When you have a bunch of overripe bananas in your kitchen, it can often feel like such a waste to throw them in the trash. The good news is that there are dozens of banana recipes that put ripe bananas to good use.
You can make some delicious snacks and desserts, all by using an ingredient you would otherwise put in the trash. Today we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about using overripe bananas for cooking and how to ripen bananas in your home.
What To Do With Ripe Bananas
There’s no limit to the ways in which you can use ripe bananas. Even if you think your bananas are past the stage of being able to eat them like normal, you can incorporate them into a variety of dishes.
We highly recommend making banana bread, which is one of the best ways to use ripe bananas. Otherwise, you can freeze your ripe bananas and make milkshakes or ice cream.
You’ll find that there are so many great desserts and sweet treats you can make with bananas, which may even be slightly healthier than your typical desserts. Keep reading as very shortly we’ll share a whopping 40 banana recipes, all of which will incorporate your ripe bananas.
These are suitable for any time of the year, and you’ll never have to waste overripe bananas again, thanks to our ideas today.
How To Quickly Ripen Bananas
There are multiple ways in which you can quickly ripen bananas if you are looking to make one of the recipes we share below. These are a few of the top ways to quickly ripen bananas ready to use. Depending on the amount of time you have to spare, you can use these ideas to get your bananas ready for your next recipe.
The Paper Bag Technique
If you have a day or more to ripen your bananas, make sure you place them in a closed paper bag. This will help to give off ethylene gas from the peel, which makes it ripen even faster than usual. This is how companies are able to sell bananas at different stages of ripeness, thanks to this method of controlling the color of the bananas.
One thing to remember is that you need to remove them from the plastic bag they came in. This actually stops them from ripening quickly, which isn’t what we are going after with this technique.
In about one to three days, you’ll have ripe bananas ready to use for any of the recipes we share below. Put them in a warm location or on top of a warm appliance to speed up this process even more.
Bake Your Bananas
For anyone who only has a few hours to spare, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and add your bananas on top of a parchment sheet. Place the bananas unpeeled on the sheet and bake them for roughly 30 minutes.
You’ll find that the peel soon starts to turn black, making them ready to use in the recipes below once you’ve let them cool off. This is a great option to create sweet bananas that can be used in any of the bakery goods or desserts we shared below.
Use the Microwave
When you are extremely short of time, the microwave is the best tool for you to ripen up your bananas. Start by poking the peel of the bananas with a knife or fork and then place them on a plate or towel for thirty seconds.
Use the high setting for best results and keep repeating this process until you have them at the desired level. You might find this method doesn’t make your bananas quite as sweet, but it’s a good option when you are in a rush.
40 Ripe Banana Recipes
1. Banana Split Cake
Your ripe bananas are ideal for use in this banana split cake recipe, which will be a fun dessert treat for your whole family. It has all of the flavors of the classic ice cream but comes in a cake form that you can serve directly from the pan. This would be a great dessert for a birthday party or family gathering and allows you to enjoy banana split during any month of the year.
You’ll no longer have to wait until summer to enjoy this classic treat, thanks to this banana split cake recipe. We love using this recipe to impress friends and family who are picky eaters, as they’ll find that it’s so delicious they’ll be begging for seconds.
2. Banana Muffin Recipes
Banana muffins are a great way to use up ripe bananas, and you’ll love having a snack that you can eat when you are short of time in the mornings. The great thing about making muffins is that you can freeze them and store them until you are ready for a snack in a rush.
We recommend adding this to your regular meal prep recipes at the weekends, as you can’t go wrong with banana muffins. Your whole family will love these sweet treats, which you can keep on hand any time that you need a little snack on the go.
3. Banana Ice Cream
In the summer months, your family will thank you for sharing this delicious banana ice cream with them. One of the biggest concerns for parents in the summer months is how much sugar their kids are consuming. This is a simple and easy way to create a cooling summer treat, which is packed with healthy nutrients to look after growing children.
You can serve this alongside banana bread, or you could blend it into a milkshake if you prefer. The first time you follow this banana ice cream recipe, you won’t be able to believe how quick and easy it is, so it will soon become a staple of your summer recipes.
4. Triple Chip Bananas Cookies
Triple chip banana cookies taste just as good as they sound, and you’ll find this to be one of your new favorite ways to use up your ripe bananas. If you are looking to cut back on the amount of processed food you serve in your home, this is a great way to still offer your family a delicious sweet treat that they’ll crave each week.
The fun thing about this recipe is that it uses three different types of chips, so it will appeal to everyone in your family regardless of what type of cookies they usually eat.
