Venezuelan arepas are Venezuelan sandwiches made of pre-cooked white corn meal and stuffed with cheese and just about anything else you want to add. This Venezuelan arepa recipe has chicken and vegetables and the most delicious sauce. With this arepa recipe, I will walk you through all the steps to making a delicious arepa and show you different variations you can make for the arepa filling.
This Venezuelan arepa recipe was taught to me by a very good friend from Venezuela. This is the way her family makes a chicken filling for the arepas and they are so delicious that I never looked for another recipe️. We also would add other fillings with the leftover arepas the next day which I will talk about later in the post.
Ingredients to make the arepas:
- Pre cooked white cornmeal. I use a brand called PAN and I can always find it in grocery stores. This cornmeal is not the same as regular cornmeal or masa (used for tortillas).
- Salt and pepper. I use kosher salt.
There are just a couple ingredients to make the arepa. The filling for the arepas will add a few more ingredients to your list but they are probably things you already have in your kitchen.
Ingredients for the arepas filling:
- Boneless and skinless chicken breast
- Red pepper
- Green pepper
- Cholula hot sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Queso blanco
- Adobo Seasoning
If you do not have Adobo seasoning, I have included a recipe for that. It uses basic kitchen spices that when combined taste really amazing.
How to make these Venezuelan arepas:
The first thing you want to do is add water to your pre-cooked cornmeal. You add a little salt and pepper at this point to give the cornmeal some flavor.
Once the arepa dough is nice and mixed and it stays together, you will shape the arepa dough into patties. I like to use a ¼ measuring cup to ensure they are all the same size.
The next step is crisping up the arepas on the stove top. Here they will get a nice golden brown crust on the outside. After this you place them on a sheet pan and place them into an oven to steam and cook the inside.
Once they are done cooking in the oven they will be ready to be cut open and filled with the chicken and peppers filling.
Making the filling for the arepas:
This filling for the arepas cannot be any easier to make. You are just browning your chicken strips, peppers and onions and then adding your Adobo and sauces. The combination of the Worcestershire sauce and Cholula are amazing together.
The arepas also have a salty Queso Blanco cheese that is added to the inside of the arepa. It adds a delicious creamy background flavor that goes so well with the Adobo, sauce and chicken.
Variations for the filling:
As I mentioned earlier, this recipe for arepas has a chicken and peppers filling but you can add anything you like.
My favorite thing to do with leftover arepas from dinner is to cook up some eggs in the morning to make an egg sandwich. I will warm the arepa in the oven then add some butter to the hot arepa and maybe some Queso blanco if I have any leftover.
I promise you it will be better than anything you will get at a restaurant!
You can also use:
- All vegetables.
- Cold cuts.
- Just cheese
Or eat them on their own with a little butter melted on the inside.
These also make a great meal option for gluten free diets or entertaining for your gluten free friends since the arepa is made of corn. These taste so amazing and are such a fun and easy dish to make. I hope you give these a try!
For more chicken recipes you may like:
- Chicken with tarragon
- Cajun chicken pasta
- Ottolenghi's seeded chicken schnitzel
- Chinese Chicken
- Lemon Butter Chicken
- Blackened Chicken
- Chicken Satay
- Chicken Saltimbocca
- Rotisserie Chicken Sandwiches
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 1 red pepper cut into thin slices
- 1 green pepper cut into thin slices
- 1 small spanish onion cut into thin slices
- 2 boneless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise then cut into thin strips.
- 2 cups of PAN white pre-cooked cornmeal see image above
- 2 ¼ cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of Adobo seasoning
- 2 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
- 1 package of Queso Blanco sometimes called Queso Fresco, Queso Ranchero or Venezuelan Queso Blanco sliced thin.
- 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoon of Cholula hot sauce depending on how much spice you like
- 4 tablespoon of butter optional
Recipe for Adobo Seasoning
- 3 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large bowl, add your water, salt and pepper and mix.
- Next add your corn meal slowly into the water mixing well. You are making the dough for your corn patties. The consistency should be very similar to clay (moist but not wet). If your corn meal mixture is too dry which will happen on drier days, just add 1 tablespoon more of water at a time until it is moist.
- Once your corn meal mixture is ready, you are going to take a large ball and place it in your hands and roll it into a ball and then flatten into a patty shape making sure to smooth out the edges (a lot like making a hamburger).
- Continue doing this until all of your corn meal is used up and you have about 7-8 patties.
- Next, we are going to cook the arepas.
- Pre-heat a large heavy bottom skillet on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- When it is heated, you are going to add your corn patties (arepas) into the pan and cook until it gets a nice crust on it (about 5 minutes a side).
- You may need to cook your arepas in batches if they do not all fit in the pan.
- Once they are cooked, place them on a large cookie sheet and place them in the oven to cook some more. This part of the cooking heats them on the inside and helps the out crust as well. You are going to leave them in there until you are done cooking the rest of your meal (they won't burn).
- While the arepas are in the oven, in the same pan you crisped the arepas in, and on medium heat, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Next, add your onions, garlic, and peppers to the pan and cook for a few minutes.
- Next add your Adobo seasoning to your sliced chicken and then add your chicken to the pan of peppers and onions and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Once the chicken is cooked, turn heat to low and add your Worcestershire sauce and Cholula sauce and mix well and cover.
- Now, slice up your Queso Blanco cheese and put it on a plate.
- Then, take the arepas out of the oven and put them on a plate.
- Last, take your chicken and peppers and place them in a bowl and bring all of these dishes to the table for everyone to assemble their arepas.
Assembling the arepas
- With a sharp knife, slice the arepa open like you would a bun (be careful its hot!) and a little butter to the arepa
- Add a small pat of butter and let it melt into the arepa.
- Add some sliced cheese
- Add your meat and veggie mixture
- Place the top back on the arepa
- ENJOY!! It is messy
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here