How to Make Tostones (Healthier Baked/Air Fried Green Plantain)

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How to make tostones/patacones (fried green plantain) with an oven or air fryer – for healthier results that are still wonderfully crispy. These twice-baked air fryer tostones require just two ingredients, 30-40 minutes, and make for a delicious and crispy snack, appetizer, or side. Plus, this recipe is naturally gluten-free, paleo, and vegan!

Plantain chips and red salsa

Okay, I’ll admit it, this is the first time I’ve ever tried a plantain, and now I’m wondering where they’ve been my entire life. While plantains look similar to bananas, they are firmer, starchier, drier, and – when green – more savory. When cooked the right way, you end up with tostones/patacones (fried green plantain). Learning how to make tostones at home couldn’t be simpler, though! Plus, I’ve swapped out the deep-frying method for a healthier, simpler baked or air-fried tostones recipe!

If you’ve spent any time on my blog or Instagram before, you may have noticed that I’m working my way through several series, including breakfasts from around the world. Recently, I’ve posted recipes for Mexican huevos rancheros, French oeuf cocotte (baked eggs), and Indonesian nasi uduk (coconut milk rice). Then recently, a reader asked for a recipe for tostones and – here we are!

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What are Tostones?

Tostones are named after the Spanish verb “tostar”, which means “to toast”. This refers to twice-fried green plantain slices that are a staple in the Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. In fact, depending on where you’re based, the name for these fried green plantains varies, from tostones, patacones (various locations including Costa Rica and Colombia), tachinos/chatinos (Cuba), platano frito (Dominican Republic), and bananes pesees (Haiti). They’re even found in West Africa, where they’re simply called “plantain crisps“.

Holding a large plantain chip

No matter where you’re from or how you refer to this dish, the preparation method is usually very similar. Traditionally, a tostones recipe has you slice the raw green plantain, fry them for 1-2 minutes, then flatten them (traditionally with a tool called a tostonera). Fry once more until the tostones chips are wonderfully golden brown and crisp.

However, for this recipe for tostones, we’ll be skipping the deep frying and instead turning to a healthier baked green plantains method (PLUS a bonus air fryer tostones method!). The results are air-fried/baked tostones that are still wonderfully crispy, yet with just a tiny fraction of the oil!

Once prepared, these comforting, hearty baked tostones are served similarly to fries or crisps/chips – often lightly salty and/or with a dip (like hogao) – which differs depending on where you’re enjoying the patacones/tostones!

The Ingredients

Ingredients for plantain chips
  • Green plantain: make sure to use green plantains and not green bananas. In the UK, these are hard to find in grocery stores. They are best found in Mediterranean/foreign food stores and markets. However, in America, several grocery stores stock them in the tropical fruit area.
  • Olive oil: or another neutral cooking oil – like avocado oil or coconut oil.
  • Salt: to season the baked green plantain chips. I recommend using Maldon Sea salt or kosher salt.

How to Make Tostones/Patacones?

Step 1: Slice the green plantain

First, peel the plantains (check FAQs for how to peel a plantain easily). Then cut them into thick slices between 1-2 inches thick. The thicker the pieces are, the larger the flattened chips will be, so keep that in mind.

Step 2: Bake/Air fry the plantain slices

Place the thick slices on a lightly oiled baking tray or in an air fryer basket. Make sure there is space between the pieces for air to circulate.

Then, bake the plantain for 5 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC, or until the plantain has softened (it needs to be soft enough to flatten in the next step). You can check by inserting a toothpick into one of the slices.

Note that the air fryer will take less time, so if you use an oven, you may need to wait up 8-10 minutes rather than 5.

Before and after baking plantains

Step 3: Flatten the green plantain slices

Now is the fun part – for me, at least. It’s time to “press” those plantain slices into thin chips. There are several ways that you can do this, including:

  • Use a tortilla press (the same way we do for homemade corn tortillas) – place a slice between two pieces of parchment paper and close the press.
  • Alternatively, you can do the same between two cutting boards, using a mallet (the flat side), or using the bottom of a large flat dish or even a mug to press the slices manually.

I recommend trying to keep the pressure even if using a manual method, so they cook evenly.

Steps for pressing plantan chips

Be aware that the thicker the slices are, the harder it will be to make super crispy baked/air fryer patacones. Using a tortilla press, I got nice thin slices that are just a few mms thick. However, feel free to make them thicker.

Once flattened, brush each patacone with oil (or use spray oil) and sprinkle with a little salt.

Ready to bake plantain chicps with oil

Step 4: Bake/Air fry the tostones once more

As the green plantain slices will now be bigger, you may need to do this part in batches (especially if using an Air Fryer) or use an extra oven tray – to make sure that you cook them in a single layer, not overlapping.

