recipes for arepas

Homemade Arepas Recipe

5/5 (1)
55 mins
Vadim Rachok
11.12.2023
06.04.2024
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Recipe Ingredients Video Nutrition
9 / 10
Health score
Dairy FreeEgg free dishGluten free dishLow FatNut Free DishPaleo DishVegan DishVegetarian Dish

Homemade arepas are a delicious treat known for their crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior. They have a subtle sweet corn flavor. You can enjoy arepas on their own, stuffed, or topped with a variety of fillings such as cheese, meat, or vegetables. Arepas are a perfect dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Arepas are a culinary delight that brings the heartwarming flavors of South America to your home kitchen. The combination of crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior creates a perfect canvas for a variety of delicious fillings. Whether you choose to enjoy them on their own or stuffed with your favorite ingredients, arepas offer a comforting and versatile dining experience that transcends breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Making arepas at home is easy. The entire preparation process takes less than an hour. Follow step-by-step instructions to make this dish right and without any complications. As a result, you will get a delicious dish that offers a comforting taste of homemade goodness.

What are Arepas? 

Arepas are a traditional food originating from South America, notably Colombia and Venezuela. These delightful treats are made from pre-cooked cornmeal. The dough is formed into small patties or discs and cooked on a griddle, skillet, or baked until they develop a crispy outer layer while remaining soft and doughy inside. Arepas can vary in size, thickness, and texture, and they’re known for their versatility. The recipe below will help you make the best arepas with tomato and cheese filling. Well, follow arepas recipe and make a perfect breakfast or lunch. 

Ingredients for Arepas?

  • Corn Flour: Corn flour is the most important ingredient in arepas, as it provides the base for the dough. It gives them their distinctive corn flavor and dense, crumbly texture.
  • Water: Water is essential to binding the corn flour into a dough. It hydrates the flour, creating a smooth dough that shapes and cooks.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the dough and gives the arepas a balanced flavor.
  • Fillings:
  • Dill and parsley: These herbs add freshness and aromatic flavor to the filling, enhancing the overall flavor of the arepas.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds spice and depth of flavor to the filling, complementing the other ingredients.
  • Mozzarella (hard): Mozzarella adds creaminess and a mild, tangy flavor to the filling, contrasting deliciously with the corn-based dough.
  • Tomato: Balancing the richness of the cheese, tomatoes add juiciness, sweetness, and tang to the filling.
  • Salt and Pepper: These seasonings help keep the filling well-seasoned and delicious by enhancing the flavors of the filling.

How to Make Arepas?

Arepas Recipe Step By Step 1-4

Arepas Recipe Step By Step 5-8

Arepas Recipe Step By Step 9-10

  1. First, put the corn flour in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the water and salt until the salt melts. 
  2. Then, gradually add the salt solution to the flour and knead with your hands. The dough should be soft. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Prepare the filling: Grate the mozzarella, then grate the garlic. 
  4. Chop the herbs and add to the cheese and garlic, season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Separately, cut the tomatoes into slices. 
  6. Then, form the dough into balls of 1,4-1,7 ounces (40-50 g) on average, but the shape can be arbitrary (ideally if the shape matches the shape of the tomato).
  7. Heat a frying pan (preferably Teflon) on the stove. Add the sunflower oil and fry the arepas for 1.5-2 minutes on each side.
  8. Place them on napkins to remove excess fat.
  9. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and top with the tomato and cheese filling. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake the arepas for 3-4 minutes (until the cheese melts). 

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • Mozzarella can be replaced with your favorite cheese. It can be sulguni or cheddar. 
  • For a more interesting taste, you can add smoked paprika and coriander.

Make-Ahead Suggestions

Let me tell you a fantastic tip that allows you to make arepas much easier to prepare: Make and shape the arepas, then place them between pieces of parchment paper and wrap them tightly. These pre-formed arepas can be refrigerated and kept for several days. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply heat the skillet and cook the arepas according to directions, increasing the cooking time slightly to ensure they’re heated through. It’s a convenient way to have freshly cooked arepas for breakfast. You don’t have to worry about making them each time!

