Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains)

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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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.

A plate filled with Platanos Maduros, sweet plantains, with sea salt sprinkled on top.

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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!

Two plantains on a wooden cutting board and a bowl with butter and salt.

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

  1. Melt Butter: In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt your butter.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve: Transfer to a plate covered with newspaper or paper towels and allow them to drain for a minute or two. Serve and enjoy!
A plate of platanos maduros with two bowls of rice and beans.

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.

Recipe Variations:

  • 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

Maduros on a plate topped with sea salt.
4.5 from 50 votes
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Yield: 4

Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains)

These authentic Platanos Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains) are a staple Puerto Rican side dish. They're perfectly crisp and caramelized along the outside, with deliciously tender and warm insides!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 overly ripe, black plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter, or oil
  • **Salt, optional garnish

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Instructions 

  • 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!

Video

Notes

Salt: A little pinch of salt sprinkeld on top makes the flavors pop! Try them both ways to see which you prefer, with or without salt.
Storage: Store any leftover Maduros in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat: 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 102kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 1.2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 91mg, Fiber: 2.1g, Sugar: 13g

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5 stars
So yummy ! Enjoyed with my afternoon coffee here in Costa Rica . Tasted better than how my house helper made them. The butter is the trick. Nice treat one in awhile

These are so so so so SO good!!

Holy Plantain, Batman. I had never tried these until today. My store had some really ripe plantains they were going to throw away so I asked for them and they gave them to me. I read all the comments above and really liked these with a little curry powder on them. Also tried chili powder, lemon pepper, BBQ and salt and pepper. All were very good. This is a simple, but great recipe and one that I will be using a lot in the future.

Absolutely wonderful. The butter makes a huge difference in the taste.

Jessica

So glad you enjoyed them Carolyn! 🙂

The tradition in Puerto Rico is to fry them in oil and not in butter.

Jessica

Our Puerto Rican family uses butter, not oil. 🙂

Tried your recipe-Fantastic
I’ve never done this at home before
However, bought more today and all they had were green plaintains-how do I ripen then quickly?

Jessica

If you add them to a brown paper bag, they will usually ripen in a couple of days! Glad you enjoyed them Jack!

Please recheck the carbs listed for your recipe. I was so excited (but quiet surprised) to see there were no carbs. I went to the app CalorieKing, which is recommended by the American Diabetes Assoc and plantains, unfortunately for diabetics is loaded with carbs.

Jessica

Hi! There must have been glitch, because I am seeing the carbs listed. Yes, unfortunately plantains do have carbs and sugar naturally in them.

Thanks for your kind response. I now see the 28g of carbs!

5 stars
We normally fry our plantains in oil. Saw your post and tried replacing the oil with butter and it was such a game changer!!!! There’s no going back!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Too funny, I’m a Texas girl married to Jaime the PR guy, hiding the fact that I’m Pinteresting how to make fried plantains!! Love it, thank u!

Yum yum yum! I love fried plantains. I found this ackee and Saltfish recipe that I think this will make a nice side with. http://caribbeanfood.com/recipes/jamaican-ackee-and-saltfish

When I was stationed in Puerto Rico in the Navy, a neighbor made plantains for me, sauteed in butter. She sprinkled a little powdered curry over them, which was unexpected. Oh my gosh, they were sooo delicious! Still one of my all-time favorites.

Jessica

I have to try that! Sounds amazing!

Please don’t listen to anyone from Mexico about cooking these lol 😉 Fried, add salt, eat!

Just made these tonight and they are AWESOME!! I was looking for something that was Whole 30 compliant so I just used clarified butter for frying. Love these!

These look awesome and I just happen to have two black plantains lying on my counter. Thanks!

omg. My mom was going on and on about these about a month ago and I was dreading it but I’m always open to trying new things and usually wind up loving them and let me tell you, just like you all, I cant be stopped when it comes to plantains! My mom fries them up in the pan or on a baking sheet in the oven and OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG they are the BEST. SOOOOOOOOOO good, sweet and salty and hard- HEAVEN <3 333 I think I'm literally addicted 🙂 x

I saw plantains at the deli. I went to your website to find out how to cook them.
So I bought one and cooked it according to your recipe. It was delicious! Thanks!

Here, in Puerto Rico, we call those Amarillitos.

Great idea to use butter instead of regular oil!!

the trick at least for us here in IL is too find good ripe plantains. The green plantains that get all the way here do not ripe well, no idea why.

— dalis
btw. it is our DUTY as puertorican to make everyone tried plantains. LO!L!!

I’ve been finding the same to be true in wisconsin. All the ones I see at the different grocery stores are very green. I’ve had mine trying to ripen up at home for two weeks now. I think I am going to try out some of the mexican/latino markets here. I’m hoping I will have better luck at one of them.

Jessica

They can take a while to ripen, I always find putting them in a paper bag helps to speed up the process a little!

I love sweet fried platains! The hardest part is waiting for them to ripen. Have you tried the non-sweet ones? I’m not a fan. 🙂

Love these! And I’ve been inspired to feature your plantains in my Friday Food Fetish roundup and on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and please let me know if you have any objections…

I love those too, and didn’t try them either until I was older and we moved to central Florida. Now I am obsessed with so many new Latin foods, like these.

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.