10 Ways to Use Up Ripe Bananas

By Polly Conner
May 19, 2021

Bananas gone brown? Fear not! Here are 10 ways to use overripe bananas in delicious, healthy recipes. Never throw away a ripe banana again!

Ripe bananas with recipes

Why Overripe Bananas are the BEST

Bananas getting spotty, brown, soft and overripe? Think it’s time to throw them away?

Stop, I tell you. Stop! While you may see a banana decomposing right before your eyes, I see a banana that is in perfect condition to use as an ingredient. In fact, it’s when bananas are a bit mushy and starting losing their firm texture that they are the sweetest and even healthier. (source)

When a banana is almost or fully all brown, basically all the starch has broken down into sugar — they’re sweeter, which is why people often use mushy bananas to bake with!

How to Freeze Bananas

While we’ve written an entire post about How to Freeze Bananas, we’ll provide the short and sweet version here.

If you don’t use up a ripe banana in the recipes below, you should freeze them until you are ready to use them. Yes, their texture will be mushy after being frozen and thawed, but since they will be used in recipes, that won’t matter. It’s an ingredient that I almost always have in my freezer stash along with my freezer meals.

I’ve found the best way to freeze bananas is to peel them and then break them in half. Having the overripe bananas in smaller increments makes it easier to grab what I need for the recipes below.

ripe bananas in a freezer bag

10 Recipes to Use for Ripe Bananas

What can be made from ripe bananas? SO much! Here are some healthy ideas to get you started.

1. Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal (with sneaky spinach!)

I know, you’re thinking, “Rachel’s gone off the deep end on this one. Spinach in your oatmeal?” Look, my baked oatmeal philosophy is similar to my smoothie philosophy: what they don’t see, they won’t taste. It’s true. You really cannot see or taste the spinach after using the blender to puree the wet ingredients. This warm bowl of comfort is just pure dark chocolaty goodness…filled with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals!

Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal

 2. Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Muffins

These Chocolate Banana Muffins are not only moist and delicious, but they are packed with sneaky nutrition. They are a kid-favorite and freeze beautifully. Serve as an easy, make-ahead healthy breakfast.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Muffins

3. Any of our Freezer Smoothie Pack Recipes

Learn how to save time and money and eat healthier by prepping Freezer Smoothie Packs ahead of time. Use our 7 different delicious frozen smoothie pack recipes to start filling your freezer today.

7 Delicious Frozen Smoothie Packs (+Printable Recipes & Shopping Lists)

4. Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

After discovering how life-changing (well, close) Brownie Baked Oatmeal can be, I knew I had to try other forms of this make ahead oatmeal breakfast. Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal did not disappoint.

Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

5. Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These healthy, whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins are YUMMO. Seriously. Don’t let the whole wheat factor make you think they are going to be compromised. Plus, they are freezer-friendly and an easy breakfast for busy mornings.

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

6. Flourless Banana Muffins

Flourless Banana Muffins are thrown together in the blender in no time, which means fewer dirty dishes. And, they are packed full of protein, fiber, and so much more goodness. 

Flourless Banana Muffin Recipe

7. Banana Brownie Waffles

A delicious twist on your typical waffle recipe!

banana brownie waffles

8. Banana Pumpkin Bread

This Banana Pumpkin Bread is moist, nutritious, and delicious! Learn how to freeze it for later or make it into muffins, too.

Banana Pumpkin Bread

9. Make Ahead Banana Breakfast Cake

Banana Breakfast Cake is my dream breakfast. My whole family likes it, it’s full of nutritious yet simple ingredients, and it works perfectly to double the batch to make a breakfast freezer meal. 

Banana Breakfast Cake

10. Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie

I love this easy healthy breakfast idea: Chocolate Chip Zucchini Breakfast Cookies. These healthy make ahead breakfast cookies are great fresh or also as a freezer meal. 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

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4 replies
  1. Micah Klug says:

    I love th baked oatmeal recipe! Baked oatmeal is good about staying fresh in the fridge over a couple of breakfasts. MY favorite part about buying ripe bananas at discount price isn’t making and then freezing everything.

    Reply
  2. Frances L says:

    I also make peanut butter banana pops with my overripe bananas. 2 mashed bananas + 1/2 cup peanut butter + a squeeze of honey is enough to fill 4 silicone push pop “tubes.” These are great frozen treats for the kids and myself – even those of us who don’t eat bananas plain!

    Reply
  3. K. Ann Guinn says:

    Oh, my! What a wonderful list! I, too, buy extra bananas on purpose. They are healthy and so versatile, and a regular part of our breakfasts, smoothies and baking, but the best thing is they are one of the only foods, especially fruits, that are still CHEAP!. I also wrote a blog post on freezing bananas and using them. Thanks for some new recipes to add to my favorites!

    Reply