Trader Joe’s Corn & Cheese Arepas Review

Trader Joe's Corn & Cheese Arepas

Sometimes, we feel like we’ve reviewed every last thing there is to review at Trader Joe’s. And then we stumble over something like the Trader Joe’s Corn & Cheese Arepas and we realize that a whole universe of flavor still awaits us.

Of course, it’s not just the Freezer Meal Frenzy crew who’s getting worked up about these. These corn-flour treats are popular in Colombia and Venezuela, and it seems that people across the United States are now going absolutely bonkers for this new Trader Joe’s version. The back of the box says to “Think of them as sweeter, gluten free grilled cheese sandwiches…” Sounds amazing, right?

The preparation process takes a bit of time. You’ve got to thaw these at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then either fry them in a pan or bake them in the oven. We decided to go with the oven for these, since we were a little worried about them not cooking consistently (our stovetop can be finnicky, and the difference between “too hot” and “not hot enough” is often a hair-width of a turn of the dial). If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the back of the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.

Trader Joe's Corn & Cheese Arepas

These are really not complicated at all — they’re just a bunch of mozzarella cheese smashed between two corn-based patties. But the combination works really well. These end up being super craveable; we can see why people have been going wild for them.

Because they’re made primarily from corn, the patties have a bit of sweetness to them. It doesn’t hit immediately, but the sweetness tends to start off mild and then swell as your chewing. And then there’s the mozzarella cheese, which adds a gooeyness that really brings the whole thing together.

If we have one teeny complaint, it’s that the griddle cakes tend to be just a little mushy in the center, right where they meet the cheese. It’s not a huge problem, and these are the exact right amount of crispy, but we did find the dead center of each piece to be a little bit less enjoyable to eat than the rest of the arepa. It’s not even super noticeable, but it was just noticeable enough that we thought it was worth pointing out.

You might want to have a stack of napkins on hand, or even eat these with a fork, because they do have an oily feel to them. When you pick up a piece, your fingers will end up a bit oily.

If you stick with just one of these, you’re looking at 360 calories and 620 mg of sodium. All things considered, that’s really not bad. Of course, you’re going to be tempted to eat both of them, and if you give into that pressure, you’re going to end up eating 720 calories and 1,240 mg of sodium. Be careful.

There’s a reason the Trader Joe’s Corn & Cheese Arepas are so popular right now: because they’re amazing. The corn-based sweetness and mozzarella stretchiness work together to create an incredible snack food. After our first bite, we were already fans.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for these frozen arepas, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Corn & Cheese Arepas
Trader Joe's Corn & Cheese Arepas