How long to cook plantains in air fryer? How ripe should plantains be for air frying? Learn everything you need to know about making air fryer maduros, air fryer tostones, and air fryer frozen plantains in this ultimate guide! You’ll love these low calorie snacks compared to a traditional fried plantain recipe. My air fryer plantains are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free (GF), Paleo, and whole30.
Can you air fry plantains? Heck yes you can! You’re getting all the info on how to prepare yellow plantains, green plantains, or a mixture of green and yellow fruits.
There actually isn’t one correct answer to “which plantains are best for air frying, green or ripe?” That’s because ripe plantains are better for Cuban sweet plantains, while unripe plantains are better for tostones. The plantain chips air fryer recipe that’s best depends on what type of plantains you have, and what you want.
I’ll cover the differences in preparation for maduros, tostones, and Goya frozen plantains here. I’ll also share my very favorite way to air fry plantains- maduros cooked like tostones! They’re the result of a fun and deliciously successful kitchen experiment.
Speaking of which, don’t be afraid to make any of the air fryer plantain recipes below your own. I’ve got suggestions for different seasoning you can use. You could also cut the plantains into french fries for a variation on these air fryer plantain chips recipes.
But before we start air frying plantains, let’s cover the basics!
- 🍌 What is a plantain?
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Plantains
- ️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🍌 Air Fryer Maduros
- 🍌 Air Fryer Tostones (Twice Air Fried Plantains)
- 🍌 Air Fryer Maduros that are Cooked like Tostones
- 🍌 Air Fryer Frozen Plantains
- 🌡️ How long do fried plantains last?
- 🌮 What goes with plantains?
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Plantain and Banana Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
🍌 What is a plantain?
Plantains are starchy banana cultivars that are also called cooking bananas or green bananas. (They’re not the same, however, as the unripe bananas people from the U.S. may buy from the store and call “green bananas.”)
Plantains are a fruit, but are often prepared in ways more similar to vegetables. They are typically fried, but can also be boiled, baked, grilled, or air fried.
You can eat raw plantains, but they are not very tasty IMHO. The experience has similar vibes to eating a raw potato. (I don’t dig it.)
You can find plantains used as a staple in many regions of the world. They are enjoyed in various African cuisines, Latin America, and the Caribbean, including Jamaica. If you eat at Cuban restaurants, you may recognize them as a popular Cuban side dish.
Unlike your typical banana in the United States (AKA Cavendish bananas), plantains are used when green, yellow, or black. To ripen green plantains, leave them out at room temperature for 3-5 days.
What nutrients does a ripe plantain have? Plantains are high in carbs, but that doesn’t mean they’re “bad.” Here are some nutritional advantages of plantains:
- Rich in antioxidants: Plantains are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, two vitamins that work as antioxidants in the body.
- Other essential vitamins and minerals: Plantains are also rich in vitamin B6, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium. They are what is considered a heart healthy food.
- Fiber: One plantain has 4-5 grams of fiber (per Cronometer). Fiber can help keep your GI system running smoothly and your cholesterol levels in check.
- Air Fried Plantains: We’re cutting back on a lot of added oil (and thus calories) by air frying instead of deep frying. If you are trying to reduce the amount of deep-fried food in your diet, an air fryer may help. Skip the gobs of coconut oil, Crisco, vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.
- Delicious: This isn’t a nutritional benefit per se, but air fryer plantains are snacking perfection. They’re tasty, easy and fast to make, and can take the place of less healthy snack options.
All you need to make plantains in the air fryer are fresh plantains and cooking oil spray. Some of the recipes also require smoked salt (or regular sea salt). Use a non-aerosol cooking spray to avoid damage to the air fryer.
The recipes requiring ripe plantains are best made with yellow plantains with black spots. Black plantains tend to get mushy when you try to cut them. They may fall apart when slicing and pieces don’t tend to hold their shape well.
So, you might be wondering, what can I do with a plantain that’s gone black? You can still use them for maduros, but you will have to be extra gentle when cutting them.
You’re welcome to season cooked plantains however you please. I tend to prefer smoked salt as a seasoning, but you can also try one of these:
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Cajun spices
- Cayenne pepper
- BBQ seasoning
- Onion and garlic powder
- Tajin and fresh lime juice
For those following a low-sodium diet, try sprinkling the air fryer maduros with some cinnamon instead of salt. I think spices like cinnamon and nutmeg would complement the sweetness in plantains nicely.
You need a good knife and an air fryer for all of these plantain air fryer recipes. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. The Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, and other air fryers can also be used.
Remember that all air fryers cook a little differently. You may need to slightly adjust the cooking times depending on the air fryer you use.
