Using only 3 ingredients and a skillet, pan-fried plantain patties are an easy way to use up overripe plantains!
This side dish pairs perfectly with pork and seafood, or you can use the patties to make sliders and breakfast sandwiches. They’re paleo, gluten free, and Whole30-friendly.
Author’s Note: This post was originally published 6/30/15 and has been updated with better photos and tips to make the post more useful.
Quick plantain side dish with only 3 ingredients
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of plantains, so I’m constantly looking for new ways to use them. Plantain patties were one of the first recipes I came up with that I knew was a hit right away.
The patties come together super quickly, but I have a couple tips to make everything go faster:
Use overripe plantains that are yellow with brown spots or almost completely brown. They’re easier to mash.
If you’re having trouble mashing with a fork, use a potato masher!
Don’t try to mash them into a super smooth consistency. A few chunks of plantain are a good thing.
I use tapioca flour with these — I’ve tested them numerous other ways and tapioca flour definitely wins in the texture department in this case.
That said, if you don’t have tapioca flour on hand, you can easily sub in arrowroot flour or potato starch. I’ve even had readers use cornstarch with good results. There’s a lot of flexibility here!
If cinnamon isn’t your thing, you can simply omit it. Or, use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder instead for a savory spin!
How to pan fry fritters and patties
Pan-frying earns a spot as one of my favorite cooking methods. Armed with a cast iron skillet, this cooking method is incredibly easy and often quicker than baking.
How is pan-frying different from frying or deep frying?
Pan-frying uses a minimal amount of oil, usually just enough to lubricate the pan and prevent what you’re cooking from sticking. It makes for a crispy outside without drenching your food with oil.
When pan-frying patties or fritters, heat up the oil in a skillet. Then add a heaping dollop of batter and, if it’s too thick to spread on its own, use the back of a spoon or fork to flatten it out a little. Flip after a few minutes to cook each side, and there you have it!
The cast iron skillet you need in your life for this recipe
You can make these plantain patties in any skillet, dutch oven, or even a griddle. But my preferred gear? A cast iron skillet.
Sincerely, my cast iron skillet doesn’t move from my cooktop 95% of the time. I cook almost every day with my cast iron!
I definitely think it’s a worthwhile investment. Here’s my preferred brand and size!
Otherwise, visit my Amazon page to shop my other kitchen essentials.
More plantain recipes you’ve got to try
- Plantain Tortillas (Two Ways)
- Mashed Plantains (Sweet & Savory)
- Plantain Gnocchi with Savory Short Ribs
- 3 Ingredient Plantain Cake
- Flourless Plantain Skillet Brownie
- Flourless Plantain Empanadas
- Plantain & Olive Beef Bowls
Have you made these plantain patties? I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram!Print
Crazy Easy Pan-Fried Plantain Patties
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: pan-fried
- Cuisine: American
Need a quick side dish for dinner? Make these crazy easy pan-fried plantain patties! Less than 5 ingredients and fast cook time.
- 1 yellow/brown plantain
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- ghee (or other choice of cooking fat, as needed)
- Peel the plantain and place in a medium-sized bowl. Ripe and over-ripe plantains should peel much easier than green plantains, so it shouldn't be too much effort to peel it. Using a fork, mash the plantain.
- Add the tapioca flour and cinnamon to the mashed plantain, mixing well. You'll want to make sure there are no large chunks of plantain, but small chunks are just fine.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a couple tablespoons of your favorite cooking fat and allow it to get hot.
- Using 2-3 tablespoons for each patty, drop the plantain mixture into the skillet and fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
- Serving Size: ~5 plantain patties
Keywords: Crazy Easy Pan-Fried Plantain Patties
Must try! Bet they'd be delish as a savory patty too (thinking onion power, salt, parsley... Maybe use greener plantains?)
I hope you try it, Karen! I think a savory patty might need more testing (ripe yellow & overripe brown plantains mash up nicely with a fork, but green plantains would not), but now you've got me interested to test it out. To the kitchen!
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂
Jessica Sharp says
Green plantains are the best. My favorite is the BOLON. Use green plantains. Peel them, cut them small, boil them, then smash them (it has to be fast so they do not get hard), add butter, salt, queso fresco in crumbles (you can use mozarella cheese too), chicharron (use bacon if you do not have chicharron), mix everything and then make medium size balls. You can eat them like that. Try little diferent, instead of boiling the plantain you could fry them and then smash them, this is a little harder, in my country people use thick gloves and smash them with hands. And that is bolon. We also have tortas de verde, boil the green plantains, smash them, add butter, salt, make them like balls and inside of them put cheese, then make them a little flat like an arepa. Bring them to the pan, you will fry them just so both sides are a little crusty. Oh my God I just love plantain.
