Have you ever had tostones? Tostones are made with green (unripe) plantains and are a very popular side dish in many Caribbean and South American countries. You can have them salty or sweet. My family likes to eat our platanos salty, so crispy homemade tostones (plantain chips) were a staple for us in my Puerto Rican household. The traditional method is to twice-fry the plantains in oil, but today I am sharing an air-fried version of my Puerto Rican family’s recipe, which is much lighter as it uses olive oil spray instead of deep-frying. I am so happy with how crispy and good they come out using the air fryer instead of deep frying them, and love having this low-guilt alternative for our traditional comfort food! See more air fryer recipes here, and my review of air frying vs. deep frying here. Don’t have an air fryer yet? Click here to get one on Amazon (affiliate link).
Want more recipes like these Air Fryer Tostones? See these other Puerto Rican recipes from Fab Everyday
- Instant Pot Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo recipe (my family’s recipe – adapted for the pressure cooker!)
- Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas) recipe
- Habichuelas Guisadas, Puerto Rican-Style Beans Recipe
- Instant Pot Estofado de Pollo (or Pollo Guisado – Puerto Rican-style chicken stew)
- Shortcut Puerto Rican Picadillo Empanadas recipe
- Recipe: How to Make Homemade Puerto Rican Sofrito
- Family recipe: The best Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog) recipe
I developed this recipe as part of the Allrecipes Allstars Tastemakers program. Rate, review, and photograph my recipe for Air Fryer Tostones on Allrecipes here, and see the full recipe along with some of my tips for preparing it below. Jump to Recipe.
How to make Air Fryer Tostones (Fried Green Plantain Chips)
You don’t need much to make this recipe! But one thing that is very important is that the plantains are green. Buy the greenest ones you can. The yellower they are, the more sweet and mushy they will be. Green will give you that savory, crisp plantain chip.
Cutting and peeling green plantains is not the same as peeling bananas. The skin doesn’t want to come off! Here is how I do it. First, slice the tips off the plantain, then make a vertical cut in the skin from end to end, making sure to cut only through the thick skin and not into the plantain flesh.
Next, cut the plantain, still with the peel, into 1-inch chunks.
Peel the skin off each chunk starting at the slit you made. If your plantains are especially difficult to cut, you can use a case knife to aid in removing the skin, or try to peel them while under warm water, which can help.
Now that you’ve peeled these bad boys, place the plantain chunks in your air fryer basket and spray them with olive oil spray. For the first phase, you will air fry them for 5 minutes in a pre-heated air fryer. While they are cooking, prepare a bowl of salted water to have ready for the next step.
Remove the plantain pieces from the air fryer with tongs, as the basket will be hot.
For the next step, I use a plantain smasher (also called a tostonera) that my father made for me. You can also buy one on Amazon here (affiliate link). If you don’t have a plantain smasher, the base of a mason jar or large mug will work as well.
You’ll smash the partially cooked plantain chunks to about 1/2-inch thickness using the tostonera (or your alternate smasher), then place them in a bowl of salted water.
The smashed tostones will soak in the bowl of salted water while you are smashing the rest. When you are done smashing all of them remove the tostones from the water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Return tostones to the air fryer in batches, filling the basket with a single layer each time. Spray the tops with olive oil spray and season with salt, then air fry for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes use your tongs to flip them, then spray the other side with olive oil spray and season with salt. Air fry until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes more.
These are delicious just the way they are, but some people like to dip them into a sauce. We usually just eat them salted like this.
Enjoy the recipe, and don’t forget to share and pin!