Arepas Reina Pepiada: A Delicious Venezuelan Dish

Welcome to my kitchen, where I’m ready to share one of my favorite recipes with you: Arepas Reina Pepiada. If you haven’t tried this Venezuelan delicacy yet, I highly recommend you give it a go. This dish is a perfect combination of crispy arepas and chicken avocado salad, whose flavors will transport you to the vibrant streets of Venezuela.

You might be wondering what arepas are. Well, they’re flatbreads made from masa harina (a type of corn flour) that’s mixed with salt and cold water and then flattened into patties before being cooked on a griddle or pan. They’re incredibly versatile and can be filled with all types of ingredients, making them an excellent option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The star of today’s recipe is the Reina Pepiada filling, which is a classic Venezuelan chicken avocado salad that’s usually served inside an arepa. The name “Reina Pepiada” translates to “curvy queen,” which refers to former Miss Venezuela Susana Duijm who claimed to have created this dish herself back in the 1960s.

This dish has since become one of Venezuela’s most popular fillings for arepas and is cherished for its zesty chicken and avocado salad full of lime juice and cilantro. Trust me when I say that once you try it, you’ll understand why it’s so beloved.

So let’s get started making some delicious Arepas Reina Pepiada!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arepas Reina Pepiada
Arepas Reina Pepiada

Are you in the mood for something deliciously unique? Then you will absolutely love this recipe for Arepas Reina Pepiada – a classic Venezuelan dish packed with flavor and texture.

What makes this recipe so special is the combination of ingredients that make up its popular filling: zesty shredded chicken and creamy avocado salad. The chicken is poached and then shredded, seasoned with lime juice and cilantro, while the avocado is mashed up with a generous serving of mayonnaise, salt and pepper. The resulting combination is an explosion of flavors and textures, where the tanginess of the chicken perfectly complements the creaminess of the avocado.

Moreover, this dish is versatile enough to adjust to your tastes. You can add a touch of jalapeño to give it some extra heat or substitute the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt if you’re looking for a healthier option. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftovers from previous meals, as any leftover chicken can easily be incorporated into this dish.

But what truly sets this dish apart is how easy it is to make. With just a handful of basic ingredients like masa harina, salt, cold water, lime juice and avocado, you’ll find you can quickly whip up a batch of these arepas without breaking a sweat.

So if you’re looking for something that’s sure to impress your friends or family at your next gathering or if you simply want to spice up your daily meal routine, give this recipe for Arepas Reina Pepiada a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Venezuelan flavors: Bringing the authentic taste of Reina Pepiada to your plate.
Venezuelan flavors: Bringing the authentic taste of Reina Pepiada to your plate.

To make Arepas Reina Pepiada, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Reina Pepiada: a chicken and avocado salad mixture that is one of the most popular arepa fillings in Venezuela.

Make sure to buy fresh cilantro and limes for the best taste. You can use canned chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken instead of poaching your own for convenience. Don’t forget to double-check your pantry for all the other necessary ingredients before you start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 A flavor explosion: Arepas filled with creamy avocado chicken salad that will knock your socks off.
A flavor explosion: Arepas filled with creamy avocado chicken salad that will knock your socks off.

Let’s get started on this Arepas Reina Pepiada Recipe! Before you begin, make sure you have all the ingredients and utensils ready. This recipe consists of two parts: making the arepas and making the reina pepiada filling.

Making the arepas

Step 1: Making the dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of masa harina, 1 tsp. of salt and 2 cups of cold water. Mix until a smooth dough forms.

Step 2: Forming and cooking the arepas

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and form them into balls. Gently press each ball to create a thick disk, about 1/2 inch in thickness.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook each arepa for around 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Lower the heat and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes until it is cooked through.

Making the reina pepiada filling

Step 1: Poaching and shredding chicken

In a pot, place 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast and enough cold water to cover it. Add a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, around 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken from the pot and let it cool down. Then shred into small pieces using two forks or using your hands.

Step 2: Preparing the avocado filling

In a medium bowl, combine 2 peeled avocados, juice of half lime, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup fresh cilantro. Mix until everything is combined.

Add the shredded chicken and mix together until everything is coated evenly.

Assembling the arepas

Cut open each arepa lengthwise and stuff each of them with Reina Pepiada.

Now you’ve got yourself a delicious taste of Venezuelan cuisine, right in your own home. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A true classic: A must-have Venezuelan staple with a modern twist.
A true classic: A must-have Venezuelan staple with a modern twist.

