Soft Venezuelan arepas are delicious corn cakes that are naturally gluten-free! Made with just a couple of ingredients and completely vegan.
Eat as bread for breakfast like arepas con huevas, with grilled vegetables and avocado for lunch or with slow-cooked beef for dinner. These arepas are so easy to make. Ready to learn how you can make arepas? Let’s get started!
Arepas or corn cakes are considered the most popular type of bread that is made with pre-cooked corn flour and eaten in South American countries like Venezuela or Columbia.
Funnily enough, this bread is also eaten in the Spanish Canary Islands which is miles away from South America. In Venezuela and Columbia, it is eaten daily with almost every meal.
With a lot of bread type of recipes, there are many ways to make arepas and eat them. You prepare them:
- bake in the oven
Just like bread you can eat these corn arepas as a sandwich or a regular slice of bread and eat it with sweet or savory toppings.
There are a number of maize flours. The pre-cooked version, for instance, comes in a yellow maize flour or white maize flour.
Be aware that the corn for this recipe is different than the masa harina flour used for corn tortillas. Look for flour that says harina precocida or masa al instante. A popular brand is Harina PAN.
The base of the vegan corn cake is just as simple as the corn tortilla. It required four ingredients:
- Pre-cooked maize flour
- Vegetable oil
The more elaborate versions of the arepas contain oil, milk, butter or eggs. This recipe is made with the simplest of ingredients.
How to make arepas
To make this arepas recipe start with measuring the pre-cooked maize flour and salt. Stir the salt through the flour before you continue and add the water. The ratio of flour to water to use is a 1½ by 2 ratio.
If you have made corn tortillas you can make this dough in a similar way. The dough should not be too dry else the end result will crack and it should not be wet either.
This will result in dense arepas Venezuelan. Add warm water and stir it through the flour.
The maize flour will absorb a lot of moisture so make sure the water is absorbed and knead it into a consistent dough.
Let it sit for 5 minutes then cut it into 5 equal pieces and shape into corn cakes. Repeat for the remaining four Venezuelan arepas.
I choose the pan fry oven-baked version to prepare these arepas but you can also decide to fry the corn cakes in oil or steam them like Chinese steamed buns.
Preheat a skillet. When the skillet is warm put the vegan arepas in the pan and cook 5-7 minutes per side.
Then preheat the oven to 350℉/175℃. Take them out of the pan and let them bake for another 5 minutes in the oven.
When the corn arepas are done take them out of the oven and split them in half.
Corn arepas are best eaten fresh from the grill, pan or oven but you can store them if you want.
- Store them in the refrigerator for a couple of days in an airtight container
- Put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for a couple of months
If you want to use them thaw them first before warming them in a griddle or skillet.
What to eat with Venezuelan arepas
You can eat these corn cakes with so many things. Take a look at all the options you have:
- Pulled chicken – like the one that is used in the pulled chicken fajitas
- Shredded brisket beef – is also a popular dish to stuff the arepas with
- Grated cheese – simple and easy. Warm them in the oven or toaster so you get grilled arepas with soft cheese
- Fried or boiled eggs – fried, scrambled or boiled all work nicely with these corn cakes
- Low carb tuna salad – especially tuna salad goes really well with arepas
- Hamburger – yes this recipe is perfect for a hamburger or chicken burger
See how to make Venezuelan arepas
Want to see how you can make arepas the best corn cakes? Watch the video instruction below:
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Have fun making this arepas recipe!
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Want to make the best Venezuelan arepas yourself, that are naturally gluten free? Try this easy corn cakes recipe. Only 4 ingredients and completely vegan.
- 1½ cup PAN Mais flour
- 2 cup warm water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Mix maize flour, salt and add the water. Then add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and knead by hand into a consistent dough
- Let it rest for 5 minutes
- Divide into five pieces and knead each piece into a smooth dough ball
- Press the dough ball into a disk to the size and thickness of a hamburger
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/175℃ degrees
- Heat a skillet with one or two tablespoons of oil and brush the skillet. Place the four arepas in the frying pan and let them cook slowly in 5-7 minutes and brown
- Turn the arepas over and let the bottom also turn brown for 5-7 minutes
- Remove the arepas from the pan and place them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven for another 5 minutes
- Remove from the oven and cut in half
Serve with meat, cheese, beans or a hamburger
Calories: 128; Fat: 4.6g; Carbs: 21.6g; Protein: 0.1g;