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Mini Black Bean Arepas

Masa harina is not the same as corn flour. Make sure you buy actual masa harina! The arepas can keep a few days in the fridge. Pop them in the oven at 400 to reheat until crisp on the outside. They've become my new sandwich bread and I try to always have a few on hand.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups spicy black beans recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup grated queso fresco
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the masa harina and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of room temperature water. Stir well to combine, then let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Form about 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball. Flatten it between your palms to form a ¼-inch patty. Carefully pat out any cracks and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or nonstick pan. Add the arepas to the pan (you will need to do this in 2-3 batches). Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes, until the arepa has formed a crust and is quite golden, adjusting the heat if it starts to burn on the bottom. Remove to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining arepas, adding more oil as necessary.
  • Finish the arepas in the oven for 10 minutes. Cool enough to handle, then carefully slice each arepa in half to form two small disks. Top the bottom half with a scant tablespoon of spicy black beans, a small dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of queso fresco. Garnish with cilantro and serve either open faced (for double the yield) or top with the other half.