As a chef, I know that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to food. That’s why I’ve come up with some substitutions and variations for this Arepas Reina Pepiada Recipe that will still give you incredible flavors and fillings.

Firstly, let’s talk about the chicken. While boneless skinless chicken breast is the classic choice, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken for a quick and easy variation. If you prefer a vegetarian option, try substituting the chicken with sautéed mushrooms or black beans.

For the avocado salad filling, feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices. Instead of cilantro, try using parsley or basil. You can also add in some diced red onion, chopped jalapeño or hot sauce if you want to add some heat to your filling.

If you don’t have access to traditional Venezuelan masa harina (flour made from corn), you can substitute it with regular cornmeal. Just keep in mind that the texture may not be exactly the same as masa harina is more finely ground.

Another variation you can try is using different toppings for your arepas. Some popular options include crumbled queso fresco, sliced avocado, or chopped tomatoes. You can also drizzle on some salsa verde or hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.

In addition to variations, there are also various other Arepas recipes that hail from different regions of Venezuela such as Arepas Venezolanas which are stuffed with ham and cheese or plantain filled arepas called Arepas Rellenas . If you’re feeling a little adventurous you could always give these other recipes a try!

Whichever variations or substitutions you decide to go with, don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance: The mix of savory and sweetness will leave your taste buds wanting more.
The perfect balance: The mix of savory and sweetness will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Arepas Reina Pepiada are highly versatile and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. These arepas have a unique taste that makes them perfect for enjoying at any time of day.

When it comes to serving these delicious Venezuelan arepas, there really is no right or wrong way to eat them! They can be served hot or cold, and can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a larger meal.

For breakfast or brunch, these arepas make a great addition to any spread. Serve them alongside scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit for a filling and satisfying meal that will start your day off right.

For lunch or dinner, pair your Reina Pepiada Arepas with a light salad for an easy and healthy meal. You could also serve them alongside some roasted vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.

Another popular way to enjoy these arepas is to serve them with a side of black beans, rice, and plantains. This creates a hearty and flavorful meal that’s perfect for colder winter months.

When it comes to pairing drinks with these Venezuelan delicacies, opt for something that complements the flavors in the arepas. A classic agua fresca like passion fruit or mango pairs perfectly with the citrusy notes of the lime juice and cilantro in the filling. Alternatively, you could pair your arepas with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

No matter how you choose to serve your Arepas Reina Pepiada, one thing is for certain – they will leave you feeling full and satisfied thanks to their delicious combination of zesty chicken avocado salad and crisp golden edges.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Spice things up: For those who like it hot, add some chili sauce to give these arepas a kick.
Spice things up: For those who like it hot, add some chili sauce to give these arepas a kick.

Arepas Reina Pepiada are a great make-ahead meal as they can be stored for later consumption with ease. To store the arepas, let them cool down to room temperature and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped arepas in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When reheating, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the wrapped arepas in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you could use a toaster oven or heat them in the microwave, but this can make them soggy. I recommend using the oven for best results.

If you decide to freeze your arepas, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and foil before storing them in an airtight container. Arepas can be stored safely in the freezer for up to three months.

When reheating from frozen, allow your arepas to defrost overnight in the refrigerator before popping them into the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

Whether you have leftovers or want a quick grab-and-go breakfast, reheating these Venezuelan beauty queen favorites is easy and worth it. Savor their delicious taste any time of day by following these suggested steps.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Healthy and nutritious: Made with simple ingredients and packed with flavor.
Healthy and nutritious: Made with simple ingredients and packed with flavor.

Now that you know how to make arepas reina pepiada, let me share some tips to make sure your creations turn out perfectly every time.

1. Make sure the dough is the right consistency.

Masa harina is a key ingredient in making arepas. It’s important to get the dough consistency just right – not too dry and not too wet. The ideal ratio of masa harina to water is 2:3. You can adjust the water or masa harina if needed to achieve the perfect texture.

2. Let the dough rest.

After mixing your dough, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before forming your arepas. This allows the masa harina to absorb the moisture and will make the dough more pliable when shaping.

3. Flatten arepas evenly.

When flattening your arepas, be sure to press down evenly on all sides so they cook evenly. If some parts of the arepa are thicker than others, it may take longer for those parts to cook through.

