Baked Patacones with Mojo Sauce
Baked Patacones with Mojo Sauce, a baked version of classic fried Colombian patacones, or smashed plantains (or sometimes called tostones), served with spicy mojo herb sauce. Delicioso!
We discovered patacones during a trip to Colombia and couldn't wait to share our version with all of you! While traditional patacones (or tostones) are fried and require a lot of oil, we baked them to bring out the naturally sweet flavors of the plantains. Plus, it is more eco-friendly due to less wasted oil.
👉 Here are three reasons why you should make baked patacones:
- They're so easy to make. It's easier to bake patacones than it is to fry them. All you need is 30 minutes and a few simple ingredients. Plus, the Colombian-inspired mojo sauce comes together in just a few simple steps.
- They're delicious. Plantains have a naturally sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the herbs in the mojo sauce.
- They're versatile. There are so many different ways that you can enjoy baked smashed plantains. You can make a lot at once to enjoy as appetizers or snacks all week long. Or, share them as a side dish alongside a Colombian-inspired meal. Pair them with our spicy mojo herb sauce or dip them in your favorite sauce!
Ready to learn how to baked plantains into patacones? Let's do it!
🤨 What are patacones (or tostones)?
Patacones, sometimes referred to as tostones, are smashed and fried plantains served with dipping sauce or as a side dish with soups. Patacones are found throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean in countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba, among others. In Colombia, they are usually served with aji (hot salsa) or a cream sauce, but we absolutely love spicy green herb sauces (see exhibit A: carrot top chimichurri, exhibit B: radish greens chimichurri, and exhibit C: beet greens chimichurri) so we paired them with Cuban garlic and herb mojo sauce. Delicious Colombian and Cuban fusion!
This baked patacones recipe packs a short list of simple ingredients that don't compromise on flavor. Here's what you'll need:
- Plantains: The key ingredient! This recipe comes together with 3 plantains, which are sliced, smashed, and combined with olive oil, salt, and pepper before being baked in the oven. Unripe, green plantains work the best.
- Oil: Adds flavor and helps add a crispy touch to the patacones. We suggest using olive oil or avocado oil for the best results.
- Salt and pepper: What we used for seasoning the patacones.
- Mojo Sauce: You'll need garlic cloves, cilantro, green onions, olive oil, salt, cumin, oregano, one lime, salt, and pepper to make this delicious sauce come together.
- Recommended tools: cookie sheets, lodge cast iron skillet, little sauce ramekins
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Preheat oven + prep plantains
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Then, slice the plantains into 1 inch (2.5 cm) sections before smashing them!
How to smash patacones: Patacones are essentially just sliced and smashed plantains, but there is a little trick to making them uniform. Choosing a bowl or large glass with a completely flat bottom (no ridges!) will ensure each patacon is uniformly smashed before baking. We chose a clear glass bowl with a smooth bottom so we could see the smashed plantains, but any smooth-bottomed bowl or glass will do.
2️⃣ Step Two: Bake smashed plantains in the oven
Next, place the smashed plantains on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Take them out of the oven, then flip the plantains and bake for about 5 minutes more. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn!
If you'd like your patacones to be a bit crispier, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat them until they start to harden, about 3 minutes on each side.
3️⃣ Step Three: Make the mojo sauce
While the plantains are baking, make the mojo sauce.
Place chopped garlic, cilantro, chopped green onions, and a bit of olive oil in a food processor and pulse until chopped but not blended.
Add the rest of the olive oil, salt, black pepper, red pepper, cumin, oregano, lime juice, and lime zest. Pulse until integrated, but not smooth (about 5-6 pulses).
4️⃣ Step Four: Serve patacones + enjoy
Finally, it's time to eat the baked patacones!
Serve immediately with mojo sauce. You can drizzle the sauce over the patacones, or dip them into it.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
Plantains are a fruit that belongs to the banana family of plants. They are native to Southeast Asia and are grown in tropical regions around the world. Green plantains are starchy and typically enjoyed fried as chips or tostones. You can also fry or bake ripe plantains, which can be used similarly to regular bananas. They can be used for baking, making pancakes, mixed into salsa, or even as a topping for tacos.
Yes! If your local grocery store doesn't sell plantains, then regular bananas will do. However, we would suggest making sure they are not very ripe. A ripe banana will be too soft and may not hold its shape when mashed. Bananas are typically much sweeter and softer than plantains, so the finished patacones may not be as crispy and will taste a bit sweeter. But a sweet patacone with spicy mojo would be a delicious combination!
