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Bananas Foster

A white plate with four long slices of banana, covered in melted sugar and rum sauce, with a scoop of ice cream and a spoon.
Bananas sautéed in butter, then flamed with rum? What could possibly go wrong? Serve these with vanilla ice cream.
Sam Sifton

Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
2 servings
397 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large bananas preferably slightly underripe, peeled and halved
  • 2 ounces dark rum*
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)


  • In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, combine the butter and sugar and cook until the mixture begins to foam, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the bananas and sauté them, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in the dark rum. Use a long match or grill lighter to ignite the liquid. Carefully spoon the sauce over the bananas until the flames go out, about 1 minute more.

    TESTER TIP: Have a pan lid handy ready to extinguish the flame should your flambé become a bit too exuberant.

  • Serve immediately, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.


*Can I use something other than rum in Bananas Foster?

Actually, in the original version of this recipe, Brennan's restaurant also added a teaspoon of banana liqueur to the dessert. If you decide to go this way, you can reduce the rum by a teaspoon. As for anything else, we'd really only recommend that you substitute bourbon (or whisky, if you prefer). Either of those choices will cut the sweetness and caramel flavors, but will still make a terrific finished dish.