Delicious Arepas Recipe: How to Make Them at Home

Welcome, dear reader, to an exquisite journey of culinary flavors straight from the heart of South America. Today, I invite you to indulge in a mouth-watering dish that will take your taste buds on a trip to Venezuela and Colombia. This dish carries the name of Arepas, one of the most traditional foods in those countries.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I have come to appreciate the richness and diversity of Latin American dishes. And I assure you that Arepas are undoubtedly one of the best creations that have been gifted to the world.

These delightful corn cakes are made with just three ingredients – cornmeal, salt, and water – yet they embody a mix of fluffy texture and crispy outer layer that will leave you craving more. As versatile as they are delicious, Arepas can be made in different sizes, styles, and fillings; they make for a perfect vegetarian breakfast or snack alternative but can also be stuffed with chicken, pork or beef.

So without further ado, let’s dive into this simple yet flavorful recipe that transports us to different cultural landscapes with just one bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Are you looking for a delicious, easy-to-make dish that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Look no further than this amazing arepas recipe!

With just three simple ingredients, you can make fluffy and delicious arepas at home. All you need is white cornmeal, water, and salt.

But this recipe isn’t just easy to make; it’s also incredibly versatile. You can stuff these tasty little rounds with anything from cheddar cheese to carnitas sweet corn. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat-eater, this recipe has something for everyone. And if you’re looking for something healthy and filling, the cornmeal used in this recipe is a great source of fiber and protein.

So what are you waiting for? Give this irresistible arepas recipe a try today!

Ingredient List

 A crispy golden exterior with a fluffy interior that will make your taste buds dance.
A crispy golden exterior with a fluffy interior that will make your taste buds dance.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

This arepas recipe requires 3 ingredients, and since prep work is minimal, it makes for the perfect breakfast or snack option. So, what do you need to make these delicious Venezuelan treats?

  • 2 cups of pre-cooked white cornmeal
  • 2 ½ cups of warm water + extra as needed
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

That’s it! These are just the basic ingredients for traditional arepas. Of course, feel free to add extra ingredients depending on your preferences. Let’s take a closer look at each ingredient.

Pre-cooked White Cornmeal

One of the most important ingredients is pre-cooked white cornmeal, also known as precooked corn flour or harina precocida in Spanish. This special type of cornmeal has been pre-cooked before being dry-ground into a fine flour, resulting in an effortlessly fluffy texture.

Warm Water

Be sure to use warm water when making arepas. This will help activate the gluten in the cornmeal and create an elastic dough that will hold its shape as it cooks.


Finally, salt. Just a little goes a long way to bring out the natural flavors of the cornmeal and add a savory touch to these tasty treats.

The Recipe How-To

 Fragrant Colombian-style stuffed arepas that are perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
Fragrant Colombian-style stuffed arepas that are perfect for breakfast or as a snack.

After gathering all the ingredients (recipe ingredients: 2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal , 2 ½ cups warm water, 2 teaspoons kosher salt), it’s time to start preparing these delicious Venezuelan arepas!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pre-cooked white cornmeal and kosher salt.

  3. Gradually add warm water to the mixture and knead with your hands until you get a soft, but not sticky dough.

  4. Set the dough aside for 5 minutes to rest.

  5. Divide the dough into about 8 equally sized balls.

  6. Gently flatten each ball into a pancake shape that is around ½-inch thick.

  7. Using a cup or cookie cutter, cut circles approximately 3-4 inches in diameter.

  8. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush (use vegetable oil) its surface lightly.

  9. Place the arepas on the heated pan, cooking them for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until they are crispy and golden brown on both sides.

  10. Once you have cooked them in the pan, transfer the arepas to a baking tray and bake them in the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes or until they are fully cooked on the inside.

  11. Once out of the oven, allow your arepas to cool for some time before cutting them open and filling them up as desired.

Your delicious homemade arepas are now ready to eat! Enjoy them right away with your favorite filling options such as cheese, chicken, beef (carnitas sweet or trinidad beef), pork or vegetarian options like sweet corn (cheddar cheese stuffed mini sweet corn).

