Crispy, crunchy, salty and delicious, these fried plantain chips are popular staple snack throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.
They require 3 ingredients and 30 minutes! They are gluten-free, paleo, keto-friendly, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, and clean eating approved! Best of all, making it is not just easy but affordable too!
Banana -vs- Plantain – What’s the difference?
Plantains are known as a “cooking banana” which means they need to be cooked prior to being ingested. They are larger and have tougher skins than bananas, but their main difference is that plantains are starchier and contain less sugar than regular “dessert” bananas.
Are Plantain Chips Healthy?
I’m going to level with you here, we’re about to deep fry thinly sliced rounds of an unripe, starchy fruit. Is it healthy? Arguably, it’s not any healthier than (homemade) potato chips, HOWEVER that’s not to say it’s unhealthy as plantains are a great source of complex carbs, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants such as dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium, zinc, potassium etc.
Eaten in moderation, plantain chips are a great treat that not just satisfies cravings but is far better for you than most other available options out there. More to that, you can alter the recipe to make it healthier by using alternative methods to cook them….
Baked -vs- Fried -vs- Air-fried – Which is best?
For the best results you’ll want to fry these chips in oil. The texture of them becomes light and airy with a crisp crunch and delicate flavor.
But if you’re looking for a healthier option, you can also bake these chips by lightly oiling them with any oil such as light olive, coconut, or avocado, and placing them in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking tray and baking in a preheated 350F – 375F oven for 15-20 minutes. Though healthier, this results in a chip that isn’t quite as crisp and can have an almost tough or chewy bite to it compared to the fully fried version. This method also requires that each slice be the same consistent thinness or else you risk some chips being under or overdone compared to others.
Another option is to use your airfryer. If you have a countertop convection oven you’ll ideally be baking the chips much like the method above. Honestly, a paddle-type air fryer works best as it will automatically turn and move the chips around for you. If you have a basket/pod fryer this can work too, however the only downside is you’ll be limited in how many of the chips you can fit into a layer in your tray or basket as these chips can’t overlap or else they won’t come out crispy. To airfry your plantain chips, you’ll be following the same as above in prepping and lightly oiling your chips and then layering them into a single layer into your fryer and frying them in a preheated fryer at 350F – 375F until golden brown.
What about Sweet Banana Chips?
Sweet plantain/banana chips are most definitely a thing and there’s technically three ways to go about it:
- You can either use slightly-ripe plantains or half ripe bananas which will naturally give your chips a sweeter flavor, or
- There are alternative recipes that require you to slice and bake ripe to overripe bananas or,
- Another method which requires you to fry and then toss or brush your fried chips in a sweet coating such as honey.
To Make This Crunchy Snack You’ll Need:
- Green Plantains/Banana: We’ll be using green, unripe plantains. If you like you can use a semi-ripe plantain for a sweeter chip.
- Salt: I’m using Himalayan pink but a sea salt also works great as well.
- Oil: Opt to use a higher smoke point clean label oil such as peanut, coconut, or avocado.
Let’s Get Chippy With It!
The first step is to prep our plantains. To do this we’ll need to peel it. Since the skins on plantains are tougher, peeling them is a bit different. The easiest way is simply cut off the ends (pic 1 above), score all the way down the length of the skin – it’s okay if you cut into the plantain a bit just don’t go too deep – (pic 2 above), and then, using your finger, gently lift and work the skin off (pic 3 above). Even if the skin breaks a bit you should be able to slide your finger under the skin and pop the green plantain right out (pic 4 above).
Now it’s time to thinly slice our plantains. Don’t have a mandoline? Neither do I! 😅 I opt instead to use my potato peeler and as you can see the results are quite ideal! You can also use a knife however for the sake of consistency of chip thickness, I would recommend against this method.
Alternatively, you can slice your chips lengthways. To make it easier, you can halve the length of the plantain and then using your slicer, cut them to be longer if preferred.
With our plantains prepped, it’s time to set up our fry station. We need our plantains, a lined bowl to put our fried chips into, and about 3″ of oil in a heavy-bottom pot or pan heated to about 350F. Once you add the first batch, your oil will drop to about 300F, that’s perfectly fine as we’re aiming to keep our oil at around that temperature (300F-325F) as we fry our batches.