5. Hazelnut Bananas Muffins
While we’ve already shared one great banana muffin recipe, take things up a notch with the addition of hazelnuts in these hazelnut banana muffins. You’ll add chopped hazelnuts in the mix and a swirl of hazelnut spread for even more flavor and texture.
This would be another great recipe to meal prep for the week ahead, and it will give you a quick breakfast on the go for those days when you are in a rush. Just make sure you don’t serve these to anyone with a nut allergy, and be careful about cross-contamination when cooking other ripe banana recipes.
6. Simple Banana Bread with Maple Cinnamon
When you search for ideas of what to do with your ripe bananas, one of the top ripe banana recipes is to bake banana bread. If you didn’t cook too many banana breads last year during the pandemic, it’s time to upgrade your cooking skills with this maple cinnamon banana bread.
You’ll add a maple cinnamon flavoring to the dish, and then it’s topped with a maple glaze for extra flavor. As well as making a great breakfast, you could serve this for dessert or afternoon tea during any day of the week to please your family.
7. Banana Bread Cobbler
Banana bread cobbler is a fantastic dessert option for those days when you have leftover ripe bananas. This simple recipe is ideal for even the most inexperienced chefs and will melt in your mouth as soon as you taste it. You’ll bake this dessert in a skillet and add cinnamon chips for extra flavor.
We think this is the perfect dessert for the fall and winter months, as it’s extremely comforting and warming after a busy day at work or school. You can serve it with custard or ice cream for a complete dessert that your whole family will be begging for seconds of.
8. Toffee Banana Poke Cake
This toffee banana poke cake is one of the most inventive ways to use up leftover bananas. If you love eating bananas foster, then you’ll love the taste and texture of this cake. It has the perfect combination of flavors, and it combines ripe bananas with brown sugar in the cake mix.
To finish off the cake, you’ll drizzle caramel ice cream topping into the cake for extra moisture. It’s then covered in a whipped topping and toffee bits, but you can fully customize this recipe to fit your personal tastes.
9. Swirled Banana Cake with Chocolate Melt Frosting
When you have friends and family over for coffee, this would be a delicious cake to serve to impress anyone who is visiting your home. This swirled banana cake comes with a chocolate malt frosting, so it appeals to any of the chocoholics in your family.
It’s the perfect alternative to banana bread if you are bored of using up your bananas in that way. For anyone wondering what to do with ripe bananas, this is one of our top recommendations and will help you to cater to your family anytime they are visiting in the future.
10. Banana Split Banana Bread
Forget making your typical plain banana bread recipe any longer, thanks to this incredible banana split banana bread. Each slice contains overripe bananas, pineapple, chocolate, almonds, and cherries, so there are plenty of different flavors and textures in each bite.
You’ll love making this instead of your normal banana bread recipe, and you can add or remove ingredients to fit your family’s preferences.
11. Bananas Foster Pancakes
While most of the overripe banana recipes we’ve shared so far focus on bakery goods, you’ll find that there are some great breakfast recipes out there as well. These bananas foster pancakes will elevate your breakfast experience, and are perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
You’ll create moist pancakes, which are topped with a rum-flavored caramel sauce and a nutty topping. They’ll take your breakfast to the next level this year and wow anyone you serve this delicious recipe to.
12. Coconut Bananas Cream Pie
For a more extravagant dessert to use up your overripe bananas, check out this coconut banana cream pie. It combines the tropical tastes of coconut and banana, creating a cream pie that will be a huge hit with kids and adults alike.
The recipe has a thick custard base and is packed with roasted bananas and coconut. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation in the Caribbean when you taste a bite of this dessert, which will soon become one of your staple recipes.
13. Banana Split Brownies
When you are looking for a recipe to create a sweet treat for your family at the weekend, try out these banana split brownies. You’ll be able to enjoy the taste of banana split without needing the hot weather and avoiding the mess of the dessert.
The great news with this recipe is that you’ll barely use any dishes, and it is cooked within just one pan. You’ll add chopped peanuts on top for a little extra crunch and texture, but feel free to remove these if needed.
14. Upside-Down Banana Monkey Bread
This is one of our favorite overripe banana recipes, as it’s so easy to share with your family. You can pull this upside-down banana monkey bread apart thanks to its unique shape.
While this dish is always delicious, when you add banana slices and pecans into the mix, you’ll create a recipe that your family will love every bite of. We think this would be perfect for your next brunch with family or friends or for dessert during a family gathering.
