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Patacones or fried green plantains done with toppings on the side.

Easy Colombian Patacones or Green Plantains

These savory bites are healthier than the traditional version and my Colombian friend says they are every bit as tasty. 

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Colombian, Latin
Keyword green plantains, plantains, savory
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Laura


Patacones or Green Plantains

  • 2 green plantains
  • kosher or sea salt No amount specified because you just sprinkle it over the plantains.
  • 4 tablespoons oil I used canola.


  • 1 tablespoon oil I used canola.
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced small Can used canned.
  • 1-2 large pinches kosher or sea salt
  • 1-2 large pinches Colombian or other Latin seasoning mixture. Triguisar or Sazon are commercial brands.


Patacones or Green Plantains

  1. Slit the tips of the plantains on both ends. Then wrap them in wet paper or clean cloth towels and microwave on high for about 4-5 minutes. Then let them rest, still wrapped for another 5 minutes. Once they are cool enough to handle, unwrap the plantains. 

    Microwaved plantain for patacones.
  2. Pull them out of their skins, and slice them into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. A few at a time, place the pieces between two cutting boards (or use a clean mallet) and smash them into thin slices. Then lightly salt them.

    smashing plantains for patacones
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan until it is quite hot but not smoking. Add about half of the plantain slices, lower the heat, and cook them for 4 minutes, turning halfway through. They should be lightly browned when done. Drain on paper towels

    Frying green plantains for patagones.
  4. While still warm, add whatever toppings you are using (hogao, ropa vieja, gauamole, etc.) or set out patacones and toppings for everyone to put on the patacones/plantains themselves. 

Hogao (Make it first, or while you make the plantains - see notes below.)

  1. Heat the oil in a small, heavy saucepan. Then add the diced onion, lower the light and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions is quite soft and translucent. 

  2. Add the tomato, salt and seasoning. Continue cooking until the onions and tomato are basically indistinguishable. 

Recipe Notes

  • Be careful when unwrapping the damp towels after microwaving the plantains - they'll be hot.
  • I used two cutting boards to smash the plaintains after microwaving them. Using a small board on top, I rotated it slightly to get them a bit thinner than simply pressing the cutting boards together. Slipping a metal spatula underneath helped to pull the flattened plantain off the bottom cutting board. 
  • You can add shredded beef, chicken, or pork to some or all of the hogao to make what Paula called a ropa vieja topping. I made the hogao and let it simmer while I smashed the plantains and began to cook them. When I thought the hogao was done, I turned off the light under it and let the mixture sit, unattended, while I continued to cook the plantains. If you're not into multi-tasking, finish the hogao first, so the patacones don't get cold while you cook the hogao.