Air Fryer Tostones

Salty, crispy tostones get an update in the air fryer! Skip the greasy pan-fried method, and instead, toss them in a little oil and double “fry” them in your air fryer. Serve them with a simple, but tasty mayo ketchup sauce.

Air Fryer Tostones on parchment paper with a bowl of salt nearby.
Marta Rivera

Food is famous for dragging us down memory lane. During our first date (which was at my house), I cooked tostones–twice-fried, mashed plantains–for the man who would become my husband.

While cutting the plantains, I noticed out of my periphery he was standing at the threshold of my tiny kitchen just staring at me. Thinking he was plotting to attack me; I grasped the knife I was using a little tighter and asked if everything was okay.

“You look just like my grandmother doing that,” he said.

Years later he told me that was the moment he knew he was going to marry me.

Air Fryer Tostones on parchment paper with a bowl of salt nearby.
Marta Rivera

What Are Tostones?

Tostones (also known as patacones in some Latin American countries) are comforting to those who grew up eating them. Akin to North American potato chips, tostones are green (underripe) plantains that have been fried until they are soft, then mashed and refried.

They’re basically a snack food and are commonly served as an accompaniment or appetizer to a heavier meal or enjoyed by schoolchildren as an afternoon snack.

Air Fryer Tostones in a basket set on parchment paper with a bowl of dip nearby.
Marta Rivera

What Are Plantains?

Plantains are a variety of banana that must be cooked because of the amount of starch they contain. Like bananas, green plantains are unripe and yellow plantains are ripe. Unlike a banana, plantains in their uncooked state are slimy and devoid of flavor; eating a raw plantain is like eating hard paste. It’s not a pretty sight or flavor.

Underripe, green plantains are more like potatoes than bananas: high starch, low sugar . This means that bananas can’t stand in for plantains because of their higher sugar content. They just won’t hold together for this recipe. (And plantains can’t stand in for the bananas in your Aunt Ethel’s famous banana pudding recipe because of how bland and fibrous they are.)

When in doubt just remember: The plantains need to be cooked.

How to Pick and Peel a Plantain

The plantains used for tostones should be a verdant green in color and must be very firm. Avoid plantains with a lot of yellow in the peel as they have already started to ripen and will taste sweeter.

Peeling a green plantain is easy. Cut off both ends of the plantain before scoring the peel down the “back” of the plantain. Use the fleshy parts of your thumbs to remove the plantain’s fibrous peel.

Air Fryer Tostones on parchment paper with a bowl of dip nearby.
Marta Rivera

How to Make Tostones in the Air Fryer

Tostones are traditionally pan-fried, but I’ve started air-frying them (much to my doctor’s delight). It cuts down on the fat and the mess (no oil splatters) but still yields crispy tostones.

If you prefer to fry yours, it’s just a matter of completing each of the frying steps using vegetable oil heated to 375°F. Be sure to drain your tostones on paper towels after each frying session.

How to Flatten Tostones

Most Latin American homes have at least one tostonera in their kitchens. This tool is used to flatten the softened pieces of plantain. Tostoneras are used almost exclusively for making tostones and, in many homes, often double as wall art.

Though tostoneras are fairly inexpensive, if you don’t make tostones on a regular basis, it may not be prudent to purchase one. Placing your soft plantain between a piece of parchment paper (or a brown paper bag) and smashing it with a coffee mug will accomplish the same result.

What to Serve With Tostones?

A dipping sauce made of mayonnaise and ketchup known colloquially as “mayoketchu” is the most popular condiment to serve with tostones. Some people also enjoy a warmed garlic oil known as ajillo. It’s made by combining two cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of salt and a quarter cup of warmed olive oil. Garlic oil isn’t used as often because the flavor can be quite strong.

Make Ahead Tips for Tostones

Tostones are cooked in two stages: the par-fry which is followed by the final “crisping” fry.

The first fry can be done in advance, which helps if you plan to make a lot to serve to a larger crowd. To maintain the tostones crispness, the final fry should be done just prior to serving them.

If friends are late to the party, and you need to keep the tostones warm place them on a baking sheet in a 175°F oven.

Storing and Freezing Tostones

Leftover tostones may be stored in a food container in the fridge for 24 hours and reheated in a 350°F degree oven until warmed through or refried in the air fryer for 2 to 3 minutes at 350°F.

The quality and crispness will be significantly diminished, though, so I recommend only making what you plan to eat the same day.

If you want to have tostones on hand for those last-minute cravings, flatten the fried plantains and allow them to cool completely. Seal them in a freezer storage bag for up to two months. Thaw them completely before frying the final time in the air fryer.

Need More Snack Ideas?

Air Fryer Tostones

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Soaking 20 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 20 tostones


For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the tostones:

  • 3 medium green plantains

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (vegetable, peanut, or coconut oil)

  • Coarse salt for sprinkling


  1. Prepare dipping sauce

    Whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and garlic powder. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can do this up to 48 hours in advance.

    Person combining ketchup and mayo in a small bowl with a whisk.
    Marta Rivera
  2. Peel and cut the plantains

    Remove the ends of the green plantains with a sharp knife. Score the plantain down its back side and use the fleshy part of your thumbs to push the peel up and away from the plantain.

    Person cutting the top off of a green plaintain.
    Marta Rivera
    Person peeling a green plantain
    Marta Rivera
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
  4. Soak the plaintains

    Combine 4 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Slice the plantain into 1 1/2-inch-thick chunks and soak them in water for 20 minutes. (Soaking the plantains prevents browning and keeps the air-fried plantains from drying out while cooking.

    Cut plantains soaking in a bowl of water with a tostonera nearby.
    Marta Rivera
  5. Dry then par-fry the plantains

    Remove the plantains from the water and dry each one thoroughly. Toss the plantain slices in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. Make sure each plantain is coated in a thin layer of the oil.

    Transfer the plantains to your air fryer’s basket. Organize in a single layer, leaving a 1/2 inch of space on all sides of the slices to allow the air to circulate properly. Fry until the plantain offers no resistance when pierced with the tip of a knife. This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes per side.

    Sliced plantains in an airfyer basket
    Marta Rivera
    Person flipping sliced plantains in an airfyer basket
    Marta Rivera
  6. Mash the plantains

    Increase the air fryer’s temperature to 400°F. Carefully remove the plantain slices from the basket and smash each one in a tostonera or place your soft plantain between a piece of parchment paper (or a brown paper bag) and smash it with a coffee mug. The plantain should be a flat 1/4-inch thick disc that holds together.

  7. Air fry the smashed plantains

    Return the smashed plantains to the air fryer basket (you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your basket).

    Brush a light layer of oil onto the top side of the tostones and fry for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the tostones and brush once more with a light layer of oil, then fry for the final time for 4 minutes instead of 3 minutes.

    Smashing plantains in a tostonera and setting them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    Marta Rivera
    Smashing plantains (tostones) between two pieces of parchment with a coffee mug and setting them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    Marta Rivera
    Smashing plantains (aka Tostones) between two pieces of parchment with a coffee mug and setting them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    Marta Rivera
    Brushing smashed plantains aka Tostoneswith oil
    Marta Rivera
  8. Season the tostones

    Immediately after removing them from the air fryer. Serve the tostones with the mayo-ketch sauce while still hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
138 Calories
10g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 305mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 179mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.