Puerto Rican Fried Plantains (Sweet Plantains)

Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 15 mins

These Pan Fried Plantains (Sweet Plantains) are a staple Puerto Rican side dish recipe. They’re perfectly sweet, caramelized along the outside and deliciously warm on the inside!

A Plate of Puerto Rican Fried Plantains

The Most Delicious Sweet Fried Plantains Recipe

Growing up in Texas, I had never heard of a plantain — much less eaten one. Then, when I moved to Florida, they were everywhere. I didn’t think they looked appetizing so I stayed away from them. A couple of years later, I married Jorge and became best friends with Christina, both of whom are Puerto Rican.

Plantains are to Puerto Ricans like pie is to Americans. Could you imagine what would happen if someone said they wouldn’t try pie?! We would shove pie at them until they finally caved and tried the amazingness that is pie. And that’s exactly what Jorge and Christina did with plantains! I eventually gave in and tried one.

Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved it! The first one I ever had was pan fried. After that, there was no going back. I now love Maduros (sweet fried plantains), Tostones (smashed, fried, green plantains), Mofongo (mashed plantains — like mashed potatoes), plantain chips (like potato chips) and even plantain crusted fish.

There are so many ways to serve plantains, but my favorite is still pan frying them. It’s so easy! all you need is an extra ripe plantain and butter to make what’s become one of my favorite side dishes ever. I love to serve them alongside pork recipes, and I enjoy having something that tastes sweet like dessert with my dinner.

Puerto Rican Fried Plantains on a Plate

Maduros (Sweet Plantains) Recipe Ingredients

When it comes to simple side dishes, these plantains are as good as it gets. You don’t need much to make the best fried plantains. They are incredibly easy to make with just 2 ingredients!

Ripe plantains are pan fried to perfection in this Puerto Rican recipe. Just heat some butter in a skillet and fry your sliced plantains. They get a little crispy on the outsides while the insides stay warm and soft. 

  • Butter
  • Plantains: You’ll want your plantains to be super ripe for this dish. The blacker, the better.

4 Plantains in Order of Ripeness

What’s the Difference Between Plantains and Bananas?

  • Size: Plantains tend to be larger than bananas.
  • Sweetness: Bananas are sweet when raw or cooked, whereas plantains are not eaten raw. They 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 slightly less curved.

A Sliced Plantain with a Knife on a Cutting Board

How to Fry Sweet 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, for about 2-3 minutes, or 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!

Puerto Rican Fried Plantains in a Skillet

Tips for the Best Tostones

  • Be Sure to Use Ripe Plantains: Your plantains won’t crystallize enough if they’re not ripe. They’re best when the outsides are dark with lots of black spots! If you’re worried your plantains aren’t ripe enough, you can sprinkle some sugar on them while they cook or wait until they ripen.
  • Fry in Garlic for Added Flavor: If you want to make your plantains a bit more savory, substitute the butter for 1/4 cup of olive oil and a couple teaspoons of minced garlic. You can also sprinkle them with coarse sea salt for a sweet and savory delight. 
  • Eat Warm: Enjoy your Tostones as soon as they’re done draining on your paper. 
  • Press Plantains for Crispier Texture: If you want your fried plantains to be more on the crispy side, squish down on them with the back of a spoon before frying.

A Plate of Pan Fried Plantains

What to Serve with Fried Plantains

  • Pork: Pork and plantains go insanely well together. Serve your Tostones with my easy Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja or any other pork recipe!
  • Rice: Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice, or arroz con pollo, is a classic dish to serve with fried plantains.
  • Beans: Serve your Tostones with black beans for a delicious sweet and savory combo.
  • Dips: Pair fried plantains with your favorite dip or make a simple garlic dip from scratch by mixing 1 squeezed head of roasted garlic with 1/2 cup of mayo (as in Closet Cooking’s recipe).

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftover tostones in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The best way to reheat them is in the toaster oven or microwave. In the toaster oven, you have a better chance of the outside staying a little crisp!

