Ideas for Ripe Bananas

Never waste overripe bananas again

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on May 6, 2020

Bananas are a cheap, healthy, delicious snack, so it's easy to pick up a bunch at the supermarket. But they have a fairly short lifespan on the counter, so it's just as equally to not use them fast enough and end up with bananas too ripe to eat plain. To get around this, you need to eat them faster for figure out ways to use them once they leave their prime. We've got both sides covered. From banana bread and pudding (and bread pudding) to chutney and cocktails, we've rounded up our favorite banana recipes.

Very ripe bananas are great for adding moisture and a subtle, fruity sweetness to baked goods. Try them in our pecan-studded banana bread, hearty banana muffins, or these delicious banana desserts. Both recipes use tangy buttermilk to balance the bananas.

If you're looking for an unusual way to use bananas, incorporate them into Indian food. Sonth is a fruit chutney consisting of bananas and grapes seasoned with cumin seeds, black pepper, and black salt. Creamy yogurt-based chutneys are a staple for taming the fiery heat of chiles—one version is made with banana and grated coconut.

Tropical frozen daiquiris are often made with banana. The Beach Towel is a daiquiri variation made with strawberries, banana, and cream. For something a little more refined, go with the No Bananas Today, made with rum, banana liqueur, and a homemade banana syrup.

Never waste bananas again thanks to our collection of banana recipes.

Hummingbird Cake

This hummingbird cake honors the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis. Get the recipe for Hummingbird Cake »

Chocolate-Hazelnuts and Banana Crêpes

Bananas are already a provocative fruit. Adding nutella on a warm crêpe just makes the romantic night even better. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnuts and Banana Crêpes »

Indian Fried Banana Cakes (Mangalore Buns)

Sweet and spicy pancakey doughnuts made with bananas and cumin. Get the recipe for Indian Fried Banana Cakes (Mangalore Buns »

Marwari Masala-Spiced Fruit Chutney (Sonth)

Bananas and grapes are sweetened with jaggery—lump cane sugar—and seasoned with black pepper and sulphurous volcanic black salt in this spiced fruit chutney from the north of India. The Gupta family, Marwari Hindus from Mathura who are strict vegetarians, like to make it to go alongside dal, semolina breads, and vegetable masalas. Get the recipe for Marwari Masala-Spiced Fruit Chutney (Sonth) »

Buttermilk Cookie Salad

The addition of buttermilk in this ultra-retro dessert keeps it from being too cloying and renders cookie salad totally appropriate for the adult palate. Get the recipe for Buttermilk Cookie Salad »

Fermented Banana and Dark Chocolate Pudding

The fermented, sweet tang of bananas blends with bitter chocolate for a tropical spin on the classic pudding. Get the recipe for Fermented Banana and Dark Chocolate Pudding »

Banana Fritters with Cinnamon-Sugar and Rum

Use very ripe organic bananas for these silver-dollar-size fritters, as they will mash the best and create a smooth, sweet batter. Get the recipe for Banana Fritters with Cinnamon-Sugar and Rum »

No Bananas Today

Xavier Herit, co-owner and head bartender at Wallflower in New York City, breaks banana daiquiris free from their spring-break stigma with this surprisingly sophisticated cocktail. Giffard Crème de Banane du Brezil, a banana liqueur made from macerated bananas, combines with two types of rum and a homemade banana syrup to make a deeply flavored drink that's not too sweet. Get the recipe for No Bananas Today »

Classic French Banana Cream Pie

This nearly forgotten recipe comes to us from the beloved Ships Diner in Los Angeles that closed in 1995. The whipped cream filling doesn't require any cooking—no custard here—while some slices of banana and toasted almond add texture and flavor. A fast, easy-to-make pie from a bygone era that deserves a comeback. Get the recipe for Classic French Banana Cream Pie »

Grilled Banana-Pear Pancake

A thick yet fluffy pancake full of creamy bananas, smooth hints of pear, and crunchy pine nuts over a heap of cool crème fraîche. "This is good with any ripe banana," Mallmann says, so if you have extra-sweet varieties besides the ubiquitous Cavendish available, use them. Get the recipe for Grilled Banana-Pear Pancake »

Banoffee Pie

An irresistible British dessert, banoffee pie has its share of fanatics on this side of the pond, too. Banana slices, sticky toffee, and whipped cream are arranged in layers over a cookie-like crust, resulting in a dense, cool treat. Get the recipe for Banoffee Pie »

Mom’s Banana Bread

Bananas and pecans come together in an exceptionally moist quick-bread from food editor Ben Mim's mom—it's irresistible at any time of day. Get the recipe for Mom's Banana Bread »

Banana Tarte Tatin

Try using tart, apple-like Manzano bananas for this delicious take on the classic French dessert, which is traditionally made with apples. Get the recipe for Banana Tarte Tatin »

Banana and Dark Rum Bread Pudding

This rich version of bread pudding is a great way to use up overripe bananas or soon-to-go-stale bread. Get the recipe for Banana and Dark Rum Bread Pudding »

Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich

This sweet sandwich from Tartine Bakery & Café in San Francisco, is pressed and griddled to melt the creamy banana, cheese, and quince filling and toast the bread. Get the recipe for Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich »

Banana and Cheese Pudding (Sombremesa de Banana com Queijo)

Fresh bananas layered with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese combine in a sumptuous Brazilian dessert. Get the recipe for Banana and Cheese Pudding (Sombremesa de Banana com Queijo) »

Banana-Oatmeal Muffins

Classic banana-nut muffins get a tangy boost from buttermilk and a hearty dose of oatmeal for a nutritionally-packed lunchbox (or breakfast) treat. Get the recipe for Banana-Oatmeal Muffins »

Classic Bananas Foster

This boozy, buttery concoction of caramelized bananas flambéed in rum sauce is a dining-out classic invented at legendary New Orleans restaurant, Brennan's. Get the recipe for Classic Bananas Foster »

Banana Pudding

Custard, vanilla wafers, and bananas are layered and topped with whipped cream in our version of the classic Southern dessert. Get the recipe for Banana Pudding »

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce

This decadent take on an iconic dessert, from Mat & Naddie's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, gilds the lily, pan-frying white chocolate-enriched bread pudding, and plating it with satiny caramel and sweet bananas. Get the recipe for White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce »

Whole Grain Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Whole wheat pastry flour makes for a smooth, fluffy pancake. Get the recipe for Whole Grain Chocolate Banana Pancakes »

Yogurt with Banana and Grated Coconut (Kela ka Raita)

At the Indian table, a variety of yogurt-based raitas mollify the tongue-searing effect of chiles. This version, made fruity and sweet with the addition of coconut and banana, is adapted from Foods of the World: The Cooking of India (Time Life, 1969). Get the recipe for Yogurt with Banana and Grated Coconut (Kela ka Raita) »

Beach Towel

A fruity frozen daiquiri becomes dessert-like with the addition of heavy cream. Get the recipe for Beach Towel »

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