50 Ways to Use Up Your Bananas
Banana bread is just the beginning! Find dozens of ideas for your super-ripe or overripe bananas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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