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Fried ripe plantains – Platanos maduros fritos

This is my easy recipe for fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos, a must-have side dish for so many Latin dishes. I experienced overexposure to plantains when I was growing up (and it was great!).

How to make fried ripe plantains

En español

We grew plantains on the farm, my mom used to make us fried ripe plantains for breakfast – or on request. Now my kids rave about my mom making them a whole pan of platanos maduros when they visit her. Fried plantains are also one of the first things I learned to cook on my own as a kid.

Fried sweet plantains or maduros fritos

In Ecuador, the street food stalls in the city and at the beach sell the best whole ripe plantains fried and stuffed with cheese. I could fill a cookbook with all the plantain recipes I’ve tried. There are so many different ways to prepare them and the taste of each dish is completely different even though the same main ingredient is used.

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Maduros or fried ripe plantains recipe

I love dishes made with green or unripe plantains as much as I do those that are made with ripe ones. Fried ripe plantains are probably the most well known way to cook plantains and also the easiest way to cook them. Even then there are so many options for frying ripe plantains, from how you slice them, to how ripe they are and if you shallow fry vs deep frying.

Fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos

Fried ripe plantains go well as a side dish for almost any meal, especially if the meal involves rice. One of the most simple and delicious meals you can have is rice with a fried egg and fried plantains.

Ripe plantains for frying

They are perfect simply right out of the frying pan, but also delicious with cheese on top. I like to use either queso fresco or feta cheese, the saltiness reminds me of an Ecuadorian cheese call queso de sopa (a soft crumbly salty cheese used in soups). A grated cheese that melts easily (like Ecuadorian quesillo, mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina) is also good. These fried ripe plantains can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish, as a snack, or as breakfast dish.

Fried plantains

Fried ripe plantains – Platanos maduros fritos

Easy recipe for fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos, a must-have side dish for so many Latin dishes.
4.80 from 308 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Latin American, Mexican, South American
Keyword: Comfort food, Fried ripe plantains, Maduros fritos, Platanos maduros fritos, Ripe plantains
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 fried ripe plantains slices (6 per plantain)

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • Oil for frying can use avocado, sunflower, peanut oil

Optional:

  • Cheese for sprinkling or melting on top: You can use quesillo queso freso or feta if you want to experience the saltiness contrast with the sweetness of the plantain. Other options include grated mozzarella, monterey jack, or fontina if you prefer the yummy gooiness of melted cheese

Instructions

  • Wash and peel the plantains
  • Slice the plantains, the best way to slice them is either diagonally or cut the plantain in half and slice lengthwise. The plantain can also be sliced lengthwise full size, but the smaller diagonal or half slices are easier to manage.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the plantains
  • The plantains will cook very quickly, make sure to turn them before they burn and cook until golden on each side. You can use a spatula or a fork to turn them. If the plantain flesh is still pink or white inside it means that it is not yet fully cooked.
  • Thicker slices and less ripe plantains will need longer to cook, and maybe more oil.
  • Place the cooked plantains on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve warm

Notes

If adding cheese, sprinkle the cheese over the plantains and serve. If you using a grated cheese then it is best to skip step #5, once the plantains are done leave them in the frying pan and add the grated cheese on top, remove from the heat to avoid burning them and let the cheese melt.

If you love plantains or want to try different recipes, you can check out my collection of plantain recipes.

Fried ripe plantains

Step by step preparation photos for preparing fried ripe plantains or platano maduros fritos

Place the plantain slices in a hot frying pan
Cook on each side until golden
Platano frito or fried ripe plantains
Platanos fritos
platanos fritos con queso
Platanos fritos or fried ripe plantains
Platanos fritos con queso

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20 Comments

  1. I just made arroz con gandules and I thought I could do tostones with my yellowish black plantains, but I will make these for dessert! Perfecto! I think I will try mixing in some sweet potato wedges too

  2. I know that no one has commented since last year so I was really glad that this site was still available. I fell in love with fried plantains while in Mexico last week. A neighbor cooked them every day. The only difference between his receipe and yours is that he said he smashes them with the bottom of a glass to flatten them before cooking? Did I get that right? He also put salt on them which was so good. Thanks for this receipe…off to try them now.

    Hi Lisa – Plantains can be cooked either green or ripe (yellow to black skin). It sounds like your friend’s recipe was making patacones, which use green plantains, here is the link to that recipe: https://www.laylita.com/recipes/2008/06/30/patacones-or-tostones/

  3. Finally! I have been searching for an awesome recipe to cook plantains – one of my husbands favorites. I am cooking this tonight, and I am saving your site to my “favorites”!

    Rony

  4. These look wonderful! We make a dipping sauce of plain yogurt (we use soy but either are fine) mixed with our favorite spicy salsa and adds a nice kick and smoothness to these often underestimated treats!

  5. Hello Laylita,

    I’ve been a fan of plantains for many years, and have enjoyed these simple fried ones with black beans and rice for sometime. I would love to see more of your plantain recipes. Will you be posting more?

    Hi – There are a lot of plantain recipes that I still need to post, in the next few weeks I should post a recipe for bolon de verde (green plantain dumplings stuffed with meat or cheese) as well as a ripe plantain puree that is a great side dish for meats.

  6. When I was growing up, I always felt like I was getting to eat dessert for a meal when we had platanos maduros (I like them much more ripe than you described). So sweet, so yummy! I’d love to see a cookbook you’d fill with all the plantain recipes you know…

  7. This is a typical latin american classic. Thank you so much for this recipe Laylita. I usually eat platanos fritos in a typical Salvadorian breakfast, and sometimes my mother has made them for dessert. When my mother makes them for dessert, she sprinkles sugar on top and they are so sweet and delicious. For breakfast, we pair them with this Salvadorian “butter cream,” and its marvelous. I highly recommend you trying these combinations for platanos fritos. Your recipe looks absolutely delicious!

  8. Paul – Thank you for the compliments. The easiest way to tell is based on skin color, any where from yellow to almost black is ripe enough, the riper the plantain the softer and sweeter it will be, some people like them very soft and sweet so they use very ripe plantains (almost black or completely black), I prefer when the skin is entirely yellow, maybe a few dark spots, but still a little bit firm, it makes it easier to cook them and it is just my personal preference.

  9. Thanks for a wonderfully written and photographed site, Laylita, it is an inspiration. What is the best way to tell when the plantain is ripe enough to make platanos maduros? Is it based on skin or flesh color – or softness?

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