adding in your butter as they continue to brown.
  2. In the end, they should be a nice golden brown color. Remove and rest them on a paper towel to absorb excess butter then serve them up crispy and hot.
a collage of plantains frying in a large skillet with butter on a white background until golden

How to Serve Sweet Fried Plantains

A large white plate with fried sweet plantains and a yellow and white striped napkin nearby

Recipe Substitutions

  • Plantains: Ripe bananas are a great substitute even though you will get a slightly different texture and flavor profile.
  • Butter: Replace with ghee if you want to keep that rich buttery flavor in tact. Or you can use an oil like coconut oil to add another element of flavor.

Recipe Variations and Additions

  • Vegan: Just swap out the butter for your fave plant-based version to make these for your veggie boos.
  • Aromatic Touch: Toss a little vanilla or almond extract into the skillet to warm up the flavors.
  • Rum: I love just a drizzle of rum into the pan for a special adult spin. You can flambe them just like bananas foster too boos!
  • Fritters: Just like with my banana fritters, you can toss the plantains in a fluffy batter and fry them up for a unique twist.
  • Chips: Slice those plantains super thin and fry until they are crispy for a delish snack.
Two fried sweet plantains on a silver fork against a white background

Expert Tips and Tricks for this Fried Plantain Recipe

  • Ripe: I’m talking ripe ripe. Make sure your plantains are mostly black in color with very little yellow on them before you fry them up.
  • Uniform: Make sure the slices are uniform in size so they all fry evenly.
  • Pat Dry: Make sure you dry those slices super well to get rid of as much moisture as possible. This will help them crisp up better.
  • Grab a Great Skillet: Make sure you get a good non-stick pan or use a well-seasoned cast iron to fry plantains in.

How to Store

  • Fridge: Make sure the fried sweet plantains are cooled to room temp then wrap in plastic wrap or add to an airtight container. They will stay for up to 2 days.
  • Freezer: Flash freeze by adding in a single layer to a baking sheet and freezing for about 2 hours then add to a zip-top bag removing as much air as possible then keep frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Maintaining the crispy texture is key. Toss in the oven at 400 F or in an air fryer at 375 F to crisp them back up. About 5 minutes should do it.
Slices of sweet fried plantains on a white plate with one bitten into

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I buy sweet plantains?

Usually, grocery stores will sell plantains while they’re still green (or yellow if you’re lucky) which means you’ll need to plan ahead before you can make fried sweet plantains. I like to leave mine on the kitchen counter until they get black and super ripe.

How can I tell if my plantains are ripe enough?

Listen boos, and listen carefully. Your sweet plantains won’t be sweet if they ain’t basically black. I’m talking mostly black with little yellow remaining. If you fry them while they are green or yellow, they won’t be sweet.

What’s the difference between bananas and plantains?

Plantains are longer, firmer, and have thicker skin than regular bananas. Before they are ripe, they are also less sweet and super starchy. Unlike bananas, plantains must be cooked before you eat them.

Other Great Caribbean Recipes

A white plate against a white background with slices of fried sweet plantains

Sweet Fried Plantains

These Fried Plantains are irresistible!  Ripe sweet plantains are fried until golden brown with a caramelized texture and sweet flavor that melts in your mouth. 
4.37 from 36 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 3 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2-3 very ripe plantains peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup cold butter divided into 4 cubes

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 cube of cold butter.
  • When the butter starts to melt add the plantains – be sure to not crowd the pan.
  • Add another cube of butter, and let the plantains fry in the butter for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden.
  • When the plantains are golden, flip them using a pair of tongs so they can fry on the other side and add another cube of cold butter and fry.
  • Add the last bit of butter and let the plantains fry until they are golden and nicely caramelized.
  • When the plantains are golden, remove them from the pan using a pair of tongs, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

Notes

Tip: To make fried sweet plantains, the plantains need to be very ripe, meaning mostly black like in the image below. If they are still green, or just yellow, the plantains will not be sweet after you fry them. You’ll need to wait for the green/yellow plantains to ripen, or turn black, sitting on your counter several days before you can make sweet plantains.
How to Store
  • Fridge: Make sure the fried sweet plantains are cooled to room temp then wrap in plastic wrap or add to an airtight container. They will stay for up to 2 days.
  • Freezer: Flash freeze by adding in a single layer to a baking sheet and freezing for about 2 hours then add to a zip-top bag removing as much air as possible then keep frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Maintaining the crispy texture is key. Toss in the oven at 400 F or in an air fryer at 375 F to crisp them back up. About 5 minutes should do it.

Nutrition

Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1818IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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Filed Under:  Caribbean Recipes, Side Dishes, Stovetop

Comments

  1. I would love to make these for a friend’s birthday party…but I’ll have to transport them, and won’t have time to cook them the day of…could these be made a day ahead and reheated?

  2. Oh these look so appetizing! These caught my eye with the caramelized texture, I am definitely adding to my list to try it..so excited 🙂

  3. I usually sprinkle mine with a dash of salt…just enough to enhance the flavor. However, if I plan to eat them alongside a seasoned dish in which I can mix them-like saltfish and callaloo-I omit the salt. Great recipe!

  4. I eat the ripe plantains this way almost everyday as part of my breakfast. Goes good with ham and eggs.
    Best part of Costa Rican food that I brought home with me.
    Walmart usually has a lot of plantains that are usually ripe.

    1. Hey Frank! Same here – in my Brazilian household we eat a lot plantains pretty often, especially with rice and beans! And that’s a really good point about Walmart! To add to that, a bunch of 99 cent stores also have them ripe/browning! Hope to see you over Brazilian Kitchen Abroad one of these days! Take care xx

    1. Girl! We gotta work that out! hahah You wipe that drool LOL and go make this easy dish – It’ll change your life its so good!! If you have any questions, just let me or Jocelyn know!

  5. This is hands down the most underrated dish! I absolutely LOVE it from the first time I tried it! It’s so good!

4.37 from 36 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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