That sounds amazing! Where I live (North Dakota), the plantains that are shipped here are almost always past the green stage, so most recipes I come up with use over-ripe plantains. I would love to get my hands on some green plantains to try out your suggestions!
I made bolon yesterday, with a little bacon and grated mozzarella, baked balls in the oven. Really delicious. I already tried plantain tortillas and chilli with plantain "rice" but bolon is the winner. Many thanks, Jessica! 🙂
I tried but they came out too mushy ?First time using tapioca flour
Hey Lucia, I'm sorry the recipe gave you trouble! I made these just last night and I have a couple tips. First, you've got to use enough ghee/butter/cooking fat...enough so that there's about a half inch in the bottom of the pan (otherwise, they'll stick and it will be extremely hard to flip them). I use a very small skillet so I'm not wasting a lot of oil. Then, you can't flip them too early or they'll fall apart, similar to flipping an egg too early. If the patties are too thick, they won't cook in the middle and will turn out mushy. The last factor that's hardest to control is how ripe the plantains are. If they're too over-ripe and too close to just being rotten, this recipe won't turn out right. Hopefully that helps if you choose to try the recipe again. I've often thought about updating this post with step-by-step pictures, and I think I need to get my butt in gear and do that soon!
Lorie Schroeder says
I have made fried plantains with garlic salt and pepper. I have made them as chips and also cut thicker for a different way of making them...
I'm also crazy about plaintains ! What could I substitute the tapioca flour for ? Actually, is it really necessary or it does make the whole patties hold together ?
Thank you for the recipe! 🙂
Hi Ysabelle! You can use arrowroot flour as an alternative to the tapioca flour. As mentioned in the post, I did try this recipe without any flours or starches added at all (just plantains), and while it works with just the plantains, they do stay together better and have a superior texture (in my opinion) with the flour.
Sorry it took so long to respond to your comment; I was on vacation! Thanks for stopping by!
Can you freeze them and reheat them later on ?
Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by. I've never tried freezing them, so I'm not sure how that would turn out! I have, however, frozen brown plantains before. Similar to frozen bananas, they were kind of goopy after thawing. But they worked for this recipe!
Omg yes we are so on the same wavelength with plantains. Definitely my favourite food ever! Honestly, I already know this recipe is awesome! Public speaking can be daunting though - glad you got through it! 🙂
Hell yes Whitney! We plantain-obsessed folks have to stick together, ya know?! I'm going to hop over to your blog right now to see what you've got cookin'!
Andi D. says
I made these tonight with arrowroot. My plantain was still a bit firm, so I threw it in the food processor with the arrowroot and it worked nicely. I loved these, and I was thinking if I could figure out a way to make them bigger and flatter, they would make a great substitute for a tortilla, soft taco shell, or pita bread. Looking forward to further experiments! Thank you for the recipe!
Andi, that's awesome to hear! This is definitely one of my favorite recipes. There are awesome plantain tortilla recipes out there - Google "zenbelly plantain tortillas" for my favorite!
Have you ever tried baking them?
Shalini, I haven't tried that yet! I'll have to try that soon to see how they turn out. Thanks for stopping by!
I really want to try this. All of your revipes look so good but Do think u need to work on that title for the Plantain demo. Not really appropriate. this 68 year old granny thinks it's the shock factor for young people to use profanity where you aren't expecting it.
Hi Vicki, thanks for stopping by! I hope you like the recipe. I did eventually do a plantain cooking demo and that is NOT the title I used - I was just being sarcastic in this post! 🙂
Sounds great! What did you (or would you) serve these with?
I typically make these on nights that I'm in a rush, so they get served with quick-to-prepare meals like cracklin' chicken (see nomnompaleo.com for the recipe), pulled pork, or fish plus whatever vegetable I happen to have on hand to roast. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!
I made them last night. I used rice flour & olive oil to fry them. They didn't come at right. ?
Sorry to hear that, Kody. I've never used rice flour so I'm not sure if it's a reasonable substitute for tapioca starch...but I will say this recipe is finicky and it's one I've been meaning to revisit and possibly improve upon. I sometimes have trouble with these, too - if the patties are too large or the plantains are too overripe, they don't stay together well.
