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How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)

Our full recipe guide on how to make Arepas, the most popular dish in Venezuela. Have you ever tasted or heard about it?

Arepas are a staple in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine, served as a versatile bread that can be filled with a variety of ingredients.

Arepas are made from pre-cooked cornmeal, giving them a unique texture and flavor that’s quite different from other types of bread. Here’s how to make authentic arepas at home.

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How to Make Arepas

Arepas Recipe Ingredients

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)

2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal (P.A.N. is a popular brand that’s commonly used)
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil (optional, for softer arepas)
Butter or oil, for cooking

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Step By Step How to Make Arepas

  1. Make the Dough

Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the pre-cooked cornmeal, salt, and the optional oil. Gradually add the warm water, stirring continuously until the water is incorporated and the mixture begins to form a dough. Knead the dough in the bowl for a few minutes until it is smooth and uniform. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more cornmeal. If it’s too dry and crumbly, add a bit more water.

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)
  1. Shape the Arepas

Divide the dough into portions, depending on the size you want your arepas to be (usually about a palm-sized ball). Press each ball between your palms or against a flat surface to form a disc about 1/2 inch thick. Smooth the edges so the arepas do not crack during cooking.

  1. Cook the Arepas

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a little butter or oil to the pan. Place the arepas in the heated skillet. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and form a crust on the surface. The arepas should sound hollow when tapped with a spoon.

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)
  1. Finish Cooking (optional)

For a softer interior, you can finish cooking the arepas in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the arepas for 10-15 minutes.

  1. Serve

Arepas can be split open and filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, shredded beef, chicken, avocado, or black beans. They are best served warm.

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)

Tips for Making Arepas

It is important to use pre-cooked cornmeal, not regular cornmeal or corn flour, as this will significantly affect the texture and cooking process. The dough should be pliable and moist but not sticky. It should easily form a ball without cracking. If cracks form, the dough is too dry.

You can store uncooked arepa dough in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for up to a couple of days.

How to Make Arepas – Authentic Arepas (Recipe Guide)

How Many Calories Have Arepas

Pre-cooked White Cornmeal (2 cups) is around 880 calories.
Salt, Water, and Vegetable Oil: These ingredients have minimal to no calories, with the exception of the vegetable oil if used. A 1/2 teaspoon of oil has about 20 calories.

Assuming the batch from the recipe makes about 8 arepas would be around 900 calories and each arepa is around 112.5 calories. Plus the filling that you add!

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