I’m so excited to share these crispy baked tostones with you! I discovered tostones a few years ago when I visited Costa Rica with my grandmother. Traditional tostones are fried green plantains, flattened and fried again until they’re golden and crispy. You could almost call them Caribbean French fries, and I couldn’t get enough on that trip.
I got a hankering for some tostones a few months ago and decided to learn how to make them. As I was typing up my perfected skillet-fried tostones technique to share with you, a little voice in my head asked, “Why didn’t you try baking them?”
I hit pause on my post and fired up the oven. As it turns out, baked tostones are great. Compared to fried tostones, they’re easier to make, use less oil, and yield a crisp result that tastes more like plantains and less like oil. Hooray!
These baked tostones are a fun little project. Make them for game days, afternoon snacks, or of course, serve them as a side dish with Caribbean meals. They’re especially wonderful with a bold and creamy dipping sauce, like this Aji Verde. Please try them and let me know what you think.
What are plantains?
Plantains are a type of banana. Like bananas, they grow in tropical regions around the world. Compared to regular bananas, plantains are larger in size, more starchy and less sweet.
To make tostones, you’ll need to find unripe, green plantains. Unripe plantains are more firm and less sweet than their ripe counterparts. You can’t make tostones with ripe plantains—you’d end up with caramelized, soft, maduros (fried sweet plantains) instead.
Baked vs. Fried Tostones
However you make them, tostones are delicious. I’m partial to the baked method, and here’s why:
Baked tostones are easier to make. They’re more of a passive project, since they bake in the oven during two fifteen-minute intervals (the perfect time to prepare your dipping sauce). Baked tostones require 75 percent less oil. Baked tostones are crisp yet a little chewy, and the plantain flavor shines through.
Fried tostones require more babysitting, since you should never leave a skillet of oil unattended. Pan-fried tostones require a significant amount of oil (about one cup for just a few plantains), and leave behind about half that much oil in the pan. Fried plantains are extra crispy, but they taste less like plantains and more like ambiguously fried tasty things.
How to Make Baked Tostones
You’ll find the full recipe below, but here’s the gist:
- Peel and slice the plantains. Here’s a helpful video from Melissa Bailey on how to peel plantains.
- Toss the sliced plantains with oil on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread them in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes, at which point they will be tender enough to smash.
- Here’s the fun part: Gently smash each round into a flattened disc using the base of a liquid measuring cup or something similar.
- Brush both sides of each round with additional oil. Sprinkle generously with salt.
- Bake for about 15 more minutes, until the plantains are crisp and golden. Enjoy!
Avocado oil has a high smoking point and is generally considered the healthiest of the high-heat oils, so that’s what I used. Safflower or grapeseed oils would work, too.
I also tried using extra-virgin olive oil, which is my go-to for roasted vegetables. My nose told me that the oil overheated when baking plantains, though, so that’s why I’m recommending a higher heat oil.
Serving Suggestions for Tostones
These fried plantains make a fun snack or side dish. They’re especially nice with a creamy dipping sauce like Aji Verde (shown here) or Creamy Chipotle Sauce or mayonnaise mixed with gochujang (Korean red chili sauce), to taste.
Serve plantains on the side with Caribbean or Latin American meals. I don’t have many authentic Caribbean recipes on the blog, but here are some ideas:
- 10-Minute Quesadillas
- Black Beans (From Scratch!) or Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl
- Easy Black Bean Tacos: Use the same creamy sauce on the tacos.
- Spicy Black Bean Soup
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Please let me know how your tostones turn out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Crispy Baked Tostones
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Snack or Side
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Caribbean
- Diet: Vegan
Learn how to make crispy tostones (baked, not fried) with this foolproof recipe! Tostones, which are made with unripe green plantains, are deliciously savory and salty. Recipe yields 4 to 6 servings; you could likely double the recipe by using two baking sheets in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- To prepare the plantains: Here’s a helpful video. Slice off both ends of each plantain. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut through the skin of a plantain from top to bottom, following the curve of the plantain as you go. You want to slice just deep enough to cut through the skin (less than ¼ inch deep)—you’ll get the feel of it as you go. Repeat twice more on the plantain so you have three evenly-spaced slits. Use your fingers or a spoon, angled downward, to pry off each section. Discard the skins and repeat for the remaining plantains. Slice the plantains into 1-inch thick rounds, then set aside.
- On the prepared baking sheet, toss the sliced plantains with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Disperse them evenly across the pan, flat sides down. Bake for 15 minutes, then place the pan on a heat-safe surface.
- Using the bottom of a glass liquid measuring cup (or mason jar or other sturdy glass), gently press straight down on one round to achieve about ¼-inch thickness. Repeat for each round.
- Brush the tops of each round with oil, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Flip them and brush the other sides (you may need to use just a bit more than 2 tablespoons oil here). Sprinkle the salt over the rounds.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 14 to 17 minutes, until nicely golden and sizzling. Season with additional salt, to taste. Serve warm with dipping sauce, if desired.
*Salt note: If you don’t have either of the recommended salts, use ¼ teaspoon fine salt.