Bring a taste of authentic Venezuelan cuisine into your home with these delicious queso and pepper arepas served with kale salad and chumichurri sauce!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Keep reading to find out how you can get an AWESOME discount on your first order!
queso and pepper arepas

You never forget your first arepa.

I first encountered these absolutely delectable corn cake sliders in college when my roommate and I vowed to spend our senior year eating our way around the world (and through Boston), landing us in a Venezuelan restaurant where we ordered almost every variety on the menu and proceeded to eat ourselves stuffed. I’ve since sought out these little lovelies every chance I get, including dragging the.boy across Manhattan on his birthday a few years ago just so that I could get my fix. Hey, a girl has needs.


What’s so special about these cornbread sandwiches, you may ask? Um, everything.

They’re basically Venezuelan street food and consist of thick fried and baked savory corn cakes that are simultaneously crispy on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside, stuffed with everything that is good in this world. In this case, fried cheese and peppers, but I’ve also had them with plantains, black beans, and avocado. There is no “wrong” filling…just a whole lot of right.

I’ve hesitated at making them in my own kitchen for fear that I couldn’t do them justice, but with a little nudge from Blue Apron, I can now proudly say I’ve made my first, but not my last. In under 40 minutes.

Now, that’s a feat.


Ever since I re-started med school, Blue Apron has been pulling those takeout menus out of my hands and shoving me back towards the kitchen, forcing me to remember everything I love about preparing food from scratch. Every week, they send all of the farm-fresh ingredients I need to make three fabulous meals, each of which serves 2 people (though there is also a family plan available, which sends ingredients for 2 four-person meals). The ingredients are all in the perfect portions, so not only do I not have to make a trip to the grocery store, but I also don’t let anything go to waste. I was also pretty excited to learn that Blue Apron is now offering a recycling program! Just send them all of the packaging for free via USPS and they will take care of it for you.

New dishes are added to the Blue Apron menu every week, so there is no getting bored or making the same five ingredient stir fry week after week, which I could certainly see myself doing out of desperation if it weren’t for them. Each meal is between 500-700 calories and can be prepared in 40 minutes or less, making them perfect for weeknight preparation. There are so many meals I’m excited to try, including next week’s Delicata Squash Red Curry and the following week’s Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos.

But for now, I’m still reveling in the tastiness of these arepas, along with the massaged kale salad that was prepared alongside them. The arepas satisfied all of my comfort food cravings, while the kale salad added the perfect touch of nutrition and healthfulness to the meal.


Want to give Blue Apron a try for yourself? They are providing a special discount for the first 20 readers to get two free meals off their first Blue Apron order! Just use this link to order, and enjoy!

Queso and Pepper Arepas with Kale Salad and Chimichurri
Bring a taste of authentic Venezuelan cuisine into your home with these delicious queso and pepper arepas served with kale salad and chumichurri sauce!
Yield: 3 servings
  • 1 lime, zested and quartered
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 oz queso para freir
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups masarepa
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  1. Prepare the ingredients: Heat oven to 400F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the stems from the kale. Thinly slice the kale leaves. Set aside. Remove and discard the stems, ribs, and seeds of the bell pepper and poblano pepper; cut into large pieces. Slice the queso into 6 planks. Peel and mince the garlic; use a zester to turn it into a paste. Roughly chop the almonds. Pit, peel, and thinly slice the avocado top with the juice of 2 lime wedges. Mince the parsley and cilantro leaves and stems; place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Make the dough and form the arepas: In a large bowl, combine the masarepa, lime zest, 1½ cups of lukewarm water, and 1 tsp of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper; stir to form a stiff dough. Transfer to to a clean, dry work surface. Using your hands, knead the dough for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Form into 6 equal-sized balls. Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand to create ½-inch thick discs.
  3. Brown and bake the arepas: In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the arepas. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven.
  4. Cook the peppers and queso: Meanwhile, wipe out the pan used to brown the arepas. Add 2 tsp of olive oil. Heat on medium-high until hot. Add the peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the queso. Cook 1-3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Make the dressing and salad: While the arepas bake, in a bowl combine the kale, mayonnaise, half the garlic paste, the juice of the remaining lime wedges, and a drizzle of olive oil. Massage to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the avocado and almonds.
  6. Make the chimichurri and plate: In a bowl, combine the dressed parsley and cilantro, vinegar, remaining garlic paste, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Halve the baked arepas horizontally. Spread a thin layer of the chimichurri onto the cut sides. Divide the cooked peppers and queso between the arepa bottoms. Top with a spoonful of chimichurri and the arepa tops. Serve with the salad and any remaining chimichurri on the side.
Recipe from Blue Apron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ of recipe



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38 Responses to Queso and Pepper Arepas with Kale Salad and Chimichurri

  1. Lynn says:

    I’ve never had an arepa – these look awesome.

  2. debbie says:

    The name of the dish intrigued me. Very different. Good different. Absolutely! This looks wonderful….so many of your recipes are exactly my kind of food!

