Meatless Monday: Hispanic Heritage Month Platanos Maduros Recipe

This Meatless Monday I’m sharing my hands-down favorite Latin American dish: plátanos maduros.

Plátanos maduros (fried ripe plantains) are a perfect recipe for Hispanic Heritage Month as many countries in Central and South America, from Puerto Rico to Nicaragua to Peru, serve this sweet side dish.

A good friend from the Dominican Republic taught me this receta when we were roommates; I was impressed at how easy and fast this delicious one-ingredient dish is to prepare. No wonder tit's a staple across the continent!

¿El secreto? Choose very ripe plantains that are almost completely black in color.


Karina’s Plátanos Maduros Recipe


  • 3 very ripe plantains
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil


  1. Peel plantains with a knife and cut into 1-inch slices.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan. Oil should be deep enough to cover ½ the plantain.
  3. Fry the pieces for about one minute on each side. Lower heat and continue cooking, turning occasionally until plantains are brown caramelized.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy these plantains on their own or as a side to complement your favorite recipes. For a filling vegan meal that satisfies my sweet tooth, I serve a bowl of rice and black beans topped with these sweet platanos. ¡Qué rico!

While Cubanos enjoy them as-is, Hondurans add sour cream and Venezuelans enhance the sabor with cinnamon. Experiment to find your favorite ways to prepare your plátanos.

Go ahead and dish out seconds--in addition to being delicioso, plantains are packed with energy-boosting carbohydrates and good-for-you nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. For a savory plantain snack, try this twice-fried savory green plantain recipe I share in Meatless Monday: Colombian Independence Day Patacones with Hagoa Sauce.

It’s easy to commit to a healthy diet when you have options you love. Serve sweet plantains with any dish and look forward to every meal.

The Wise Latina Club's Natalie Wagner FierroA teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

What is your favorite way to prepare plantains?