50 Ways to Use Up Your Bananas

Banana bread is just the beginning! Find dozens of ideas for your super-ripe or overripe bananas.

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Coconut Banana Bread (No. 1)

Coconut Banana Bread (No. 1)

1. Coconut Banana Bread Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup each granulated sugar, dark brown sugar and shredded sweetened coconut, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, baking soda and salt and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in 4 mashed bananas, 3/4 cup melted coconut oil, 3 eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla; stir in 1 chopped banana. Transfer to an oiled 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F, tenting with foil during the last 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

2. Chocolate Banana Bread Whisk 1 2/3 cups flour, 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 4 mashed bananas, 1 1/2 sticks melted butter, 3 eggs and 2/3 cup each granulated sugar and light brown sugar; fold in 1 cup dark chocolate chunks. Transfer to an oiled 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

3. Blueberry-Orange Banana Cornbread Prepare a 12- to 16-ounce box cornbread mix as directed, adding 1 mashed banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Pour into an 8-inch cast-iron skillet; bake at 400 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

4. Vanilla-Banana Caramel Sauce Cut a 3-inch slit lengthwise into the peel of 2 bananas. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F until very soft, 30 minutes. Let cool; scoop the flesh into a food processor and puree with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally; cook until dark amber, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully add the banana puree, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Let cool. Serve over ice cream.

5. Bananas Foster Sauce Cook 3 sliced bananas with 1/3 cup dark rum and 1/4 cup brown sugar in 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve warm over ice cream or pound cake.

6. Bananas Foster Pudding Whisk 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring 4 cups half-and-half and 1/3 cup sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture, then return to the pan. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Make Bananas Foster Sauce (No. 5). Layer half of the pudding, 24 vanilla wafer cookies and the sauce in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with another layer of pudding and cookies. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with whipped cream.

7. Honey-Banana Bread Pudding Toast 1 loaf thickly sliced challah bread; tear into pieces and spread in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with 1/3 cup dried cranberries. Puree 2 bananas in a blender with 3 1/2 cups half-and-half, 1/4 cup each sugar and honey and a pinch of salt. Add 4 eggs and blend until combined. Pour over the bread and press; let soak 30 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F until puffed, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until set, 15 minutes. Drizzle with honey.

8. Banana Mousse Pudding Cups Beat 2/3 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sour cream and 1/8 teaspoon maple extract until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1 mashed banana, then 3/4 cup vanilla pudding. Divide among 4 ramekins and refrigerate until set, 4 hours.

9. Strawberry-Banana Tartlets Beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese and 1 banana with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Refrigerate until firm. Fill shortbread tartlet shells or prebaked phyllo shells halfway with the cream cheese mixture; top with sliced strawberries.

10. Banana Cake Melt 1 stick butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until browned, 5 to 8 minutes; let cool. Whisk 3 mashed bananas, 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, the browned butter and 1 tablespoon vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon each baking soda and salt; fold into the banana mixture. Pour into an oiled 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Top with cream cheese frosting.

11. Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Crepes Puree 1 banana in a blender with 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of the batter into a hot buttered medium skillet over medium heat; swirl to coat. Cook until set, about 2 minutes. Flip and top with chocolate-hazelnut spread, then fold into quarters.

12. Banana Fritters Slice 4 large bananas into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Whisk 1 1/4 cups cake flour with 1 cup cold seltzer and a pinch of salt. Dip the bananas in the batter, allowing the excess to drip off, then fry in 360 degrees F vegetable oil, turning occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

13. Spiced Banana Beignets Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and gingerbread spice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add 2 chopped small bananas, 2/3 cup milk and 2 beaten eggs and stir until combined. Working in batches, fry scoops of the batter (about 2 tablespoons each) in 360 degrees F vegetable oil, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then roll in sugar.

14. Bruleed Banana S’mores Slice 1 banana; sprinkle generously with sugar and brulee with a kitchen torch. Spread 4 graham crackers with chocolate-hazelnut spread and spread 4 more with marshmallow creme; sandwich the bananas between the graham crackers.

Chunky Money Bars (No. 15)

Chunky Money Bars (No. 15)

15. Chunky Monkey Bars Whisk 3 cups flour with 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat 2 sticks softened butter with 1 cup each granulated sugar and dark brown sugar with a mixer until creamy. Beat in 3 eggs, 1 banana and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture, then 1 cup each chocolate chips and chopped toasted walnuts. Spread in an oiled foil-lined 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

16. Banana Cheesecake Pour 3 tablespoons hot water over 2 teaspoons granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder in a small bowl; stir, then let sit 3 minutes. Beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese in a large bowl with 1 banana, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 3 minutes. Beat in the gelatin mixture and 1 cup sour cream. Pour into a 9-inch graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.

