How many times do you go to the store and buy bananas with the best intentions of eating them all before they turn brown and spotty? For me, that’s nearly every week. And I can never seem to keep up, even with my plans of adding them to smoothies almost daily. At the end of the week, I’ll often have a few browned specimens hanging around that I’ll either throw into the freezer (for future smoothies) or use in a recipe. Luckily, Cook’s Country has lots of recipes offering various ways to use up ripe or overripe bananas—and even underripe bananas. Here are ten of our favorites.
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
Let’s start with the obvious: banana bread. This is always my first thought when I see those soft bananas on the counter. And it’s never stopped being a genius way to use up bananas. Our version is tender, moist, buttery, and lightly sweet. And it is packed with banana flavor because we packed as many bananas into it as we could: five whole bananas.
Banana BreadWe put in more bananas than we thought our bread could hold. Then we added more.
And then, because we know some people like a little chocolate in their banana bread, we also developed a version with cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.
Double-Chocolate Banana BreadWe added chocolate to everyone's favorite loaf.
Banana Pudding Pie
Banana bread is great for everyday eating, but if you’re looking for something with a little more intrigue that you can serve for dessert, look no further than our Banana Pudding Pie. It starts with a crisp Nilla Wafer–based crust. The crust is covered with a luscious, creamy banana pudding that has sliced bananas stirred into it. And finally, the whole thing is topped with toasty meringue. Watch the video below to learn how to make it, step by step.
Banana–Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
Banana–Chocolate Chip Snack CakeDense, moist banana bread is great. But tender, fluffy banana snack cake is something else again.
Big fan of pancakes? You can easily whip up our buttermilk pancake recipe and add some bananas and walnuts to it. We like to sprinkle the bananas on once the pancakes start cooking to ensure they’re evenly distributed.
Banana-Walnut PancakesNo box. No premade mix. Just as easy.
Banana-Nut Butterscotch Sauce
More of a waffle person? You can use your bananas in a decadent waffle topping instead. We start by making a caramelly butterscotch sauce and then we add vanilla, bananas, and walnuts to it.
Banana-Nut Butterscotch SauceA decadent waffle topping.
Unlike the other recipes here, our Banana Pudding actually calls for underripe bananas, so you’ll want to plan ahead for this one. This simple dessert is made by layering vanilla pudding with sliced bananas and vanilla wafers. When it’s all assembled in a trifle dish, it looks impressive and inviting.
Banana PuddingCreamy, sweet, cold, and fruity, good banana pudding can't be beat. What a shame it is so rarely good.
To make this easy banana treat, we started by freezing ripe banana slices just to firm them up. Then we battered them and fried them. A little drizzle of store-bought chocolate syrup is the perfect pairing for these warm, crispy bites.
Fried BananasThese bite-size snacks are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
If you want a restaurant dessert at home, then Bananas Foster is the way to go. In restaurants, this classic New Orleans dessert is typically flambéed tableside, but we reworked it so there’s no flambéing needed. Just heat the rum mixture, warm the bananas, and transfer them to a serving plate and then whisk some butter into the rum mixture to make a luscious sauce to pour over the bananas. Be sure to have some vanilla ice cream on hand.
Bananas FosterWe wanted to enjoy this New Orleans classic at home, but would that mean singeing our eyebrows?
Deluxe Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are a lovely spin on peanut butter cookies. We turn to a mixture of mashed banana and banana chips to ensure that they sing with banana flavor. And we add semisweet chocolate chips because peanut butter and bananas both pair well with chocolate.
Deluxe Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate cookies are great, but sometimes they need a helping hand-or two.
Banana-Walnut–Chocolate Chunk No-Churn Ice Cream
Banana-Walnut-Chocolate Chunk No-Churn Ice CreamWith help from an heirloom recipe, we made a no-churn ice cream that made us melt.
Whether you have overripe, underripe, or just-ripe bananas, there’s a recipe here for you.