Caramelized Plantains Recipe

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge is going to change the way you think about plantains with this recipe for caramelized plantains. What's that you say? You don't actually think about plantains all that often? Well, this recipe will change that, too. "There are many things to like about this recipe, but one of the best things is how simple it is," Olayinka says. "You only need three ingredients and a few minutes to make these delicious plantains."

And you only need about 9 minutes from the time you start the prep until you're serving a plate of this unique sweet treat, too. Looking for the best way to serve caramelized plantains? Olayinka says, "This dish would be great served with ice cream or as a topping for a cake or pudding." Of course, they\re also plenty tasty on their own, or served alongside a hearty breakfast, as is commonly seen in Central and South America. Plus, they're healthy, too — per Healthline, plantains are high in fiber, are a decent source of protein, are high in vitamins A and C, and are a good source of potassium and magnesium, too.

Gather your ingredients for caramelized plantains

As noted, you need all of 3 ingredients to make this recipe: ripe plantains, vegetable oil for the frying, and a bit of sweet condensed milk to drizzle over the plantain slices once they've been cooked. And for the record, you may not want to bite into the plantains before they're cooked! Unlike their sweeter cousin, the banana, plantains are much more starchy and less flavorful when raw — they're more akin to a potato than a banana.

Slice and sizzle the plantains

Peel the plantains and slice them into thin, round pieces, making each one a bit less than an inch thick. Then heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the plantains until they turn golden-brown on both sides. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side. 

"The plantains can burn easily, so be sure to watch them carefully while they are cooking," says Olayinka.

Drizzle the condensed milk over the cooked plantains

Once the plantains are cooked, remove them from heat, stab them with a sharp knife, and drizzle them with condensed milk. "Stabbing the cooked plantains with a sharp knife before drizzling them with condensed milk helps to release the flavor and make them even more delicious," Olayinka says.

Serve immediately and enjoy.

How to choose a ripe plantain

If you don't know your plantains that well, you may not know how to choose the best ones at the store. Don't worry, Olayinka has you covered. 

"There are a few ways to tell if a plantain is ripe and ready to be used in this recipe," she explains. "First, look for plantains that have a yellow or brown color. Avoid any green ones as they will be too starchy and won't caramelize properly. Second, feel the plantains to see if they are soft. If they are firm, they need to ripen a bit more. You can leave them out on the counter for a day or two until they soften up. Finally, ripe plantains will have some black spots on them. These are called freckles and indicate that the fruit is ripe and sweet."

Caramelized Plantains Recipe
4.9 from 28 ratings
You may not typically fry up plantains in your household, but this quick and easy (and delicious) recipe for caramelized plantains is going to change your tune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
caramelized plantain slices on a plate
Total time: 9 minutes
  • 2 ripe plantains
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons condensed milk
  1. Peel and slice the plantains into thin rounds (about 1-inch thick).
  2. Heat the oil (use about ½ cup) in a skillet over medium heat and cook the plantains until golden brown on both sides. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Once the plantains are cooked, remove them from the heat, stab them with a sharp knife, and drizzle with condensed milk. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 586
Total Fat 34.3 g
Saturated Fat 3.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 9.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 72.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Total Sugars 42.4 g
Sodium 43.5 mg
Protein 4.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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