How To Make Arepas (Step By Step)

If you have never tried Arepas, you’re in for a treat! They’re easy to make and an absolute staple food in both Colombia and Venezuela. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re kind of a mom’s dream because they’re an easy staple, they’re cheap, and they’re filling. This is a great recipe to fall back on if you’re trying to come up with some meatless meal ideas, budget meal ideas, or if you’re looking to mix up the regular dinners you serve over and over. Today I’ll walk you through how to make arepas step by step. 

 

Lacy… why in the world are you sharing an arepa recipe?

Well most specifically because I’m going to be referencing this recipe for celebrating some Latin American feast days, such as Our Lady Of Chiquinquirá. But also, it’s a staple in our home since my husband is Venezuelan. This has quickly become one of our favorite base recipes! They’re easy to make, affordable, and a great meal staple to add to your repertoire. 

Description Of An Arepa

The reality is that if you have never eaten an arepa, you simply will not know exactly what it’s like until you’ve tried it. It’s a bread of sorts I suppose, so you can put almost anything on it… kind of like sandwich bread or a tortilla… it can be filled with so many things! 

They are about the size and shape of an English muffin, but the texture is totally different. If you’re from the south like me (hi, ya’ll!) and you have eaten grits, the texture inside of a hot arepa is very much like grits, which makes sense since they’re both made from corn flour. If you have ever had “hot water bread” (hi again, ya’ll!) it’s practically identical. 

How To Make Arepas

Here is a step-by-step tutorial in English on how to make Arepas from a genuine American, (hey, ya’ll!) who learned from her Venezuelan husband. 😉 

Ingredients needed for arepas

  • Arepa flour (I posted the picture below. It has to be pre-cooked corn flour. You cannot use regular corn flour or cornbread mix- it’s a totally different thing. Sometimes the arepa flour is white, sometimes it’s yellow. It just depends on what kind of corn it’s made out of as to what color it is, but it will taste the same.) 
  • Warm water (not hot)
  • Salt

Where to find arepa flour

Our Wal-Mart has it in the Hispanic section, and our Aldi also carries it. You could, of course, also find it at a local Hispanic grocery store. You can also order it on Amazon, but it’s more expensive on there. 

Mixing the arepa dough

There are directions on the bag for how to mix the arepa dough.

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups arepa flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Put your water in a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Now add the flour slowly while you mix. 



You gotta get right in there and mix this stuff with your hands! The flour needs a minute to absorb the water as you mix it in. 

When the dough is mixed and ready, it will be shapable. Basically, you want to form the flour just like you would hamburger patties. Same size and shape. 

You can deep fry them, but for health reasons we practically never do. I cook ours right on the griddle, like pancakes (but they take much longer to cook). They need to cook on a medium heat on the griddle on in a pan for about 10 minutes per side, until they are hard on the outside and turning golden brown.

Cut them open down the middle (like a bagel) and experience the warm ooey gooey goodness inside! Stuff them full of whatever you want, and eat them like an amazing hot sandwich! 

Arepa Filling 

Again, arepas are like a blank canvas, and they can be filled with almost anything. So feel free to make something your family will enjoy. Basically any kind of “stir fry” type of meat and vegetable with yummy sauce combination is great in arepas!

Here is our area spread when we go all out, including cutting some lavender from the garden (not that any centerpiece stands out on our ridiculous table lol). 

On any normal day when we make arepas, I usually make the arepas and then set out a large assortment on the table and let everyone fix their own however they like! This is always a favorite dinner because kids love to get to “choose” stuff. Here is what I set out for my kids:

  • lunch meat
  • sliced cheese
  • butter
  • cream cheese
  • jelly
  • diablito (canned ham- this is a FAVOTIE!) 
  • avacado slices 
  • salt

Arepa Filling Recipes To Try:

If you’re wanting to try some special recipes for arepa fillings, check these out. The great thing is that the arepa really stretches the meat and vegetables because it’s just going on the arepa, not being eaten itself as a full course. So you can really stretch your chicken, beef, etc. 

How To Make Arepas

If you have never tried Arepas, you’re in for a treat! They’re easy to make and an absolute staple food in both Colombia and Venezuela. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re kind of a mom’s dream because they’re an easy staple, they’re cheap, and they’re filling.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Colombian, Venezuelan
Author: Lacy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Arepa flour see picture in post for an example of what to look for
  • 2 ½ cups Warm water not hot
  • 1 tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Put your water in a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Now add the flour slowly while you mix.
  • Get right in there and mix this stuff with your hands! The flour needs a minute to absorb the water as you mix it in.
  • When the dough is mixed and ready, it will be shapable. Basically, you want to form the flour just like you would hamburger patties. Same size and shape.
  • You can deep fry them, but for health reasons we practically never do. I cook ours right on the griddle, like pancakes (but they take much longer to cook). They need to cook on medium heat on the griddle in a pan for about 10 minutes per side, until they are hard on the outside and turning golden brown.
  • Cut them open down the middle (like a bagel) and experience the warm ooey gooey goodness inside! Stuff them full of whatever you want, and eat them like an amazing hot sandwich!

Notes

Where to find arepa flour:
Our Wal-Mart has it in the Hispanic section, and our Aldi also carries it. You could, of course, also find it at a local Hispanic grocery store. You can also order it on Amazon, but it’s more expensive on there. 

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