These easy Maduros (Sweet Plantains) are a staple side dish in Latin and Caribbean cuisines that only need two ingredients. They’re perfectly sweet, caramelized along the outside and deliciously warm on the inside!
Table of Contents
- The Most Delicious Maduros Recipe
- Maduros (Sweet Plantains) Recipe Ingredients
- What’s the Difference Between Plantains and Bananas?
- How To Ripen Plantains
- How to Fry Sweet Plantains
- Tips for the Best Maduros
- What to Serve with Fried Plantains
- How to Store Leftovers
- Puerto Rican Maduros (Sweet Plantains)
- Looking For More Latin Recipes?
The Most Delicious Maduros Recipe
With crispy sweet caramelized outsides and soft ripe plantain centers, maduros are one of my favorite ways to enjoy plantains. Growing up in Puerto Rico we had maduros 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. Now my kids do the exact same thing!
Plantains are to Puerto Ricans like potatoes are to Americans. We fry them when they are still green to make tostones, we mash them to make mofongo, we slice them thinly and fry them to create plantain chips, and we pan fry them in butter once ripe to make maduros.
Maduros are incredibly easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for the plantains to ripen! But don’t worry, I gave you some tips below on how to help speed up the ripening process. Once the plantains are ripe, all you need to do is fry them in a little butter to create maduros!
Are you looking for savory fried plantains? Then you are looking for Tostones! Here is my easy homemade Tostones Recipe!
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!
- Plantains: You’ll want your plantains to be super ripe for this dish. The blacker, the better.
What’s the Difference Between Plantains and Bananas?
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 Ripen Plantains
Did you buy some green plantains at the store and they are taking forever to ripen? Here are a couple of common ways to speed up the ripening process:
- Naturally: To allow plantains to ripen naturally, simply allow the plantains to sit undisturbed at room temperature for a week or two, until the outsides are nice and blackened.
- Brown Paper Bag: To speed up the process, you can place your plantains in a brown paper bag (or wrapped in newspaper). This method allows for the ethylene gas created by the plantains to help ripen the fruit. When I do this method, my plantains are usually ready in 4 to 5 days, depending on how ripe your plantains are to start with.
- Uncooked Rice: This is another common method to help ripen plantains. Burying plantains in uncooked rice also helps to trap ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process. This method takes about the same amount of time as a brown paper bag, approximately 4 to 5 days, depending on how ripe your plantains are to start with.
- Microwave: I do not recommend this method. I find microwaving the plantains to only help to soften them, but they are not as sweet as truly ripened plantains.
How to Fry Sweet 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, for about 2-3 minutes, or 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 Maduros
- 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, but it is best to wait until they are ripe.
- 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.
- Slice Them At An Angle: It’s important to slice them at an angle, as shown in the photos, for them to get the proper amount of slightly crispy outsides.
- Crema/Cotija Cheese: You can also drizzle them with a little crema and/or crumbled cotija cheese before serving. This isn’t traditional, but I have had it at many up scale restaurants and it’s delicious.
What to Serve with Fried Plantains
- Pork: Pork and plantains go insanely well together. Serve your sweet plantains with our favorite Pernil recipe, or for a more cuban flare, we love this Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja!
- Rice: Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) is always a great side to add on with these maduros. Or some arroz con pollo is another great classic pairing.
- Beans: Serve your fried sweet plantains with black beans for a delicious sweet and savory combo. While they are more Mexican,
- Coquito: And of course, if it’s the holiday season, we highly recommend you serve every Puerto Rican dish with a glass of Coquito.
- More Plantains: Honestly, if you want to go all out, make sure to do some fried savory plantains too! In many Latin and Caribbean cultures, it’s very common to see Tostones (fried savory plantains) served right along with Maduros (sweet fried plantains!).
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover Maduros 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 or air fryer, you have a better chance of the outside staying a little crisp!
- 2 overly ripe (black) plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- **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!
**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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1.2g
Looking For More Latin Recipes?
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Easy Tres Leches Cake
- Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
- Homemade Chicken Empanadas
- Arroz Con Leche
- Puerto Rican Beef Sancocho
- Beef Picadillo
- Homemade Empanada Dough
- Cheesy Beef Empanadas
- Best Mojito Recipe
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