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Homemade Tostones - Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free. Crispy and delicious, freezer and kid friendly!Tostones are one of my top 5 favorite foods of all time. One ingredient, these flat crispy circles of deliciousness are Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and kid and freezer friendly. My kids literally cheer when these come to the table. We love them with tacos, fajitas, or even as a base for s’mores. My boys will eat them straight up by themselves or even smeared with peanut butter like a cracker.

They aren’t hard to make but might involve some steps that feel unfamiliar until you have done it yourself. I want to break this down step by step so you can rock these tostones on the regular too. Trust me, once you make them you will be making them again and again!

If you’d rather watch this in video format, you can see this simple video I created for a Whole30 Instagram Takeover here on YouTube:

Step 1 – Peel and Slice Green Plantains

What is a plantain? I tell my kids it’s like the banana’s less sweet cousin. I haven’t found them in every grocery store, but Winco and Walmart by me have them, often by the bananas. They are about twice as big and not sold in a bunch but singularly. First key to success on crispy tostones is to make sure your plantains are green, not even slightly yellow. Yellow plantains are more sweet and will not get crispy. If your plantains got yellow too fast, I recommend making this Plantain Taco Hash with them instead!

Cut off the ends of your plantain, then cut it in half and remove the peel.

Removing the peel of green plantains can be tricky, as it doesn’t always come off easily – score down the side of the plantain just through the peel and then get your thumb underneath to start lifting the peel, and then use that starting point to lift off the peel all the way around.

Once peel is removed, cut peeled plantains into 1″ish chunks. Keep in mind the bigger the chunks of plantain, the larger your tostones will be (about double the size). I like the 1″ chunks as they cook fast and make a chip-sized 2″ish plantain.

Step 2 – Cook in oil on the stove

Heat 1/4″ of oil that is suitable to high heat (I love coconut oil, but avocado oil is great too) in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once hot, place plantain chunks flat side down into the oil and cook until golden but not brown (4ish minutes), then flip and cook till golden on the second side. You can see on the left side of the below picture the golden color they turn when they are cooked. I use kitchen tongs to flip them, but you can also just use two forks.

Step 3 – Smash plantains

Once they are golden on both sides, remove from the pan and smash flat. I usually do this between two sheets of parchment paper with a kitchen hammer. But, you can also do so even with just the bottom of a mug. If the plantains break apart when they are smashed, they weren’t cooked long enough to be tender for smashing. They should easily smash into a nice flat circle. Thickness is up to you, but we like ours nice and thin.

Step 4 – Cook a second time or freeze

If you want to save some for later (I usually double batch and save half), freeze after smashing (don’t fry the second time yet). I do so by laying them in a single layer and freezing till solid and then storing in a sealed container for up to 3 months. If eating now, once smashed, put back into the hot oil on the stove and cook for 3ish minutes until hard and crispy, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

Step 5 – Salt and enjoy!

Once crispy and hard, remove from oil. I line a plate with a  paper towel and cool them on that. Be sure to salt right out of the pan, or the salt won’t stick to the tostones and they definitely need a generous salting!

Repeat with all plantains and enjoy the crispy goodness!

For any you stored in the freezer after the first fry, to finish cooking just cook straight from frozen in a pan with 1/4″ oil over medium high heat (same as before) for 3ish minutes each side until crispy and hard.

NOTE: Yes, you can coat with oil and do all the cooking steps in the airfryer instead of pan frying. But, even though I LOVE my airfryer, I don’t really like the dry fry of an airfryer for tostones. I do use the airfryer at 350 for a few minutes to recrispify leftovers though!

Recipes with Tostones

Tostones are an awesome Paleo/Whole30 way to eat tacos (like sliders)! Here are a few other ways we love tostones:

 

 

 

 

16 Comments

  1. I was so intimidated to make tostones, but they’re so easy with this method! Turn out perfect every time and great to keep in the freezer for an easy addition to a meal.

    Reply
    • I’m happy these made tostones approachable for you – they are a favorite in our house for sure!

      Reply
  2. I was so intimidated to make these but I followed your instructions to a T and voila! Where have these been all my life!! I am always on the lookout for the green plantains at the grocery store and the freezer is packed with back ups.🙂 Thank you for the video.

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  3. I had honestly never heard of tostones until Autumn made them on Instagram. I was on a Whole30 and ready to try anything. And well, they seemed like fries, so I had to try them! They’re so easy and so delicious, dip them in some sort of sauce or eat them plain, just don’t forget the salt! I still eat them when not on a Whole30, and they’re one of my absolute favorite savory treats.

    Reply
  4. I made these a while back and actually have a plantain on the counter to make another batch. They are so delicious, simple to make, and a great base for so many different meals. I put taco fixings on top of them, but I also think buffalo chicken would taste amazing. I love how crispy they are on the outside and tender on the inside!

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  5. A labor of love! This take me a little while to make but I love them! I prefer them over nacho chips. I like to dip them in salsa or eat with the burrito bowls!!

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  6. This is for anyone intimidated to make tostones!! You will see tostones regularly on bloggers post when looking for whole 30 etc healthy recipes. Autumn has the BEST tutorial out there—this is it. You will not be steered wrong. Kids and husband approved.

    Reply
    • I’m so happy you feel this tutorial is so helpful, thank you!

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    • Appreciate the step by step directions. The tostones were delicious. After making them A few time I can reinforce a few things – don’t cook them on too high heat first time around or they won’t smash well.; use green Plantains (really) This is a keeper.

      Reply
  7. I needed every step by step and every tip because this was a whole new food for me. But it was easy! This was an pick me up while on Whole30. I like them and all that salt 😉 pair with pulled pork and pico de Gallo!

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  8. So good! Yummy way to do taco night while on Whole 30! When I asked what recipes to continue after this was the first one he mentioned!

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    • I’m so happy this is one you want to use on or off a Whole30! Thank you!

      Reply
  9. My husband is half Nicaraguan, so we come by tostones pre-Whole30… but I can say this is how we do it. We don’t own a tostonera, so we smash with whatever… coffee mug, back side of a wooden spoon… choice is yours. What I really want to comment on is your idea of freezing them! While nothing beats fresh tostones, having a stash of half-made ones in the freezer is genius! They do pop more in the grease, but I just throw a lid on them. One extra dish to wash at the end is so worth the time saved!

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    • I’m so happy these are authentic to how you love tostones and that the freezing idea is helpful! I can’t always find green plantains in my area, so making a bunch and freezer has allowed me to have tostones much more often.

      Reply
  10. I’ve created a monster! My son asks me for these daily. (He’s 22!) He likes them as a side with a sandwich, and I love them with guacamole. I’m getting better at making them with every batch—but even when they don’t look so perfect they taste amazing. A keeper!

    Reply
    • This very much made me LOL. I love that your son is requesting these on the daily. We have a few tostones monsters in our house too – so good. Thank you!

      Reply

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