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This easy plátanos fritos (fried plantains) recipe highlights one of the many ways to cook plantains. Ready in under 10 minutes, you’ll be enjoying a sweet, creamy, and delicious snack in no time.
Table of Contents
📖 What is plátanos fritos?
Plátanos fritos (fried plantains) is a popular dish prepared in Mexico by taking ripe plantains and frying them in hot oil until golden and crispy.
In Mexico, plátanos fritos can be served with sweet or savory garnishes (both equally delicious options).
Another savory version, tostones, is a staple throughout Latin America. This dish is made by double-frying flattened green-skinned plantains.
The sweet version includes very ripe plantains (plátanos maduros) that are fried and served with toppings like salt, crema, queso, jam, chocolate, etc.
🍌 What are plantains?
Plantains come from the same plant family as bananas, but they are much bigger. They also have thicker skin and are not usually eaten raw.
Plantains contain more starch than bananas, and they are not sweet at all when unripe. But once they ripen, they become very sweet and get even sweeter when cooked.
Plantains are said to have originated in Southeast Asia. They grow best in tropical areas, which is why they’re a large part of many different cuisines.
🐒 Picking the best plantains
For this plátanos fritos recipe, you will want extra-ripe plantains. Look for those with many black spots and very little yellow left — they shouldn’t appear green at all.
The plantain should still be slightly firm to the touch, and the skin should peel off quite easily. Once it is all the way black, it may be too soft to hold its shape.
Oftentimes, you won’t be able to find ripe plantains at the store. Your best bet is to purchase them while green and let them ripen for a few days on your counter.
If you’re having trouble finding plantains at your regular grocery store, check at a Latin American or Asian food market.
🌱 Are fried plantains vegan?
Without any additional toppings or garnishes, plátanos fritos is a vegan-friendly dish. If you use extra garnishes like crema or queso, just make sure they are dairy-free!
🛒 Ingredients & substitutions
Plantains — Use extra-ripe (almost black) plantains for this recipe. Only use green plantains to make tostones. Plantains are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, A, and B6.
Oil — Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut, soy, canola, or sunflower oil.
Toppings — While it is common to serve plátanos fritos plain or with only salt, feel free to get creative with your toppings! Try crema, queso, cinnamon, vegan ice cream, chocolate sauce, cane sugar, jam, or a squeeze of lime.
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Step 1 — Soak the cashews in room temperature water for a few hours, but preferably overnight. Chill the can of coconut milk in your fridge overnight.
Step 2 — Drain the cashews and transfer them to a small blender with the sugar. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop off the cream portion at the top.
Step 3 — Add 7-8 tablespoons of coconut cream to the blender and mix until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. If you have a large blender, you may want to double the crema proportions.
Step 4 — Transfer the mixture to your fridge. In the meantime, wash and peel the plantains. Slice them on a slight diagonal, and toss them in a mixing bowl with a little cinnamon if you’re making them as a dessert.
Step 5 — Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low, then cook the plantain slices in batches for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
Step 6 — Transfer the fried plantains to a paper towel-lined plate, then finish cooking the rest. Serve your plátanos fritos warm with salt, a drizzle of crema, jam, chocolate sauce, or more cinnamon. Happy eating!
If you have questions about this plátanos fritos recipe, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!
🥗 What to serve with plátanos fritos
Fried plantains can be served as a dessert or side dish depending on the toppings you go with. Try them sprinkled with salt and paired with foods like:
🌡️ Storage & reheating
We love plátanos fritos warm, but they’re also great to keep in the fridge for a quick snack or sweet treat! Follow these storage instructions to keep them as fresh as possible:
Fridge — Plátanos fritos will last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. We prefer keeping ours in glass containers to preserve the flavors best. If you’re using toppings, store them separately.
Freezer — Plátanos maduros (ripe plantains) will last in the freezer for up to 4-6 weeks. Just make sure to keep them in a freezer-safe container or bag.
Reheat — Reheat your fried plantains in a pan over low-medium heat until warm throughout. Alternatively, you can re-fry the plantains to crisp them up again.
Low oil — For a lower calorie version, lightly brush the plantains with a few teaspoons of oil and bake them instead.
Plain — If you want a savory version, skip the extra toppings and serve your plátanos fritos with a simple sprinkle of sea salt.
Spicy — Turn up the heat by sprinkling your plátanos fritos with cayenne powder.
🧑🍳 Top tips
Prep crema in advance — To save time on the day of, prep your crema a day or two in advance.
Use ripe plantains — Remember, your plantains should be mostly black with few yellow spots for an extra sweet, creamy, and caramelly taste.
Cook low and slow — To avoid undercooking the insides and burning the outsides, cook the plantains over medium-low.
🍴 More recipes like this one
If you enjoyed this sweet fried plantain recipe, be sure to check out some of these other delicious treats:
- Buñuelos: Crispy fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
- Carlota de limón: A lime icebox cake layered with sweet Maria cookies.
- Strawberry tamales: Sweet, juicy, and fluffy strawberry-flavored treats.
- Fresas con crema: Layers of diced strawberries and creamy cashew cream.
If your plantains are still green, you will have to wait a few days for them to ripen. Otherwise, you can make a tostones recipe.
No, you do not need to boil the plantains before frying them.
Ripe fried plantains have a similarly sweet, caramelized flavor as bananas, but they do not taste exactly alike.
Plátanos Fritos (Sweet Fried Plantains)
- Knife & cutting board
- Large skillet
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked ($0.86)
- 7 tablespoons coconut cream ($0.59)
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar ($0.01)
- 3 large (very ripe) plantains ($1.00)
- 3-4 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil ($0.18)
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon ($0.04)
Other toppings optional
- Jam of choice
- Chocolate sauce
- Soak the cashews in room temperature water for about 8 hours, but preferably overnight. Place the can of coconut milk in your fridge to chill overnight.
- Next, drain the soaked cashews and transfer them to a small blender with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop off the cream portion at the top.
- Add 7 tablespoons of coconut cream to the blender and mix until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and adjust the sugar. Note: If you have a larger blender, you may want to double the proportions.
- Transfer the crema to your fridge while you prepare the plantains. Wash and peel the plantains, then slice them into ¼”-thick coins cut on a slight diagonal. Add them to a mixing bowl and toss with a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low, then cook the plantain slices in batches for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
- Transfer the cooked plantains to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil, then finish cooking the rest. Serve warm with a drizzle of crema, jam, chocolate sauce, or more cinnamon. Happy eating!
- Prep crema in advance — To save time on the day of, prep your crema a day or two in advance.
- Use ripe plantains — Remember, your plantains should be mostly black with few yellow spots for an extra sweet, creamy, and caramelly taste.
- Cook low and slow — To avoid undercooking the insides and burning the outsides, cook the plantains over medium-low.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.
Note: We’ve updated this post to include new information and helpful tips about the recipe.