38 Recipes for Ripe and Overripe Bananas

By Lisa Esile, MS,

Last Updated:

Got a ripe banana or two sitting around in your kitchen? Don't let them go to waste! Ripe and overripe bananas are superheroes in a healthy kitchen—especially when it comes to vegan baking, where they can bind and moisten ingredients while adding flavor and natural sweetness. Read on for a roundup of our tastiest banana recipes, including banana bread, muffins, pancakes, brownies, carrot cake, oatmeal, French toast, a smoothie bowl, and banana ice cream (aptly named "nice cream"), and more.

Bonus: At the end of this post we've included five handy hacks that will change the way you peel, use, and store bananas.

Banana-Stuffed Vegan French Toast with Whipped Cream

Banana-Stuffed Aquafaba French Toast

In this incredible baked vegan French toast, two slices of bread are filled with sliced bananas then dipped in a plant-based custard mix. The secret ingredient in the dipping cream is aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid), which keeps the toast light and crunchy.
Pineapple Ginger Smoothie in a glass jar next to fresh ginger root and turmeric against a green wood backdrop

Pineapple Ginger Smoothie

This delicious smoothie uses frozen banana and pineapple to deliver icy tropical flavor in a glass and is perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Fresh ginger adds heat, while powdered turmeric provides a rich yellow hue and earthy, sweet notes, and unsweetened plant milk keeps things creamy and light at the same time. Rolled oats are also blended into this sunny smoothie, to add fiber and help you feel full longer.
Strawberry Nice Cream Sundaes

Strawberry Nice Cream Sundaes

Frozen strawberries and bananas plus a splash of almond milk and pure vanilla extract get whirled together in a high-speed blender or food processor to make the berry nice cream for this deceptively simple dessert. Fresh strawberries and apples are the star ingredients in the warm fruit compote that tops it all off.
berry-banana cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting

Berry and Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Perfect for a picnic or a kids' party, these cute cupcakes get their sweetness from mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, and fresh raspberries and blueberries. The easy vanilla frosting gets its rich texture from extra-firm silken tofu.

Crispy French Toast Cups with Bananas Foster Topping

A cross between French toast and bread pudding with a festive banana topping, this wholesome baked treat is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for a special breakfast or brunch menu, or even dessert.
Tricolor Nice Cream Cupcakes with berries on top

Tricolor Nice Cream Cupcakes

For a cool dessert that's guaranteed to delight, layer three different flavors of nice cream in silicone cupcake molds for a tasty rainbow effect.  Creamy layers of mango, banana, and berry nice cream will impress kids and adults alike. Serve them in their silicone molds, or turn them out onto dessert plates and top with fresh berries.
Blueberry and Banana Wraps

Blueberry-Banana Wraps

Ripe bananas never tasted so good as they do combined with fresh blueberries and choice greens in these sweet-savory wraps. As one reader puts it, “I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to say I have a new addition to my breakfast selection.”
Walnut Biscuit Stacked Fruit Appetizers on a white plate against a cream background

Walnut Biscuit Stacked Fruit Appetizers

These sweet and savory bites are the perfect finger food to serve at a tea or summer barbecue, or even as a cheery movie night snack. Brightly colored fruit balances on top of homemade savory walnut-oat biscuits, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup is an easy way to make it fancy.
vanilla bean vegan ice cream recipe

Vanilla Nice Cream With Real Vanilla Bean

Keep a store of frozen banana on hand and you're mere minutes away from plant-based ice cream, aka "nice cream." In this recipe creamy frozen banana is flavored with fresh vanilla bean for a heavenly effect.
Peanut Butter-Banana Brownies

Banana and Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Banana helps sweeten these chewy brownies on the inside. But it's the sliced banana on top that's really clever, adding a fresh creaminess to complement the rich chocolate-peanut flavor.
Gluten-Free Banana Teff Bread

Banana Teff Bread

Banana is the main sweetener in this gluten-free banana bread. The end result is a deliciously moist loaf, fragrant with cinnamon and studded with walnuts and raisins.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream Chocolate Treats

Frozen Banana Treat with Chocolate (Better Than Ice Cream!)

For off-the-scale yumminess check out these frozen banana balls: Rolled oats, frozen banana, and cocoa powder combine to create chewy chocolate creaminess, and the cereal coating adds crunch.
These little cranberry orange vegan pumpkin muffins are moist and delicious, not too sweet & reminiscent of the cranberry orange bread my Mom used to make.

