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5 from 1 vote

Plantain, Black Bean and Havarti Arepas

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4 large cheese and bean arepas
Author: Samantha Ferraro



  • 1/2 cup corn masa PAN
  • 1 1/2 cup water + more if needed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Black Beans

  • 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 tsp sazon or paprika
  • 1 can black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling


  • 1 very ripe plantain peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Oil for frying

Avocado Sauce

  • 1 avocado pitted
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tb aji paste
  • 2 Tb mayonnaise
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • Small bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water to thin out consistency if needed


To make the arepas:

  • First make the arepa. In a bowl add together the flour, cheese, oil, salt and slowly mix in the water. Use clean hands to mix everything together until a firm dough forms. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
  • When done, cut into 4 equal pieces and use your hands to form 1 of the pieces into a disc, about 2-3 inches in diameter. Set aside.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet with a bit of oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the arepas. Cook on medium heat until the first side is a nice golden brown and then flip over and continue to cook the other side, about 4-5 minutes per side. When done, set aside.

To make the black beans:

  • In a small pot, add olive oil and garlic and saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes until the garlic begins to turn golden brown.
  • Add in sazon (or paprika) and stir spices into oil. Then add black beans, liquid included and salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until it comes to a gentle bowl.
  • Use the back of a spatula to gently press down on some of the beans to make for a thicker consistency. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender. Taste for seasoning.

To make the plantains:

  • Add ripe plantains to a lightly oiled skillet and fry on the first side until golden brown, for about 3-4 minutes. Then flip over and cook on second side until golden brown. The plantain should soften and get sweeter as the sugars are cooked out. When done, set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

To make the avocado sauce:

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend together. Add a bit of water, to thin out consistency if desired.Taste for seasoning.

To assemble:

  • Cut one of the arepas in half, opening up like a sandwich, but don't cut all the way through. It should be like a pocket. Then spoon in 1-2 Tb of black beans, more shredded Havarti cheese, plantains and avocado sauce.


Corn cakes (arepas) can be kept in a ziploc bag and re-heated in the oven.
The avocado sauce makes a great dip for vegetables and tacos!