Serving Arepas

You can serve your cornbread cakes as a simple snack, a supporting player in any meal, or even as the star of the show. They’re great for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Here are a few ideas for serving them.

  • Snack. Serve them with butter or cream and enjoy them on their own.
  • Top Them. Make a base and top with your choice of meat, such as shredded pork, chicken, or cooked chorizo, along with shredded or crumbled cheese, guacamole, chopped tomatoes or other vegetables, and other toppings.
  • Arepas con queso. For this famous version, thicker arepas can be filled with cheese, such as mozzarella, cream cheese, or goat cheese.
  • Other fillings. You can also try stuffing them with meats or combined meats and cheeses. Try ground or shredded beef, pork, ham, chicken, seafood, black beans, or veggies.
  • Breakfast. Try arepas in place of your morning toast. They’re great on their own with a little butter or topped with fried eggs.
  • On the side. Try them with grilled meat, thick soups or stews, or other dishes.
  • Sweets. Serve as a sweet dessert with honey or brown sugar.

Best Tips

  1. I recommend you to form the dough into balls of 40-50 grams on average. However, you can guess the size of the scoop if you prefer. Arepas can be any size. However, larger ones will take longer to cook.
  2. A helpful trick is to roll the flattened disk on a flat surface until the edges are even if you want a cleaner edge on your arepas.
  3. Another way to shape your arepas is to flatten them, similar to a corn tortilla. Cut open a plastic bag, place the ball of dough inside, and then use a flat-bottomed plate to press down evenly from the center of the arepa until the arepa is flattened to the thickness you want. This method produces less rustic, uniformly thickened, and shaped arepas. It’s also a faster way to make them.

An excellent dish that is ideal as the carbohydrate component of your breakfast, snack in the first half of the day, or lunch. Cornmeal does not contain gluten, so it's a great option for people with celiac disease. In addition, cornmeal contains quality carbohydrates that will replenish energy reserves, making Arepas suitable for consumption both before a workout (about an hour to an hour and a half before) and immediately after. This type of carbohydrate can help accelerate muscle growth.

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
9 / 10
Homemade Arepas Recipe
5/5 (1)
Author:Vadim Rachok
Homemade arepas with 3 ingredients: tasty pan-fried corn cake
recipes for arepas
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
3
The ingredients you need:
8 ounces (230 g) corn flour
8,8 ounces (250 g) water
0,3 ounces (3 g) salt
1 bunch dill and parsley
1 clove garlic
5,3 ounces (150 g) mozzarella hard
1 pc tomato
salt
pepper
oil for frying
Let’s start !
1

Put the corn flour in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the water and salt until the salt melts.

2

Gradually add the salt solution to the flour and knead with your hands. The dough should be soft. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes. 

3

Prepare the filling: Grate the mozzarella, then grate the garlic. 

4

Chop the herbs and add to the cheese and garlic, season with salt and pepper. 

5

Separately, cut the tomatoes into slices. 

6

Form the dough into balls of 1,4-1,7 ounces (40-50 g) on average, but the shape can be arbitrary (ideally if the shape matches the shape of the tomato).

7

Heat a frying pan (preferably Teflon) on the stove. Add the sunflower oil and start to fry our arepas for 1.5-2 minutes on each side.

8

Place them on napkins to remove excess fat.

9

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and top with the tomato and cheese filling. 

10

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake the arepas for 3-4 minutes (until the cheese melts).

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 3 Calories: 1300
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g1%
Saturated Fat 0g1%
Sodium 293mg13%
Total Carbohydrate 20g7%
Dietary Fiber 1g2%
Protein 2g 
Calcium 2mg0%
Potassium 1mg0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

Achieving the ideal texture for your arepas is crucial for the perfect bite. When forming the dough into patties, ensure they are evenly thick to guarantee a uniform cooking process. This will result in a delightful contrast between the crispy crust and the tender interior. Additionally, experiment with different fillings to discover your favorite flavor combinations – from classic cheese and meats to creative veggie options, the possibilities are endless!

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
Pro tip from chef
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