Banana Whoopie Pies (No. 17)

Banana Whoopie Pies (No. 17)

17. Banana Whoopie Pies Whisk 2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 stick melted butter with 1 egg, 2 mashed bananas, 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla; stir in the flour mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour. Scoop 16 mounds of dough (about 3 tablespoons each) 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F until set, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool. Sandwich with vanilla frosting.

18. Peanut Butter-Banana Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup heavy cream, 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Puree 1 banana in a blender with 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter until very smooth; fold into the whipped cream.

19. Malted Banana Icebox Cake Make a double batch of Peanut Butter-Banana Whipped Cream (No. 18), replacing the peanut butter with 1/2 cup malted milk powder. Arrange a layer of chocolate wafer cookies in a 9-inch springform pan, breaking them to fit; top with 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream. Repeat with three more layers each of cookies and whipped cream. Refrigerate overnight to soften.

Mini Banoffee Pies (No. 20)

Mini Banoffee Pies (No. 20)

20. Mini Banoffee Pies Bring 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup each dark corn syrup and heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 8 minutes. Divide 1 chopped banana among 6 mini graham cracker crusts and top with the toffee sauce. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. Beat 1 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon espresso powder until stiff peaks form, then spoon over the pies.

21. Oatmeal-Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies Whisk 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 egg, 2 mashed bananas, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1 stick melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until combined, then stir in 3/4 cup each chocolate chips and shredded coconut. Refrigerate 1 hour. Drop scoops of dough (about 2 tablespoons each) 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes.

22. Tropical Banana Smoothie Puree 1 frozen chopped banana in a blender with 3/4 cup pineapple-orange juice, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, one 1-inch piece turmeric and a grind of pepper until smooth.

23. Berry-Banana Frozen Yogurt Puree 2 frozen bananas in a blender with 2 cups frozen mixed berries, 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup honey. Freeze until scoopable, about 1 hour.

24. Frozen Berry-Banana Yogurt Pops Make Berry-Banana Frozen Yogurt (No. 23); transfer to ice pop molds and freeze until firm. Microwave 4 ounces chopped white chocolate with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth; let cool. Dip the ice pops halfway in the white chocolate, lay on a rack set on a baking sheet and refreeze.

Banana Split Bites (No. 25)

Banana Split Bites (No. 25)

25. Banana Split Bites Slice 2 small bananas into thick rounds and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Microwave 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon coconut oil, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Dip the bottom of each banana slice in the chocolate mixture, then set on a vanilla wafer cookie. Dip the banana and cookie together in the chocolate, spooning the chocolate over the top to cover. Transfer to a rack; top with crushed freeze-dried strawberries and chopped walnuts and freeze.

26. Grilled Banana Milkshakes Grill 1 unpeeled banana directly on the grates over medium heat, turning, until very soft, 10 minutes; let cool. Cut off both ends. Transfer the banana in its peel to a blender and puree with 1 pint softened vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons milk.

27. Banana-Chocolate Ice Cream Simmer 2 chopped bananas with 2 tablespoons each water and sugar in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool. Whisk 1 cup each sugar and milk with 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon banana liqueur until thick and smooth; stir in 2 cups heavy cream and the bananas. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Churn in an ice cream maker; freeze until firm.

28. Dulce de Leche “Nice” Cream Freeze 4 sliced bananas until firm, at least 4 hours. Process in a food processor with 1/4 cup dulce de leche and a pinch of salt until thick and smooth. Freeze until scoopable, 2 to 4 hours.

29. Pineapple-Coconut “Nice” Cream Freeze 3 sliced bananas until firm, at least 4 hours. Process in a food processor with 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks and 1/4 cup sweetened coconut cream until thick and smooth.

Cherry-Chocolate "Nice" Cream (No.30)

Cherry-Chocolate "Nice" Cream (No.30)

30. Cherry-Chocolate “Nice” Cream Freeze 2 sliced bananas until firm, at least 4 hours. Process in a food processor with 2 cups frozen pitted cherries and 2 tablespoons amaretto until thick and smooth. Pulse in 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips.

31. Vegan Banana-Oatmeal Muffins Whisk 3 mashed bananas with 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup each oat milk and vegetable oil in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and salt; make a well in the center. Pour in the banana mixture and stir. Divide among 12 lined muffin cups and sprinkle with more turbinado sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 minutes.

32. Hot Banana Cereal Bring 2 cups each water and milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Whisk in 3/4 cup farina and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and salt. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 2 mashed bananas and cook, stirring, until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Top each serving with butter and maple syrup.

