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Arepas - Cornmeal Cakes


By Vanessa Sánchez


Arepas are cornmeal cakes that originated hundreds of years ago in a region that now makes up Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama. Traditionally, they were cooked on a pan called a “budare”. But they can also be grilled, baked, or fried. There are many kinds of Colombian arepas, but they tend to be thin, and stuffed with cheese. This version is a basic salty arepa with cheese.


  • 2 cups of pre-cooked corn meal
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 12 oz of fresh cheese (optional)


  1. Mix pre-cooked corn meal and salt together in a medium bowl and grate the cheese.
  2. Gradually stir the water in the bowl over the cornmeal and mix with your fingers until the mixture forms a soft, moist, malleable dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Form small balls and flatten them with your hands into a thin disc about 2 in. in diameter.  Slice the discs open lengthwise, to create a pocket, and add the amount of grated cheese of your choice. Close the disc.
  4. Cook in a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  5. Serve with chocolate, coffee, or even shredded meat!


Servings: 10

Total time: 30 minutes

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