When needing ripe bananas quickly, baking them for 10-15 minutes is easy and a big time-saver!
Sometimes when making dessert breads, banana pancakes, banana muffins, or even a fun twist on something like banana bread pudding, it can call for overripe bananas. But when you’ve recently purchased fresh bananas from the grocery store, they may be really green and not sweet at all.
So if this is the case, there’s a trick to making the bananas ripe, in minutes, so you can be well on your way to make your favorite recipe.
Different Ways to Ripen Bananas
There are different ways to ripen bananas but baking them in the oven is the best way and our favorite way because it’s faster, efficient and I usually have to have the oven warm for whatever recipe I’m making with them anyway!
However, you can also get the ripe fruit by:
- naturally ripening – you can place unripe bananas on the counter, preferably in warm places, still bundled up with other bananas. (Leaving them bundled helps them ripen faster and placing them in a warm spot, increases the ripening process too.)
- brown paper bag method – although this will help them ripen faster than just leaving them on the counter, it’s still not as fast as baking the bananas in the oven. However if you’re only needing ripe bananas in the next couple of days, this may be more ideal for you.
NOTE: Do not place them in a plastic bag, as this won’t work like a paper bag.
You can also add another fruit like a peach, apple or even avocado to the bag to help ripen faster because they produce ethylene, which speeds up the process.
How to Ripen Bananas in the Oven
NOTE: Depending on the current “ripeness” of your bananas, the time can vary for how long you bake them with the oven method, so watching them after about 10 minutes is ideal.
- Preheat your oven to 300° F.
- If you have a bunch of bananas, pull the underripe bananas apart, and place them, unpeeled on a baking sheet, large enough to fit the amount of bananas that you want to ripen. (See image below.)
You can use a lined baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil if you’d prefer, in case the peels bust and banans leak out during the baking process.
- Place bananas in preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or longer until they reach the desired “ripeness” or they have brown spots and/or become brown bananas.
Some prefer their bananas to be completely black, by cooking them 20-30 minutes but I don’t find it necessary for the majority of my recipes. They soften and become sweet after about 15 minutes. (Again, depending on the ripeness of the bananas are before baking.)
- Remove bananas from oven and let cool. Remove the banana peel and use the mushy bananas for your favorite recipes!
Our Favorite Banana Recipes
Our absolute favorite banana recipe that we use ripened bananas for, is this banana bread recipe that uses a secret ingredient that makes it SO moist!
We also love the option to add in something healthy to our favorite dessert recipes, like this flax blackberry banana bread! There’s something about the flavors of blackberry and banana together. Plus, the addition of the flax adds fiber and no one can even tell!
How to Ripen Bananas
- Bananas However many you need to ripen
- parchment paper if desired
- Preheat your oven to 300° F.
- Pull the underripe bananas apart and place them, unpeeled on a baking sheet, large enough to fit the number of bananas that you want to ripen.
- Place bananas in preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or longer until they reach the desired "ripeness" or they have brown spots, and/or become brown bananas.
- Remove from oven, let cool and remove banana peels and use in your favorite banana recipes, like this banana bread.
- You can use parchment paper or aluminum foil on your baking sheet in case the banana pushes out from the peel during baking, to keep clean-up a breeze.
- After about 10 minutes, check your bananas to see if they have reached the desired ripeness. Some prefer only brown spots, some prefer them to be completely brown. I’ve found that brown spots are good enough for the recipes I make but you can definitely bake them for 15-20 minutes or longer if desired.