Cranberry Orange Pumpkin Muffins

Loaded with oats, orange, banana, pumpkin, and cranberries these flour-less muffins are moist, fruity, and naturally sweet. Note: If you don't have dried cranberries, raisins are a good substitute.
chocolate chip pancakes, plant-based

Banana-Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Stuffed with banana, oats, and wheat flour, these scrumptious pancakes will keep you powered up for hours.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Frozen banana plus cocoa powder (or cacao, or carob) equals creamy-dreamy chocolate ice cream. And you can make it quicker than you can drive to the store!

Just Bananas Muffins

This banana muffin recipe really illustrates how useful bananas are in baking by adding sweetness and keeping things moist and tender at the same time.
Strawberry Chocolate nice cream - plant-based ice cream

Strawberry-Chocolate Ice Cream

This pretty pink ice cream tastes sensational—an easy dessert that the whole family will be excited about.
Vegan breakfast muffins

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins

Got a ripe banana, fresh or frozen blueberries, and some sweet potato?  These mouthwatering muffins are picky-kid-tested and plant-based mom–approved.
Black Forest Brownies with Cherries on a slate countertop

Vegan Black Forest Brownies with Cherries

Black beans and mashed bananas work together to make these WFPB brownies extra moist and chewy. Don’t worry about the bean flavor: It’s masked by the delicious combination of dark cocoa, dried cherries, and shredded coconut.
Apple Raisin Mini Muffins

Mini Apple-Raisin Muffins

The hint of orange in these cute Apple-Raisin Mini Muffins comes from orange zest and a dash of orange juice. Don't be surprised to find yourself reaching for another. And another.
This vegan granola recipe was inspired by my favorite banana almond muffins. Whether in muffins or in cereal, bananas and almonds pair perfectly.

Banana Almond Granola

Proving once and for all that you don't need oil or processed sugar to make golden, crunchy granola, this recipe is a sweet start to the day. It's also a great snack or after-dinner filler.
vegan banana blueberry granola bar recipe

Banana Blueberry Bars

Flourless and packed with goodness, these hearty oat bars are so good you'll want to make plenty.
Spelt Banana-Walnut Bread mini loaves wrapped in parchment paper with a green ribbon bow

Spelt Banana Bread with Toasted Walnuts

Ripe bananas, dates, and unsweetened applesauce keep these cute banana bread loaves sweet and moist. Top with toasted walnuts and enjoy as a breakfast, snack, or after-dinner treat.

Vegan Banana Pancakes

Learning how to make healthy plant-based pancakes is a game changer when you switch to a WFPB diet. Because let's face it, any day that begins with pancakes is a good day, especially when they're nutritious, and delicious like these banana pancakes.
Mango Ice Cream - Nice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

It's hard to put into words how fabulous this mango and banana ice cream is. Sweet, sun-kissed, and refreshing, it'll brighten your day, for sure.
vegan carrot cake

Perfect Vegan Carrot Cake

Traditional carrot cake always sounded healthier than it was. But no worries with this recipe. Spicy-sweet and with no added oil or processed sugar, this vegan carrot tastes great served by itself or topped with cashew- and date-based Vanilla Cream Frosting.
Banana Split Oatmeal Bowls in a white dish with a bowl of strawberries to the left

Banana Split Oatmeal Bowls

This breakfast bowl is packed with nourishing ingredients to keep you full until lunch—and looking forward to making it again the next morning! Strawberries and pineapple add fresh flavor, and a light sprinkle of vegan chocolate adds a sense of decadence. To make gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats and chocolate chips.
Healthy Vegan Bananas Foster with aquafaba whipped cream in a white casserole dish

Healthy Vegan Bananas Foster

Gooey on the inside, crispy on the outside, our vegan bananas foster recipe omits the butter and replaces the traditional vanilla ice cream with easy homemade vegan whipped cream for a lighter, but still decadent-tasting, version of the classic treat. This recipe comes together in just 20 minutes but is festive enough for special occasions.
Blueberry-Raspberry Aquafaba Muffins

Blueberry-Raspberry Aquafaba Muffins

These easy vegan muffins are sweetened with banana and dates and are light and airy thanks to aquafaba—the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas. The recipes calls for fresh blueberries and raspberries, but frozen work fine, too.
breakfast bowl

Manna Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Banana gives this luscious green smoothie bowl its creamy texture, while kale, kiwifruit, and wheatgrass add a tangy-green punch of flavor. You can really have fun experimenting with whatever fruit and grains you have on hand.
Choco Bites

Raw Choco Bites With Oats and Carrots

Packed with tasty ingredients like dates, figs, banana, oats, coconut, and cacao, these divine little balls are ready in 15 minutes or less.
vegan banana bread sliced shown with dried figs and whole bananas

