Black Bean & Plantain Arepa Sandwiches

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Tray with freshly made Vegan Arepa Sandwiches made with Plantains, Black Beans, and Guacamole

Behold basically the only thing I want to eat anymore: arepa sandwiches!

Since we just mastered our arepas, it just wasn’t right not to show you how to make my ultimate arepa sandwich. It includes all of my favorite things, like guacamole, sweet roasted plantains, and smoky black beans. And it comes together in 30 minutes with 10 ingredients! Let’s do this.

Tray of ingredients for making gluten-free Vegan Arepa Sandwiches

What are Arepas?

Arepas are cornmeal cakes that originated hundreds of years ago in a region that now makes up Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama. Traditionally, they were cooked on a pan called a budare. But they can also be grilled, baked, or fried.

Venezuelan arepas tend to be smaller and thicker, while Colombian arepas tend to be sweeter, thinner, and stuffed with cheese. Our version more closely resembles Venezuelan arepas.

How to Make Arepa Sandwiches

Once your arepas are made, start by roasting your plantains until golden brown and caramelized. We recommend using ripe, spotty, yellow plantains for best results. If plantains are a newer ingredient to you, you can learn more about them here.

Then heat your black beans until bubbly and season with cumin and salt.

Baking sheet with perfect freshly roasted plantains

Next up, guacamole. If you’re feeling lazy. you can also just add slices of avocado and sprinkle on lime and salt. But if you’ve got the time, it’s worth the effort!

Using a fork to mash avocado for homemade vegan guacamole

Now, we assemble. First comes sliced arepas, then guacamole, then black beans, then plantains, followed by any desired toppings such as cabbage, cilantro, and your favorite sauce (like our Habanero Hot Sauce)!

Wood cutting board with open-faced Arepa Sandwiches topped with guacamole and black beans
Open-faced Vegan Arepa Sandwiches topped with guacamole, black beans, and plantains
Using a spoon to add habanero hot sauce to gluten-free Vegan Arepa Sandwiches

We hope you LOVE these sandwiches! They’re:

Crunchy on the outside
Layered with texture + flavor on the inside
Savory, spicy, sweet
Quick + Easy to make
& Super delicious

These arepa sandwiches would be perfect for feeding a crowd! Or you can keep the ingredients on hand for assembling them throughout the week as you need.

These are delicious on their own, but they might also pair nicely with things like rice, Easy Vegan Coleslaw, Roasted Vegetables, or this Super Cleansing Veggie Slaw! And if you want a little more flavor, you could also throw on some of our Raw Vegan Taco Meat or Vegan Barbacoa!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Platter filled with gluten-free Vegan Arepa Sandwiches

Black Bean & Plantain Arepa Sandwiches

30-minute, 10-ingredient arepa sandwiches with roasted plantains, smoky black beans, guacamole, and habanero hot sauce! A tasty snack or satisfying vegan meal!
Author Minimalist Baker
Tray of Vegan Arepa Sandwiches with a jar of hot sauce in the background
4.97 from 28 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 (Sandwiches)
Course Entrée, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Latin-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 6 large arepas (or you could sub corn tortillas)


  • 2 large ripe and spotty plantains, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp oil (avocado is my preferred)


  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, slightly drained
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Pinch sea salt


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

FOR SERVING (optional)


  • If you haven’t already prepared your arepas, which take about 30 minutes (not included in prep time), do that now.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (209 C). Peel your plantains and slice on a diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces. Then add to a parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with oil. Arrange into an even layer and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized. Toss near the 10-minute point to ensure even baking.
  • In the meantime, add (slightly drained) black beans to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until bubbly and hot. Season with cumin and salt and stir to combine. Then turn heat off and set aside (cover to keep warm).
  • Lastly, prepare guacamole by mashing avocado in a small mixing bowl and adding lime, salt, onion, and cilantro. Stir to combine, and taste and adjust flavor as needed. Add more salt for saltiness, lime for acidity, or onion for crunch. Set aside.
  • You’re ready to serve. Slice your hot arepas in half (or cut a “pita pocket” and stuff). Add guacamole, beans, plantains, and any other desired toppings, such as Habanero Hot Sauce, cabbage, or cilantro!
  • Best when fresh. Store leftovers (separate from each other) in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 6 sandwiches (as the recipe is written) with all of the guacamole, beans, and plantains and no optional toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 (Sandwiches) Calories: 459 Carbohydrates: 81.1 g Protein: 9 g Fat: 12 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Sodium: 644 mg Fiber: 8.6 g Sugar: 9.8 g

