Air Fryer Tostones

SnackAir FryerPuerto Rican

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.

Photography Credit: 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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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.


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.


Air Fryer Tostones Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Soaking time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 20 Tostones


For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the tostones:

  • 3 green plantains
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (vegetable, peanut, or coconut oil)
  • coarse salt for sprinkling

Special equipment:


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.

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. Person peeling a green plantain

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.

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 Person flipping sliced plantains in an airfyer basket

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

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

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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15 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Maria

    Perfect! Im latina, i would have never think this would be good


  2. Alex

    Good stuff. I actually resoaked them after the initial fry before putting them back in fryer for 2nd frying. Had them at 400 at all times


  3. Larissa

    Thank you!


  4. julissa

    How could i adapt this recipe for mofongo or maduros?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Courtney

    Your text says the sauce is equal parts Mayo and ketchup then your recipe says 1 C Mayo to 1/4 C ketchup!

    Show Replies (2)
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Air Fryer Tostones on parchment paper with a bowl of salt nearby.Air Fryer Tostones