Arepas, they’re soft and so tasty, and perfect to stuff with your favorite ingredients! It’s a simple recipe made with 3 ingredients in just 30 minutes.
This is an amazingly good and simple recipe that you can have any time. To make arepas you only need simple and inexpensive ingredients and you can customize them however you’d like. Besides, they are extremely easy to make and truly delicious!
This recipe only requires 3 simple ingredients: precooked cornmeal, salt, and warm water. Arepas are perfect to fill with any food you can think of because they actually go well with everything, although you can also enjoy them just by themselves.
This Venezuelan and Colombian meal is very versatile and there’s plenty of different versions of the same recipe. However, I like to prepare it with 1 tablespoon of salt instead of 2 to reduce its amount of sodium, but you can add more or less salt to taste.
Making arepas is so easy you just need a skillet or a griddle and a little bit of oil. If you’re oil-free, use a non-stick skillet and omit the oil in the dough. Another option is to bake them, as they turn out great. Enjoy!
How to make arepas – Step by step
- Add the warm water, salt, and oil to a large mixing bowl and stir (photo 1).
- Add the precooked cornmeal, a little at a time, and stir with a spoon or your hands (photo 2).
- Mix for about 2 minutes. You’ll get a moist and moldable dough that doesn’t easily stick to your hands and can be rolled into a ball.
- Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes (photo 3).
- Wet your hands, divide the dough into 10 pieces (photo 4).
- Roll each piece into a ball and carefully press each ball between the palms of your hands to form a disc of about 1/2-inch thick, about 1 cm (photo 5).
- Heat some oil in a skillet and add the arepas (photo 6). Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes each side or until the arepas are golden brown and cooked in the inside (photo 7).
- Transfer the arepas to a cooling rack (photo 8) and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- Fill the arepas with your favorite ingredients and serve or enjoy them by themselves.
- I used precooked white cornmeal, but pre-cooked yellow cornmeal will also work.
- Feel free to use any kind of oil.
- I always use Himalayan pink salt, although any type of salt will do.
How long will these arepas keep?
Arepas taste better when you serve them immediately after cooking, but if you don’t eat them all you can also keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
What to eat with arepas
Arepas are so versatile you can eat them with all your favorite food! Feel free to stuff them with black beans, red onion, homemade guacamole, vegan sour cream, or any ingredients you feel like eating.
Can I freeze the arepas dough?
Although they are best when fresh, you can freeze the arepas dough to save some time. To thaw, transfer it into the fridge until soft and then cook it just like regular arepas.
If you want to freeze the arepas after cooking them, place them into an airtight container in the freezer. To defrost, reheat them in the oven until warm enough. They will last in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Looking for more how-to recipes?
Did you make this arepas recipe?Print
- 2 and 1/2 cups warm water (625 ml)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil + extra oil for cooking, optional
- 2 cups pre-cooked cornmeal (320 g), see notes
- Add the warm water, salt, and oil to a large mixing bowl and stir. The oil is optional, so feel free to omit it.
- Add the precooked cornmeal, a little at a time, and stir with a spoon or your hands (I prefer to use my hands).
- Mix for about 2 minutes. You’ll get a moist and moldable dough that doesn’t easily stick to your hands and can be rolled into a ball. If your dough is too watery, add more flour and if it’s too thick, add a little bit of water until you get a perfect consistency. However, if you follow my recipe, you should get a perfect dough.
- Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Wet your hands to make the arepas, that way the dough won’t stick to your hands. Divide the dough into 10 pieces, roll each piece into a ball, and carefully press each ball between the palms of your hands to form a disc of about 1/2-inch thick (about 1 cm). If the arepa cracks a lot, your dough may need more water (add some a little at a time). A little cracking is normal, so just use your wet hands to close the cracks by gently patting along the surface.
- Add a little bit of oil to a large skillet (use a non-stick skillet if you don’t want to use oil), and when it’s hot add the arepas. I usually cook them in two batches to give them a little room in between so they don’t touch. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes each side or until the arepas are golden brown and cooked in the inside.
- Transfer the arepas to a cooling rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- If you’d like to fill the arepas, split them in half with a serrated knife and serve them with black beans, red onion, homemade guacamole or vegan sour cream, or enjoy them just by themselves. This vegan arepas recipe is my favorite one.
- Although they are best when fresh, you can keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Serving Size: 1 arepa (of 10)
- Calories: 125
- Sodium: 233 mg
- Fat: 1.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.6 g
- Fiber: 3.2 g
- Protein: 2.1 g
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May of 2019, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions and tips in June of 2020.