Grilled Caramelized Bananas

Gooey, sugary, and gone in a second, the grilled bananas at the Makena Grill on Maui on the perfect tropical treat.

From a simple cart on the side of a narrow road, Marisa Samuels has earned herself the title of Maui’s best chef. While her fish tacos and teriyaki kebobs earn the lion’s share of her accolades, I was fascinated by her “Banana Makena.”

But you don’t need to go all the way to Maui to enjoy these babies. Many grilled banana recipes have you grill sliced or whole bananas without the peel, but you need to cook the banana slowly with the peel on for ultimate gooey-ness. And I’m talking fresh Cinnebon level gooey-ness.

On the cart, Marisa actually “fire roasts” the bananas with a blow torch to achieve the ideal mushy, caramelized goodness. Since that is not an item most of us keep around the house, I have adapted the recipe slightly. Go ahead and fire roast your bananas instead of flipping them though, if you are a huge creme brulee baker and have a blow torch on hand. (I’m sure there are other uses for blow torches, but that is the only one I know.)

Enjoy! And please let me know if you have any questions.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Inspired by the Makena Grill


  • 8 medium-sized (about six inches long) ripe (but still firm) bananas
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of butter
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • dark chocolate


  1. Prepare a medium-low fire in the grill.
  2. Melt the butter in a shallow bowl in the microwave.
  3. Add a quarter cup of brown sugar and a half teaspoon of cinnamon to the sugar and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cut the bananas in half lengthwise, keeping the peel on. Loosen the peel from the banana gently on each side.
  5. Spoon about two tablespoons of sauce into each banana and place a piece of chocolate between the banana and the peel on each side.
  6. Grill the bananas (start peel down) for about ten minutes. Flip the bananas so the banana side is down after two minutes, and flip back after a minute. It is fine for the peel to char a bit, but don’t let them blacken completely.
  7. Serve piping hot, with ice cream if desired.

  1. marisa

    28 May

    aloha and thanks for the compliment. i feel so honored! u can see more about makena grill on my new facebook page Makena Grill Maui…eventually i will be selling cookbooks on the listed website and then you can try making a real banana makena…. aloha 🙂