A quick and easy arepas recipe tutorial. Arepas are a delicious gluten-free and corn meal based food that can be stuffed with delicious meats, cheeses, and veggies! It’s one of our family favorites.
When we lived in Provo, one of our favorite summer activities was to go to the local farmer’s market. We started doing this when I was pregnant with Jack and then continued until our last summer there (which was 2014.) It went every Saturday from May until October, and while we didn’t make it every week, we were there quite often.
One summer, there was a food booth that we could never pass without purchasing – a local family that sold arepas. I had never heard of arepas before, but after they gave us a free sample once, I was hooked. We went back again and again throughout that summer to buy this delicious cornmeal-based food. It was like a cornmeal sandwich with delicious chicken or pork and cheese stuffed inside.
The next summer, I was so excited to go back and get them again…and I was so disappointed when I discovered they didn’t have a booth. I don’t know what it was about this simple meal, but I loved them so much.
Well, I mostly forgot about them, until I started working with P.A.N. Cornmeal this summer! They have a recipe for arepas on the back of the cornmeal bag, and when I saw it, I knew I had to make it. Arepas are so simple to make, and you can fill them with really anything you want. Arepas are kind of like a sandwich, so it’s kind of a fun and gluten-free substitute for bread in your favorite sandwich.
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups P.A.N. cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Whatever filling you want - cheese and meats are popular. We used pulled pork with Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce and a vinegar-based cole slaw.
- Pour water into a bowl and mix in cornmeal and salt gradually.
- Mix until a dough starts to form.
- After it is formed, knead the dough into a smooth ball - about five minutes.
- Let dough rest three minutes.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
- Separate dough into 10 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a ball, and then flatten into a circle that is about 3.5 inches wide.
- Place each patty onto the griddle and cook on each side for about five minutes.
- Remove from griddle and let cool a few minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, start to cut the arepa in half - stopping before you reach the bottom.
- Stuff with whatever fillings you want!
We thought it would be fun to make a pulled pork arepa using pork that was cooked in our favorite Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce, along with some vinegar-based coleslaw (there is a link to a recipe in the BBQ sauce post as well.) We had leftovers of this from the Sunday before, so it was a super quick meal.
They turned out delicious. I absolutely love the texture of Arepas, and the pork and coleslaw tasted delicious inside of them. We served them to Jack and his cousin Liam, as well as my brother and sister-in-law when they came over later, and everyone really enjoyed them. We can’t wait to make them again!
I really have enjoyed using P.A.N. cornmeal in several recipes over the course of the summer. It’s the number one selling cornmeal in South America, and it’s better than any other brand I’ve tried here in the states! It’s been the inspiration for this southwest breakfast skillet, as well as these easy hush puppies. I highly recommend finding it at your local store!
For more delicious P.A.N. cornmeal recipes, be sure to check out their Tumblr page!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.