15. Banana Pound Cake
For a new take on using overripe bananas which doesn’t involve banana bread, try out this banana pound cake. It only takes twenty minutes to prepare, so you can just make it and then put it into the oven until it’s ready to serve.
We find this cake to be much moister than banana bread, and you’ll find that it pops out of the pan straight away once it’s cooked. It’s a crowd-pleaser that your whole family will love and will beg you to make again in the future.
16. Banana Bread Snack Cakes
Sometimes we don’t want to create a full cake if we aren’t catering to a large group of our family and friends. These banana bread snack cakes offer a bite-sized treat, and they don’t need any frosting as they are just finished off with a tiny bit of powdered sugar.
Your family won’t believe that you’ve made these snack cakes from scratch, as they look like something you’d purchase in a fancy coffee shop.
17. Bananas Foster Oatmeal
Another fun way to use up your overripe bananas is with this bananas foster oatmeal recipe. You’ll wake up to a healthy and filling breakfast which tastes just like your favorite dessert.
The recipe recommends that you use rum extract in the dish, but if you are unable to find that, just double up the vanilla. It’s a great way to wake up each morning and offers you something to look forward to each day before heading to work.
18. Cranberry Banana Coffee Cake
Combine the tastes of banana, cranberry, and coffee in this delicious cranberry banana coffee cake. This would be a great recipe to prepare this year for Christmas morning.
It tastes just like banana bread but adds on a sweet golden topping that has a nutty crunch to it. You can cut these up into small pieces, so you always have a little snack on the go when you are feeling peckish.
19. Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
Just because you are trying to eat healthily, it doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a breakfast cookie once in a while. These banana oat breakfast cookies are packed with nutritious and filling ingredients and make the perfect breakfast on the go during those hectic days in your life.
If you usually buy branded cookies in the grocery store, it’s a great way to mix up your routine and try something that’s home-baked instead. You’ll save money in the long run baking at home while also using up your overripe bananas.
20. Chocolate Banana Bundles
Now that you’ve learned how to ripen bananas, don’t miss these delectable chocolate banana bundles. We all know that bananas and chocolate are the perfect combination, and this is great for those days where you fancy a dessert but are short of time and energy.
You can also add butter and sugar on top of the bundles, or add a pinch of sea salt to make the dish taste a little less sweet before serving. This would be ideal for a dinner party where you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen but still want to win over even the pickiest of guests.
21. Banana Macadamia Muffins
While we’ve already shared a few great banana muffin recipes, we recommend taking things up a notch with these banana macadamia muffins. One thing that might surprise you is that these muffins taste better the following day and stay nice and moist for a few days after you’ve baked them.
When you are short of time in the morning, make them the night before instead. It will give your whole family a delicious treat to wake up for and set them up for the day ahead.
22. Orange Banana Nut Bread
Another new twist on your classic banana bread comes in the form of this orange banana nut bread. The great thing about this recipe is that it takes just 15 minutes to prepare and makes moist and delicious bread once cooked.
The orange juice that you add to this dish will brighten up the flavor of your banana bread, giving it a hint more flavor than classic nut bread. When you follow our suggestions for how to quickly ripen bananas that we shared above, you’ll have a new favorite go-to recipe to enjoy at any time.
23. Banana Blueberry Pancakes
Mix up your Sunday morning breakfasts with these delicious banana blueberry pancakes. They combine two of the best fruits to enjoy within pancakes, creating a healthy and filling way to start the day.
As with any pancake recipe, you can add any toppings that you fancy to create your perfect stack of pancakes. We highly recommend creating a toppings bar for your pancakes, which kids and teens will love using to decorate their breakfast in the morning.
24. Frosted Banana Bars
When you need a new recipe to try for a coffee morning or afternoon tea, you’ll love these frosted banana bars. They are perfect for taking to the office or school when you have a gathering after a meeting, and they’ll wow anyone who tried them.
The great thing about this recipe is that the frosted banana bars remain so moist for days to come, but likely they won’t last more than a day in any home or workplace. You can top them however you like to add more flavor and texture or just follow the simple instructions to make a quick and easy bake at home.
25. Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Just because you are following a gluten-free diet, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite banana bread. This gluten-free banana bread takes just twenty minutes to prepare and about 45 minutes to cook. One of the biggest criticisms we hear about many gluten-free bakery recipes is that they are very dry and crumbly.
You’ll be impressed by how soft and moist this banana bread is, making it a dish you’ll return to over and over again when catering to different dietary requirements. Make sure you check your ingredients very carefully before making this dish, as sometimes there are traces of gluten in different ingredients.
