Air fryer plantains are a sweet & simple side dish that pair perfectly with your morning eggs, South American inspired dinner, or even eaten alone! They crisp up perfectly in an air fryer and come together in under 20 minutes.
Plantains are a staple in many diets across the world. But oddly enough, it seems like many people in the U.S. have never heard of them. Let me tell you...if you've never eaten a plantain before, you've got to try this!
Fried sweet plantains (often called maduros) are a great side dish to go along with a Cuban inspired rice, beans, & meat bowl, Jamaican jerk chicken, or even your morning eggs. They are super versatile!
What are plantains?
Like I said, plantains are very popular in many countries around the world including many South American, African, Southeast Asian, and Caribbean counties. At first glance, you may mistake a plantain for a banana. But, they are very different!
Plantains are eaten cooked, typically either once they have hit peak ripeness (maduros) or when they are still green (tostones). However, each culture has put their own twist on cooking plantains.
While plantains are not common in many American's diets, they are fairly easily accessible at most local grocery stores. In addition, plantains are sold for a very reasonable price and are available all year round!
Cooking with plantains
When selecting plantains at your local grocery store, you can choose your desired ripeness depending on your recipe. For our air fryer plantains, we need very ripe plantains (mostly black with a little yellow, and still slightly firm to the touch).
If you can only find green plantains, no worries! Bring them home and allow them to ripen on your counter - just like bananas! It takes about 10-14 days for green plantains to fully ripen, so plan accordingly.
Plantains don't peel quite as easily as bananas. You'll need to first cut off the ends of the plantains. Then, score the skin of the plantain (trying not to cut the flesh) on either side of the plantain. This helps make peeling the plantain more manageable.
Air Fryer Plantains
- 5 very ripe plantains
- 1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil melted
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- coconut oil spray
- kosher salt to taste
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Trim ends of plantains, peel, and cut diagonally into ½ inch pieces.
- In a medium bowl, toss plantains in melted coconut oil. Once completely coated, mix spices in a small bowl and toss with plantains until well coated.
- Spray air fryer basket with coconut oil. Add plantains in a single layer. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until plantains are golden brown. When finished, sprinkle with salt to taste.