4. Use a non-stick pan or griddle.

Having a non-stick surface will make sure your arepas don’t stick or tear when cooking. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet also works well.

5. Don’t overcook the chicken.

Cooking chicken breast until it’s dry and rubbery will ruin your filling. Poaching the chicken will keep it moist and tender, but be careful not to overcook it.

6. Mix in lime juice last.

When making the reina pepiada filling, add lime juice last just before serving. Lime juice can break down avocado quickly and cause it to turn brown, so adding it at the right time ensures that your filling stays bright green and fresh.

By following these tips, your arepas reina pepiada will turn out perfect every time!


Now that you have learned how to make the delicious and flavorful Arepas Reina Pepiada, it’s time for some frequently asked questions about this traditional Venezuelan dish. Below, I have compiled some of the most common questions asked by beginners and experts alike in their quest to perfect the art of making these tasty arepas reina.

What is Reina Pepiada made of?

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful filling for your arepas, then you should definitely try out reina pepiada! This classic Venezuelan dish consists of a spicy chicken and avocado salad mixed with refreshing lime juice and fragrant cilantro. It’s a tasty departure from ordinary avocado toast and is sure to be a hit at your next meal.

Where is arepa reina pepiada from?

A mouth-watering filling for Venezuelan arepas that’s loved by many is reina pepiada. This tasty filling consists of chicken salad and avocado, and is named after the curvy queen, Susan Dujim, who won Miss Venezuela in 1955. Interestingly enough, this delicious combination was first created by the owner of a Caracas arepa stand.

What does Pepiada mean?

The name “arepa reina pepiada” was derived from the term “pepiada,” which referred to a lady with beautiful curves in the past, and “reina,” which means queen.

What are Venezuelan arepas made of?

Arepas, a popular food item hailing from Latin America, are typically made using dried corn that’s crushed to form a dough-like consistency. While the arepas found in Colombia are generally wider and thinly layered with various toppings, those found in Venezuela are thicker and are filled with different ingredients that are put together after splitting the cake.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Arepas Reina Pepiada recipe is a must-try for those who love Venezuelan delicacies and chicken avocado salad. This dish is the perfect harmony between crispy corn arepas and zesty chicken avocado salad, making it a valuable addition to your recipe collection.

With the right ingredients, cooking this recipe is an easy task that anyone can accomplish at home. Additionally, you can make slight changes and personalize it as per your taste preferences, considering the suggested substitutions and variations.

The best part about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and enjoy it for several days by storing it properly in your freezer. This feature makes it a perfect meal prep option or snack option when craving something flavorful.

Finally, if you are looking to impress your friends or family with a quick homemade meal that tastes like heaven, look no further than this recipe. Enjoy the full combination of flavors in every bite like many Venezuelans do with their popular dish. So grab some masa harina, avocados, chicken breast, and mayonnaise to get started on your arepas reina pepiada creation today!

Arepas Reina Pepiada

Arepas Reina Pepiada Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Eunice Marcano, Antojitos mi Colombia Bakery, Charlotte, NC
No ratings yet
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cuisine Venezuelan
Calories 716 kcal



  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, poached, cooled and finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 avocados, pitted, peeled and mashed with hands
  • 1/2 lime, juice of


  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs venezuelan masa harina (precooked white cornmeal)
  • oil, for greasing


  • For the filling:
  • Mix together the chicken, cilantro, mayonnaise, salt, pepper to taste, the avocados and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate. For the dough: Mix together the water and salt in a large bowl, and then slowly add the cornmeal as you mix with your fingers. Mix and knead until it forms a soft dough. When you can pick up all of the dough in one mass, it's ready to form the arepas. Divide the dough into 8 balls, then gently flatten and form into discs.
  • Heat a lightly-oiled griddle or nonstick skillet over high heat. Preheat a grill to medium heat.
  • Cook the arepas on the griddle until they release from the cooking surface and are able to be moved, about 1 minute 30 seconds, and then flip and cook the other side for another 1 minute 30 seconds. Transfer the arepas to the grill and grill until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes per side. The arepas are ready when they sound like a drum when tapped.
  • Split the arepas in half, then scrape out and discard some of the middle. Stuff the arepas with the chicken mixture and eat while still piping hot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 366gCalories: 716kcalCarbohydrates: 98.3gProtein: 29.3gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 48.4mgSodium: 1173.8mgFiber: 16.3gSugar: 0.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Lunch, South American
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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.