Bake in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for 10-15 minutes OR Air fry at 400ºF/200ºC for 8-10 minutes, flipping over halfway – or until browned and crispy. Then enjoy alone as a snack or pair with dips and sides as an appetizer, etc.

The baking time will vary based on how thick your fried green plantains slices are, so check on them after 5-8 minutes and adjust the baking time to your liking.

Before and after baking plantain chips

How to Store?

Make ahead: if you want to prepare tostones in advance, you can peel, bake, and then smash the plantain slices ahead of time. Then dip the pieces in a lime-water mixture to prevent them from browning. Then store them in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper between (to avoid sticking). You can store them this way in the fridge for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for a longer time.

You can then bake the tostones/patacones from frozen, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.

Store: patacones are best enjoyed immediately. However, you may store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. The patacones may become very hard when chilled – this is normal.

Reheat: reheat them in the oven or air fryer at 400ºF/200ºC for several minutes until heated through (5-8 minutes should be enough, or more like 3-5 if using an air fryer). You could also reheat them in the microwave, though they will lose some of their crispness.

Salsas and plantin chips on a plate

How to Serve?

Just like French fries, there are tons of ways to enjoy these baked tostones, including eating them as they are as a quick snack or pairing them with a dip/side, such as:

You can also serve the air fryer tostones as an appetizer, topped with various items like:

  • Tostones con queso – aka cheese. Top the tostones with fried cheese or a cheese slice.
  • Avocado salad – think guacamole before it’s smashed. A simple combination of cubed avocado with lime, salt, and pepper.
  • Shrimp ceviche.
  • Refried beans.
  • Meats/protein.

Like fries, these can also be served as a side alongside various mains and proteins in the place of potatoes or rice – particularly seafood like baked and grilled fish or even this coconut shrimp.

Plantain chips on a plate with salsas

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • If the tostones fall apart when pressed: this usually means that you haven’t cooked them enough before pressing. Simply put the slices back in the oven/air fryer and cook for a minute or two more and then try again.
  • Can I use ripe plantains? Not for authentic tostones. As ripe plantains have a different texture and sweeter flavor, they won’t be the same. In fact, that comes under a different recipe entirely called “maduros” (aka fried sweet plantains, fried only once). So, for this tostones recipe, please use green plantains!
  • How to peel a plantain? The best way I’ve found how to peel a plantain is to slice off the two ends, then use a small sharp knife (paring knife) to slice into the skin (not the plantain itself) along the length of the plantain. Do this 2-3 times, and then remove the peel in strips. Placing a spoon between the peel and plantain can help release it and make it easier to peel.
  • If the plantains are hard to peel: place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water for several minutes. That should help the skins come off much easier – but then handle with gloves as they’ll be hot.
  • To make tostone cups: while you can purchase a tostonera that helps you shape the mashed green plantain into cups, you could also use a lemon squeezer, or you can press the plantain and then place it within a mini muffin tin to push it into shape and bake.
  • Try to eat them fresh: I know I included storage and reheating options (because I know people will ask), but these air fryer tostones are best when eaten fresh and warm from the oven/air fryer. Like French fries, they just don’t have the same wow factor when left to chill or reheated.
  • For crispier results: a reader let me know that if you soak the smashed plantain in warm salted water (about 1 Tbsp salt flakes to 2-3 cups water) for up to 5 minutes, then dry thoroughly with paper towels, this can help to achieve even crispier results, with a crunchy outside and moist inside. Though they use this method for fried green plantain, a similar process is used for baked French fries, so I imagine it would work with the baked/air fryer tostones. Let me know if you try it with and without and the results. Top Tip: You can also “infuse” the plantains with flavor by placing two cloves of minced garlic in the warm water when soaking.
  • The boil bake method: I’ve heard that if you first boil the green plantain slices then smash and bake/air fry, then you’ll not only get crispy results, but they’ll maintain a better texture once cooled down, too.

More International Snack/Appetizer Recipes

If you try this green plantain recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Make Tostones (Healthier Baked/Air Fried Green Plantain)

5 from 4 votes
By: Samira
How to make tostones/patacones (fried green plantain) with an oven or air fryer – for healthier results that are still wonderfully crispy. These twice-baked air fryer tostones require just two ingredients, 30-40 minutes, and make for a delicious and crispy snack, appetizer, or side. Plus, this recipe is naturally gluten-free, paleo, and vegan.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 plantain make sure to use green plantain
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil/coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions 

Step 1: Slice the green plantain

  • Peel the plantains (check the notes below for how to peel a plantain easily) and cut them into thick slices between 1-2 inches thick. The thicker the pieces are, the larger the flattened chips will be, so keep that in mind.

