These Air Fryer Plantains (Cuban Plátanos Maduros) are a perfect side dish or snack. Made in the air fryer for a healthier version with much less calories compared to the traditional fried plantains. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo and whole30 approved.

air fried plantains served in a plate over parchment paper

I have been trying baking plantains recently, and they have become a favorite snack in our home. They are easy to make with minimal ingredients, and the kids enjoy them.

Fried Plantains are a popular Cuban side dish, similar to fried taro. Sweet, ripe plantains are sliced and then fried in oil. They are sooooo good. That said, these deep fried plantains are also high in calories.

I wanted to try a healthier version with cooking them in the air fryer. It takes just a teaspoon of oil for a plantain when air frying or baking, and you get the same texture and taste.

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What are Plantains?

Plantains are a starchy fruit from the banana family. Although they are more like a vegetable – less sweet, more starchier and typically eaten cooked. They are popular in the Latin American, Caribbean and African cuisine.

Green Plantains are unripe and have a white flesh. These are like a starchy vegetable, and often used as a substitute for potatoes or rice.

As the plantains ripen, they become yellow and then black. They also sweeten as they ripen. Yellow plantains are firm, and are just starting to sweeten.

Two plantains on a cutting board

Plantains can be prepared in many ways – steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or baked. They hold up well when cooking compared to bananas. The traditional way is to fry them.

To bake or air fry plantains, I look for plantains that are yellow but turning black. You can also use black peel plantains, which will give the sweetest fried plantains.

Why you will love these baked plantains..

  • Easy to make with minimal prep and in 10 minutes 
  • Healthier and lower in calories compared to regular fried plantains.
  • Vegan, Gluten-free, Whole30 and Paleo
  • Enjoyed by all – kids and adults!

How to cook Plantains in the Air Fryer?

Firstly, you want to make sure to have ripe plantains. I have tried making them when they are just yellow, which means not as sweet, and they don’t taste nearly as good as when they are ripe. So just have patience and let them sit on the counter to ripen (it can take 3-5 days for them to ripen).

Using a sharp knife, cut the edges of the plantains. Run the knife through the skin of the plantain lengthwise, making sure not to cut the flesh. Peel the skin and discard. Then slice into ½” thick pieces diagonally.

How to peel and cut a plantain steps

If the plantains are firm, then you can transfer the plantains to a bowl and mix with oil and salt.

Raw sliced plantains on a wooden cutting board

If the plantains are soft and might get mushy when mixed, you can directly spray oil or lightly grease the bottom of the air fryer basket. Line the plantains in the basket in a single layer. Then spray some oil and sprinkle salt, if using.

Plantains ready to cook in the air fryer

Turn on air fryer to 380°F. Cook plantain for 10-12 minutes, flipping over half way through. 

Plantains cooked in the air fryer

That is all. Fried Plantains are ready.

Transfer plantain pieces carefully from air fryer basket to a serving plate. Repeat until all the plantains are cooked.

Pro-tips for Perfect Plantains

  • Let the plantains ripen before air frying or baking them. Ripe = naturally sweet! But they can also be stickier and messier, but so much more delicious. Be patient and let them sit on the counter.
  • Slice the plantains in roughly the same thickness, so they cook evenly. The cook time will depend on the thickness of the slices.
  • Spread the plantains in a single layer, so they cook uniformly. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might have to cook them in multiple batches.
  • Air fryer plantains taste best when served hot. Enjoy as is or serve with a dip.
  • You can also make them sweeter to serve with dessert by sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on the top.
Healthy Fried Plantains served in a plate over parchment paper

Plantains are very versatile…

  • You can slice them (the yellow firm ones) super thin, and make plantain chips.
  • Toss your favorite seasonings with the plantains before air frying – garlic powder, cayenne, cajun seasoning are some options.
  • Squeeze lime juice when serving for a fresh flavor.
Air Fried Plantains served along with limes

Common Questions

Are plantains healthy? 

Yes, they are a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium and potassium. They also have antioxidants, and are good for gut and heart health. That said, they are high in carbohydrates. Also, plantains if deep fried can add a lot of extra fat. Hence baked, grilled or air fried plantains are a healthier choice.

Can you eat raw plantain?

Plantains are best eaten cooked. Plantains can be prepared in many ways – steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or baked.

How many calories are in a plantain? 

A medium sized plantain has 218 calories. A fried plantain has about 258 calories, considering about a teaspoon of oil used for a medium plantain.

Can I store fried plantains?

These are best enjoyed fresh when cooked. but if you have leftovers, place cooled plantains in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last up to 4 days. To reheat, air fry them for a minute at 380°F.

Download free copy of air fryer cooking time chart

More air fryer recipes you might enjoy:

4.93 from 54 votes

Air Fryer Plantains

These Air Fryer Plantains are a perfect side dish or snack. Made in the air fryer for a healthier version with much less calories compared to the traditional fried plantains. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo and whole30 approved.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 Plantains, medium, ripe
  • 2 teaspoon Oil , I used avocado oil
  • Salt, optional

Instructions 

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the edges of the plantains. Run the knife through the skin of the plantain lengthwise, making sure not to cut the flesh. Peel the skin and discard. Then slice into 1/2" thick pieces diagonally.
  • Spray oil or lightly grease the bottom of the air fryer basket. Line the plantains in the basket in a single layer. Spray some oil and sprinkle salt, if using. (If the plantains are firm, then you can also transfer them to a bowl and mix with oil and salt before lining in the air fryer basket)
  • Turn on air fryer to 380°. Cook plantain for 10-12 minutes, flipping over half way through.
  • Transfer plantain pieces carefully from air fryer basket to a serving plate. Repeat until all the plantain is cooked.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Air Frying: Make sure to not overcrowd the basket with the plantains. It is best to cook in batches. 
Plantains: If you have yellow plantains, wait for them to ripen (skin turns black). Sweet ripe plantains taste the best! 

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1009IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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14 Comments

  1. It was a good one. i have been thinking of how to do it. but my problem is how to use my digital silver air fryer, to increase the temperature,is another thing. i used it to air fry yam the other day it was not done. i ended up tasting raw yam.

    1. Hi Collins – So glad you enjoyed the plantains. Sorry you have been having trouble with adjusting the temperature on the air fryer. I would suggest to see a video about your air fryer brand/model.

  2. I so appreciate you posting this recipe. My husband loves plantains and asks for them often, but I am not a fan of the mess or all the oil they soak up with conventional frying. I tried your recipe tonight, and it was a hit with my husband. I even had some and they are delicious! Prep and cleanup are so easy and no oily feel or aftertaste. All you get is the flavor of the plantain. I will definitely make these again, without hesitation! Thank you!

  3. Shark knife??? Hoping that is supposed to be sharp knife. 🙂

    Typos aside, glad I found this and look forward to trying.

    1. Hi Debbie – Thanks for pointing that out. I have corrected it now. Hope you enjoy the plantains.

  4. This is a very common side for central Americans, Caribbean and South American. Plantains originate from Africa so they are not American.

    1. You are incorrect. They are not indigenous to Africa. They are indigenous to Southeast Asia and were brought to the Caribbean on trade and slave ships.

    1. Hi Edwin – The details are included in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also click “jump to recipe” button to directly get to the recipe.