33. Banana Milk Puree 1 banana in a blender with 3/4 cup water and a few ice cubes. Keep refrigerated; shake before using.

34. Banana-Blueberry Overnight Oats Make Banana Milk (No. 33). Transfer 2/3 cup to a jar and stir in 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt. Stir in 1/2 chopped banana and 1/4 cup blueberries. Refrigerate overnight.

35. Orange-Banana Waffles Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 mashed small bananas, 1 1/2 sticks melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest; whisk into the flour mixture. Cook in an oiled waffle maker until golden.

36. Honey Banana Butter Cut a 3-inch slit lengthwise into the peel of 1 banana. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F until very soft, 30 minutes. Let cool, then scoop the flesh into a mini food processor and puree with 1 stick softened salted butter and 3 tablespoons honey until smooth. Serve on toast, pancakes or waffles.

37. Roasted Banana Curd Cut a 3-inch slit lengthwise into the peel of 2 bananas. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F until very soft, 30 minutes. Let cool, then scoop the flesh into a blender. Add 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a pinch of salt and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons diced cold butter. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until set, 2 hours. Serve on buttered toast.

38. Banana Pancakes Whisk 1 cup each all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour, 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Whisk in 2 cups buttermilk, 2 eggs and 4 tablespoons melted butter, then fold in 2 mashed bananas and 1 chopped banana. Cook 1/4 cupfuls of batter in a hot buttered skillet.

39. Pecan-banana Coffee Cake Whisk 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat 1 stick softened butter with 1/2 cup each granulated sugar and dark brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, 2 bananas, 2 tablespoons bourbon and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with 3/4 cup sour cream. Spread the batter in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Mix 3/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup each brown sugar and chopped pecans and 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl; cut in 5 tablespoons cold butter until clumpy, then scatter over the batter. Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.

40. Banana Bacon Jam Cook 6 chopped bacon slices in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp. Add 1 sliced onion and a pinch of cayenne; saute until tender. Add 1/3 cup each cider vinegar and water and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and add 2 chopped bananas. Simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

41. Banana Dressing Puree 1 banana in a blender with 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; season with salt and hot sauce. Serve on greens or sandwiches.

42. Banana Ketchup Saute 1 diced onion, 1 small chopped Scotch bonnet chile, 1 chopped garlic clove and 1 chopped 2-inch piece ginger in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add 4 chopped bananas, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup each light brown sugar and cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon each allspice and cinnamon. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Puree until smooth.

43. Spicy Banana Barbecue Sauce Make Banana Ketchup (No. 42), replacing the Scotch bonnet chile with a Fresno chile. Increase the cider vinegar to 1/3 cup and add one 6-ounce can tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons each molasses, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook 20 minutes before pureeing. Season with salt.

44. Bacon-Banana Monte Cristos Spread peanut butter on 4 slices white bread; sandwich sliced bananas and cooked bacon between the bread slices. Whisk 1 egg with 2 tablespoons milk. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture; cook in a buttered skillet over medium heat, turning, until golden, about 6 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

45. Banana-Raspberry Fruit Leather Puree 3 bananas in a blender with 2 cups raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 35 minutes. Spread in a very thin layer on a silicone mat– lined baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees F until dry and only slightly sticky, about 3 hours. Let cool completely. Invert onto a piece of wax paper and peel off the mat. Cut into strips and roll up.

46. Dried Bananas Slice 3 bananas into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and arrange on a silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees F until browned and dry, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

47. Banana Power Bites Pulse 1 banana in a food processor with 1 1/2 cups each sweetened coconut flakes and wheat germ and 1/2 cup each dried cherries and almond butter until a ball forms. Press into an 8-inch square baking dish lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Turn out onto a plate, remove the plastic and cut into squares. Keep refrigerated.

48. Chocolate-Banana Egg Creams Puree 1 large banana in a blender with 2 cups milk and 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup until smooth. Divide between 2 large glasses and top with cold seltzer.

49. Banana-Coconut Frescas Puree 3 small bananas in a blender with 3/4 cup coconut water, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 cup ice until smooth. Divide among glasses.

Banana-Mango Daiquiris (No. 50)

Banana-Mango Daiquiris (No. 50)

50. Banana-Mango Daiquiris Freeze 2 sliced bananas until firm, 2 to 3 hours. Puree in a blender with 1/2 cup each frozen mango chunks and dark rum, 1/4 cup each sugar, coconut water and lime juice and 2 cups ice until smooth. Divide among small glasses.

Photographs by Ryan Dausch

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