Rating: 4.58 stars
52 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 35
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

It was at a New York City hole-in-the-wall eatery where I first fell in love with a stuffed white corn cake. Halfway through my first arepa, one stuffed with black beans, beef, plantains, and salty cheese, I vowed to learn how to make these at home. It's a truly magnificent delivery system for any number of your favorite fillings. I went with some spicy pork and avocado, but I made a version a few days later stuffed with caramelized plantains and salty goat feta.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
20 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 arepas
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir water and salt together in a bowl. Gradually stir corn meal into water with your fingers until mixture forms a soft, moist, malleable dough.

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  • Divide dough into 8 golf ball-size balls and pat each one into a patty about 3/8-inch thick.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook corn patties in hot oil until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer cooked arepas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain until cool enough to handle.

  • Slice halfway through each cake horizontally with a thin serrated knife to form a pita-like pocket.

Nutrition:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

96 calories; protein 1.8g; carbohydrates 20g; fat 1g; sodium 292.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (34)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/30/2015
my mom is from Venezuela so I'm familiar with arepas and these reminded me of the ones my mom used to make Read More
(22)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/25/2017
Maybe I did something wrong but I thought these were extremely bland plus they were kind of sticky in the middle almost like they weren't cooked enough but hard on the outside like they were overcooked. I made them twice with the same results I tried cooking them faster the first time and then slowly on lower heat the second time. The texture is just terrible and I don't know how to fix that. It's a shame because my daughter is celiac and I'm always trying to find her a quick sandwich option that's not terrible. I'll keep trying until I use up the PAN which I had to order on-line but I don't think I'll buy any more. Read More
(4)
52 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 35
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
04/29/2015
my mom is from Venezuela so I'm familiar with arepas and these reminded me of the ones my mom used to make Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
09/05/2014
I make these a couple times a week bc my husband is from Venezuela. These are a staple in Venezuela and can be stuffed with anything from ham and cheese to steak. They are also good stuffed with chicken salad. It took me a a few tries to get them perfect but they are worth it. Very good. Read More
(21)
Rating: 4 stars
01/12/2016
I'm not Venezuelan, I live in Guadalajara, Jalisco. We are so used to making these, we make quesadillas, and we deep-fry them, slice 'em open and stuff with cubed bistec and very spicy tomato sauce. They can also be made with Maseca. Same consistency. If you live in Mexico, P.A.N. can be found in any Superama, Walmart doesn't have it. Thanks for posting, I love your recipes!!! Read More
(17)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/15/2017
I just had to post how you actually make the Arepas before frying. You grab a handful of dough and roll it around in your hand until it is a smooth ball (the heat of the hands helps to get rid of rough edges). Then you slowly pat the ball until it is evenly flat, not too thick or thin. Adding Parmesan cheese to the dough adds a nice touch, but I find simple is better. You can also make thick oven Arepas by heating the Arepas in a pan lightly greased until it has a bit of a shell, then pop in oven until it is cooked through and looks a little flaky, cooking time varies depending on size and how long they were in the pan, you can also skip the pan step. =) Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
07/12/2014
This is pretty much the recipe from the cornmeal product container. Having said that... you can't really beat it. Sometimes if only seving as a vessel for salsa I 'll add some seasoning to the batter but it is totally not necessary. Easy fast and delish. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
10/21/2016
Made these exactly as described, using coconut oil, and they came out perfect. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Filled some with chorizo, sliced chayotes, and grated cheddar, others with Italian sausage, peppers, onions and cheddar, after sauteing the chorizo, chayotes, italian sausage, peppers, and onions in separate piles in a large skillet. They were delicious, and perfect for me because they are gluten-free! Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/18/2014
these are very good especially with cheese. Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
02/03/2016
great recipe I always have to fry them a bit longer on each side. i've been eating these at home since I was a kid. In Colombia they eat these with everything. I recently wrote on my blog about my life eating arepas as a Colombian American along with a food and music pairing Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/18/2015
I used canola oil because I was out of vegetable oil still worked! Read More
(5)
Rating: 3 stars
01/25/2017
Maybe I did something wrong but I thought these were extremely bland plus they were kind of sticky in the middle almost like they weren't cooked enough but hard on the outside like they were overcooked. I made them twice with the same results I tried cooking them faster the first time and then slowly on lower heat the second time. The texture is just terrible and I don't know how to fix that. It's a shame because my daughter is celiac and I'm always trying to find her a quick sandwich option that's not terrible. I'll keep trying until I use up the PAN which I had to order on-line but I don't think I'll buy any more. Read More
(4)