Mashed Mofongo

published Nov 22, 2021
Mashed Mofongo Recipe

This twist on mofongo, the Puerto Rican dish of mashed fried plantains cooked in garlic and mixed with crunchy pork rinds, features buttery rich potatoes for a velvety texture.

Serves6 to 8

Prep15 minutes

Cook50 minutes to 1 hour

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Duncan Fitzpatrick

In my opinion, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes — and no Thanksgiving meal is complete without some sort of potato or starch. But even though I love potatoes (after all, I’m from Latin America, the birthplace of the potato), sometimes I’m bored by the singular texture of mashed potatoes. Cue: my mashed mofongo. 

Mofongo is Latin America’s answer to mashed potatoes. Originally from Puerto Rico, the dish consists of mashed fried plantains cooked in garlic and mixed with crunchy pork rinds or chicharrón. There are several variations, including papafongo, which is made with potatoes instead of plantains, and trifongo, which comes from Puerto Rico’s African roots and combines three kinds of Latin American starches: green plantain banana, ripe plantain banana, and yuca (cassava root). 

My favorite version isn’t actually a riff on mofongo at all, but rather a hybrid of mofongo and classic mashed potatoes. The buttery richness of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of the plantains, and you get garlicky flavor in every bite, too. It’s creamy-crunchy side-dish perfection; a delicious blend of heritages that perfectly represents my American-Latin identity.  

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Duncan Fitzpatrick

Serving Mashed Mofongo

I like to serve mashed mofongo with a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro, or more crushed pork rinds for extra crunchy texture. And if seafood makes an appearance at your Thanksgiving, know that mashed mofongo pairs beautifully with any cooked seafood, particularly shrimp. Leftover mashed mofongo also works deliciously in all variations of Thanksgiving leftovers creations, such as shepherd’s pie, sandwiches, and croquettes.

Mashed Mofongo Recipe

This twist on mofongo, the Puerto Rican dish of mashed fried plantains cooked in garlic and mixed with crunchy pork rinds, features buttery rich potatoes for a velvety texture.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes to 1 hour

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    medium Yukon Gold or Honey Gold potatoes (about 5)

  • 4 to 6 cups

    neutral oil, for deep frying

  • 3

    ripe plantains (about 1 1/4 pounds total)

  • 4 to 5 cloves


  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    heavy cream or half-and-half, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 4 ounces

    pork rinds or cracklings

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place 2 pounds medium Yukon or Honey Gold potatoes (peel first if desired) in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the plantains and prepare the cream mixture.

  2. Peel 3 plantains and cut crosswise into 1-inch thick rounds. Heat 4 to 6 cups neutral oil in a large saucepan (enough to go about 2 inches up the sides of the pan) over medium-high heat until 350ºF. Add half of the plantains and fry until golden-brown and soft or fork tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat frying the remaining plantains.

  3. Finely chop 4 to 5 garlic cloves until you have 2 tablespoons. Add 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of the garlic to a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and cook over medium-heat until warmed through, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat.

  4. When the potatoes are ready, drain. Return to the pot, add the cream mixture, and mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth.

  5. Heat 2 teaspoons of the plantain frying oil in a small frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl. Working in batches, add the plantains and mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. (Alternatively, mash the plantains in batches in a mortar and pestle and then transfer to the bowl of garlic oil.) Stir to combine.

  6. Crush 4 ounces pork rinds with your hands into rough pieces, add most of it to the plantains, and mix until combined.

  7. Transfer the plantain mixture to the potato mixture, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and mix until combined. Taste and season as needed with more kosher salt and black pepper. Garnish with the remaining pork rinds or chopped cilantro.

Recipe Notes


  • Do not over fry plantains — you want them to be soft and fork tender, not crispy and hard. The best way to ensure this is making sure that your plantain slices are thick enough (at least 1 inch).
  • For a “crunchy” texture to your mashed mofongo, soak sliced plantains in salty water for about 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Soaking in water before frying helps the plantains get crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside.

Vegan or vegetarian: Omit the pork rinds. Swap the butter and heavy cream for plant-based dairy alternatives.

Make ahead: The mashed potatoes can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before adding in the plantains.

Storage: Leftover mashed mofongo can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen mashed mofongo before reheating. Reheat in a 350ºF oven until the potatoes reach 165ºF, 20 to 30 minutes.