These tasty South American cornmeal patties are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

By Hayley Sugg
Buckwheat Queen

A South American staple, particularly in Columbia and Venezuela, arepas are stuffed cornmeal cakes that are crispy outside and fluffy inside. They're a popular food item for street vendors, but are also regularly made in homes. Arepas are eaten at all times of the day, often as a snack or side dish to a main meal.

Arepas are unleavened (they contain no yeast, baking soda, or baking powder) and are commonly made with precooked cornmeal for that signature golden color and corn taste. You can find precooked cornmeal (such as P.A.N.®) in Latin American or well-stocked grocery stores. Arepas are often cooked on a griddle, but can also be fried, baked, or boiled.

The filling choices depend on which region — or even household — you're cooking in. You can stuff them with ingredients like meat, eggs, beans, pumpkin, cheese, and more.

Craving arepas now? Get started cooking this South American dish with one of our delicious recipes. From breakfast to dessert arepas, there's a recipe for every meal of the day.

1. Homemade Arepas

A great basic recipe, all you need are three ingredients to create these arepas. Some of the reviewer-suggested fillings include black beans and avocado, cheese with steak, and chorizo.

2. Cream Cheese Arepas

Make a more dense arepa with the addition of milk and cream cheese. These work in both sweet and savory dishes. For a sweet version smear with a little extra cream cheese and maple syrup, or go the savory route with some ham and cheese.


3. Colombian Arepas

Cheese is folded straight into the dough for this decadent arepas recipe. "These are delicious," says user KDralla, "We ate ours with salsa and queso fresco and it was amazing."

Anahi Moreno

4. Arepas de Huevos

By wrapping eggs in the arepa dough, and cooking both together, you'll have a satisfying breakfast that also makes an impressive brunch dish.

5. Vegan Arepas Made with Polenta

This plant-based recipe is more arepas-inspired since it uses polenta in place of the corn cakes. But the unique filling combo, which includes tofu along with avocados and mango, would be equally delicious tucked in a vegan arepas recipe.


6. Ropa Vieja with Arepas

Made with a combination of beef, olives, and tomatoes, ropa vieja is a classic Cuban dish that makes a saucy filling for arepas.

Soup Loving Nicole

7. Corned Beef Hash Arepas

Have a flavorful start to the day with these non-traditional arepas. Corned beef hash pairs with eggs and avocados for a hearty breakfast that will fuel you until lunch time.


8. Arepas (Corn Griddle Cakes)

Three ingredients and about 15 minutes are all you need to make these simple arepas. Snack on them with some salsa and a sprinkling of cheese.

Buckwheat Queen

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