If you don’t have a thermometer you can let your oil heat for 5-7 minutes on med-heat and you’ll know it’s hot enough when you drop a test chip in and it sizzles and floats up almost immediately (if your oil is too shallow it may stick to the bottom of the pot so be sure to use a pair of tongs to get it off the bottom and see if it floats).
All that’s left to do is fry your chips in small batches. Try to not overcrowd your pan and for the best results keep them moving around the pan as they fry to ensure even frying.
When they start getting golden brown, strain and place them into your awaiting bowl and sprinkle a small touch of salt on them (the salt sticks better this way).
Spice it up!! 🌶️🌿🍅🧀🧄🍫
Personally, I enjoy a lightly salted chip but you’re not limited to just salt! You can add any assortment of spices and flavorings that you enjoy to make your chips savory or sweet. Some options include:
- Pepper: ground black or white or even chipotle or cayenne powder works great.
- Garlic powder.
- Onion powder
- Curry powder.
- Turmeric powder.
- Smoked paprika.
- Tomato powder.
- Finely grated hard cheese: parmesan, asiago, pecorino-Romano etc.
- Dried herbs: Oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, dill,
- Warming spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, ginger.
- Finely blended raw cane sugar or maple sugar.
- Cocoa powder.
You can even use blends to create flavors such as:
- Salt and Pepper: salt and black pepper.
- BBQ: tomato powder, onion, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic, ginger, clove (tiniest amount), ground mustard, finely blended sugar, basil and thyme.
- Pizza: tomato powder, basil, finely shredded hard cheese.
- Salsa: tomato powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne/chipotle pepper.
- Ranch: parsley, dill, garlic, onion, black pepper, salt.
- Cajun: salt, cayenne, black pepper, chili powder, garlic.
- Italian Herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Greek: oregano, dill, mint, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, thyme, marjoram, black pepper, salt.
- Za’atar: thyme, oregano, toasted sesame seeds, and sumac.
- Moroccan: ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric.
- Indian Masala: cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, dried chili flakes, pepper and salt.
- Cinnamon Sugar: cinnamon powder and finely ground raw cane sugar.
- Pumpkin Spice: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, finely ground raw cane sugar.
- Chocolate: cocoa powder and finely cane sugar.
What other flavor profiles and combinations do you enjoy?? Let us know in the comments below!
And there you have it, a simple and delicious crispy, crunchy treat that can be made and flavored to suit your personal taste and preference! Enjoy 🥰
Fried Plantain Chips
- 2 green plantains
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- Oil for frying (peanut, coconut or avocado)
- Prep your plantains by slicing off the ends, scoring through the skin along the length and working your finger under the skin and along the length. Remove the skin and discard it.Using a mandoline or a potato peeler, slice your plantains into thin rounds. Alternatively you can cut the plantain in two and make longer chips by cutting lengthwise.
- Deep Fry: In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 2"-3" of oil (peanut, coconut or avocado) and bring your oil up to 350°F (when you fry your first batch it will drop to around 300-325°F, this is normal and is the temperature we want to keep our oil at. If you don't have a thermometer, set your oil to medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add in a test chip, it should sizzle and will sink but should float to the top almost immediately. If your oil is too shallow it might stick to the bottom and will need to be dislodged using a clean, dry metal tongs or strainer.Fry your chips in small batches, do not overcrowd your pot and keep your chips moving around. Once they're golden yellow (not brown) remove them to a bowl or tray lined with brown paper or paper towels.Salt your chips with a small pinch between batches, the salt sticks better to the fresh and hot chips.
- Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F - 375°F. (350°F conventional, 375°F convection)Using 1-2 tbsp of peanut, coconut or avocado oil, toss your chips in it so that they're evenly coated, and place them onto a parchment-lined baking tray in a single layer onto a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisped when cooled.
- Air Fry: Preheat your airfryer to 375°F. Using 1-2 tbsp of peanut, coconut or avocado oil, toss your chips in it so that they're evenly coated and place them into the preheated airfryer tray or basket in a single layer. Working in batches "fry" them for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes until they are golden and crisp.
- Storage: To store, cool your chips to room temperature and store them in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Chips that were deep fried will retain their crunch better than those that were baked or air fried.
- The nutritional information is calculated to include the plantains, salt and 2tbsp of oil. Depending on your method of prep, the exact value may differ.
- Ensure your chips are all the same thinness for the best results.