These Crispy Baked Green Plantains are the healthy version of the Latin America widely known Patacones or Tostones, usually fried. In Panama, just as in any part of Northern South America, the Caribbean, and Central America, plantains are a significant component of the day-to-day cuisine.
This Latin American finger food or side dish made traditionally with fried plantains has been present in my life since the day I started to chew. These thick plantain chips are more common in Central American and Caribbean countries than french fries.
It doesn't get easier than picking a green plantain, slicing it into 1-inch chunks, to bring about 10 of these goodies. You can put whatever you can think of on top of them, eat them with a dipping sauce like your favorite hummus, or simply have a bite or two while you munch on a saucy stew.
As children, we would eat them with ketchup on top, yes, just like french fries! We all love plantains.
Our mother used to make us a quick tuna salad (see our veganized tuna mayo version), which we would scoop on top of the fried plantains, and that was a quick dinner that we all loved.
But... can you bake green plantains to avoid deep frying them and eat them healthily? Yes, you can and this tostones recipe explains how.
- Green plantains
- Avocado oil (coconut oil and olive oil also work)
Optional: garlic or garlic powder.
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
Making these baked green plantains is super easy.
Preheat the oven to 440 ºF (220ºC).
Prepare a green plantain
Peel and cut the plantains.
How to peel plantains?
You can find plantains in Latin stores, or farmers' markets. Here in Italy, we find them in an Arab grocery store.
Wherever you get them, make sure you pick the greener ones for this tostones recipe; this will facilitate the pealing process and ensure they don't have any trace of sweetness.
Then place them in a mixing bowl, season with oil, sprinkle generously some salt, and a teaspoon of garlic powder (or minced garlic clove).
We replicate the same process followed by the traditional, twice-fried recipe with this plantain recipe.
You need to bake the plantains twice. The first time, to make the soft and be able to smash them and then place them back in the oven as a second bake to achieve the final desired consistency.
Place them in a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake the sliced plantains to make them softer until you see the plantains have turned from a pale pink-salmon color to yellow. You will also notice the brown veins look more prominent.
Press them with the bottom of a glass to make small discs, and brush them with oil.
These tostones or baked plantains recipe calls for avocado oil, but you can use extra virgin olive oil or a cooking spray instead.
Top tip: use a plastic bag to prevent the smashed-baked plantain slices from sticking to the glass.
Bake them again on the same large baking sheet with parchment paper until golden brown.
Enjoy the crispy baked tostones with your favorite dipping sauce, like Green Goddess dip, pico de gallo, mayo-ketchup, thick marinara sauce, or hummus. They taste great in every form.
Baked plantains make the perfect side dish for any recipe, where you would use potato wedges.
For the detailed steps please scroll to the recipe card or watch the video.
Notes: To make the traditional fried version, you need to follow the exact procedure, but instead of baking the plantains twice, a deep frying method is used instead, using a frying pan, neutral oil... also cooked twice.
Both fried and baked versions of these green plantain fritters get mushy if not eaten immediately.
Plantains stain, do not touch your clothes after opening.
You can add garlic powder or minced garlic to the plantains, before baking them. Use only one garlic or 1 teaspoon.
If you want to make plantain chips, the process is way simpler! You just need to bake the thinly sliced plantains once, using olive oil (or cooking spray), salt, and lay all the plantain chips on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a carrot slicer to thinly slice the green plantains.
Traditional plantain chips (or banana chips) are also made deep-fried (only once), instead of baking plantains.
More about Plantains
In one aboriginal dialect, still in use, the word for plantain is T’ach. This word also means “food.” You get the picture; the word for plantain is the same word used to call food in general.
Green Plantains Fritters
In Panama, we call them patacones; in Colombia, they are Tostones. They are our French fries.
Thus, in any given restaurant, you will have the option to pair your main dish with either rice, cassava root (yuca), patacones (fried green plantains), or potatoes (baked or French fries).
I always go for Patacones or Yucas (cassava).
Remember: to make Tostones or Patacones, you need very green plantains.
Plantains are starchy, tough, and not very sweet. Therefore, they require cooking, as they are not enjoyable to eat raw.
You can eat plantains in several ways, the most widely known being the traditional fried plantains, and they are considered snack cuisine and most of the time a side dish.
Yellow plantains are also great for cooking other dishes such as Plátanos en Tentación, Savory Tajadas, Sweet Tajadas, Platanitos (like the ones you may have seen as packed snacks), and Mofongo (a typical dish from Puerto Rico).
They have become sweet plantains after ripening, just like any other fruit. But they are not as sweet as a regular banana; that's why in most of the recipes using yellow plantains, some sweetener is used—the Tajadas (or sliced plantains is an exception).