Mojo sauce is a blanket term used for sauces that include olive oil, herbs like cilantro/coriander, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and other spices. While green herb mojo sauce is more popular, some cultures use red versions made with red peppers and paprika. Most people associate mojo sauce with Cuba but many Caribbean cultures have their own take on the sauce, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Canary Islands. Mojo sauce, and all green herb sauces, are very simple to make: chop herbs and garlic and add all spices to a food processor with oil and pulse until well blended. That's it! A super simple way to kick any recipe up a notch.
🌿 How to serve
The possibilities are endless for how you can serve baked patacones. Here are some of our suggestions:
- As a side dish. The flavors with patacones pair perfectly with just about any dish. We love serving them alongside other Caribbean recipes. Try them with Colombian Vegetable Arepas!
- With soup. One of the traditional ways to eat patacones is as a side with soups, like our Colombian Ajiaco.
- Dip into sauce. While we paired our baked patacones with a green mojo sauce, you can dip them in whatever you like! Hot salsa, cream sauces, and red mojo sauce are all delicious options.
- Use mojo sauce with meats, vegetables, and in soups. If you have extra mojo sauce, use the leftovers to add flavor to other dishes!
🧊 How to store
Patacones and mojo sauce are easy to store — the patacones will soften over time, but you can heat them over a pan to make them crispy again.
- Refrigerator storage: Keep patacones in an airtight dish in the refrigerator for up to a week. The mojo sauce can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Freezer storage (if applicable): We do not recommend storing patacones in the freezer.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
We care about reducing food waste here at Fork in the Road, and we know you do too! Here are some ways that you can take your sustainable lifestyle to the next level with this recipe:
Choose Fair Trade plantains. Tropical fruits like plantains are often grown on plantations in countries where fair living wages are not commonly paid to farmworkers. To ensure your fruit is ethically harvested, choose those that have a Fair Trade certification (see a list of all our recommended trustworthy food certifications).
Compost the plantain peels. Plantain peels are not edible, but they are a great addition to your compost pile! The earth (and the soil!) will thank you later.
Make this recipe as a treat. Unless you live in a tropical location, it is likely that plantains have traveled far to get to you. That doesn't mean you can never eat them! Instead, it means that plantains should be viewed as a treat and should be savored. So make sure to enjoy these baked plantains and make the most out of their delicious flavors!
🇨🇴 More Colombian-inspired recipes
Loving these patacones? Bring a little Colombia to your plate with these recipes:
Baked Patacones with Mojo Sauce Recipe
- 3 whole plantains
- ½ teaspoon oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 3 whole garlic cloves, chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- 2 whole green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
- ⅓ cup olive oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, from about 1 lime
- 1 Pinch of salt and pepper
- Prep oven + cut plantains: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Slice plantains into 1 inch (2.5 cm) sections. Place in a bowl and toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Smash + bake plantains: Using a smooth-bottomed bowl or glass, smash each plantain (see photo above for example). Place smashed plantains on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes, then flip and bake about 5 minutes more (don't burn!).
- Make plantains crispier: If you'd like the patacones to be a bit crispier, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat them until they start to harden, about 3 minutes each side. Serve immediately with mojo sauce.
- Chop sauce ingredients: Place chopped garlic, cilantro, chopped green onions, and 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until chopped but not blended.
- Add oil + spices: Add the rest of the olive oil, salt, black pepper, red pepper, cumin, oregano, lime juice, and lime zest. Pulse until integrated, but not smooth (about 5-6 pulses).
- Recommended tools: cookie sheets, lodge cast iron skillet, little sauce ramekins
- Recipe notes: For crispier baked plantains, you can bake for longer to achieve the desired crispy texture that you'd like, but we have found that baking can sometimes make them harder by drying them out. That's why if you're looking for a really crispy outside, then we suggest the final step of cooking them in a pan for a few minutes to get the crispy outsides while still having a soft inside.
- Leftovers + storage: Patacones can be kept in a airtight dish in the refrigerator for up to a week, but will soften over time. Heat over a pan to make them crispy again. Mojo sauce can be kept in refrigerator for 4-5 days and used over meats, vegetables, and in soups.
- Nutrition notes: Nutrition information was calculated with the additional mojo dipping sauce. This recipe uses only plant-based and gluten-free ingredients.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally published January 2018 and was updated for clarity in November 2021.