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Patacones Costa Rican Mashed Plantains

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These Costa Rican patacones are made from mashed fried green plantains fried crispy golden brown into a round shape and then sprinkled with sea salt. Perfect for topping with ceviche, beef in red sauce, frijol molido and more.

costa rican plantains- patacones with red and blue napkins

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What Are Patacones?

Patacones are green plantains cut into thick slices, fried until tender, then mashed into circles and refried. They are golden brown, a little bit hard, and can be as small as 2” in diameter to as large as 6” in diameter (depending on the size of the plantain.) 

In Costa Rica, patacones are most often eaten as appetizers or as a side dish, with dipping sauces such as salsa rosada (LINK), refried black bean dip (LINK), guacamole (LINK)  or Costa Rican chimichurri (LINK). 

It’s becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica to serve patacones in a similar style to a Mexican tostada or even an open faced sandwich topped with ceviche, beef in red sauce, or shredded chicken.

Nachos de patacón are also very popular, where layers of ingredients are added to each individual patacon. Either way, patacones are ridiculously delicious and an easy food to replicate in your own kitchen!

It is important to note that patacones (or tostones) as they are called in many Latin American countries, are extremely popular throughout Latin America.  So even if you aren’t in Costa Rica, make sure to check out the variations all over the world (I especially love the tostones in Puerto Rico!)

Related post: Fried Plantains

costa rican plantains- patacones on a plate with red and blue napkins

Patacones Costa Rica Recipe

Printable recipe below

Ingredients

Instructions

Peel the plantains and cut them into rounds about 1 inch thick. Using 1-2 inches of oil in the bottom of the pan. Lightly fry plantain slices on all sides until just tender. Remove from heat.

Using a pataconera or tortilla press (affiliate link) smash the plantains into flattened discs. 

Add a bit more oil to a skillet (I like to use a cast iron frying pan) and heat the oil over medium-high heat until just shimmering. Gently place the flattened plantains into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 and 1/2 minutes on each side.

Remove from the oil with tongs and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. 

Sprinkle with salt and serve with chimichurri, Costa Rican refried black beans, guacamole, or salsa rosada

costa rican plantains- patacones in someone's hand

Related post: Costa Rican Casado

Substitutions

If you’d like a sweeter version of this recipe, then you can allow your plantains to ripen slightly before preparing them.

Sea salt is a slightly stronger alternative to regular table salt and is great for seasoning your patacones. I also like to add a little garlic salt to the tops too! 

If you don’t have a pataconera or tortilla press, no worries. You can use a Mason jar, a plate, or even a textbook to smash the plantains into their round shape. The most important trick is to make sure you put some plastic or waxed paper on the surface to avoid sticky residue.

Variations

You can boil the first round of plantains in salted water (about 1 teaspoon) until just tender and then flatten and fry them. This cuts down on the fat content in the recipe. 

Related post: Costa Rican Style Boiled Green Plantain Recipe

patacones (referred to as tostones) are accompanied by fry sauce and a mouthwatering garlic dip called mojo de ajo. In the Dominican Republic, patacones are called platanos fritos and are served with fresh lime wedges, while in Cuba they are known as tachinos and are often served as plátano maduro, or sweet plantains. 

Serving Suggestions

There are so many serving possibilities when it comes to patacones! If you’d like to go the dip route, bean dip, fry sauce, guacamole, and garlic spread are all fantastic options! Another way to serve your patacones is by piling them with shredded pork and cheese, making them into loaded nachos. 

Patacones are often served as a side, just like french fries would be in the States. They’re especially good with baked carnitas, hamburgers, gallo pinto, and chicken tenders!

FAQ

1.) How do you peel a plantain? – Plantains can be tricky! Try chopping off both ends and then cutting a vertical slit down the peel. Once you’ve made the cut, you can reach in and pry back the peel before slicing up the plantain itself.

2.) Is there another name for patacones? – Yes! Patacones are often referred to as tostones, a word coming from the Spanish verb tostar, meaning to toast. 

3.) Are plantains good for you? – Absolutely! Just like bananas, plantains are excellent sources of potassium, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. savory flavor, ripe plantains are yellow or black and are generally more sweet.

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Yield: 8-12

Patacones Costa Rican Mashed Plantains

costa rican plantains- patacones on a plate with red and blue napkins

These Costa Rican patacones are made from mashed fried green plantains fried crispy golden brown into a round shape and then sprinkled with sea salt. Perfect for topping with ceviche, beef in red sauce, frijol molido and more.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel the plantains and cut them into rounds about 1 inch thick.
  2. Using 1-2 inches of oil in the bottom of the pan. Lightly fry plantain slices on all sides until just tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a pataconera or tortilla press smash the plantains into flattened discs.
  4. Add a bit more oil to a skillet (I like to use a cast iron frying pan) and heat the oil over medium-high heat until just shimmering.
  5. Gently place the flattened plantains into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 and 1/2 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove from the oil with tongs and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and serve with chimichurri, Costa Rican refried black beans, guacamole, or salsa Rosada.

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About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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