7 Dishes That Prove Plátanos Maduros Are the Most Versatile Food Out There

Lead Photo: Ripe fried plantains. Photo by jrroman/ Getty Images
Ripe fried plantains. Photo by jrroman/ Getty Images
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Plátanos are a staple in Latin American and Latino cuisines. While some love the savory taste of green plantains, maduros – whether in dessert form or as a side – are a versatile sweet treat that hold a special place in many of our lives.

Although we know our communities love themselves some maduros, the food is eaten around the world, including in West and East African and Southeast Asia. And while one of the most popular ways to eat the plátano is fried on the side of rice and a protein, plantains can be transformed into a variety of dishes. Whether serving as bread in a sandwich or substituting dough in empanadas, they are all delicious.

Below, check out seven dishes made with maduros, and fair warning, you will get hungry.



Pastelón is basically a lasagna made with maduros, instead of pasta. The dish features layers of grated cheese and lots of ground beef. Although its a heavy meal on its own, many people, especially Puerto Ricans, enjoy pastelón with a side of white rice.



Canoas are a staple of the Caribbean that acquired their name because of the canoe-like shape maduros are cut into. The plátanos are filled with picadillo and cheese.



In Guatemala, maduros are made into a dessert called rellenitos. The plátanos are fried and filled with refried beans and chocolate, and then topped with cinnamon and sugar.


Sushi with maduros

Many Caribbean countries, specifically Panama, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic, have adopted sushi as their own, creating cooked versions with maduros on top. Popular spots have also popped in New York City, where restaurants like MamaSushi have carved a space for Asian-inspired Caribbean food.


Dulce de plátanos

In Venezuela, plátanos can also be worked into a dessert. Dulce de plátanos are sugary treat made from caramelized plantains and served with ice cream.


Empanadas de plátano

Most of us know the traditional empanadas made out of flour or corn dough, but the savory treat is actually made from maduros in parts of Central America. Countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua have empanadas de plátano filled with cheese.



Yoyos are a Venezuelan dish similar to patacones. The yoyos consist of two layers of maduros with white cheese from the region of Zuliana in Venezuela, where the dish originated. The yoyos have also been reworked into more elaborate creations with meat included.