Yield: 4

Puerto Rican Fried Plantains (Sweet Plantains)

Tostones on a Plate

These Pan Fried Plantains are a staple Puerto Rican side dish recipe. They're perfectly sweet, caramelized along the outside and deliciously warm on the inside!

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

Ingredients

  • 2 overly ripe (black) plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

    1. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
    2. 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.
    3. Transfer to a plate covered with newspaper (or paper towels) and allow to drain for a minute or two. Then serve!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1.2g

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Comments

50 Responses
  1. Carmaw

    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.

    1. 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.

  2. Amy Vazquez

    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!

    1. Donna Wood

      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.

  3. Connie

    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!

  4. Bri

    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

  5. Cindy Chen

    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!

  6. Dalis

    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!!

    1. Darby Horgan

      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.

      1. 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!

  7. Tamara @jemofthesouth

    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. 🙂

  8. Javelin Warrior

    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…

  9. Angie

    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.

  10. Jen @ BeantownBaker.com

    I had never heard of plantains until meeting my Hubby, who is Cuban. I think I like tostones better than pan fried plantains, but I love all kinds of plantains!

  11. Christina @ ovenadventures

    I tried to make plantains once and it was a total fail but looking at your pics I think I need to revisit. Thanks for the links at the bottom now maybe I won’t waste 1/2 the plantain trying to peel it.

  12. Judy

    My partner’s mom is Sri Lankan and she does a perfectly smashing dish of plantains, sliced very thinly so when it’s fried it’s crisp, with salt and saffron. it is absolutely the most amazing thing i’ve ever tried, so I do agree with you that everybody should give plaintains the time of day!

  13. Joanne

    I didn’t try plantains until college but now I can’t be stopped. I actually can’t buy them because I’ll just fry them all up and eat them in a heartbeat. But they’re totally good for you, right?

  14. wendy

    I grew up eating plantains so many ways. Ripe fried with salt and sour cream (aka white butter), green fried with salt and sour cream and either one with ketchup. Also delish to make them as a snack with thinly sliced lunch meat. We also would broil the overly ripe ones. They turn out sweet and can be a little crisp on the edges. We also served them in tapado-a Honduran (Island) soup. The soup consists of meat (either salted beef or fish) coconut milk, green and ripe plantain, bread fruit, cassava, and any other “bread kind” you might enjoy. Served over rice. Yum.

  15. Neisa

    As a fellow Puertorican I agree, these must be tried by everyone and eaten all the time. I forget that not everyone grew up in my household/neighborhood and am always amazed when I come across someone who has never tried it. Plantains and tostones; can never get enough.

  16. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    We went to Puerto Rico in 2009 and it took me up until the last day to try Mofongo just because the name makes it sound horrific, does it not? Had I known it was plantains the entire time I would’ve eaten it approximately 25 times in the 6 days we were there. Why didn’t someone TELL ME!?
    Pan fried is the way to go though, these look perfect!

  17. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Yumm!! I’ve seen plantains at my local store before… but I’ll admit I’m scared of them. I had no idea what to do with them before. I think I might go try to get one or two to try this. I love how golden they get – they look delicious!

  18. Erin

    I don’t think I had ever had a plantain until I went to Miami – god they are good! I want to try this but I hope I can find them in stores.

  19. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    yum!!! like that you used butter instead of oil. we’re on a plantain kick here too but i’ve been baking them!

  20. ana Gabriela Lira Castillo

    Your recipe is almost complete, for México, to finish it you should add some cream and sugar (top), and ready, is very, very good!!!

  21. Tina (My Life as a Mrs)

    i flippin’ LOVE fried sweet plantains!!!! These look amazing!!! Girl, why do we not live in the same town?!!? i need these in my life! 😉

  22. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    These look awesome! When I was in Aruba, I posted about coconut oil fried plantains last month. They are so good. With cinnamon (and sugar)…too.

    Yours look CRAZY GOOD!!!

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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