Venezuelan-style Arepas (Arepas Rellenas) Recipe

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Are you tired of the same old recipes and looking to add some international flair to your culinary repertoire? Look no further than the Venezuelan-style Arepas (Arepas Rellenas) recipe.


While you may be hesitant to try a new dish, these delectable cornmeal pockets filled with a variety of delicious ingredients are sure to win you over.

With their tender and moist texture, easy preparation, and endless filling possibilities, these Venezuelan-style Arepas are a must-try for any adventurous food lover.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding oil to the dough results in tender and moist arepas.
  • Checking the consistency of the dough before adding water helps prevent dense and gummy arepas.
  • Finishing the arepas in the oven ensures even cooking without burning the sides.
  • Venezuelan-style arepas are thicker and typically filled with various ingredients, while Colombian-style arepas are thinner and topped with toppings.

Why Venezuelan-style Arepas Are Different

Venezuelan-style arepas differ from Colombian-style arepas in their thickness and the inclusion of fillings. While both arepas are made from cornmeal, Venezuelan arepas are typically thicker and more substantial in size.

They are often filled with a variety of delicious ingredients such as shredded beef, chicken, black beans, avocado, and cheese.

The fillings are not limited to savory options; sweet fillings like Nutella or dulce de leche are also popular choices.

Colombian arepas, on the other hand, are thinner and usually served with toppings such as cheese, butter, or hogao sauce. The thinner texture allows for a crispier exterior when grilled or cooked.

Venezuelan-style arepas provide a heartier and more satisfying meal due to their thickness and variety of fillings, making them a favorite among food enthusiasts.

Tips for Perfectly Moist and Tender Arepas

To achieve perfectly moist and tender arepas, follow these tips.

First, ensure optimal moisture retention by adding oil to the dough. This will yield a tender texture and prevent dryness.

Next, check the consistency of the dough before adding water. It should be pliable and easy to work with, without being too dense or gummy. Adjust the amount of water as needed to achieve the right dough consistency.

Resting the dough for a few minutes after seasoning it with salt will also help improve its texture.

Finally, finish the arepas in the oven instead of solely cooking them on the stovetop. This will ensure even cooking without burning the sides, resulting in perfectly cooked and tender arepas.

The Traditional Way of Making Arepas

The traditional method of making arepas involves using dried corn pounded in a pilón. This process is a key part of the traditional techniques used in making these delicious Venezuelan treats.

Arepas are a staple food in Venezuela, and their preparation can vary slightly depending on the region.

In some areas, the corn is soaked and ground to make the dough, while in others, it is pounded using a mortar and pestle. The resulting dough is then shaped into discs and cooked on a griddle or skillet.

Regional variations also come into play when it comes to the thickness of the arepas.

Colombian-style arepas tend to be thinner and are usually topped with ingredients, while Venezuelan-style arepas are thicker and often filled with a variety of delicious fillings such as cheese, beans, shredded chicken, or pulled pork.

Recipe Details and Cooking Time

The recipe details and cooking time for making Venezuelan-style arepas can be easily followed to create delicious and filling arepas.

With a total time of 40 minutes, including 25 minutes of active cooking time, these arepas can be prepared relatively quickly.

To start, combine masarepa (dehydrated cooked cornmeal), water, and vegetable oil in a bowl and knead until a dough is formed. Check the consistency of the dough and add more water if needed. Season the dough with salt and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces, roll into balls, flatten into disks, and set aside. Cook the arepas in a skillet until charred on both sides, then transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through. Let the arepas rest for 5 minutes, then split, fill, and serve.

Masarepa can be substituted with popular brands like Goya or P.A.N., and the arepas can also be cooked on a greased panini press or a grill over low heat.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

One popular variation of Venezuelan-style arepas is to use different fillings such as cheese, beans, shredded chicken, or pulled pork.

These fillings add a delicious and savory element to the already tasty arepas. The cheese filling provides a gooey and melty texture that pairs perfectly with the crispy exterior of the arepa.

Beans offer a hearty and satisfying option, while shredded chicken or pulled pork bring a flavorful and protein-rich addition.

When it comes to serving suggestions, there are endless possibilities. Arepas can be topped with avocado slices, tomato, and lettuce for a fresh and vibrant touch.

Salsa or hot sauce can be drizzled on top to add a spicy kick. For a creamy and tangy twist, sour cream or Greek yogurt can be added. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try adding some pickled onions or jalapeños for an extra burst of flavor.

Experimenting with different fillings and toppings allows you to create a unique and personalized arepa experience every time.


In conclusion, Venezuelan-style Arepas are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a snack, breakfast, or main course.

Made with a combination of masarepa, water, and vegetable oil, these arepas are tender and moist.

With a variety of fillings such as cheese, beans, shredded chicken, or pulled pork, they offer a burst of flavor in every bite.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional recipes or looking to try something new, these Arepas are sure to impress your taste buds.

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