Gluten-free Arepas with Plantain

Guys, these gluten-free arepas with plantain are a dream come true! Try to think of a flatbread with a touch of sweetness from the plantain, which is filled with mozzarella.  I tell you, of all the arepas I have eaten, this is by far my favorite. Since I am married to a Colombian, I have had my share of arepas. Just as bread is extremely important in German culture, arepas are a staple in Colombia. Of course I posted the basic arepa recipe, some from the region Boyaca, which are slightly sweet, and arepas with cheese filling, which have become popular after the movie Encanto. In Venezuela arepas are commonly filled and stuffed, I introdcued arepas with chicken filling and today, finally, let me introduce arepas made with mashed plantains.

Plantains are definitely a staple in Colombia. It should not be confused with a banana. A plantain is firmer and is sold while still green. This has to do with the fact that plantains can be used the same way as potatoes when the are in their green stage. Just like potatoes, you can boil, mash, fry, and bake green plantains and use them in many forms and shapes. They are more starchy and neutral in taste. When they slowly turn color and become yellow, they will get sweeter. You can still cook them, which we will do in this recipe. Even in the black stage they can be used, as this is the sweetest they will ever be. One recipe is to stuff ripe plantains with some jam and cheese. If your plantain is still green, I recommend keeping them in a sealed brown bag for them to ripen faster. Funnily enough, I bought three plantains, one was ripe after only a few days, the next took more than a week in the bag, and the last one needed three weeks before it finally was yellow. Go figure, I mean, I thought they would be ripe more or less at the same time, but I was mistaken.

The below recipe can easily be doubled. As it is only the two of us, I felt three arepas are just perfect, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast. From all the arepas I have tasted, this is by far my favorite. I just love the addition of the plantain, it adds such a nice flavor. Funnily enough each and every Colombian I have asked so far if they know “arepas con platano maduro” have said, they don’t. How can this be? Arepas are a staple and plantains are a staple, so why not mix? The below recipe is from a Colombian from Bogotá, I slightly adapted his version (e.g. no additional sugar needed). So please, if you try arepas, I would ask you to give this version a chance, they are soooo delicious!

Credit: Slightly adapted from the Youtube video El de las trufas (in Spanisch)

Gluten-free Arepas with Platnain

Serves: About 3-4, depending on size
Prep Time: 30min Cooking Time: 10min Total Time: 40min

These gluten-free arepas are delicious for breakfast or as a snack.


  • 1 yellow plantain (beware, this is NOT a banana, but I am talking about a plantain, usually can be found in Asian or Latin American stores)
  • 35 grams of butter
  • 45 grams of cornflour (I used pre-cooked from the brand Pan, but any works, e.g. also from Alnatura)
  • 60 grams of mozzarella, 30 grams for the dough and 30 grams for the filling
  • Butter or oil for frying



In this video you can see how I make it. It is important that the plantain is yellow and therefore sweet, otherwise these arepas won't taste nice. Tip: if you want to ripen yours quicker, keep sealed in a brown paper bag. Peel your plantain and try to think of it of a potatoe, you may need a peeler. Cut into slices of about 2cm and cover in a pot with water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 12-15 minutes or until soft. Just like potatoes, you should check with a fork if it's soft. Once done, discard the water.


Place the boiled plantain with the butter in a large bowl and mash as you would potatoes. Let cool for a little, then add the cornflour and 30 grams of mozzarella. Knead until you have a homogenous dough. It should be rather wet and slightly sticky. If it is very dry and crumbly, add a bit of water. From three equal balls (mine were 100 grams each). Press a large hole into each and fill with mozzarella, then seal again and pat into flat circles, how I do that you can see in this video. Fry in a pan with a but of butter or oil on medium-low heat until golden on each side. Serve warm.

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