Recipe By Chef John
Published Jul 8th
Prep 10m Cook 10m Additional - Ready In 20m
Servings 8 arepas Calories 95.5

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 Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pre-cooked white corn meal (such as P.A.N.®)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, or as needed

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 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.
  2. 2 Divide dough into 8 golf ball-size balls and pat each one into a patty about 3/8-inch thick.
  3. 3 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.
  4. 4 Slice halfway through each cake horizontally with a thin serrated knife to form a pita-like pocket.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 95.5
  • Carbohydrate 20 g
  • Fat 1 g
  • Fiber 0.5 g
  • Protein 1.8 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.1 g
  • Sodium 292.9 mg

Chef's Notes

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.


  1. 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, - Read more ...
  2. 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 - Read more ...
  3. 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. - Read more ...
  4. 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
  5. 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 - Read more ...
  6. I used canola oil because I was out of vegetable oil still worked!
  7. my mom is from Venezuela so I'm familiar with arepas and these reminded me of the ones my mom used to make
  8. these are very good especially with cheese.
  9. 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 - Read more ...
  10. 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.

Add review

We use cookies and similar methods to recognize visitors and remember their preferences. We also use them to measure ad campaign effectiveness, target ads and analyze site traffic. How it works?