Arepas Topped with Chicken and Roasted Padron Peppers and Avocado and Padron Salsa

chicken arepas huaraches

I was initially going to call these football-shaped arepas, but it’s kinda a touchy subject after the big loss on Sunday. So, lets just call these what they really are – arepas topped with chicken and roasted padron peppers.

In Venezuela and Colombia arepas are corn cakes that are round in shape, spilt open, and then stuffed, similar to a Mexican gordita. I decided to make these thinner and oval shaped similar to a Mexican huarache with the filling as a topping. This is a simple meal to whip up when you have some leftover chicken.

arepas huaraches

The dough for these arepas are soft and moist made with masa harina, milk, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Masarepa is commonly used for arepas, but it is not readily available so I used masa harina instead.

The filling I made is simple and flavorful – shredded rotisserie chicken sautéed with roasted padron peppers, tomatoes, and onions. I also made a creamy salsa made with avocado and padron peppers as the base for the arepas.

padron peppers

Padron peppers are the size of jalapeños, but look similar to Anaheim peppers. They originate in Spain and are pretty mild, but I did eat a couple that packed a lot of punch for being so small. These peppers taste great on their own as a side dish, roasted and tossed in butter with a splash of soy sauce, and course salt. I will share how to make chiles toreados in a future post.

chicken arepas and padron peppers

For this recipe I roasted the peppers for the filling and salsa adding a great spice to this dish without being overly fiery. If you do not have access to padron peppers substitute with jalapeño peppers. Padron peppers are prevalent in the summer months and can be found in gourmet grocery stores, farmers markets, or order them at Melissa’s Produce.

Arepas Topped with Chicken and Roasted Padron Peppers and Avocado and Padron Salsa


Avocado and Padron Salsa:
3 padron peppers, stemmed
1 garlic clove
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
¼ cup shredded cheese (recommend Mexican four cheese)

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
¼ cup white onion, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 roasted pardon peppers, chopped
1 cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded
green onions, sliced


Avocado and Padron Salsa:
Preheat oven to broil. Roast the padron peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet until blackened all over, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other sides for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Let peppers cool and then place in a blender with garlic, onion, avocados, and salt. Blend until creamy.

In a large mixing bowl add milk, salt, and cream cheese to a mixing bowl and whisk until creamy.

Add sugar, masa harina, and cheese. Hand mix well until the masa harina absorbs most of the liquid.

Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a cigar shape, about 5 inches long. Place between two sheets of plastic and flatten gently with tortilla press or under heavy skillet until 1/4-inch thick. Peel off the plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat an ungreased comal (griddle) on medium-high heat. Cook arepas on the comal for about 2 to 4 minutes on each side until toasted. Repeat with the remaining arepas.

Roasted Chicken and Padron Filling:
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add shredded chicken and onion and sauté until onions are tender. Add tomatoes and pardon peppers and combine.

Top arepas with salsa, chicken filling, shredded cheese, and green onions.

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Written by Yvette / Photos by Yvette

Gracias Melissa’s Produce for this lovely gift. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions shared about this product are my own.

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  1. This is terrible … reading food blogs just before dinner time! Love the idea of trying to make some of these arepas, which I’d actually never heard of before. It never ceases to amaze me how many beautiful varieties of bready things there are to discover around the world. These seem very easy – bonus!

  2. I wouldn’t have guessed that cream cheese was in the dough with the masa harina– the times I’ve used cream cheese in baking the doughs have been supple and easy to work with. I hope the same is true with this arepa dough and I hope to give them a try.

  3. I should eat arepas! These look amazing!

  4. We have to make some arepas now that I’m here. I have to try these, they look yummy

  5. Looks delicious Yvette! I can’t even say the word, I’m calling it “that game played with an oval ball”.

  6. So glad I have found these wonderful recipes… I lived in Mexico and New Mexico years ago and now live in South Africa, where Mexican food is hard to find. We have corn meal here but the flour is difficult to source. Regards Bonnie.

  7. I love that you tried to make arepas. However when you use mexican flour is no the same. I am Venezuela and we eat arepas almost everyday. The right flour to make arepas is Harina PAN (Preecooked corn meal flavour) or you can use Colobian Masarepa.

    If you use mexican flour will be taste more like a Salvodorena Puposa.

    I recommend to every one to try Arepas in her original way and making the dough with Harina PAN.

    Without Venezuelan Harina Pan or Colombian MASAHARINA is no an Arepa!!

    Here is a link to Venezuelan Arepas

  8. I make correction to my previous post:
    Harina PAN is pre-cooked corn meal flour. You can make arepas with white corn or yellow corn flour.

    We also use the Harina pana for make hallacas (Venezuelan Tamales) and Bollitos (Venezuelan dumpling) plain or filled with ground beer and covered in tomato sauce .

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