Step 2: Bake/ Air fry the plantain slices

  • Place the thick slices on a lightly oiled baking tray or in an air fryer basket. Make sure there is space between the pieces for air to circulate.
  • Cook the plantain until it has softened (it needs to be soft enough to flatten in the next step). You can check by inserting a toothpick into one of the slices.
    In the Air Fryer – for 5-10 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC.
    In the oven – about 8-12 minutes at 400ºF/200ºC.

Step 3: Flatten the green plantain slices

  • Now is the fun part – for me, at least. It's time to "press" those plantain slices into thin chips. There are several ways that you can do this, including:
    – Use a tortilla press – place a slice between two pieces of parchment paper and close the press.
    – Alternatively, you can do the same between two cutting boards, using a mallet (the flat side), or using the bottom of a large flat dish or even a mug to press the slices manually.
    I recommend trying to keep the pressure even if using a manual method, so they cook evenly.
    Be aware that the thicker the slices are, the harder it will be to make super crispy baked/air fryer patacones. Using a tortilla press, I got nice thin slices that are just a few mms thick. However, feel free to make them thicker.
  • Once flattened, brush each patacone with oil (or use spray oil) and sprinkle with a little salt.

Step 4: Bake/Air fry the tostones once more

  • As the green plantain slices will now be bigger, you may need to do this part in batches (especially if using an Air Fryer) or use an extra oven tray – to make sure that you cook them in a single layer, not overlapping.
  • Bake in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for 10-15 minutes OR
    Air fry at 400ºF/200ºC for 8-10 minutes.
    Flip the chips over halfway through baking and cook until browned and crispy.
    The baking time will vary based on how thick your fried green plantains slices are, so check on them after 5-8 minutes and adjust the baking time to your liking.

How to Store?

  • Make ahead: if you want to prepare tostones in advance, you can peel, bake, and then smash the plantain slices ahead of time. Then dip the pieces in a lime-water mixture to prevent them from browning. Then store them in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper between (to avoid sticking). You can store them this way in the fridge for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for a longer time.
    You can then bake the tostones/patacones from frozen, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.
    Store: patacones are best enjoyed immediately. However, you may store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. The patacones may become very hard when chilled – this is normal.
    Reheat: reheat them in the oven or air fryer at 400ºF/200ºC for several minutes until heated through (5-8 minutes should be enough, or more like 3-5 if using an air fryer). You could also reheat them in the microwave, though they will lose some of their crispness.

Notes

  • If the tostones fall apart when pressed: this usually means that you haven’t cooked them enough before pressing. Simply put the slices back in the oven/air fryer and cook for a minute or two more and then try again.
  • Can I use ripe plantains? Not for authentic tostones. As ripe plantains have a different texture and sweeter flavor, they won’t be the same. In fact, that comes under a different recipe entirely called “maduros” (aka fried sweet plantains, fried only once). So, for this tostones recipe, please use green plantains!
  • How to peel a plantain? The best way I’ve found how to peel a plantain is to slice off the two ends, then use a small sharp knife (paring knife) to slice into the skin (not the plantain itself) along the length of the plantain. Do this 2-3 times, and then remove the peel in strips. Placing a spoon between the peel and plantain can help release it and make it easier to peel.
  • If the plantains are hard to peel: place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water for several minutes. That should help the skins come off much easier but then handle with gloves as they’ll be hot.
  • To make tostone cups: while you can purchase a tostonera that helps you shape the mashed green plantain into cups, you could also use a lemon squeezer, or you can press the plantain and then place it within a mini muffin tin to push it into shape and bake.
  • Try to eat them fresh: I know I included storage and reheating options (because I know people will ask), but these air fryer tostones are best when eaten fresh and warm from the oven/air fryer. Like French fries, they just don’t have the same wow factor when left to chill or reheated.
  • For crispier results: a reader let me know that if you soak the smashed plantain in warm salted water (about 1 Tbsp salt flakes to 2-3 cups water) for up to 5 minutes, then dry thoroughly with paper towels, this can help to achieve even crispier results, with a crunchy outside and moist inside. Though they use this method for fried green plantain, a similar process is used for baked French fries, so I imagine it would work with the baked/air fryer tostones. Let me know if you try it with and without and the results. Top Tip: You can also “infuse” the plantains with flavor by placing two cloves of minced garlic in the warm water when soaking.
  • The boil bake method: I’ve heard that if you first boil the green plantain slices then smash and bake/air fry, then you’ll not only get crispy results, but they’ll maintain a better texture once cooled down, too.
 
Check the blog post for tons of ways to serve these patacones!
Course: Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine: Caribbean, South American
Shelf life: 2-3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 294mg, Potassium: 447mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 1009IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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