Food and Recipes

Simple but delicious: Arepas with Cheese.

Yes! Today I’m finally sharing with you my recipe for arepas. There are only a few things I can cook pretty well and, thankfully enough, arepas are one of them. Without doubt, they are my favorite food to eat and as someone born and raised in Colombia, I can only tell you that arepas are in my blood. I’m really excited to share this recipe with you and I just hope you can give it a try.

This recipe covers the basic arepa with cheese (the most popular in Colombia), but the key is for you to learn how to make the dough itself; once you get that part, you can play with the dish and make different variations. For example: stuffed arepas (adding beef, chicken, pork, etc…).

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Ingredients (makes approx. four arepas):

  • One cup of white corn meal (A.K.A arepa flour). You can find this item at most latin markets, or simply click here and you can order it from amazon.
  • One cup of warm water. Do NOT use cold water. It changes the texture of the arepa once it’s cooked. Also, use the same exact measuring cup that you used for the dough.
  • Four (4) Tbsp of butter, or margarine if you want to make them vegan. You can add more or less if you like.
  • One Tbsp of Salt, or to taste.
  • Mozzarella cheese.
  • Oil or more butter, to grease the pan.

You will also need:

  • Cutting board covered with plastic – so the dough doesn’t stick to it.
  • A rolling pin.
  • A round cutter – or, a coffee mug upside down. Doing it by hand also works (they don’t need to be perfect).

Directions (step by step pictures below):

  1. In a bowl combine the arepa flour, salt, butter and warm water. Incorporate all the ingredients until there are no dry lumps. You should end up with a dough that’s a little moist but doesn’t stick to your hands.
  2. Cover the dough with plastic and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to the cutting board. Roll it until flatten (about 1/4 inch thick). Then, cut patties of dough using the round cutter or coffee mug.
  4. Grab two patties, put mozzarella cheese in the center of one them and top it with the other patty. Make sure the cheese is completely covered and that the arepa is sealed on the sides. Repeat until you’ve run out of patties.
  5. Heat some oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium – low heat. Once the skillet is hot, put in the arepas and cook them until each side is golden brown (between 5-8 minutes per sideside. Always keep an eye on them though).
  6. Once the arepas are ready, transfer them to a plate and top them with a little bit of butter. Enjoy!

Notes: the only time I use two 1/4-inch patties to make one arepa is when I’m making them stuffed with cheese. If you want to skip the cheese, then use 1/2 inch patties (one patty is one arepa).

For storage, simply wrap the uncooked arepas in plastic (make sure there’s plastic in between them, otherwise they will stick to each other) and put them in the fridge for up to three days.

I love pairing this arepas with my morning coffee/tea; truly my kind of breakfast!

Let me know if you give this recipe a try.



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