Learn how to ripen bananas quickly 4 different ways. When you find yourself needing ripe bananas for baking or cooking but all you have is a bunch of unripe fruit, use one of these methods to ripen bananas faster than naturally.
Bananas can be used in a variety of dishes for breakfast, snacks, desserts and more. We have even compiled a list of 32 ripe banana recipes. They are great for adding natural sweetness, flavor and moisture.
Sometimes, the grocery store only has green bananas on the shelf but you find yourself needing a nice ripe banana today. That’s why we are sharing the best ways to ripen bananas.
How do bananas ripen?
Bananas will naturally ripen the longer they sit out. During the ripening process, the fruit releases a gas called ethylene.
If you prefer they ripen naturally, keep them in a warm spot and try keeping them in a bunch. They will ripen anywhere between 1-5 days depending on how green they are to start.
How to ripen bananas in the oven
If you are in a hurry and need ripe bananas as soon as possible to make things like banana muffins or delicious banana bread, the oven method is great and probably the fastest way to achieve ripeness. It’s super easy and takes about 10 minutes.
- Place bananas on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave the peel on.
- Put them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F and bake for about 10-15 minutes. If they haven’t turned black, let them cook another few minutes.
- You will know they are ready when the peel turns black.
- Make sure to let them cool and then take out the flesh with a spoon or fork.
How to ripen bananas in the air fryer
Another quick way to speed up the ripening process is using the air fryer. This method also takes about 10 minutes.
- Place 1-3 unpeeled bananas in the air fryer basket.
- Cook at 300 degrees F for 8-9 minutes or until they turn black.
- Let them cool down and then mash to use.
To help prevent any possible mess, line the basket with perforated parchment paper.
How to ripen bananas in the microwave
The microwave method is good if you need to soften the banana to make it easier to mash, however, it doesn’t improve the sweetness like using an oven does. If you have a partially ripe banana, this method can work but I would not recommend using for green bananas.
- Take the peel off of the banana and place banana in a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat for 30 second intervals until you reach the desired softness. Usually takes about 1 minute depending on how ripe it already is.
How to ripen bananas in a paper bag
This brown paper bag method takes a little longer, about a day, to achieve ripeness but it does help bananas ripen faster than sitting on the counter.
- Place the bananas in a brown paper bag with either an already ripe banana or another fruit like an avocado, apple, or pear.
- Close the bag by folding the top over. The ethylene gas from the other fruit will help the bananas to ripening process go faster.
Can you use a plastic bag? No, you need to use a paper bag because it’s porous. You don’t want to create a sealed environment because it will cause the banana to spoil instead of ripen.
How to store ripened bananas
Have extra bananas that are starting to get overripe? You can peel them and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. The frozen bananas will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or use the frozen bananas to make ice cream or smoothies.
Tips and tricks
- These ripening methods are best when you need bananas for a recipe and not just eating them raw.
How To Ripen Bananas
- 1 bunch under ripe bananas or single bananas
- Place bananas on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until they turn black.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out flesh and mash to use for recipes.
- Place under ripe bananas in a brown paper bag. Add in a ripe avocado, apple, or ripe banana.
- Fold bag closed and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days to ripen.
- To soften, not ripen, banana quickly, placed peeled banana in microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave in 30 second intervals until desired softeness.