26. Banana Pudding
Kids will delight in this simple banana pudding recipe, which is one of the best ways to put your overripe bananas to good use. It makes an incredible nine servings, so you’ll have enough to eat for a day or two after making it.
Within just 35 minutes, you’ll have a whole batch of this banana pudding, which you’ll just need to cool off before serving. You can serve banana pudding at any time of the day, and it’s a great addition to any breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you are in a rush.
27. Banana Fosters on the Grill
Bananas foster is one of the most popular desserts in the country. You no doubt have someone in your family who loves this dish, so surprise them during your next gathering to make them smile. It’s a great way to use up overripe bananas that you might otherwise put in the trash.
This recipe uses the grill to create this dessert, and it’s so quick and easy to follow. Once you’ve cooked the bananas, you’ll want to remove the peel from each of them and cut each half crosswise. From there, you’ll combine ice cream, bananas, and drizzle the sauce on top, before adding crushed wafers to finish it off.
28. Breakfast Cookies
A great way to start your morning is with these homemade banana breakfast cookies. You might be surprised to learn that this is a gluten-free recipe, and it’s naturally sweetened using ripe bananas.
This is a very wholesome breakfast, so don’t think that you are serving your kids junk food just because they are cookies. When you are rushing out of the door to head to school or work, these breakfast cookies will be a lifesaver in the future.
29. One-Banana Bread
While we’ve shared the different ways you can ripen bananas in a rush, sometimes you only have one banana on hand ready to use. This one-banana banana bread needs just a single banana in order to create a flavorful dish that’s just like your typical banana bread recipe.
We love how beautiful this dish looks with the banana placed in the center. It’s a great way to start off your morning or brighten up a coffee date with your friends and family at any time of the year.
30. Blueberry and Banana Wraps
Wraps are often associated with a quick lunch, but these blueberry banana wraps would be ideal for a vegan-friendly breakfast. Banana is a staple food for many vegans, and when you see how many dishes you can create with your bananas, it’s no surprise.
This recipe will completely transform your morning routine and combines fruit and vegetables for a nutritious start to the day. You’ll have your breakfast ready to serve in just fifteen minutes, and you can serve them at any temperature you fancy for your perfect start to the day.
31. Gluten-Free Banana Teff Bread
There are so many great options out there when it comes to gluten-free ripe banana recipes. This gluten-free banana teff bread recipe uses teff, which is one of the world’s smallest whole grains. It’s a seed that has a slightly sweet yet nutty flavor and can be purchased in flour form.
Alternatively, you can use the whole seeds, which you’ll then grind up to make a gluten-free flour. It’s a great way to mix up your gluten-free cooking, and you’ll impress anyone in your family you serve this banana bread to. It’s a very hearty and filling recipe, so it’s perfect for a quick breakfast or afternoon treat.
32. Banana and Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
There are so many ways to add bananas into brownies, but one of our favorite options is this banana and chocolate peanut butter brownies recipe. This combines the classic taste of peanut butter and chocolate but has the addition of your overripe to the mix. The mashed banana helps to make your batter even moister, and you’ll find that adding sliced bananas on top adds even more freshness to the dish.
We recommend leaving it until just before you serve this dish to add the bananas on top for the best results. You could also serve this with ice cream for a complete dessert.
33. Banana Bread Brekkie Bowl
Head down under to try this classic banana bread brekkie bowl. Now you can enjoy eating cake at breakfast time without any guilt, waking you up with a smile each day. Of course, as with any type of bowl-based dish, you can add any topping of your choice.
Our favorite toppings for this breakfast bowl include yogurt, raspberries, walnuts, honey, and coconut. Enjoy mixing and matching the different toppings each day so that you never get bored with this dish.
34. Easy Strawberry Banana Bread
Banana bread gets a new twist with this easy strawberry banana bread. After mixing all of the ingredients into the bowl, you’ll add fresh strawberries on top. This adds even more freshness and sweetness to the dish.
One of our favorite things about this dish is that you add strawberry buttercream to the top of the banana bread. You can then add even more halved strawberries, which will give you a good dose of vitamins on top of the banana bread.
35. Banana Fritters with Caramel Sauce
Banana fritters are a great way to finish off any special meal. These banana fritters with caramel sauce will be great for both kids and adults and would be ideal for any family gathering.
You’ll cover each of your bananas in a batter, which is much easier to make than you could imagine. Once the bananas are ready, you’ll serve them with ice cream and caramel sauce.