For tostones and maduros that are cooked like tostones, you will also need some sandwich baggies. I use a tortilla press or tostonera for smashing plantains for tostones. Maduros cooked like tostones are softer, and can be smashed with a glass or cast-iron pan.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Plantains
Time to air fry plantains! The directions for each type of plantain is a little different. I’ll go into details on all of them below.
There are a few rules however that apply to all types of plantains made in the air fryer. Here they are:
- Cut the plantains uniformly. You want the plantain pieces you are using to have a uniform thickness. This will help to ensure even cooking.
- Peel plantains with the help of a knife. Green plantains typically require a knife to help peel them. Cut both ends off the plantain, then slice lengthwise through the skin. This will make it much easier to peel away the plantain’s skin.
- Don’t soak the plantains. Some recipes require you to soak the plantains in water before air frying. You don’t have to bother with this. Soaking yellow plantains will actually make them more likely to crumble apart on you.
- Put them in a single layer. Fresh plantain slices should go in a single layer on the air fryer basket or tray. You want air to be able to circulate freely around each plantain slice. This is how to get the crisp outside and tender inside you’re looking for.
- Serve warm. Maduros and tostones are both best served a little warm. So good!
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you air fry plantains? What temperature to air fry plantains? The air fryer time and temp depends on the type of plantains you’re making. Here’s a handy cooking times chart for plantains:
|Maduros||yellow||400F (200C)||19-21 minutes|
|Tostones||green||350F (177C) 5 min, then 400F (200C) 9-10 min||14-15 minutes|
|Maduros Cooked Like Tostones||yellow||350F (177C) 5 min, then 400F (200C) 11-13 min||16-18 minutes|
|Frozen Maduros (Goya)||yellow||375F (190C) 5-6 min, then 400F (200C) 11-12 min||16-18 minutes|
Get the details (such as how thick to cut them, when to flip them) below. Remember that the amount of plantain slices you start with matters. Fewer plantains may result in a much shorter cooking time.
🍌 Air Fryer Maduros
Air fryer sweet plantains (classic maduros) are typically sliced and fried once. It’s better to use yellow versus black plantains here. Black plantains are the sweetest plantains of all, but quite delicate to use in this recipe.
IMVHO, the perfect maduros are made with yellow plantains with lots of black spots. The advantage of using yellow plantains is that you are getting a snack that is sweet, but that also has the pleasant saltiness of a chip. These air fryer maduros are great for cravings for both sweet and savory foods.
To make my maduros air fryer recipe, cut your plantain into diagonal slices that are ½-inch thick (1.27 cm). Spray an air fryer tray with oil and place the slices in a single layer on the tray. Spray the plantains well with more oil.
Place the tray with the plantains in the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven. You don’t have to preheat the air fryer. Air fry for 9 minutes at 400F (200C).
Then flip the plantains and spray well with oil again. Air fry for 6 minutes at 400F (200C).
Flip the plantains again and spray with oil. Move the pieces that are getting browned on the outer edges of the tray to the middle and vice versa. Air fry 3 minutes.
Flip and spray the pieces once more. Air fry 1-3 more minutes, for a total air frying time of 19-21 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with smoked salt or a little cinnamon.
These are so good! Sweet and soft with crisp browned edges. Yum!
🍌 Air Fryer Tostones (Twice Air Fried Plantains)
Next up are air fryer tostones, or twice fried plantains. These are also called patacones. Platanos verdes, AKA green (unripe) plantains are necessary for this recipe.
Starchy (unripe) green plantains are far sturdier than the ripe plantains used for maduros. Slit the plantain skin lengthwise with a knife, peel it, and cut into 1-inch-thick circles (2.54 cm). Sometimes I get 8 plantain coins, other times 10-12 depending on the size of the plantain.
Spray the plantain slices with oil and put in a single layer on your air fryer tray. Air fry for 5 minutes at 350F (177C). Use the top rack if you have an air fryer oven.
Let the fried green plantains cool for a few minutes. Then gently smash each piece between two baggies in a tortilla press.
You want the pieces to be ⅛-¼ inch thick (0.3-0.6 cm). I did not need to use the handle of the tortilla press; the pressure of the plates was enough. (Check out the video in the recipe card to see how it’s done!)
Spray your air fryer tray with oil and put the smashed plantains in a single layer on the tray. You may need to cook them in batches if they don’t fit in a single layer. Spray the plantains with oil.
Air fry the tostones for 5 minutes at 400F (200C) on the top rack of the air fryer oven. Then flip them over, spray them again, and air fry 4-5 more minutes.
Salt them when they are still hot. They’ll firm up a bit more as they cool.
These are not exactly like deep fried tostones, but still really good. They have crisp edges but are a little chewy in the middle. Smash them thinner for more crispy tostones.
