Once you try this easy homemade Arepas Recipe, you’ll see why they’re a staple in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine!
These delectable little cornbread patties are the perfect snack, or accompaniment to a huge variety of Latin mains.
Stuff them, top them, or enjoy them on their own, any way you eat arepas, they’re sure to please!
Have you ever tried arepas, maybe in a local restaurant? Or maybe you’ve tried the frozen varieties available in supermarkets? They’re awesome, right?
Well you’ll be amazed how easy they are to make at home!
What are Arepas?
An arepa is a patty-like food made from ground maize dough, originating from the northern region of South America in pre-Columbian times.
It is similar to a bread and is often described as a corn cake, tortilla, or sandwich, depending on how it’s served.
Arepas are round, often about the size of a hamburger bun, and they can be grilled, baked, fried, or boiled.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy an arepa is to split it and fill it with a variety of fillings, like a sandwich. Common fillings include cheese, ham, shredded beef, chicken, beans, avocado, and many others. We’ll give you plenty of ideas later in the post!
- Masarepa – Masarepa is a type of precooked cornmeal that’s used in Latin American cuisine, particularly for making arepas and empanadas. We were able to find it in our local supermarket by the cornmeal. It comes in yellow and white varieties. If you can’t find it locally, it’s readily available online.
- Water – Warm
- Milk – Also warm. You can substitute for more water if desired.
- Butter – Melted.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Oil – For frying.
Easy Arepas Recipe
1. Make the dough: Combine corn meal, water, milk, melted butter and salt in a bowl until well mixed, then fold in the cheese. Allow dough to rest for 5-10 minutes.
2. Form the patties: Separate the dough into 7-8 round balls.
Slice the two sides of a small zip top bag with scissors, such that it can be unfolded like a book. One at a time, place the dough balls between the two sides of the bag. Press down until the dough forms flat patties about 1/2 inch thick.
3. Fry the Arepas: Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the skillet, then add the arepas (you will need to work in batches, depending on the size of the skillet). Fry for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Find the Right Consistency: When mixing your dough, aim for a consistency that’s pliable and holds together well, but isn’t too sticky. If the dough is too dry, it will crack; if it’s too wet, it won’t hold its shape. Gradually add more corn meal or water if needed.
- Rest the Dough: Let your dough rest for a few minutes before shaping your arepas. This allows the cornmeal to fully absorb the water.
- Check for Doneness: You’ll know your arepas are done when they have a nice golden color and sound hollow when tapped lightly.
How to Serve Arepas
Arepas are wonderfully versatile and can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. You can stuff or top them with a ton of different Latin meats. One of the most popular in Venezuela is Carne Mechada.
Here are some other filling ideas that, although they are not traditionally eaten with arepas, pair wonderfully with them:
They are also often stuffed with cheese, or can be enjoyed on their own.
Leftovers and Storage
Although arepas are best enjoyed fresh, you can refrigerate them in a zip top bag for 3-4 day, or freeze them for up to a month. Be sure to let them cool completely before placing in the bag.
Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
These homemade arepas are going to revolutionize your Latin nights. Stock up on masarepa, because these cornbread patties are so good, and so easy, that you’ll be making them all the time!
Make sure to save or pin this recipe so you always know where to find it. And don’t forget to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Arepas, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 cups pre-cooked corn meal (masarepa)
- 1.5 cups water, warm
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 4oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- oil, for frying
- Combine corn meal, water, milk, melted butter and salt in a bowl until well mixed, then fold in the cheese. Allow dough to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Separate the dough into 7-8 round balls.
- Slice the two sides of a small zip top bag with scissors, such that it can be unfolded like a book.
- One at a time, place the dough balls between the two sides of the bag. Press down until the dough forms flat patties about 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the skillet, then add the arepas (you will need to work in batches, depending on the size of the skillet). Fry for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 arepa
Amount Per Serving Calories 197Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 15mgSodium 426mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 7g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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