These easy Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains) are a staple side dish in Latin and Caribbean cuisines that only need two ingredients! They’re perfectly crisp and caramelized on the outside with sweet, soft and tender insides.
Authentic Puerto Rican Platanos Maduros
Platanos Maduros (fried sweet plantains) are one of my favorite ways to enjoy plantains. With their crispy, caramelized edges and soft, warm centers, I promise you will be addicted after the very first bite! Growing up in Puerto Rico, we had sweet plantains with almost every meal. I always looked forward to those sweet little bites and would save them for the end of the meal like a dessert!
Sweet Plantains are incredibly easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for the plantains to ripen! Once the plantains are ripe, all you need to do is fry them in a little butter to create the perfect side dish for just about every dinner.
Looking for savory fried plantains? Then you are looking for Tostones!
What You Need:
You don’t need much to make the best fried sweet plantains. They are incredibly easy to make with just 2 ingredients.
- Butter: My Abuela always used butter, but you can also use an oil with a high smoke point (like vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil).
- Plantains: You’ll want your plantains to be super ripe for this dish. Ripe plantains are dark yellow with lots of black spots.
- Salt: Optional, but a pinch of salt makes the flavor pop!
Is A Plantain A Banana?
No! While they look similar, there are quite a few differences between the two!
- Size: Plantains tend to be larger than bananas and are harder in texture.
- Sweetness: Bananas are sweet when raw or cooked, whereas plantains are not eaten raw and must be cooked. Plantains have a bit of a drier & starchier texture, but they become super soft, sweet and delicious once they are left to ripen (the outside will turn black) and then you cook them!
- Skin: Plantains have a tougher exterior than bananas do, and they’re usually slightly less curved.
How to Cook Plantains
- Melt Butter: In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt your butter.
- Cook Plantains: Add plantains in a single layer (you will have to do multiple batches). Cook plantains on each side, until they reach a caramelized brown color.
- Serve: Transfer to a plate covered with newspaper or paper towels and allow them to drain for a minute or two. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Fried Sweet Plantains
Follow these simple tips and I promise you will have great success frying up some plantains!
- Ripe Plantains: Your plantains won’t be sweet or caramelize enough if they’re not ripe. The longer a plantain ripens, the sweeter they become. You want to use plantains that have dark yellow outsides with lots of black spots! When plantains are not ripe, they are more savory, and starchier, like a potato.
- Speed Up Ripening: If your plantains are taking too long to ripen, you can place plantains in a brown paper bag on the counter for a couple of days.
- Slow Down Ripening: Just like avocados, you can place ripe plantains into the fridge to slow down the ripening process.
- Slice At An Angle: It’s important to slice plantains at an angle for them to have a large surface area to lay flat in the pan.
- Garlic: If you want to make your plantains a bit more savory, add a couple teaspoons of freshly minced garlic to the skillet when you add the plantains.
- Crema/Cotija Cheese: You can also drizzle them with a little Mexican crema and/or crumbled cotija cheese before serving.
What to Serve with Sweet Plantains
In our house, just about anything goes with sweet plantains! However, here are a few of our favorite traditional dishes to serve with Platanos Maduros:
- Pork: Pork and plantains go insanely well together. Serve your sweet plantains with our favorite Pernil (Puerto Rican roasted shredded pork), Chuleta Frita (Puerto Rican Fried Pork Chops), or for a more Cuban flare, we love this Lechon Asado (Cuban Roasted Pork).
- Beef: We simply can’t have Vaca Frita (Crispy Shredded Beef) without some sweet plantains on the side! Another great beef option is my favorite Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef).
- Rice: Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) is always a great side to add on with these maduros. Or some Arroz Blanco Puertorriqueño is another great classic pairing.
- Beans: Serve your fried sweet plantains with red beans or black beans for a delicious sweet and savory combo. While they are Mexican, Charro Beans will also pair great.
- Coquito: And of course, if it’s the holiday season, we highly recommend you serve every Puerto Rican dish with a glass of Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog).
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover sweet plantains in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The best way to reheat them is back into a skillet with a little butter if needed, in the microwave, or in the oven. You just want to heat them until they are warmed through again.
More Delectable Latin Recipes
- Baked Plantain Chips
- Easy Tres Leches Cake
- Tortilla Española
- Homemade Chicken Empanadas
- Arroz Con Leche
- Puerto Rican Beef Sancocho
- Homemade Empanada Dough
- Best Mojito Recipe
Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains)
- 2 overly ripe, black plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter, or oil
- **Salt, optional garnish
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add plantains in a single layer (you will have to do multiple batches). Cook plantains on each side, for about 2-3 minutes, or until they reach a caramelized brown color.
- Transfer to a plate covered with newspaper (or paper towels) and allow to drain for a minute or two. Then serve!
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