🍌 Air Fryer Maduros that are Cooked like Tostones
Platanos maduros fritos are ripe plantains that have been sliced and fried. In this recipe, I’m air frying mature yellow plantains, smashing them, and air frying them again. Flattening and frying them twice gives you a more of a chip, like tostones, but using ripe plantains makes this a sweet treat.
You want a yellow plantain with black spots. Peel and cut it into 1-inch thick coins (2.54 cm).
Spray your air fryer tray with oil, put the plantains in a single layer, and spray them with oil. Air fry for 5 minutes at 350F (177C), using the top rack position for air fryer ovens. Let them cool a few minutes.
I was wondering what would happen if I took ripe plantains and air fried them like I would tostones. I knew I’d have to change the smashing technique to account for the fragility of the yellow plantains. Also, I also knew the results would be softer than traditional tostones.
You don’t want to use a tortilla press to flatten these; they’ll turn to mush! Using the bottom of a glass gives you more control, allowing you to flatten them slightly. Place each slice between two baggies, and smash it to ⅛-¼ inch thick (0.3-0.6 cm).
Spray the air fryer tray with oil and put the flattened plantains in a single layer. (You may need to cook them in batches.)
Spray the plantains with oil. Air fry the tostones for 5 minutes at 400F (200C) on the top rack of the air fryer oven. Gently flip them, spray again, and air fry 6-8 more minutes.
Sprinkle with salt while they’re hot. Air frying, smashing, and air frying again (as with tostones) leaves more surface area exposed. This gives you a crisper chip than you get with maduros. Love them!
🍌 Air Fryer Frozen Plantains
Last, but not least, we’re cooking up Goya maduros in air fryer. This one’s the easiest air fryer plantain recipe of them all.
Remove all of the packaging from the frozen plantains. Put the frozen block of plantains on an air fryer tray. No preheating or oil spray is needed.
Air fry the frozen plantains at 375F (190C) for 5-6 minutes. (Use the top rack for air fryer ovens.) This will thaw them out.
Carefully break the defrosted plantains apart with your fingers. Spread them out on the air fryer tray. Larger pieces should go on the edges of the tray.
Air fry the maduros for 6 minutes at 400F (200C). Then flip them and air fry at 400F (200C) for 5-6 minutes more. (Use the top rack position for air fryer ovens.)
Let them cool a few minutes before enjoying. They’ll firm up a little more. You want to get the Goya maduros browned but not super crisp, and definitely not soggy.
Can you cook frozen tostones in an air fryer? Yes, though I haven’t tried this yet. I’ve heard you can air fry Goya frozen plantains for 8-10 minutes at 375F (190C).
🌡️ How long do fried plantains last?
Leftover plantains can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat them, put them in a single layer in an air fryer set at 375F (190C) for 1-2 minutes. For the best texture, don’t freeze cooked plantains.
🌮 What goes with plantains?
What to serve with air fryer plantains? Plantains made in the air fryer can be served like chips. You can snack on them plain, or with guacamole or salsa.
You can also incorporate plantains as a side dish into a meal. Here are a few main dishes that go with plantains:
- Air Fryer Pork Belly
- Air Fryer Chicken Leg Quarters
- Beans and Rice
- Air Fryer Burritos
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of air fryer plantains has 165 calories, 41 grams net carbs, and 2 grams protein. Nutrition information is for the recipes using fresh plantain, and doesn’t include potential calories and fat from the oil spray.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). The million-dollar question: Are plantains good for weight loss?
Plantains are quite delicious, but not the lightest snack in the world. I tried cutting back on added oil by misting the plantains with spray oil instead of brushing the oil on. However, if you skimp on oil spray you may not be satisfied with the results and feel the plantains turned out too dry.
What you’re getting here is a snack that’s mostly carbs, with some fat, and little protein. The combination of carbs and fat is in many favorite snack foods that are easy to overeat. (Think of potato chips, cookies, cake, brownies, etc.)
I’d argue these plantain chips are a more nutritious choice than most cookies. They’re also helping to increase your fruit/veggie intake.
That said, like other chips, they can be quite easy to overeat. For that reason, these are not my top pick if you have a weight loss goal.
Are fried plantains healthy? Which is healthier, green or ripe plantains?
Both ripe and unripe plantains are healthy in the sense they provide a variety of nutrients. That said, plantains are not a good choice for everyone. This includes those using keto diets for weight loss or blood sugar control in diabetes.
Ripe plantains contain more natural sugars than green plantains. Like many other fruits, plantains form more sugars as they ripen. By calorie (per Cronometer), the amount of sugar in raw plantains is comparable to bananas.