Substitutions and Variations

 Enjoy the street food experience with these homemade cheese arepas, made with fresh white cheese and flour.
Enjoy the street food experience with these homemade cheese arepas, made with fresh white cheese and flour.

If you want to tweak this arepas recipe and experiment with different flavors, there are endless possibilities. Here are some substitutes and variations that you may consider trying out:

– Cheese: Instead of mozzarella, you can use cheddar cheese or any other type of cheese that has a good melting point.

– Water: You can replace water with milk or a mixture of milk and water to make the arepas softer and creamier.

– Salt: Feel free to add your preferred herbs and spices to the dough for extra flavor.

– Pre-cooked White Cornmeal: If you can’t find pre-cooked cornmeal, regular yellow cornmeal is a good substitute. You’ll need to cook it first before proceeding with the recipe.

– Sweet corn: Add some diced fresh or frozen sweet corn to the dough for a touch of sweetness and texture.

– Stuffed Arepas: To make cheese-stuffed arepas, simply sandwich a piece of your favorite cheese (such as cheddar or mozzarella) between two small rounds of dough before grilling or baking them.

– Mini Arepas: Turn this recipe into bite-sized appetizers by shaping the dough into small balls and flattening them into mini discs. Serve them with salsa or guacamole for a festive party treat.

– Meat Filling: Arepas go really well with shredded chicken, beef, pork or carnitas. Simply cook your choice of meat in advance and use it as a filling for the arepas.

Whether you choose to stick to the traditional recipe or add some personal twists, making arepas is a fun and delicious way to discover the flavors of Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine. Experiment with different ingredients, fillings, and cooking methods until you find your perfect combination.

Serving and Pairing

 A savory and crunchy twist on a classic arepa with crispy bacon and a creamy, buttery avocado.
A savory and crunchy twist on a classic arepa with crispy bacon and a creamy, buttery avocado.

When it comes to serving and pairing these delicious arepas, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy them. These versatile treats can be served as a main course, as a side dish, or even as a snack any time of the day.

For those who fancy a vegetarian option, these arepas can be served plain or stuffed with cheese, sweet corn, or any other filling of your choice. These stuffed arepas look so tempting and can be made even more tempting when served with a colorful salad full of veggies such as leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and crispy cucumbers. They also pair well with guacamole or pico de gallo for an added touch of flavor.

If you prefer meaty dishes, try topping these soft and fluffy arepas with some chicken carnitas or cooked beef steak. You can also add some shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese for more texture and richness. The result is a hearty and flavorful dish that will satisfy your cravings.

When it comes to beverages that complement this traditional Venezuelan and Colombian food, I suggest serving it with fresh juices like mango or passionfruit for breakfast, and chilled beer or margaritas for lunch or dinner meals. White wine can be a good alternative for those who like mild drinks.

Whatever filling you decide on and however you choose to serve them; baked or fried, these arepas will make an excellent addition to any mealtime spread.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Traditional Venezuelan-style corn cakes, hot off the griddle, ready to be filled with your favorite ingredients.
Traditional Venezuelan-style corn cakes, hot off the griddle, ready to be filled with your favorite ingredients.

As with any dish, making it ahead of time can be a true time saver. Fortunately, the same is true for arepas. In fact, you can store pre-cooked arepas for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This way, you can have them ready to go for your next breakfast or lunch.

To reheat your stored arepas, preheat your oven to 350°F and spread a light layer of vegetable oil over each side of your pre-cooked arepa. Then place them in the oven and bake until they’re warmed through and toasted at the edges.

If you find yourself craving some cheese-stuffed arepas but want them fast – you’re in luck! You can make these ahead of time as well. After cooking as instructed, simply place these delightful treats in an airtight container and freeze them.

When you’re ready to eat, remove them from the freezer and let them come to room temperature for one hour before heating in the microwave or oven.

You’ll be impressed by how easy and quick it is to make these scrumptious Venezuelan arepas. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can never go wrong with satisfying your hunger with a delicious cheesy stuffed arepa!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Arepas stuffed to the brim with chorizo and mozzarella cheese for a flavorful and filling meal.
Arepas stuffed to the brim with chorizo and mozzarella cheese for a flavorful and filling meal.

