Fried Plantains – The Real Food Dietitians

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.

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.

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.

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

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