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My Rating:

  1. The Vegan Goddess says

    I enjoyed this sandwich though I used a different arepa recipe from Medical Medium that doesn’t call for corn-based flour so it wasn’t traditional.

    The combination of black beans, plantains and guacamole was novel to me.

    I’m a plantain novice. My baked plantains turned out to be chips that were on the firmer side than soft and mushy looking like in your pics. Is this because it wasn’t ripe enough?

    I sliced them on an angle as described and tossed them in avocado oil as described. I didn’t turn the heat up in the oven as high as you suggested because I didn’t want to burn the parchment paper so perhaps that’s the reason they didn’t come out soft.

    Are they supposed to be crispier and harder than soft? It doesn’t appear that way in your pictures.

    I think I would have enjoyed it more if the plantains were soft, caramelized and sweeter. I will try again. : )

      • The Vegan Goddess says

        Thanks for the link. The tutorial that you linked to makes it look like the plantains are more chip-like than soft.

        There are times when you might want crunchy chips as a snack and times that you might want soft, mushy plantains in a sandwich like this.

        I guess my question is how do you differentiate between hard plantain chips vs. soft and caramelized plantains when baking them?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi, it mostly has to do with the ripeness of the plantains. It sounds like the ones you used were more on the firm/green/unripe side. For sweeter plantains, you’ll want to use ones that are ripe – yellow with brown spots (when ripe they should be soft to the touch and easy to peel). Hope that helps!

  2. Megan says

    How do you know when your plantains are ripe and spotty enough? How spotty is appropriately spotty for this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, you want them to look similar to the ripest plantain that’s in the second photo on this post. Hope that helps!

    • Lucy says

      Megan the sweetest ones are solid black on the outside. If green- they are firm and starchy; if yellow, intermediate; if solid black then it is all sweetness there. Stores sell them in three stacks with three colors. What is nice is it means they are in storage that whole time. not spoiling, just getting sweeter.

  3. Samantha says

    Wauw! This recipe was DELICIOUS. I’m from Curacao, a Caribbean island very close to Venezuela so I grew up with many Latino influences, including arepas con queso, and plaintain and hot sauce are a staple in our cuisine (we use adjuma peppers which is very similar to the habanero but then yellow).

    I have been wanting to make arepas for a while and I can’t believe it took me 36 years to make them myself! And was very happy to come across this arepa sin queso recipe. Having these arepas took me back “home”. The combination of the arepa with black beans, plaintain and hot sauce is I savored every bite and closing my eyes I could literally imagine sitting at cafe back home enjoying an arepa in the hot Caribbean climate. (I live in the Netherlands now and it is very cold at the moment).

    This will be a weekly treat now. THANK YOU for sharing the flavors of the Latino/Caribbean kitchen with the world.

    Based on the recommendation in the comments I did not slice the arepas fully but stuffed them like you would pita bread. Worked perfectly well! No mess!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re SO glad you enjoyed them, Samantha! Thanks so much for sharing! And love that slicing tip =) xo

    • Cindy says

      So fun to read that you are familiar with the restaurant “Teote”. One we need to visit again, (we live across river to the north ).
      Love the arepas using the two different colors of corn flour. I didn’t wait long enough for my plantains to ripen, but then I’m the only one in the family that likes them. My daughter and husband both said make it again. My daughter especially liked the arepas. I grew up eating then with butter and salt or a little jam, can’t wait for breakfast.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        =) It’s one of our favorites! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing, Cindy! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  4. Michelle says

    These were delicious!!! I think I made my arepas on the thinner side, so I’ll be trying again to make them fluffier, but still so amazing! Also, my plantains didn’t ripen in time, so I made tostones instead. Recommended this to all my friends and can’t wait to try it again soon :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Michelle! They’re even better with ripe plantains. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Erin says

    I have made these about 3 times and each time they are a HUGE hit with my family. My dad who is usually a meat and potatoes guy, said “this hits the spot.” Thank you for this amazingly tasty recipe, I cannot rave about you enough, I aspire to be able to whip up tasty things and make recipes on my own.