Martha Combs says
Hi Chelsea! I made these tonight and mine are tasty but a disaster. My plantain was very big and maybe my flour measurement wasn't correct. What consistency should the batter be? Mine was pretty thin but held in a heap. I used coconut oil in a cast iron pan and they stuck to the bottom. Good news - I served with a choice of topper - fruit combo of dragon fruit, mango and kiwi...or guacamole to see which was better (just me and hubby). This was a side to marinated skirt steak. It was delish...just need to nail the cooking.
These can be really finicky. I've had trouble with them before in the past, I'll admit! The ripeness of the plantains can make a big difference in the consistency...too ripe, and they stick easily. Not enough oil, and they stick easily. I'm thinking I'll retake pictures soon so show the steps and the right consistency! They should be kind of like a mash - not too liquidy. I know you're not the only one who's had trouble, and since this recipe is so popular I'm going to revisit it soon.
I subbed regular flour for tapioca flour to make this non - paleo (and high carb!) And they were delicious! These are super easy!
Glad to hear that regular flour works! Thanks for stopping by, katie!
Just made these and they were perfect! So delicious! Going to my "It's a Keeper!" board for sure! Thank you!
Glad to hear it, Sue! You've reminded me that I have to pick up some plantains. It's been too long since I've had these!
Hi! I'm Andrea from Puerto Rico! We do something similar to you recipe over here, specially with green plantains. We peal them, cut them, fry them, turn them into well, how you call it, patties (we call them tostones), fry them once more and go crazy with garlic and mayo ketchup... If you want to save for later then just fry once and smash it with a can or something, save in ziplock and freeze it, then just take out whenever you feel like it and fry! Tastes awesome. With yellow plantaines well like you said, its so much easier to peel and cut however you want and fry. Mmmm love them cause they are so sweet! God I love food! Anyways, thank you so much for your post cause I think its great!!
Well thank you for stopping by, Andrea! Tostones are another favorite of mine...I've never tried freezing them before the second fry! I'm definitely going to have to give that a try. Thank you for the tip!
OMG, I have to try these! I'm an adopted Puerto Rican living in Orlando, so you know that plantains are like a food group to me. I am especially nuts about "amarillos" ("yellows" as we refer to the ripe ones). Their botanical name is musa paradisiaca, muse of paradise... so fitting!
That's so fascinating! Thanks for teaching me a little more about plantains. They're seriously my favorite food. Unfortunately, they're hard to find in North Dakota! I'd move to the southern states just to get better access to plantains! Thanks for stopping by, Yvette - let me know how the plantain patties turn out!
I have been making a morning pancake with a regular banana and egg, to which I add spinach and berries in the blender. The greener bananas make a pancake with a more "normal" pancake texture, while the yellower ones make something more like a crepe or custard. It's hard to find bananas green enough, though, so I'm going to try adding tapioca flour to my breakfast pancake.
I came to this page looking for plantain patties in hopes of finding something that would work as a pizza crust. I'm going to do some experimenting and get back to you on that. Thanks for the ideas!
You're welcome, Margi! I'm not sure this recipe is a great starting point for pizza crust, but you gave me a great idea as well! Plantains are so versatile - they're fun to play around with!
I LOVE this recipe. I am doing a modified (and more strict) version of the Autoimmune Protocol and I just wanted something easy and quick to make that satisfied that craving for something carby and bread-like. I've tried multiple recipes with plantains and this was by FAR the quickest and easiest, not to mention really delicious with the cinnamon. I will definitely make these again. Oh and I used avocado oil as the oil/fat and it worked really well!
So glad to hear that, Kaylee! This is one of my faves as well!
Made these tonight and they came out fantastic. Didn’t have tapioca flour so I substituted with 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch. Drizzled it with salted caramel sauce and it made a great dessert!
Happy to hear you like them and that they work with cornstarch, too!
I made these with yellow plantains, so they were a little sweet but everyone like them. After peeling the plantains, I cut them in thick slices, put them in boiling water for just a few minutes, drained and mashed them, added one tablespoon of regular flour, a little salt, mixed it together, and then flattened the mixture in very thin patties. I fried them in oil for a few minutes on both sides. Turned out great. I just have to figure out how to make them crispier. Thanks for the recipe!
sarah s says
I had crazy black overly ripe plantain that needed to be used like yesterday, and this was delicious. Wildly easy, but packed a punch. I added in a few dashes of Tajin, and boom, delicious addition to my dinner. Thanks for the recipe.
These are very good! Didn't have tapioca flour so used a combo of arrowroot and flour. Yes...they're a cinch to make. Topped them with some plain Greek Yogurt and a touch of Chili Sauce (cause the containers were about empty) ....loved these toppers. Bought plantains instead of bananas by mistake and happy I did. Going to have them again tomorrow.