Easy Boiled Plantains Recipe – Perfect for Latin American Dishes!

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If you’ve got some plantains that never seem to get ripe, this is the recipe for you! These boiled plantains act as a side dish and pair with a ton of popular Latin American foods- especially our chicharrones recipe!

boiled green plantains

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About This Boiled Plantains Recipe

Boiled plantains are a sort of a staple in Costa Rican cooking. We use the boiled plantains recipe either as a starting point to make patacones (thick round fried plantain chips served with black bean dip, chimichurri, or melted cheese) or as a side dish to recipes such as vigorón or eaten in soups such as the olla carne. It is common to use plantain as a flavoring when making Costa Rican black beans or Costa Rican black bean soup as well.

In some places, people will just eat plantains with salt- it just depends on the region. The Costa Rican style of cooking boiled plantains is popular in the Caribbean as well as in countries such as Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Many African countries also boil or steam green plantains as well.

Green plantain is just what it looks like- an extra-large, thick banana with green skin. The skin is tough, so it doesn’t peel as easily as a banana, but with a knife and a bit of patience, you can get it open. The difference between green plantain and yellow plantains is the flavor- the yellow ones are very sweet. 

When peeling the plantains, I just cut the ends off, make a lengthwise slice down the back of the plantain and then peel the entire thing. From there I slice it, however, I need it. For this recipe, I slice them into thick rounds. My husband cuts the plantains first and then starts to peel the skins.  You really can´t go wrong.

The green plantains do take a while to get soft, so if you are planning on serving these with another dish, it is best to start cooking them first. Some recipes call for soaking them overnight in salt water before boiling, but I haven’t ever done that because I’m not usually that organized. 

This recipe is the exact same cooking process as the Costa Rican boiled yuca.

RELATED POST: Costa Rican Fried Plantains- Plátanos Maduros

Our Most Popular Costa Rican Recipes:

round slices of boiled green plantain

Costa Rican Boiled Plantains Recipe

Yield: 2 cups boiled plantains

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1 and 1/2″ in rounds
  • Large pot
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

Peel and slice plantains into 1″ rounds. Place water, salt, and plantains in a stockpot. (Some people wash the plantain before boiling it). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook in boiling water, covered until tender. Let the plantains cook for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve as desired.

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Serving Suggestions

You can serve these boiled plantains hot or cold- it just depends. For example, they are part of the cold salad-type recipe Costa Rican Vigorón. They are also served hot as part of the traditional Costa Rican Olla de carne soup

You can also just serve them on a plate with different toppings- Costa Rican chimichurri or salsa rosada, Costa Rican bean dip, or you could even dip them in ketchup or mayo.

The most popular way to serve these is to then smash them and fry them into a Costa Rican patacón (some countries call them tostones.)

tajadas de platano verde con chicharron

Boiled Plantains FAQ

Can I make boiled plantains ahead of time?

You can, and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave, by returning to a boil in hot water, or heating in a pan on high heat.

Where can I buy green plantains?

You will generally find green plantains near the bananas in the produce section of the grocery store.

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Printable Boiled Plantains Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

Boiled Plantains Recipe

boiled green plantains

This Costa Rican style boiled green plantain recipe is super simple and packs flavor, vitamins and minerals into almost any dish. Super simple to make and delicious too!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1 and 1/2" in rounds
  • Large pot
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 2-3 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice plantains into 1" rounds.
  2. Place water, salt and plantains in a stockpot.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook in boiling water, covered until tender.
  5. Let the plantains cook about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve as desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3613mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 5gSugar: 33gProtein: 2g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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