All very easy to make dishes with a minimal amount of ingredients.
More Panamanian Dishes
There is a unique book, written and developed by a Panamanian well-known chef and friend Charlie Colins, inspired by this word, the name of the book is T’Ach: Authentic Panamanian Cuisine.
I love this book as it depicts Panamanian Cuisine at its best, with pictures and recipes developed on a journey through the different provinces and cuisines from Panama; a small country of barely 3.8 million people, which has seven native dialects that are still spoken which comes with different cultures and ways of cooking.
More plantain recipes
Try these Sweet Plátanos en Tentación (Plátano Pícaro)
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Baked Green Plantains (Patacones or Tostones)
- 1 plantain green
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven at 440 ºF (220ºC). Cut the green plantain with a lengthwise cut.1 plantain
- Introduce a small knife at the edge of the plantain and keep opening the peal with your hand.1 plantain
- Cut the peeled plantain in ¾ inches (about 2 centimeters).1 plantain
- Add the plantain chunks to a bowl and mix them with the grated garlic, salt, and half of the oil.1 plantain, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- Place a parchment paper with the oil and salt coated plantain chunks on a baking tray and make its way to the oven.1 tablespoon avocado oil
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Take them out and pick a plastic bag. Place each chunk, one by one, inside the plastic bag and press it with a glass or plate, placing them back on top of the parchment paper.
- Brush the mashed plantains with the remaining oil.
- Place them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven and enjoy hot.
Pin for Later!
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend all of the products listed because they are companies I have found helpful and trustworthy.
Love this healthier version of fried plantains!! I made these for my kids as a snack and they loved it!
Thank you, Anjali! Yep, is nice to have a healthier version of this yummy snack! I am glad your kids liked it as well!
This is a great post to learn how to make this tasty dish! Would these work well in an air fryer?
I have to say, I think they would work well but I am not sure, because I don't have an air fryer at home. I have used an air fryer several times at my inlaws, so I know what it can do, so I am 95% sure it would do just well, not sure about the timings. Le us know if you try it!
I always order plantains when I go out to eat but this is the first time I've made them myself at home. This recipe is so easy. They were delicious!
That's cool Gwynn, we are glad this first time worked well, it is a super tasty and easy plantains recipe!
Sara Welch says
Adding this to my list of recipes to try; looks so unique and tasty! Definitely too good to pass up!
Maria San Juan says
So yummy! a must-try! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
you are welcome, Maria! We are glad you liked the patacones!
Qué ricos los patacones!!!
Qué bueno que se puedan hornear en vez de freir!!!
I love plantains. This was a great recipe. Thank you!
I am glad you enjoyed it Ruth! thanks for your feedback!
I love this easy recipe - I haven't had patacones since we were in Costa Rica. These are so tasty and much healthier since they're baked!
So I guess it was a flashback wasn't it! It happens to me every time I make them! My head screams comfort food!
Wow! I was looking for something new to try and this definitely fits the bill. Now all I have to do is to find me some plantains... I love this idea - thank you.
Look for ethnic shops! I though I was not going to find them here in Italy and I did, just a couple of block away from home! When you start looking for something, it suddenly pops up in front of you!
I use plantain flour for baking but have never tried cooking with the whole plantain before. I can't wait to try these. Your instructions are so simple and easy to follow, thank you.
I am glad you found it helpful! It is truly a very easy recipe! and delivers lots of flavor!
Nice! I will make this for sure. Sounds healthy and delicious. My son will love this too.
Ooh, I want plantains now. Not something I can easily get hold of in my bit of the UK. In fact I've never eaten them. Feeling like I'm missing out. Great idea to bake rather than fry.
Such useful step-by-step images too.
Maybe you'll find plantains on an ethnic store close to you. They are becoming more and more popular. It is not widely eaten and when I arrived to Italy a year ago I was not expecting to find them, and I ended up finding green plantains 5 blocks away from my apartment on an Lebanese food store! I wasn't expecting that for sure!
This recipe was amazing! I absolutely love plantains. This recipe was so easy to make and came out so delicious. I love how simple and healthy it is!
Plantains are great! We love them in every way, so we just needed a healthier version, to keep eating them. haha 🙂 I am happy you found the recipe easy!
Guau! nunca se me había ocurrido hacer tostones que no fueran fritos! Los hice y me quedaron espectaculares. Gracias!
thank you for sharing this detailed recipe. I picked up some green plantains today and can’t wait to try this
I am sure you will love them! they are not only easy to make but super versatile! you can truly pair them with anything you can think of!