  6. Chloe B. says

    I loved this! I wasn’t able to find ripe plantains , and I wasn’t willing to wait for them to ripen, so I subbed roasted coins of sweet potato instead, and loved it! The arepas came out restaurant-quality. This is one of those rare vegan recipes that doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, and fully delivers on nutrition, flavor, and texture. Thank you so much for this winner!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Chloe. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  7. Rachael says

    I made these for dinner tonight, and they became my husband’s favorite vegan dish. The issue we had was how messy and overfilled they were with guacamole, salsa, black beans, and plantains. Our plantains were golden and spotted brown, but still ended up being crispy, like fries, and not caramelized, so they were difficult to pile and eat within the sandwich. I felt that it was plenty filling and delicious to just omit the plantains, though my husband loved them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad he loves them! Thanks for sharing! We’d say try cooking the plantains for slightly less time to see if that helps.

  8. Jeanne Mowrey says

    Hi! Do you have a recommendation for how green or yellow the plantains should be for optimal roasting? Thanks!

  9. Christina Reader says

    I’ve only had arepas once in my life so the idea of making them at home was on my to-do list. Oh my gosh! This was so good. I seasoned the beans differently (I’m Latin beans are a staple) and made pico de Gallo but omitted the cabbage. It was beyond good. Thank you for another amazing dish.

  10. Sneha says

    Currently waiting for a plantain to ripen to make these again, they are so good… can replace the cabbage with red onions (raw or pickled) and we’ve used refried black beans in the past too (though the whole black beans are perfect for texture). An absolute favorite.

  11. Sneha says

    An absolute favorite (currently waiting for a plantain to ripen to make this again!). In place of the cabbage, we’ve used raw red onions and pickled red onions which are an easy substitute. We’ve also used crushed/refried black beans which work just as well (though I’d say the whole black beans are best for the texture of the sandwiches).

  12. Lindsay Tramble says

    These were delicious, and surprisingly easy to make – the whole recipe took me about 45 minutes from start to finish! Heads up to anyone looking for Arepa flour – I found my flour at Wal Mart in the Mexican/Spanish cooking section! :)

  13. Elizabeth Tellez says

    I love your web site, I check it weekly for recipe ideas and as Venezuelan I got really exited when I found this arepa recipe here!!

  14. Jacky Surber says

    Thank you Dana for giving me something new to try. I made the recipe as is, minus used my own hot sauce, they came out delicious. Husband raved. The only draw back is they were very messy to eat, all the beans and guacamole oozes out when you take a bite. I recommend cutting them more like a pita and stuffing them.

  15. Jennifer says

    This recipe was delicious! Only change was to use a sunny side up egg instead of black beans. So easy to make and the directions were very clear. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jennifer! We are so glad you enjoyed these. xo

  16. Amy says

    This was my first attempt at making arepas and they came out great!! I’ve been obsessed with arepas since trying them at a place near me (Denver) called Quiero Arepas. These came out fantastic. I added some chili lime jackfruit as well. We love all your recipes, thank you!!!

  17. nichole allen says

    This is my first time having plantains AND I LOVED THEM. Amazing sandwich. My entire family loved it. I used naan bread because i didn’t have time to make the arepa bread.

  18. claudia says

    This recipe was so good! This was my first time making arepas and they turned out really well. All the ingredients pair nicely together and taste delicious when combined!

  19. Pana says

    Loved the recipe! My partner and I made them together for Valentine’s Day! Fun to make and scrumptious to enjoy (mama mia those plantains!) Quick question: How do I keep the arepas from smoking so much? Had the doors open and the fan blowing to manage the smoke!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pana, you could try reducing the heat to medium when cooking in the skillet- though they may not crisp up as nicely. Hope that helps!

