How to Make Arepas

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Soft and fluffy flatbreads stuffed with cheese or other ingredients and fillings, arepas are an incredibly delicious treat, and if you’re wondering how to make arepas, you’ve come to the right place.

The best part is, they’re naturally gluten free! If you’ve never tasted them, you’ve got to try this easy recipe.

These are more of Venezuelan style version, because they pack in a lot of savory ingredients.

how to make arepas

Colombian arepas are different from Venezuelan arepas in the sense that they have more of sweet fillings and ingredients.

What I Love About the Recipe

This arepas recipe has got to be my favorite! It’s simple, easy and packed with a delicious, savory filling that’s sure to make them a total crowd pleaser.

If you’re eating arepas for the first time, this is the recipe you absolutely need to try your hands at.

Ingredients for the Arepas

To make the arepa dough, here’s what you’ll need.

How to Make Arepas
  • Cornmeal : The main ingredient for arepas, providing a hearty and grainy texture that’s unique to this dish.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the cornmeal and balances the other ingredients.
  • Warm Water: Helps to hydrate the cornmeal, creating a pliable dough for shaping the arepas.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used in the dough for added moisture and in frying for a crispy, golden exterior.
  • Tomato: Adds a fresh, juicy element that complements the hearty arepas.
  • Vegan Cheese: Melts into a creamy, dairy-free addition that adds richness to the filling.
  • Chili Peppers: Brings a kick of heat to the filling, providing a spicy contrast to the mild arepas.

How to Make Arepas?

Once you have all your ingredients ready, here’s what you’ll need to do to make them.

Step 1: Knead the Arepa Dough

Pour salt and cornmeal into a bowl. Add the oil and water. You may need a little less or more water. Knead the dough. The structure of corn dough is not malleable, resembling wet sand.

arepas
arepas

Step 2: Prepare Arepas

Divide the dough into 4 portions. Form into rounds. Pan fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden on both sides.

Step 3: Prep the Filling

Prepare the filling. Slice cheese, tomato in half rings, pepper in thin rings.

3h
fillings for the arepas

Step 4: Slice Pockets in the Arepas

Slice them with a knife so that you get pockets. Place the filling and serve.

Step 5: Add Filling and Serve

Do not make them for future use; they are best not stored. Bon Appetit!

how to make arepas

Tips to Make the Homemade Arepas

Now that you know how to make arepas, are you ready to try out this recipe?

Here are some more tips and tricks to make these homemade arepas.

  • While I’ve used white corn meal to make them, if you are able to get your hands on masa harina, I would highly recommend it.
  • Arepa flour is actually precooked cornmeal. Remember that corn flour is not the same as pre cooked cornmeal.
  • I would recommend letting the dough rest for a few minutes before you proceed to use it to make the arepas. Simply transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to keep it nice and moist.
  • They should be about an inch thick when they’re rolled out.
  • While they aren’t traditionally deep fried, you can actually do that if you really want to. Just remember to stick to medium heat when you’re frying them.
  • You can also make them in a toaster oven if you want to. Just make sure you place each dough ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to keep it from sticking to the surface.
  • I would highly recommend the skillet method to make arepas. All you need to do is use a good quality cast iron skillet, and cook them on medium high heat until they’re golden brown on both sides.
  • Remember to let the cooked arepas rest for a while before you slice it and add the fillings in.
arepas served in a plate

What Other Fillings Can I Try?

While these arepas can taste great when served plain, you can also add lots of different fillings into them based on your taste preference.

Fried plantains, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, ground beef, black beans and shredded beef are all great choices to be used as fillings.

And if you love cheese, you can also make arepas con queso, which are essentially arepas stuffed with cheese, particularly queso blanco.

Of course, you can always use any other shredded cheese or grated cheese of your choice. Mozzarella cheese and white cheese are two other good options.

How to Serve Them?

This easy and delicious snack food needs no extra effort on your part.

You can add in the fillings of your choice and serve warm with some guacamole or hot sauce.

How Do I Store the Leftovers?

If you have any leftovers, I would recommend storing them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and soft.

You can then reheat the arepas in a skillet or in the microwave- whatever you prefer.

how to make arepas
arepas

How To Make Arepas

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil in dough + 1 1/2 tbsp for frying
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 4 slices vegan cheese 
  • 4 slices of chili peppers.

Instructions

Step 1: Knead the Arepa Dough

Pour salt and cornmeal into a bowl. Add the oil and water. You may need a little less or more water. Knead the dough. The structure of corn dough is not malleable, resembling wet sand.

Step 2: Prepare Arepas

Divide the dough into 4 portions. Form into rounds. Pan fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden on both sides.

Step 3: Prep the Filling

Prepare the filling. Slice cheese, tomato in half rings, pepper in thin rings.

Step 4: Slice Pockets in the Arepas

Slice them with a knife so that you get pockets. Place the filling and serve.

Step 5: Add Filling and Serve

Do not make them for future use; they are best not stored. Bon Appetit!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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More Snack Recipes to Try

If you enjoyed this easy recipe, and are inspired to try some more snacks and appetizers, here are a few good options to try out.

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