A tutorial on How to Ripen Bananas quickly using three different methods: a paper bag, oven, or microwave. No need to wait to make your favorite banana recipes!

Looking for some banana recipes? Try Skinny Banana Muffins, Banana Bundt Cake, or Our Favorite Banana Bread!

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly.

What Makes Bananas Ripen?

Just like other fruits and vegetables, bananas produce a hormone called ethylene, which causes it to ripen. During this process, it changes the starches to sugar which is why brown banans are sweeter and better to bake with!

Brown Paper Bag Method:

This method will yield the most naturally ripe and sweet banana, but it does take a couple days.

Keep your bananas bunched together and place them inside a brown paper bag and loosely fold down the top. To help speed up the process, throw another ripe banana or an avocado or apple in the bag too. The ethylene from the ripe fruit will circulate and speed up the natural ripening process for the bananas.

A brown paper bag, apple, and three bananas next to each other.

Oven Method:

Ripening bananas in the oven will take an hour and is the best option if you are using the bananas the same day.

Place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet. Bake at 300°F for 15-30 minutes, or until the skin turns black and the bananas are soft. Let bananas cool before peeling and scooping out the fruit.

Microwave Method:

Only use this method if your bananas are already partially ripened, and you need them right away. Microwaving only softens the fruit, so you may need to add a little extra sweetener to the recipe.

With the peel still on the banana, pierce it several times with a fork on each side. Microwave the banana in 30 second increments, checking after each, until the banana is the desired softness. Let banana cool before scooping out the fruit.

Two images showing bananas on a plate before and after they are microwaved.

Freezing Instructions:

To Freeze: If you have ripened bananas you want to save for another day, peel and slice bananas into rounds. Place on baking sheet in the freezer until the slices are frozen hard. Remove from baking sheet and keep in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to 6 months! These bananas are great for baking or in smoothies!

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How to Ripen Bananas Quickly.
Total 30 minutes
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  • Bananas


In a brown paper bag:

  • Place unpeeled bananas in a brown paper bag.
  • Loosley fold down the top of the bag.
  • Place the bag in a warm spot and check the fruit daily until it reaches desired ripeness.

In the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 300°
  • Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Separate bananas, leaving peel on, and place bananas on baking sheet. Leave space between bananas.
  • Place baking sheet in preheated
  • Bake bananas for 15-30 minutes or until peels are black and bananas are soft. Check on bananas every 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove bananas from oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes
  • When fruit is cool enough to safely handle, remove peel and scoop out the softened fruit.

In the microwave: *

  • Place banana on a microwave safe plate.
  • Leaving peel on the banana, pierce the peel with a fork or sharp knife in several spots on all sides.
  • Microwave banana in high for 30 seconds at a time until banana is soft to the touch. This may take up to 3 minutes.
  • Remove bananas from microwave and let cool for 10-15 minutes or until they are safe to handle.
  • Carefully, remove the peel and scoop out softened fruit with a spoon.

Freeze Bananas:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel bananas and slice fruit into ¼-½ inch rounds.
  • Place banana slices on cookie sheet without overlapping.
  • Place cookie sheet in freezer and allow the fruit to freeze completly, at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove cookie sheet, with frozen banana slices, from the freezer and quickly transfer the banana slices to a freezer safe Ziplock or container.
  • Banana slices can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.


*Only use microwave method on partially ripened bananas. Microwaving only softens the fruit, it does not sweetened the banana like natural ripening. When using microwaved bananas, you may need to add extra sweetener.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. I haven’t tried this recipe yet (will be tonight) I just wanted to tell you how happy I was to see grams being used in your measurements as I am an avid user of a kitchen scale for baking! Much appreciated!

  2. 5 stars
    I was shocked at how well the oven method worked. We were given some very green bananas, I put them in the oven, and was able to make delicious banana bread that same day. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank You For Sharing Lauren 👍🏼😊GREAT Recipes👏🏼👍🏼♥️G-d♥️Bless I Saved QUITE A FEW Of Them 😋YUM ❗️