  20. Kelly says

    Made these a couple of times now and about to make again for dinner tonight. Added guacamole, red cabbage, hot sauce… so good! Thanks for all the perfect vegan recipes!

  21. Meghan says

    Question for you, Dana….

    Do arepas freeze? I love them but they’re a pain in the ass to make for one and would love to be able to have some on hand…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Meghan! While arepas are best when fresh, you can store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month (cooked or uncooked). Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through. If reheating frozen uncooked arepas, I’d recommend letting them thaw first and cooking them as instructed. Hope this helps!

  22. Lori says

    I love arepas! I’ve had them before, but when I made them, the consistency was always off. The baking was the secret. Mine came out delicious. I loved them!!! Thank you Dana!!

  23. Christine Leccese says

    I have made these twice and they were absolutely delicious both times. The most challenging part is having your plantains and avocados ripe at the same time.

    One question I have is that my arepas take a long time to brown in the pan. the directions say a few minutes on each side, but I’m going like 10 minutes on each side. How high should the flame be?

  24. Sierra says

    My first time making arepas and oh my goodness what have I been missing out on! This recipe is absolutely delicious! My husband who is a big meat eater loved them and no complaints that they were “vegan” I will defiantly be making them in the future, thank you for the awesome recipe!

  25. Jen says

    I love arepas! I made these with you arepa recipe, and they were really fantastic. Instead of baking the plantains, I fried them with your recipe from the black bean and plantain tacos, as I love the spiced up plantains. I also cooked the black beans from scratch in my instant pot following a (slightly modified by me) Venezuelan inspired recipe in the Viva Vegan cookbook, which adds fire-roasted tomatoes, panela sugar, bay leaves, cumin and a sofrito of onion, garlic, and peppers to the beans. Served with a cabbage slaw with a citrus vinaigrette. Delicious!

  26. Cassandra says

    It was soooo good! I will make these again. However, the beans were falling and it became messy. Next time, I will turn the black beans into a paste and spread it – yum! Nevertheless, thanks for the amazing recipe!

  27. Melissa says

    So good!!! First time making Arepa’s and they were amazing! These were a bit messy to eat so next time I will make them more into pockets instead of cutting in half. Thanks for all your amazing recipes!

  28. Mark S says

    I live in a small town on the Oregon Coast and was unable to find the corn flour to make arepas, so I used toasted english muffins. My wife who just returned from a trip said she was impressed anyways, and thought the sandwiches should be served to our next vegan guests. Her one suggestion was to cut the plantains into planks to keep them from sliding out when you bite into the sandwich. Why not?

  29. Cassie Thuvan Tran says

    Wow, and I thought the arepas were unique, but this is seriously taking them to the next level! I would dig into one (or two) of these sandwiches ANY day! Black beans and plantains are already a fabulous combo!

  30. Theresa says

    I had plans to make this for dinner tonight, so I bought all the ingredients for it. However there turned out to be a miscommunication and my bf wasn’t going to be available for dinner. I was super bummed out because I really wanted to try this recipe and because I had already bought all the ingredients!

    But lo and behold, I came home 2 hours later and found my bf mid-arepa frying! Mind you, this is someone who’s never even made guacamole. He decided to surprise me to make up for the miscommunication on his part.

    He actually made everything perfectly! It was soo delicious. The only thing I would do differently is fry the plantains because I feel they’re juicier that way. I also only put a tiny dash of the habanero salsa because it was super spicy.

    Overall great recipe! Thanks for sharing! If my bf could execute this perfectly then it should come out delicious for anyone.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wow! That’s amazing. Boyfriend for the win :D So glad you both enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing your experience, Theresa! And next time if you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating that would be amazing. It really helps us and other readers! xoxo

  31. Hansi says

    What are arepas? First time I am seeing these. And please include recipe for arepas. These sandwiches look so good, and something my daughter would like to make too.
    Thank you

  32. Brittany says

    Oh my, these look so good. I’ve never had arepas, but they’re going on my to-make list just so I can make these sandwiches. You got me with the plantains! :)