Green plantains are a rich source of resistant starch, a dietary component that can help you feel full. Unfortunately, resistant starch decreases as the plantain ripens or with cooking. We don’t usually eat green plantains raw, so we don’t get a lot of resistant starch from them.
No, plantains are a starchy carbohydrate food and are not keto friendly. One plantain provides approximately 81.5 grams of net carbs (per Cronometer). It’s definitely not a low carb food!
Fried plantains are not usually breaded or battered and are naturally gluten free. One thing to watch out for at restaurants is cross contact with gluten containing foods in the fryer. You can easily make gluten free fried plantains at home if you have concerns.
You can make oil-free air fryer plantains, but they won’t brown as nicely. If you want your air fried plantains to have crispy, crunchy edges, a mist of oil spray is helpful.
Microwave plantains won’t get lovely crisped browned edges. That said, here’s a microwave plantain chips recipe if you want to try it. The author of the recipe says they used a green plantain, and they cut the slices very thin with a mandoline.
Yes, dogs can generally eat plantains in small quantities that are unseasoned. The Humane Society has a list of common foods that can be dangerous to pets. You can check it out here.
👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Plantain and Banana Recipes
Need more air fryer recipes for plantains and bananas? Don't miss these:
- Jibarito Sandwich Recipe (Uses giant tostones instead of bread)
- Air Fryer Banana Muffins
- Air Fryer Bananas
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Plantains (Maduros, Frozen, and Crispy Tostones)
- 1 medium plantain (ripe for maduros, unripe for tostones)
- cooking oil spray
- smoked salt, to taste
To Make Air Fryer Maduros:
- Cut a peeled yellow plantain into diagonal slices that are ½-inch thick (1.27 cm). Spray an air fryer tray with oil and place the slices in a single layer on the tray. Spray the plantains well with more oil.
- Place in top rack position of air fryer oven. Air fry for 9 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Flip the plantains and spray well with oil again. Air fry for 6 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Flip the plantains again and spray with oil. Move the pieces that are getting browned on the outer edges of the tray to the middle and vice versa. Air fry 3 minutes.
- Flip and spray the pieces once more. Air fry 1-3 more minutes, for a total air frying time of 19-21 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with smoked salt.
To Make Air Fryer Tostones:
- Peel a green plantain with a knife, and cut into 1-inch-thick circles (2.54 cm).
- Spray the plantain slices with oil and put in a single layer on your air fryer tray. Air fry for 5 minutes at 350°F (177°C). (Use the top rack if you have an air fryer oven.)
- Let the fried green plantains cool for a few minutes. Then gently smash each piece between two baggies in a tortilla press. They should be ⅛-¼ inch thick (0.3-0.6 cm). The pressure of the plates should be enough; no need to use the handle of the press.
- Spray the air fryer tray with oil and put the smashed plantains in a single layer on the tray. You may need to cook them in batches. Spray the plantains with oil.
- Air fry the tostones for 5 minutes at 400°F (200°C) on the top rack of the air fryer oven. Then flip them over, spray them again, and air fry 4-5 more minutes.
- Salt them when they are still hot. They’ll firm up a bit more as they cool.
To Make Air Fryer Maduros Cooked Like Tostones:
- Peel a yellow plantain and cut it into 1-inch (2.54 cm) thick coins.
- Spray the plantain slices with oil and put in a single layer on your air fryer tray. Air fry for 5 minutes at 350°F (177°C). (Use the top rack if you have an air fryer oven.)
- Let them cool for a few minutes. One at a time, smash each slice by placing it between two plastic baggies and gently smooshing with a glass. The baggies help to prevent sticking. Do not use a tortilla press for this! You want the slices to be ⅛-¼ inch thick (0.3-0.6 cm).
- Lay the smashed slices in a single layer on your air fryer rack. (You may need to cook them in batches.) Mist them with cooking spray.
- Air fry the plantains for 5 minutes at 400°F (200°C) on the top rack of the air fryer oven. Gently flip them, spray again, and air fry 6-8 more minutes.
- Sprinkle with salt while they’re hot. Serve and enjoy,
To Make Goya Maduros in Air Fryer:
- Remove all of the packaging from an 11 ounce package of frozen plantains. Put the frozen block of plantains on an air fryer tray.
- Air fry the frozen plantains at 375°F (190°C) for 5-6 minutes. (Use the top rack for air fryer ovens.) Carefully break the defrosted plantains apart with your fingers. Spread them out on the air fryer tray. Larger pieces should go on the edges of the tray.
- Air fry the maduros for 6 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then flip them and air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 5-6 minutes more. (Use the top rack position for air fryer ovens.)
- Let them cool a few minutes before enjoying. They’ll firm up a little more. They should be browned but not super crisp, and definitely not soggy.