12 Delicious Ways the World Eats Plantains

These sweet and savory plantain recipes showcase the fruit’s versatility in the kitchen

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on July 23, 2019

Savory and starchy when green, and sweet and creamy when ripe, tropical plantains make more than just chips. Here are just a few of the many ways plantains are enjoyed around the world. Whether you roast it Caribbean-style, stew it with Indian spices, fry it as part of a Nigerian feast, or mash it into Dominican gnocchi, banana's starchier cousin has never been more appealing. Try all the ideas in our collection of sweet and savory plantain recipes below.

Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu
Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragù

Ripe plantains and yucca stand in for potatoes in this version of gnocchi from the Dominican Republic, which is served with short rib ragù. A long, slow braise with red wine, cayenne, and paprika results in tender, fall-off-the-bone morsels of meat; bolstered with cream, the rich sauce is then ladled over the slightly sweet, fluffy dumplings. Get the recipe for Plantain Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragù »

Often served in South India as thevasam, or memorial, food, this curry is flavored with a simple combination of sesame seeds and black peppercorns, instead of the more lively spice blends used in everyday cooking. See the recipe for Yellu Molaghu Vazhaipazham (Plantain with Sesame Seeds and Peppercorns) »

Fonio-Crusted Crab Cakes
Fonio-Crusted Crab Cakes

Fonio, a variety of millet, gives Pierre Thiam’s West-African-inspired crab cakes a satisfyingly crisp crust. Get the recipe for Fonio-Crusted Crab Cakes »

Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)
Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)

Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)

Mashed Plantains with Tomato Sauce (Mofongo con Salsa de Tomate)

Mashed with bacon and garlic, this plantain dish is served with a quick tomato sauce.

These fried pies are stuffed with classic picadillo. See the recipe for Piononos » Back to Puerto Rican Christmas »


Garifuna cooks make a starchy plantain mash akin to African fufu and serve it with this basil- and culantro-laced stew. See the recipe for Hudutu (Fish and Coconut Stew with Mashed Plantains) »

Chicken and Root Vegetable Soup (Sancocho)
Chicken and Root Vegetable Soup (Sancocho)

This Puerto Rican chicken soup is hearty with starchy vegetables.

Tostones con Camarones Guisados (Plantain Fritters with Stewed Shrimp)

In this recipe, simple fried plantains are topped with a bright shrimp and tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Tostones con Camarones Guisados »

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.