Plantain Nachos

The Super Bowl is almost here! I love having the excuse to whip up a bunch of fun appetizers and if you’re not in the mood for football chicken cakes, I have the most mouth watering snack for you – plantain nachos! These are my absolute favorite nachos of all time and I’ve been waiting for the Super Bowl to share the recipe with you – I just LOVE them! I first had plantain nachos at the Calypso Café in Chicago and was inspired to come up with my own recipe after we moved to Boston when I found myself craving them regularly. You seriously need to make these if you like plantains – just looking at the pictures makes me drool because they are that good!

I don’t get my fryer out often, but it’s completely worth doing so to make homemade plantain chips. They are 100 times better than the ones you can buy at the store and really take these nachos over the top. The fresh plantain chips are topped with a heavenly black bean sauce, cheddar cheese, and pico de gallo. Apolinaras and I usually devour half a batch by ourselves for lunch one day (don’t judge!), and then warm the leftovers up the next day in the oven, but they are best fresh. Oh, and I wrote out the recipe for how much black bean sauce you’ll need for the nachos, but I always actually double it and use the extra sauce to spice up chicken breasts. Enjoy!

Plantain Nachos
Printable Recipe


Pico de Gallo:
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Black Bean Sauce:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lime

Plantain Chips:
Vegetable oil for frying
3 green plantains, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt

Remaining Ingredients for Nacho Assembly:
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


To prepare the pico de gallo, mix the tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt together in a small bowl. Allow to rest for an hour at room temperature to let the flavors blend.

Prepare the black bean sauce by heating olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Place black beans, vegetable mix, cumin, salt, and lime juice in a food processor; pulse until well blended.

To prepare the plantain chips, heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 375˚F. Cut the plantains in half and slice them lengthwise into long thin strips (no more than 1/8-inch thick). Deep fry the plantain strips, in small batches, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chips to a paper towel-lined pan to drain. Cool and season with salt.

To assemble the nachos, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lay 1/2 of the chips on a large baking sheet covered with foil. Top the chips with half the bean sauce, in small spoonfuls, making sure to evenly cover each chip. Sprinkle the bean-covered chips evenly with half the shredded cheeses. Spread the remaining chips on top of the first layer and repeat the process of covering them with the remaining black bean sauce and cheeses. Bake at 350˚F until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to sprinkle the pico de gallo evenly over the nachos, making sure to drain out any extra liquid. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 416 calories, 24.9g fat, 7.0g fiber, 7.9g protein per serving
Cost: $0.83 per serving

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38 Responses to Plantain Nachos

  1. sugar plum says:

    Well …i never…these are so fantastic sweetie….i love the idea of home made plantain chippys…


  2. Shannon says:

    holy fabulous :) i think your superbowl party is the place to be :)

  3. CaSaundra says:

    I’ve never even had a plantain before–but what a genious way to use em’! Wish I could be a guest at your Superbowl party—yummm!

  4. Erica says:

    YUM- I’m sure these would be a superbowl hit. Love the plantain black bean combo! Just gorgeous lady!

  5. Bob says:

    There’s a combo I never would have thought of. Sounds great!

  6. I love plantains and I LOVE nachos! What a unique recipe…I’ll have to find a way to make them without a fryer =) Awesome recipe!

  7. grace says:

    oh kerstin, these sound phenomenal! the only plantains i’ve ever tasted were fried to perfection, and i’ve been afraid that nothing could ever live up to them. involving black beans and pico de gallo may just have the best chance to ever come close. :)

  8. That’s such a great idea! Great combo!

  9. Mmmm, that looks so good. What a great idea. I just found your blog, I can’t wait to read more. Feel free to stop by mine anytime!

  10. elra says:

    Oh I love plantain, what a great idea kerstin! Look scrumptious.

  11. Biz says:

    Gotta love a deep fryer! :D Those look amazing!!!!!!

  12. peachkins says:

    This is a great idea! I love nachos but to be on the helthier side I’m going to try this!

  13. Reeni says:

    These are just loaded with goodies! I love them! They look absolutely delicious!

  14. Pam says:

    I would never have thought to use plantain chips. They look so delicious.

  15. Monica H says:

    Plantain chips are so good. I especially like them hot with a sprinkling of kosher salt and some chimichurri sauce. oh yes!

    But I certainly wouldn’t turn down these nachos either!

  16. Joanne says:

    Only you could come up with such an ingeniously delicious meal! I love plantains and these would definitely make superbowl watching much more enjoyable.

  17. yasmeen says:

    Fun game time food.And plantains is a super idea :D

  18. Meghan says:

    No judgement here – I could eat a whole batch of those in one sitting! :) I’ve never had plantain chips before, but I LOVE plantains so I need to try these!

  19. elly says:

    These look seriously amazing. I could eat these forever, seriously. LOL.

  20. Natashya says:

    What a wonderful spin on the nachos! I do love fried plantains.

  21. Maria says:

    Way to mix up the old fashioned nachos. Yours look fabulous!

  22. Nicole, RD says:

    How unique! I love plantains and my husband loves nachos…maybe we can make magic happen!?

  23. candice says:

    Holy moly. I normally hate nachos, but these look fantastic, if only because they are PLAINTAIN chips! Which are freaking amazing. Yummm~ :)

  24. ingrid says:

    Love, love love plaintains! This definitely sounds like a winner with all of us! I especially love the sound of that black bean sauce. The kiddos adore this black bean chiptole dip so I’m anxious to give your sauce a try. Thanks for the tip on doubling it!

  25. Emily says:

    Wow, these look amazing! Plantains are so good. I love them.

  26. Blond Duck says:

    I could eat nachos three times a day and never get tired of them.

  27. Nachos with plantain chips sound so good – a terrific idea!

  28. I loveeeeeeeeeee this…, love, love!

  29. oh my these sound TOOOOOOOO delicious! i love the idea of plaintains instead of chips!

  30. Kelly says:

    This is the best sounding recipe I have heard in a long time. Genius, and actually, the nutritional info isn’t as frightening as I might have thought.

  31. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of my favs from you. I love plantains! These look amazing!

  32. I love nachos, and the plantain chips sound like a fantastic delivery system for all the delicious toppings! This is a must try.

  33. Kerstin says:

    Thanks for all your sweet comments! I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to make these. I’m not normally one to pat myself on the back, but these are incredible!

    Kelly – The nutritional info is fine as long as you have the willpower to not eat the whole batch…LOL :)

  34. Stephanie says:

    I love plantain chips! What a great idea!

  35. Selba says:

    Love color… so colorful and I bet it’s also very yummy :)

  36. [...] flakey! I’ve raved about the Calypso Café before – they inspired me to make these unique plantain nachos and are one of the many restaurants I really miss now that we’re in Boston. I bought some tilapia [...]

  37. Yotam says:

    This was just the thing I needed to help me cope with the fact that Calypso has closed!

  38. Yotam – Oh no, that’s so sad! :( It was easily our favorite restaurant in Hyde Park.

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