Sweet Fried Plantains
Sweet Fried Plantains Recipe – Super ripe plantains are pan-fried to sweet, tender and delicious perfection in just 5 minutes with only 3 ingredients. Enjoy as a snack or decadent side to compliment your favorite savory dishes!
But then, once you’ve had a plantain…
I’m not saying that plantains have ruined bananas for me. BUT I will say that they are life-changing. Because although plantains and bananas might look alike and have similar textures, the flavors are wildly different. Sure, they are both sweet fruits, but a ripe plantain has a level of sweetness that a banana simply cannot compete with.
Plantains are also quite versatile fruits, like bananas. The extra sugariness and thicker consistency of a plantain makes it better to work with for really decadent dishes. For example they can be used to make Magic Gluten Free Tortillas, Mofongo, Paleo Chinese Dumplings (really!) and – of course, fried plantains.
Classic Fried Plantains
Our Baked Plantains recipe is a yummy choice for sure. However, if you are looking for a truly luscious snack, side, or dessert, you are going to want to make these “naughty” plantains…
Classic Fried Plantains are made with just a few simple ingredients, with the star of the show obviously being plantains. This recipe uses super ripe plantains, which are terrifically sweet and fry beautifully. While this might not be the healthiest method, frying the slices of plantain does mean each piece is perfectly caramelized on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. So, yeah – I’d say they’re worth it!
Prep is a breeze and the plantains are fried for only 5 minutes. Our recipe couldn’t be any easier! Give it a try and in no time you will be enjoying silky-sweet fried plantains with dipping sauces, or as a scrumptious side dish with your fave Mexican and Caribbean meals.
You are 3 ingredients and less than 10 minutes away from fried plantain happiness. For this easy recipe you need:
- Ripe plantains – so ripe they should be have large black spots, like in the photo below – the blacker the better!
- Butter – or use your fave plant-based sub for a vegan recipe
- Garlic clove – smashed
Plus you’ll want a pinch of salt to finish. This really helps balance out the sweetness of the plantains!
How to Make Sweet Fried Plantains
I usually fry these plantains either just before my main dish is done or while the entree is cooling before it’s time to serve. Because, seriously, they only take about 5 minutes to cook!
First, peel the plantains and slice them on an angle into ½ inch thick ovals.
Set a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Then set a paper towel lined “holding plate” on the side.
Add the butter to the hot pan. Once melted, add a tiny pinch of plantain to the oil to make sure it is the right temperature. If it starts to sputter and cook quickly the butter is ready. No sputtering and it’s probably not quite hot enough. Turn the heat up or down as needed.
Now gently add the smashed garlic clove and plantain slices to the pan, in a single layer. The pieces should be spread out a bit so they don’t touch. If the pan is too crowded you won’t get that lovely golden brown fry on the edges. So depending on the size of your pan, you might have to work in two batches.
Fry the plantains for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping back and forth until golden brown.
Once brown and crisp, use a slotted spoon to move the plantains to the holding plate. Generously sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining plantains if needed.
Get the Complete (Printable) Sweet Fried Plantains Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Serve the fried sweet plantains warm as a side or enjoy as a snack!
Frequently Asked Questions
Plantains are gluten-free and vegetarian. However, because they are very sugary when ripe and fried in butter, no, they are not really “healthy.” But they are tasty!
If your plantains taste and feel more starchy, like a potato, you likely didn’t use a ripe enough plantain. They need to be nearly or entirely black to get that sweet caramelization when fried in hot oil.
Plantains originated in Southeast Asia before becoming a staple in African and then Caribbean and Central American cuisine. So truly, they pair with just about any dish! We love to enjoy them with black beans or Frijoles de la Olla, Carne Guisada (con Papas), Jamaican Peas and Rice, Spicy Jollof Rice, and Cuban Beef Picadillo.
You can also serve homemade sweet fried plantains with dipping sauces, like ketchup, banana ketchup, sweet chili sauce, your favorite hot sauce, or a garlic sauce.
They have the best texture and taste when enjoyed shortly after being fried. You can store leftover plantains in an airtight container after they’ve cooled, and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in an oven, toaster, or give a quick fry on the stovetop. I do not recommend trying to freeze fried sweet plantains.
Looking for More Sweet Side Dish Recipes?
- Sweet Potato Hash (Potatoes O’Brien)
- Apple Celery Root Gratin
- Quick Maple Glazed Carrots with Cinnamon
- Wilted Honey Butter Kale
- Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples
Sweet Fried Plantains
- 3 very ripe plantains yellow with lots of black
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- Cut the tips off each plantain. Peel the plantains and slice them on an angle into ½ inch thick ovals.
- Set a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Then set a paper towel lined “holding plate” on the side.
- Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, gently add the smashed garlic clove and plantain slices to the pan, in a single layer. (Depending on the size of your pan, you might have to work in 2 batches.) Fry the plantains for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Once brown and crisp, use a slotted spoon to move the plantains to the holding plate. Generously sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining plantains if needed.
- Discard the garlic clove. Serve warm with your favorite Mexican or Caribbean meals!
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