Banana-Fig Bread

Studded with dried figs, this simple banana bread is replete with wholesome sweetness. If you're not a fan of walnuts, simply leave them out.
Two vegan banana pudding parfaits in glass jars, showing layers of pudding and vanilla oats

Southern-Style Banana Pudding Parfaits

These pretty parfaits are a treat to behold and to eat. One reader writes, "I think I make this almost every weekend! So nice to have a WFPB alternative to a favorite dessert of ours!"
Sweet Moroccan Pancakes with Chocolate Banana Sauce and fresh fruit on a colorful plate and red tablecloth

Sweet Moroccan Pancakes with Chocolate Banana Sauce

Called baghrir in Morocco, these sweet pancakes are similar to crepes, with a light, spongy texture. They’re traditionally topped with honey and butter, but our version is topped with a naturally sweet chocolate sauce made with bananas, date paste, almond milk, and vanilla. Top the pancakes with sliced fresh bananas for a double dose of banana goodness in every bite.
Spelt Banana-Walnut Bread mini loaves wrapped in parchment paper with a green ribbon bow

Spelt Banana Bread with Toasted Walnuts

This aromatic banana bread gets a mildly nutty flavor from spelt flour, while dates add a melt-in-your-mouth natural sweetness. Enjoy a warm slice of this wholesome banana bread at breakfast or as a wholesome midday snack, paired with a mug of herbal tea.

Mixed Fruit Soup

This easy vegan one-pot recipe is the perfect treat to cap off your summer dinner party. Inspired by Chef Darshana Thacker's childhood in India, the refreshing chilled soup features a colorful array of fruit and no refined sugar, making it a suitable breakfast, too. Juicy, crunchy pomegranate arils add bursts of sweetness that will have you coming back for spoonful after spoonful. For the best taste and texture, wait to add the sliced banana until just before serving.
Chocolaty Black Bean Pancakes with sliced bananas on a cream colored plate

Chocolaty Black Bean Pancakes

These hearty, wholesome pancakes from Darshana Thacker Wendel get extra heft and nutrients from black beans, which play surprisingly well in sweet, chocolaty dishes, enhancing the rich quality without adding fat. Banana slices are the fresh, fruity finishing touch that takes this healthy vegan breakfast over the top. One reviewer writes, "These are amazing! Delicious and filling."
Mojo-Seasoned Plantain Salad with Black Beans and Rice in a white ceramic bowl with wooden serving spoons

Mojo-Seasoned Plantain Salad with Black Beans and Rice

Sliced plantain bananas are basted in a zesty mix of citrus juices, herbs, and spices and roasted until perfectly tender for this satisfying salad, which also features kale, tomato, and black beans.

Bananas with peel on next to a plate of peeled grilled bananas topped with berries on a yellow plate, all sitting on top of a yellow tablecloth

BONUS: 5 Banana Hacks

These helpful hacks will change the way you peel, store, and enjoy bananas from now on.

Roast or Grill with Skin On

Cooking bananas caramelizes their natural sugars, but it also softens the flesh and can make them tricky to flip and serve. For a sweet treat, split bananas lengthwise down the center, then leave the skin on for easy turning in a pan or on the grill. You can also roast or grill them whole in the skin, then slit them open and top with nuts, berries, or cashew cream.

Peel Smarter

If you hate banana strings, this tip’s for you. Instead of peeling from the stem end down, peel from the bottom up. Simply pinch the tip to break the skin and start peeling. It’s faster and a lot less stringy.

Extend Freshness

Bananas release ethylene gas, a ripening hormone, from their stems. Wrapping the stems as a bunch, or individually, in foil or plastic wrap traps the gas and slows the ripening process to keep bananas firm and bright yellow.

Peel and Freeze

Ripe and slightly overripe bananas can be frozen in a resealable bag or freezer container for later. Peel and break the fruit into chunks before freezing so that they can easily be added to recipes or whizzed in a food processor to make nice cream.

Make Pancakes

Bananas make great stand-ins for eggs, sugar, and fat—and in pancake batter they can replace all three. Simply blend 4 large bananas until smooth, then stir in 1 Tbsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt, followed by 1 cup whole wheat flour. Thin the batter to desired consistency with ¼ to ⅓ cup water. Cook the pancakes 2 to 3 minutes per side in a nonstick skillet over medium. (Note: The batter makes delicious waffles too.)

Hungry for More?

We've put together a roundup of some of our most-loved vegan recipes of all time. Try one today!

This article was originally published on April 2, 2020, and has been updated.

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About the Author

Headshot of Lisa Esile, MS

About the Author

Lisa Esile, MS

Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.
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