Bananas are kind of like avocados: You buy a massive underripe bunch with every intent to use them all, but by the time they inconveniently ripen you’ve forgotten your original plan, or worse, don’t have the time to cook. Don’t just chuck them, vowing to try again another day—we’ve got you. From quick and easy desserts to more involved, baked undertakings, check out our list of 18 recipes for ripe bananas.
Our top trick for rescuing ripe bananas? FREEZE THEM. This simple hack will yield you the greatest rewards, because you’ll never want for bananas again (next time you get a hankering for banana bread, you won’t have to buy green bananas and wait). The best part? You can freeze bananas at any stage, so decide what’s the perfect ripe banana for you, and freeze them like that, indefinitely.
Now you’ve got your bananas at prime ripeness—what should you make with them? Banana bread is the obvious answer, and we’ve got the only recipe you’ll ever need. Well… the only recipe for classic banana bread, because we have SO many other variations you can make too. Are chocolate chips not enough chocolate for you? Try our death by chocolate banana bread to get even more fudgy goodness. Love caramel? Try our salted caramel banana bread for a slice that’ll keep you coming back for more. Want something extra breakfast-y to please a brunch crowd? Try our banana bread coffee cake (yes, it’s got streusel) or turn another loaf into banana bread french toast. Banana bread truly is ripe for creativity (get it?!), so don’t be afraid to try out your favorite flavors in your next loaf.
And don’t worry, it’s not ALL about banana bread. We’ve also got recipes for cookies and cakes, a classic banana pudding, and all the combinations of those you can imagine. Try our banana pudding cookies, our hummingbird cake (think banana bread + carrot cake + pineapple) or our skillet cheesecake banana bread (truly the best of both worlds). We also included other fun breakfast options, like banana bread waffles, blended açaí smoothie bowls, banana nut muffins, and more.