  3. It’s healthy, delicious and nutritious..I love EVERYTHING about this sandwich.

  4. I’ve never had arepas, but they sound and look delicious! Can’t wait to try them soon 🙂

  5. Love this authentic Venezuelan dish. Love how healthy, delicious and flavorful this is! Love the name of the dish. 🙂

  6. I actually tried my first arepas a couple of months ago at a local food market and I loved it. I had never even heard of them before that. I am definitely going to have to try to make them myself.

  7. Heather says:

    I’ve never had an arepa before, but they sound (and look) delicious!

  8. Julia says:

    I’ve never had an arepa ::gasp!:: This whole idea of sandwiching tasty things between fluffy cornbread is throwing my mind-body for a real loopty loop. I want all the arepas ALLOFTHEM!

  9. Oh my. I just discovered arepa (am I late to the party?!) and am a little obsessed. This looks like such a great, hearty. healthy weeknight meal. Maybe I should look into Blue Apron!

  10. Now this is the kind of sandwich I could hop on board with!

  11. cheri says:

    Never heard of arepas before but I know that I would love this, looks delicious!

  12. asha Shiv says:

    Oh, thats a fabulous dish. Love everything about it. Cornbread is one of my favorite and this one is so much more yummier.

  13. I’ve never had arepas, but after seeing yours, I’m thinking that needs to change! 🙂

  14. I’ve never had arepas but would definitely try them after seeing these! Venezuelan food sounds delicious!! I have a big bunch of kale in the fridge that I was JUST trying to figure out what to do with and this sounds like a great way to use it up!

  15. Oh this looks so good, I have never tried Venezuelan cuisine before but this looks pretty special. I love kale and I have heaps growing at the moment so I will have to try the dish.
    Thanks for sharing
    Food Wine Fit 40

  16. Arepas are incredible and this service sounds like a lifesaver! I want both!

  17. What a terrific sandwich! I’ve never had an arepa before.

  18. Trisha says:

    Arepas have a special place in my heart because I had them for the first time with my dad when he was in the hospital. I’ve enjoyed them many times since because they’re SO good–like a cornbread pancake and pita pocket rolled into one delicious whole. I love the idea of the cheese and red pepper filling!

  19. Christina says:

    Love LOVE LOVE Arepas! We have a little place here in MN that has delish arepas! yum yum yum.

  20. Eating around the world? Your college experience was so much better than mine! And now I need an Arepa!

  21. Pam says:

    I’ve never had an arepa before but I am thinking I would LOVE them. They look so tasty Joanne.

  22. Christine says:

    I’ve never heard of or tasted an arepa but yours look delicious!

  23. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve never had any Venezuelan street food but my husband’s parents did live in Caracas for five years. They just never told me about the street food! The cornbread little pockets do look very good xx

  24. So it turns out there is a whole cuisine I don’t know about! I am clearly missing out and need to get some Venezuelan flavours happening in my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Beth says:

    You did such a great job of selling Blue Apron, I actually tried signing up! Alas, they don’t ship to Canada….

  26. Susan says:

    Even those I’ve never had arepas I can already tell I’d love them! What great flavors!

  27. I am sad to say I’ve never had arepas! I need to right that wrong, lol. They sound delicious, especially with that kale salad!

  28. P says:

    I’ve always wanted to try a vegetarian arepa! They look so cute and I love their golden color 🙂

  29. Hi, Joanne. I love it when bloggers introduce me to things I’ve not come across before. And I’m a fan of anything ‘freshly baked bread-y’ like this – especially if it’s street food. Street food rules!
    LOVE the fried cheese/pepper combo too. I’d like to try this using halloumi 🙂

  30. Jessie says:

    I’ve never heard of arepa before, but I can tell I’d love it! (Stuffed with goodness? I’m there!) This recipe looks amazing, and the massaged kale salad on the side is the perfect accompaniment. I’m all for eating your way around the world! 😉

  31. Tina says:

    You should be proud, these look complicated. As always your presentations are gorgeous! I don’t know how you do it with such a busy lifestyle. Superwoman!!

  32. Kim says:

    I’m excited to see that you’re trying Blue Apron and liking it. I tried Hello Fresh the past two weeks and get really excited when the box comes. It’s pretty fun to open up all those fresh ingredients delivered right to your door. It’s so much better than eating something frozen or processed. These looks delicious and fun to prepare!

  33. Thinking about my college eating experience.. it was basically pasta..and more pasta. I need this in my life!

  34. mjskit says:

    What a delicious meal! I’ve never had arepas, but that’s going to change!

  35. Kate says:

    I was just sitting here thinking that maybe I should throw together some chimichurri sauce!

  36. Johanna GGG says:

    I’ve made arepas and love them – which is just as well I can make them as finding them in melbourne is not easy. But I have never had them as a slider and am now thinking I must try them this way – looks delicious

  37. I am straight up obsessed with arepas!!! So happy to see them on here. I love the idea of stuffing them with peppers. I first had them at Orinoco in Boston–is that where you went, too? 🙂

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