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How to Make Arepas


Today I’m going to show you how to make arepas.

Arepas are super popular in Colombia and Venezuela, they are delicious corn patties that can be opened and stuffed with pretty much anything you can imagine.

They can be eaten during anytime of the day be it breakfast, dinner or even as a snack. If you like arepas then you’ll have to give pupusas a try next!

cheese stuffed arepa

I’ve heard a lot about arepas from some lovely ladies from Venezuela and Colombia that I met at church.

They sounded so yummy and simple that I decided to try them out myself.

And as I expected they are freaking amazing.

I literally make them like once a week.

I like to make big batches to store in my refrigerator for the week.

They’re usually gone before the week is over though.

I love my arepas stuffed with cheese. It’s simple yet very satisfying.

Beans, shredded meat, and tuna could also be stuffed in the arepa.

Some like it with just butter.

As you can see they are very versatile.

However you choose to enjoy your arepas they are sure to be delicious!

You will need a bag of this P.A.N. in order to make them.

I found some at Kroger.

You could also find it at any hispanic grocery store.

One of my Colombian friends let me in on a little secret of hers.

She says adding one teaspoon of sugar to the water gives it a better flavor.

At first I was making them without the sugar but I tried it her way and she was right!


How to Make Arepas

Follow the instructions on the back of the package.

Don’t forget to add the sugar to the water!

Mix until you have a smooth dough.

Shape the dough into 8 equal sized balls.

You can use a tortilla press to flatten these but I didn’t feel like getting mine out.

So what I did was put it between two sheets of plastic from a ziploc bag.

Then I used a heavy pot to flatten them.

Don’t flatten them super thin because we have to open them later to stuff them.

If they’re super thin it will be difficult to open them without them breaking.

flattened arepa

Cook the arepas on a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.

It’s important not to cook them on very high heat because then the outside of the arepa would be cooked but the inside would be uncooked.

By cooking them on medium heat for about 5 minutes the inside of the arepa has time to cook properly while the outside browns a little.

arepa on cast iron skillet

The arepa should look something like this after flipping. Now let the other side cook.

cooking arepa

I use a large cast iron skillet so I’m able to cook 2 or 3 arepas at a time which is a big help.

Add a little more oil to the skillet as you go to help prevent the arepas from sticking.

After they’re done let them cool down on a plate for about 10 minutes or until they are no longer hot to the touch.

how to make arepas

Once they’re cooled down take a knife and split them open carefully.

Stuff with your favorite fillings.

My favorite is simple.

Just some melty mozzarella cheese. I also I have a cheese arepas recipe that combines the cheese into the arepa dough.

Then I put it back on the skillet over medium heat for a couple minutes on each side until nicely melted.

arepa on cast iron skillet

If you’re feeling brave try it with some salsa macha. It’s insanely delicious!

cheese stuffed arepa with salsa macha

I really hope you have enjoyed this post on how to make arepas.

Arepas have become one of my favorite things to make this year.

My husband and I really enjoy them!

I hope you will too!

If you like these arepas you may also like my post on how to make gorditas.

Don’t forget to join the Latin American Foodies Facebook group where you can share photos and recipes of the delicious food you make at home!

Also don’t forget to rate this recipe below! Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

how to make arepas
4.41 from 10 votes

how to make arepas

Arepas are a delicious and popular food in Colombia and Venezuela. Once you try them you will see why.

Course lunch
Cuisine latin american
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 122 kcal
Author Carissa


  • 2 cups pre-cooked corn meal such as P.A.N.
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Pour the water into a mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to the water. Now slowly add the corn meal while mixing. Continue to mix until you get a nice smooth dough.

  2. Let the dough rest or a few minutes.Then divide into 8 equal sized balls.

  3. Cut out 2 squares of plastic (I used a ziploc bag for this). Put a dough ball on one of the plastic squares then top with the other square. Then take a heavy bottomed pot to flatten the dough. Transfer the flattened arepa to a skillet over medium heat and cook for five minutes on each side. They should be browned with some darker spots as well. 

  4. Repeat the above process with the remaining dough balls. Once the cooked arepas are cool enough to handle use a knife to cut them open. Stuff them with your favorite fillings and enjoy!

  5. Store any leftover arepas in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts
how to make arepas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 122 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 236mg10%
Potassium 102mg3%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 3g6%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Recipe Rating

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Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Super nice. I loved stuffing them with grated cheese, tuna and a little salt and pepper

Cheese Arepas - Thrift and Spice

Sunday 18th of August 2019

[…] Arepas are delicious corn patties that can be opened and stuffed with pretty much anything you desire. […]

Latin America Food: Pupusas, Gorditas, and Arepas - Thrift and Spice

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

[…] is a precooked cornmeal also known as masarepa that can be used to make arepas, colombian emapanadas and […]

How to Make Pupusas - Thrift and Spice

Friday 14th of June 2019

[…] In fact they are very similar to gorditas and arepas. […]

Salsa Macha - Thrift and Spice

Sunday 2nd of September 2018

[…] macha is amazing on a lot of things. I like it as a snack on arepas, toasted corn tortillas, eggs, vegetables, rice and beans. But my husband is something else…. […]

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