Air Fryer Sweet Plantains with Crema

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This air fryer sweet plantains recipe is my flavorful twist on the popular Caribbean side dish. All you need are ripe plantains and a few simple pantry ingredients, and you’ve got a delicious side dish or treat in under 15 minutes!

Air Fryer Sweet Plantains with Crema

These air fryer sweet plantains are easily one of my all-time favorite air fryer recipes. With just a few quick minutes of prep time, you really can’t beat the simplicity of air fryer plantains. And when you toss them in sugar beforehand, the results are out of this world. Usually, I’m all about making my own dipping sauce, but with this quick and easy recipe, I like to keep things simple by pairing the plantains with my favorite crema.

Because plantains are a very starchy fruit, it’s typically eaten cooked. To eat raw plantain would be a lot like eating a raw potato…No thanks! Cooking these babies softens them and brings out their delicious sweet flavor, especially when you fry plantains. I love, love, love cooked plantains. Every time I see them on the menu at a restaurant, I usually order them and several more if they’re good.

While the regular fried plantains you’ll get at restaurants are deep fried, I like making a healthier version at home by air frying them. These air-fried plantains’ flavor is on point, but without all the added oils. Depending on how you season them, you can enjoy fried plantains as a sweet or savory treat, but this recipe is for sweet air fryer plantains that I know you’ll fall in love with. Now, let’s get to the good stuff!

3 Ripe Plantains

Key Ingredients

Here’s a breakdown of the simple ingredients you’ll need to make these air fryer plantains at home.

  • Ripe Yellow Plantains: It’s crucial that you use ripe plantains, so they’re soft and sweet. Using green plantains would give you tostones which, while delicious, is not what we’re going for. If you want tostones, here’s a great recipe served with ceviche.
  • Avocado Oil: I like to use avocado oil because it’s a healthy fat that can handle high heat. If you want to make air fried plantains without oil, I recommend using avocado cooking spray.
  • Sugar: Adding a little sugar brings out the natural sweetness of ripe plantains and helps to caramelize them for a nice golden brown exterior.
  • Crema: Crema is the Mexican version of sour cream and is creamier and sweeter than traditional sour cream. My preferred style is El Salvadorian, but that’s just a preference. You can find crema at your local Latin grocery store.
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How to Make Air Fryer Plantains

Air fryer plantains are mouthwatering and delicious, but they’re also beyond easy to make. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps. (Note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements.)

Step 1: Prep Plantains For Cooking

In a medium bowl, combine plantains with cooking oil and sugar. Add to the air fryer basket in a single layer and heat the air fryer to 400°F.

Step 2: Cook Air Fryer Plantains

Air fry the plantains for 12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. Plantains should be golden brown when finished.

Step 3: Serve Hot and Enjoy

Spread crema on a platter, add air fryer plantains and serve immediately.

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Recipe Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips to help you make air fryer plantains that taste amazing every time:

  •  For a savory side dish, swap the sugar for Cajun seasoning and garlic powder instead. You can stick to the crema as your dipping sauce or switch it up for any kind of sauce you prefer.
  • To brighten up the air fryer plantains and add a fresh flavor, squeeze lime juice over your air fried plantains just before serving.
  • The riper the plantains, the sweeter they’ll be. You don’t want them to be so ripe that they fall apart in the air fryer or stick to the air fryer basket. The goal is to choose plantains that are yellow and black and still slightly firm to the touch.
  • To further enhance the flavors, feel free to toss the air fried plantains with a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt right when you take them out of the air fryer.
  • If you don’t eat dairy or can’t find crema, feel free to omit it or use your preferred dipping sauce.
  • Make sure to slice your plantains so they’re roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. I like to cut mine about 1/2- 3/4 inches.
  • This dish tastes best when served hot, so don’t air fry the plantains until you’re ready to eat them.
  • For added flavor, mix a teaspoon of cinnamon with the sugar before tossing your plantains with the mixture.
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Air Fryer Sweet Plantains FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions about this air fryer plantains recipe:

How to air fry plantains?

Before making air fryer plantains, make sure you’re working with ripe plantains—they should be mostly black with some yellow. Using a paring knife (or any small, sharp knife), carefully cut the edges of the plantains and run the blade through the skin.
Peel the skin and discard, then cut diagonally into ½ -1 inch thick plantain pieces. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for the air fryer. Always make sure to fry your plantains in a single layer and give them room to cook evenly.

Should you soak plantains before frying them?

No, not for air fryer plantains. Soaking plantains before frying them is not necessary unless you’re making tostones. That dish typically calls for soaking green plantains before cooking them to ensure that the tostones come out extra crispy.

Can you air fry frozen plantains?

Yes. You can air fry frozen plantains if you want; just be sure that you add 4-5 minutes to the cooking time to account for it. As with fresh plantains, make sure to use plantains that are ripe before they are frozen.

How to store cooked plantains?

To store leftover air fryer plantains, allow them to cool before transferring them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Then, you can store them in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat cooked plantains, pop them back into the air fryer at 400°F until hot.

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Before you begin

Here’s a quick checklist to cover before you begin cooking:

  • Make sure your plantains are ripe; if you buy plantains that aren’t ripe.
  • Place them inside a closed brown bag for 3-5 days until they ripen.
  • Take out every ingredient you’ll need.Grab a small knife and cutting board.Cut on some music and start cooking.

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Air Fryer Sweet Plantains

Air Fryer Sweet Plantains with Crema

Kenneth Temple
With just a few simple ingredients, you can have this air fryer sweet plantains recipe on the table in no time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 4 persons
Calories 177 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 yellow plantains sliced ½ -1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup El Salvadorian crema garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl combine plantains, oil, and sugar. Add to air-fryer basket in a single layer, preheat air fry to 400°F. Air-fry for 12 minutes, flip them halfway through cooking. Plantains should be golden brown. Spread crema on a platter add plantains and serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips to help you make air fryer plantains that taste amazing every time:
  • For a savory side dish, swap the sugar for Cajun seasoning and garlic powder instead. You can stick to the crema as your dipping sauce or switch it up for any kind of sauce you prefer.
  • To brighten up the air fryer plantains and add a fresh flavor, squeeze lime juice over your air fried plantains just before serving. 
  • The riper the plantains, the sweeter they’ll be. You don’t want them to be so ripe that they fall apart in the air fryer or stick to the air fryer basket. The goal is to choose plantains that are yellow and black and still slightly firm to the touch. 
  • To further enhance the flavors, feel free to toss the air fried plantains with a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt right when you take them out of the air fryer. 
  • If you don’t eat dairy or can’t find crema, feel free to omit it or use your preferred dipping sauce. 
  • Make sure to slice your plantains so they’re roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. I like to cut mine about 1/2- 3/4 inches. 
  • This dish tastes best when served hot, so don’t air fry the plantains until you’re ready to eat them. 
  • For added flavor, mix a teaspoon of cinnamon with the sugar before tossing your plantains with the mixture.
Storage
To store leftover air fryer plantains, allow them to cool before transferring them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Then, you can store them in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat cooked plantains, pop them back into the air fryer at 400°F until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 244mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 5gVitamin A: 266IUCalcium: 94mg
Keyword air fryer plantains
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