Kale, Onion and Black Bean Arepas

Kale, Onion and Black Bean Arepas | Food & Nutrition Magazine | Volume 9, Issue 1
Photography by Kate Cauffiel | Food styling by Christina Zerkis | Prop styling by Lindsey Parker

A favorite in Venezuela, an arepa is gluten-free corn bread that is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. This vegetarian version is filled with beans and vegetables.

SERVING SIZE: 1 arepa with ⅓ cup filling (71 grams)
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal flour
  • 3 tablespoons (37 milliliters) vegetable oil, divided
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 1 cup drained canned black beans
  • 3 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta or gorgonzola cheese


  1. Pour flour into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add 2½ cups warm water.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir until no dry lumps remain. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Knead dough a few times in bowl, then divide into 8 pieces.
  4. On a clean surface, roll each piece into a ball, then gently flatten to about ½-inch thick.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
  6. Add 4 pieces of dough, cover and cook until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  7. Uncover, flip and cook uncovered 6 to 8 minutes, until other side is golden brown.
  8. Transfer arepas to a wire rack.
  9. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining dough.
  10. Cut cooked arepas in half.
  11. To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  12. Add onions and cook about 3 minutes or until translucent.
  13. Add black beans and kale and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until kale is tender.
  14. Season with garlic powder and black pepper and toss to ensure seasonings are evenly distributed.
  15. Stuff each arepa with ⅓ cup filling and top with 1 teaspoon cheese.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 204 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 2mg cholesterol, 539mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 1g sugar, 5g protein, 196mg potassium, 279mg phosphorus

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Andrea Mathis
Andrea Mathis, MA, RDN, LD, is an Alabama-based dietitian, mom and owner of Beautiful Eats & Things. Check out her website for easy, delicious recipes, health & wellness info, and DIY/lifestyle hacks! You can also connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.