Cheesy Arepas

Breakfast, Sides, Vegetarian

Cheesy Arepas

This was sorta sometimes my breakfast as a kid.

My mom isn’t Colombian so this wasn’t something she made for us. Instead, it was something that my dad’s aunt taught me how to make. But since I was a lazy teenager, I never wanted to make them. I’d drive to this little Colombian restaurant near my house where they sold them frozen in batches of twelve. I’d just heat them up in oven and boom…breakfast, lunch, a snack.

They always were more cheesy than maybe they should be and I was totally ok with that.

Cheesy Arepas

Arepas are made with PAN, which is essentially a finer MASA. It’s considered more like corn flour than corn meal.

They couldn’t be simpler. Once the corn flour is mixed with a combination of warm water, butter and salt, it rests. This gives you time to get your skillet on the stove and your mozzarella cheese all ready.

Cheesy Arepas

Cheesy Arepas

Cheesy Arepas

And then the arepas are formed and stuffed with shredded mozzarella. You could get fancy with your cheese but I decided to keep it classic and simple.

Cheesy Arepas

Cheesy Arepas

After they’re cooked on a flat top with a pat of butter, you’re supposed to pour the coffee, add the milk, pull out the paper (or your iPad)…and chill.

When you pull the arepa apart, the cheese will be melty and gooey and make you realize that cheese-pulls are one of the best things in the entire world.

Cheesy Arepas

Cheesy Arepas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 arepas


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups yellow or white corn flour (PAN)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, for the pan


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water, butter and salt. Place corn flour in another bowl, making a well in the center. Pour the liquid into the well, mixing with you hands until thoroughly combined. At first dough will stick to your hands; continue until it's soft and no longer sticky. Cover with a damp linen and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Separate the dough into 6 balls. Place the ball onto your palm, and flatten the ball into a disc, alternating between your two hand, that is 1/4-inch thick and 3-inches in diameter. To the center, add a tablespoon (you can eye ball this measurement) of mozzarella to the center. Fold in the sides until the mozzarella is no longer visible. And then gently form it into a 1/2-inch thick disc and press around the edges to eliminate any cracks.
  3. Over moderately medium-high heat, brush the skillet with about the butter. Once the skillet is hot, add the arepas, being sure to not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked arepas to a warm oven until you've gone through all 6.
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  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I LOVE apepas! I haven’t made them myself though, so trying this version is definitely something I’ll be doing soon. Woo hoo!

  • Reply Karen Hilliard February 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Those look so yummy and they look easy. I’m trying them soon. Technically gluten free as well!

  • Reply Nizzi February 16, 2016 at 9:22 am

    These look amazing and I can’t wait to make them! Is cornmeal an okay substitute for the corn flour in this recipe? Maybe I can run it through a food processor until it’s finely ground?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme February 17, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Hmm…that might work actually. I’m not sure because I haven’t tried it but if you put it in the food processor I can’t imagine it not working!

  • Reply Mary Ann February 16, 2016 at 9:53 am

    This is the breakfast recipe I have been waiting for. Trying to stay away from wheat, needing protein and easy! Thanks Adrianna, pet Amelia for me!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme February 17, 2016 at 10:52 am

      I just did and she says thank you and hi! 😉

  • Reply Laura (A Beautiful Plate) February 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Could I do this in a sheet pan?! HA! 🙂

  • Reply Gal F. February 16, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Do these freeze well?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme February 17, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Yes, they do! I’d make them completely, let them cool to room temperature and then place them on a sheet pan and stick ’em in the freezer for 1 hour. When they’re mostly frozen, I’d put them all in a freezer-safe plastic bag, separated by small sheets of parchment.

  • Reply Heather February 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    There’s nothing better than gooey cheese! I had arepas when I was in Colombia last year and I’ve been wanting to make my own ever since… I need to get on it!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme February 17, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Yes! They’re so much easier than you would think. Hope you like ’em!

  • Reply Nora February 16, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    These look so yummy and tasty!

  • Reply Kari February 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I’ve never heard of these before but they look delicious!!

  • Reply Friday Link Love - Two Places at Once February 19, 2016 at 12:13 am

    […] cheesy arepas from A Cozy Kitchen Bake a citrus olive oil cake from Cookie + Kate Drink a prickly lady cocktail […]

  • Reply Kate February 21, 2016 at 5:27 am

    I’ve never made arepas, these look like the ultimate breakfast comfort food. I’m sure it’s faux pas but I can see a little salsa verde or guacamole going mighty nicely with these. Yum!

  • Reply Shikha @ Shikha la mode February 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    omg omg omg I LOVE arepas. I seriously could eat them all the time. Cant’ wait to try this out!!

  • Reply marianto jaramillo March 31, 2016 at 6:38 am

    yess venezuelan represent hahahahhahaha i LOved

  • Reply Friday Link Love | Two Places at Once December 2, 2016 at 11:51 am

    […] cheesy arepas from A Cozy Kitchen Bake a citrus olive oil cake from Cookie + Kate Drink a prickly lady cocktail […]

  • Reply 6 Arepas Recipes to Make Before It Becomes 2017’s New Obsession – LCNN1 January 11, 2017 at 2:54 am

    […] Get the recipe: cheese arepas […]

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