Boiled plantains are a popular and delicious staple food in many cultures around the world. While they are not so popular in the Midwest, they are widely available and actually quite tasty!

This easy-to-make boiled plantain recipe is perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a simple side dish.

In this post, I’ll do my best to convey the distinct flavor of plantains as well as reveal the simplicity of boiled plantains.

Boiled plantains sliced into thin pieces and placed into a white bowl.

What are plantains

Plantains are a member of the banana family, but unlike sweet bananas, they are more savory and typically cooked before being eaten.

Comparing them side by side, plantains are also slightly larger and thicker than a banana.

Plantains can be eaten when they are green, yellow, or nearly all black. Each stage of ripeness provides this delightful treat with its own unique flavor.

As the plantain ripens, it will gradually become more yellow and then develop black spots. You’ll want your plantains for this recipe to be pretty ripe!

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Shoving a fork into a sliced plantain to check check for tenderness after cooking.

Ingredients needed:

For this boiled plantain recipe, we only need plantains and water.

How to boil plantains

For this recipe, you’ll need a large pot or dutch oven such as the one we are using today. At least 4.5 quarts or more is necessary to fully submerge the plantains.

  1. Trim the ends of the plantain using a sharp knife.
  2. Cut the plantains into 3 pieces.
  3. Carefully slit the skin lengthwise with the sharp knife.
  4. Fill a dutch oven or pot with water and place the cut pieces inside.
  5. Bring the water to a boil while leaving it uncovered.
  6. Once at a boil, cook for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice the peel start to loosen up from the sides.
  7. Strain the water off so the plantains stop cooking.
  8. Peel and enjoy!

How to serve plantains

Enjoy these boiled plantains as a side dish or snack on their own. I have sprinkled them with a little bit of salt, and they were good, but I actually prefer them sliced thin and plain.

Apart from eating them plain, you can also enjoy them mashed with butter, salt, and pepper, just like mashed potatoes.

I’m sure you could add any seasonings or sauces you would prefer.

Boiling plantains in a dutch oven or pot is such an easy way to prepare this delicious fruit! I actually boil plenty in this house, including boiled okra and a delicious boiled asparagus recipe.

Plantains arranged on a white plate with several of them cut up small and placed in a small bowl.

Why you will love this plantain recipe

  • So easy to prepare! There are not a lot of recipes that just call for the main ingredient and water! What’s not to love about that?
  • Low cost and filling! Not only are plantains widely available, at least where we live, but they are incredibly cheap and filling.
  • They are extremely tasty! For someone who hasn’t partaken of many plantains, I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were.

What does a plantain taste like?

Very ripe plantains are often described as being sweet. I, however, would describe the flavor more like a starchy potato, even though they were plenty ripe.

But, perhaps it was just the time of year or the way they were picked.

Cut and peeled plantains on a serving plate that is sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Tips for boiling plantains

Choose ripe yet firm plantains. You can boil plantains if they have developed more brown spots than yellow; you’ll just want to make sure they are still firm so that they hold up when boiling.

Remove the ends and cut the plantain into two or three pieces so that they fit nicely in the pot.

I have made these without cutting them up, and they cooked just fine. However, it was slightly more difficult to peel them.

Always add the plantains to cold water. Of course, this is safer, but it also allows them to cook evenly and prevents the outsides from becoming mushy before the insides have had a chance to cook.

You can check for doneness by piercing the plantains with a fork or knife. If it goes in easily, they are ready.

Remember to drain the boiled plantains right away to prevent further cooking.

Boiled plantains that have been cooled and peel. Afterwards sliced and placed on a plate and in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you store boiled plantains? Boiled plantains can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Can you freeze boiled plantains? Yes, you can freeze boiled plantains. They should be wrapped tightly and kept in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.

What dishes can be made with boiled plantains? Boiled plantains can be used in a wide range of dishes, from side dishes and stews to breakfasts and healthy desserts.

What goes well with plantains? I love these sliced thinly with fried zucchini or my simple ground beef recipe. It also could be substituted into my sausage and rice recipe or enjoyed with shredded chicken.

Shoving a fork into a sliced plantain to check check for tenderness after cooking.

Key Takeaways

Boiling plantains is a simple way to enjoy this delicious fruit! They can be cooked at nearly any stage of ripeness, from green plantains to almost all brown.

Just make sure they are firm to the touch. Otherwise, you may consider feeding those overly ripe plantains to the wildlife.

If you have any other suggestions on how to make plantains, please let me know below! This is just a simple recipe that requires literally no extra ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to cook!

Let me know how your boiled plantains turned out by leaving a review! I love hearing from you!

For more great recipes, check out one of these next!

Boiled plantains sliced into thin pieces and placed into a white bowl.

How to Boil Plantains

Laura Ascher
Boiled plantains are such a delightful treat that take no time to cook and can be enjoyed any time of the day.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizers
Servings 3
Calories 278 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ripe plantains

Instructions
 

  • Trim the ends of the plantain using a sharp knife.
  • Cut the plantains into 3 pieces.
  • Carefully slit the skin lengthwise with the sharp knife.
  • Fill a dutch oven or pot with water and place the cut pieces inside.
  • Bring the water to a boil while leaving it uncovered.
  • Once at a boil, cook for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice the peel start to loosen up from the sides.
  • Strain the water off so the plantains stop cooking.
  • Peel and enjoy!

Notes

Choose ripe yet firm plantains. You can boil plantains if they have developed more brown spots than yellow; you'll just want to make sure they are still firm so that they hold up when boiling.
Always add the plantains to cold water. Of course, this is safer, but it also allows them to cook evenly and prevents the outsides from becoming mushy before the insides have had a chance to cook.
Check for doneness by piercing the plantains with a fork or knife. If it goes in easily, they are ready.
Drain the boiled plantains right away to prevent further cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ozCalories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 2gSodium: 12mgFiber: 6gSugar: 34g
Keyword boiled plantain recipe, boiled plantains, how to boil plantains
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This website provides approximate nutrition information based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands, measuring methods and portion sizes per household. We recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer.

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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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