36. Ultimate Banana Pancakes
This is another great banana pancake recipe that will be the perfect start to any day. These ultimate banana pancakes will be perfect for a weekend brunch, and you’ll feel like you are dining out at a fancy restaurant when you serve these at home.
Once you’ve made the pancakes, you’ll top them with caramel cream to make a huge stack. The finishing touch involves adding sliced banana and passionfruit pulp, which will make a fresh topping for this perfect breakfast.
37. Coconut and Raspberry Banana Bread Muffins
These are some of the fanciest muffins on our list of ways to use up overripe bananas today. You’ll combine the fresh tastes of raspberry and coconut to create banana bread muffins that you can enjoy on the go.
They only take between 15 and 20 minutes to bake, or you’ll just remove them from the oven once they are golden. You’ll just want to make sure they cool properly before serving to your friends and family this weekend.
38. Chocolate Banoffee Pie
You can’t go wrong with a banoffee pie for dessert, but this chocolate banoffee pie is ideal for those days where you are craving a little chocolate as well. You can add any topping you like to the pie once it’s cooked, and you’ll find that chocolate and caramel sauces are a great option.
You really can’t make any mistakes when cooking this dish, as it’s one of the easiest yet always impressive options for cooking during any gathering.
39. Air Fryer Banana Muffins
If you are lucky enough to have an air fryer in your home, make sure you check out this air fryer banana muffins recipe. They are so quick and easy to make and come out really fully and moist.
We think these would be perfect for a quick breakfast or to add to your family’s lunchboxes as they head out to school and work. It’s incredible what the air fryer can cook, and this recipe is no exception to that.
40. Chocolate Chip Banana Bars
Our final recipe combines the classic tastes of chocolate and bananas in these chocolate chip banana bars. You’ll love serving these for an afternoon treat at the weekends, and they’ll please your whole family. We recommend using any type of chocolate chips you have at home to create the perfect banana bars for your friends and family.
Ripe Banana Recipes FAQs
What are Overripe Bananas Good For?
Overripe bananas are great for cooking a wide variety of banana recipes, as we’ve shared above. One thing to note is that they are rich in antioxidants, which can help to combat cell damage and free radicals in the body.
You’ll find that eating overripe bananas helps to minimize your chance of illness and boost your immune system. These recipes can be enjoyed throughout the year and offer you an excellent way to avoid putting items of food in the trash in the future.
Can I Freeze Ripe Bananas?
Yes, bananas can be frozen once they are ripe. You are better off freezing ripe bananas than green ones. Make sure they don’t become too brown though, as they aren’t suitable for freezing.
To freeze your bananas, peel each banana and then place it into a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove it in time to defrost if you are planning to follow any of the banana recipes listed above that require room-temperature bananas.
Are Overripe Bananas Safe to Eat?
One of the most common questions we hear is whether overripe bananas are safe to eat. They are very safe to eat, and they are higher in vitamin C and antioxidants than your common bananas.
The flesh is still edible no matter the color of the skin, but do check for mold. Some people find the taste is too strong or off-putting when they become too ripe, at which point they may not be the best to eat.
How Do You Store Ripe Bananas for Baking Banana Recipes?
If you are looking to store your ripe bananas before baking, we recommend putting them in a saran wrap. Do this so they don’t become mushy within a bag. You can then add them into your Ziplock bag, making a simple portion for your upcoming cooking or smoothies.
How Do You Know When Bananas Are Too Bad to Use in Banana Recipes?
If there are just a few brown spots on your banana, you can just cut them off and use the bananas as per the recipe. However, if you find there’s a lot of mold or excessive black spots, we don’t recommend using this fruit. You can follow our tips above to make other bananas ripe for your recipe.
Can Using Overripe Bananas in Banana Recipes Make You Ill?
This will depend from person to person, but for anyone with fructose malabsorption, you might experience diarrhea from eating overripe bananas. Most people find that when it’s combined into a recipe like the ones above, you don’t have any issues.
Can You Get Food Poisoning from Bananas?
Generally, you can’t get food poisoning from bananas, but some people do feel sick after eating them. You might find that when you add a banana to something like a banana split, that there are germs inside the peel which make you sick. You need to be very careful where you source any fruit from as you would with any food that you consume, to avoid getting sick from bananas.
With so many great ways to consume overripe bananas, you’ll want to make sure you never throw your bananas in the trash again. There are so many creative ripe banana recipes options for any type of meal, so if you need a quick dessert or snack, just check out the ideas we shared above.
We hope that these ideas today help to combat food waste, which is a huge issue in countries around the world. We can all play our part to make the most of the food we have at home and create exciting dishes your whole family will enjoy.