Now that you know how to make the perfect arepas, let me share with you some tips to ensure your results are always impeccable.

One important tip is to use pre-cooked cornmeal or flour. Always make sure the label says “precooked” or “pre-cooked white cornmeal.” Using precooked cornmeal will help your arepas stay moist and fluffy inside while developing a crispy outer layer when cooked.

Another important tip is to use the right amount of water. Too much water will result in a dough that doesn’t hold shape, while too little water will result in crumbly arepas. Follow the recipe’s instructions for adding water, and adjust accordingly based on your desired texture.

When mixing the dough, make sure it feels smooth and not grainy. Check for consistency by squeezing some dough between your palm and fingers; if it cracks or crumbles, add a bit more water.

It’s crucial to let the dough rest before shaping them into disks or patties. This will allow the moisture in the dough to distribute evenly, resulting in fluffier and more tender arepas.

When shaping arepas, don’t press too hard or overwork the dough, as this can cause cracking or dryness. Instead, gently form even disks about 3/4 inch thick with smooth edges.

Ensure your cooking temperature is set correctly; too low heat will result in undercooked arepas, while too high can burn them. Use a non-stick skillet or griddle for best results, as this will help prevent sticking and ensure proper browning.

Lastly, experiment with different fillings and toppings—cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, carnitas sweet corn—are all tasty options! Be creative: stuffed arepas can make for a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner option. I recommend serving them hot off the stove alongside a colorful salad or grilled meat.

With these tips in mind and using quality ingredients, you’ll be sure to make delicious arepas every time!


As with any recipe, it’s natural to have some questions about the process, ingredients or variations. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the preparation of the Arepas recipe:

What is arepa called in English?

When it comes to corn-based dishes, arepas are a popular choice that many people enjoy. These cakes are usually made with either corn dough or precooked corn flour, and their flat, circular shape resembles that of a pancake. Furthermore, arepas can be prepared in different ways, such as being grilled, fried, or roasted.

Is arepa healthy or not?

Arepas are a nutritious option to add to your daily meals. These delicious corn cakes are made from ground corn or precooked corn flour and are commonly consumed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Venezuela and Colombia. Arepas are a great substitute for bread and are gaining popularity in recent times. They provide excellent energy and can fit into a healthy diet.

What flour to buy for arepas?

The distinctive chewy texture and firmness of arepas comes from the use of pre-cooked white maize flour, also known as Harina PAN flour or arepa flour.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, making arepas at home is a delicious and rewarding experience that will transport you straight to the streets of Venezuela or Colombia. With just 3 simple ingredients, you can create a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

By following the steps outlined in this recipe, you’re guaranteed to make fluffy and crispy arepas every time. And the best part? You can customize them with your favorite fillings and toppings!

So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat-lover or just looking for a traditional Spanish food to add to your repertoire, give this arepas recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you.


Arepas Recipe

Simply said in the name, I eat this often and once had to do a cooking project for class so I made mass quantities of these. I got the original recipe off of this site, but then talked to a native Venezuelan who taught me how to really make them. Fill them with anything and they taste good! updated 6/17/08 sorry about changing it to multible servings don't worry you'll want to eat more than one (atleast 2) at a time and I think they should freeze also they can be reheated in the microwave
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 110.4 kcal


  • 2 cups superfine white cornmeal, P. A. N. is what I mean but the zaar dosen't recognize it this is a Venezuelan corn flour, masa hari
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water, if using masa harina the amount is enough to make it stick together but not much more
  • cheddar cheese (or other whatever you want)


  • Mix the P. A. N., salt, and water.
  • Form into a circular patty shape.
  • Dry fry it.
  • Cut it like a pita.
  • Put in your cheese or other things.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 104gCalories: 110.4kcalCarbohydrates: 23.4gProtein: 2.5gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 84.8mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Breads, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Grains, Healthy, Inexpensive, Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, South American, Vegan, Venezuelan
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.