Sweet Plantain & Steak Arepas with Tzatziki Hot Sauce

Plantain arepas make a sweet home for a Greek-inspired steak filling, seasoned with McCormick® Garlic, Oregano and Lemon & Pepper. A hot sauce mash-up of Greek tzatziki and Columbian hot sauce (Aji Pacante) finishes off this hand-held meal.


Servings: 12 (1 arepa)


  • Sweet Plantain Arepas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cups masarepa, (pre-cooked cornmeal)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sicilian Sea Salt
  • Tzatziki Hot Sauce
  • 1 small habanero chile, (about 1-inch long) stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1 cup seeded and finely chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seedless cucumber
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Steak
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Oregano Leaves
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced


  • 1 For the Arepas, heat oil in large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add plantains; cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove plantains; set aside.
  • 2 Place milk, water and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of the butter in small saucepan. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes or just until butter is melted. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  • 3 Combine masarepa and sea salt in medium bowl. Pour the milk mixture slowly into masarepa mixture, stirring until liquid is fully absorbed. (Mixture may be slightly lumpy.) Add plantains and knead mixture with hands until smooth and plantains are fully incorporated. Divide dough evenly into 12 balls. Flatten each ball into a disk about 4-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Keep a bowl of cold water nearby when preparing the arepa dough. If your hands get too sticky while kneading and forming the arepas, wet them in the cold water and continue working dough.
  • 4 Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter in same cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Cook arepas in batches about 6 minutes per side or until golden brown and slightly crispy, pressing on arepas slightly. Adjust heat to medium-low if arepas are browning too quickly. Add additional butter to skillet between batches if needed. Transfer arepas to a platter; cool slightly. (Arepas can be made up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate in airtight container. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature before reheating in a hot, buttered skillet.)
  • 5 For the Tzatziki Sauce, process habanero, lime juice, vinegar, sugar and sea salt in blender or food processor until smooth. Mix tomatoes, cucumber and green onions in medium bowl. Add habanero mixture; toss to coat. Gently stir in yogurt and cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • 6 For the Steak, brush steak with oil. Sprinkle with lemon & pepper seasoning, garlic powder and oregano. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked to desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips.
  • 7 To assemble arepas, slice each arepa crosswise about 2/3 of the way to make a pocket. Spread Tzatziki Sauce evenly in each arepa. Top with steak strips, onions and additional Tzatziki Sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.


Arepa dough is made with masarepa, a pre-cooked cornmeal. The cornmeal can be found in Latin markets, the Latin aisle of the supermarket or online. Do not use cornmeal or masa harina, which is used for preparing tamales.

Make Ahead Tip : Arepas and Tzatziki Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, reheat arepas in a hot, buttered skillet.


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(per Serving)

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