Arepas are one of the most simple, yet delicious culinary takeaways brought back from my experiences in Colombia. You can find arepas all around the country. In restaurants, on the street, for a late night snack, or any other time of the day. Learn how to make arepas de queso for your next craving!
Everyone likes to make arepas differently – and they vary by region. Sometimes sweet, sometimes salty. If you are looking for a great Arepa recipe, you have come to the right place.
Arepas can be eaten alone, mixed with cheese, filled with meat, or any other way you can think of. Arepas are one of my favorite things to cook, and my go-to breakfast meal. Often had with Chocolate Caliente con Queso (Colombian Hot Chocolate with Cheese – yes, cheese).
Arepas are small flat, round unleavened patties made out of maize (corn flour). They are prominent in Colombia and Venezuela and are often eaten for breakfast. The term arepa comes from the word “erepa” which means corn bread in the language of the Indigenous people of Venezuela and Colombia.
Today, we are going to make Arepas de Queso, or simply put, Arepas with Cheese. Now, arepas de queso are not just made with “cheese” they are MADE with cheese, oozing out of the sides, kneaded into the dough and formed to perfection. Let’s get started!
How To Make Arepas de Queso
To make Arepas de Queso you only need four ingredients. P.A.N or other corn flour, but this one is my favorite. Mozzarella Cheese, Milk and Salted Butter and Salt to taste.
Gather up your ingredients and pour 2 cups of corn flower into a bowl.
TIP: P.A.N can sometimes be hard to find. It is most likely in the international section or latin part of the grocery store. It is anywhere from $2-3 dollars a package.
Then add about 2.5 cups of milk (you can also use water). Throw in a couple of good pinches of salt, you don’t need to go overboard here, but enough to taste. Next add about 1.5 cups of Mozzarella cheese. (this is the secret)
Mix the ingredients with your hands, or hand since it can get a little sticky.
Make sure there are no lumps and form it into a ball, you want the consistency to be a bit softer than play dough. It can dry out easily, so make sure it is nice an moist. This – honestly takes some practice. Consistency is key to a moist Arepa. It is something to perfect over time, but don’t worry now.
Break off a small chunk about the size of a large meatball. and work it into a smaller ball (left).
The next step you want to push your thumb into the ball and form a bowl. At this point you will have a nice spot for some delicious cheese!
TIP: Don’t be shy, if you can fit more cheese in there do it.
Once you have filled the “bowl” with cheese, fold one side over to make a pocket and pinch it shut. This might be a bit tricky since the cheese will want to stop you from closing it, but dip your fingers in some left over milk to form a glue and work it from an ugly oval shape to a beautiful sealed cheese pocket.
TIP: This step is tricky and can be time consuming if it is your first time. Use the palm of one hand, and rotate the patty in the other to form a flat wall around the dough.
At this point you should have your griddle or skillet hot to anywhere from 300 – 350. I tend to start at 300 and raise and lower it as desired.
Right before you are ready to start cooking, rub the butter stick on the griddle and give it about 3 seconds before you put it down. Next sprinkle with some coarse salt.
Take a spatula and check occasionally for black specks like above, that is the cheese mixed in with the dough. Flip it occasionally and add salt to the unsalted side, you can re-butter the griddle also. You will know it is done when melted cheese starts to break through the wall off the Arepa and ooze out. Just make sure they are not burning before that happens. If so, lower the heat a bit. Cooking should take anywhere form 10-15 minutes, about half for each side.
Put the hot Arepas de Queso on a plate and eat them HOT! These treats work great for parties!
As you can see here the cheese has escaped telling you that it is ready to be eaten.
You do not have to add cheese to the dough, but it adds nice moisture, texture and taste.
There is nothing like a freshly cooked Arepa con Queso with cheese that strings out as you break it apart.
While you are at it – fry up an egg on the griddle and place it on top of the Arepa!
Tada, hot Arepas de Queso! Arepas go very well with Chocolate Caliente. Check out the recipe and tell me what you think!
Please try these, and let me know how you like them in the comments. With only four ingredients how can you go wrong?
As you can see, there are many ways to make these – You can use water instead of milk, cheese in the dough or not, egg on top? Sure! Try them, you wont be disappointed.
Arepas De Queso Recipe & Steps
- 2 Cups Corn Meal
- 2.5 Cups Milk or Water
- 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ Stick Melted Butter
- Salt to taste
- Add 2 cups of corn meal and 2 cups warm milk or water to a large bowl. Reserve the remaining ½ cup to add if you need it later.
- Add 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Add 2 good pinches of salt.
- Form a ball with the dough by mixing the ingredients.
- Break off a piece about the size of a large meatball.
- Flatten and form a bowl in the cup of your hand.
- Place shredded mozzarella cheese inside.
- Close the arepa in half and seal the edges.
- Form a flat round object.
- Heat skillet to 320 and rub a stick of butter on the hot surface.
- Place arepa on the skillet and sprinkle with salt.
- Once side is getting spotty brown, re-apply butter to skillet and flip. (~4 Minutes)
- Re salt new side.
- Once cheese starts to escape and ooze out and it looks nice and golden brown, it is done.
- Slice the freshly made arepa in half, but only ⅔ of the way through.
- Place filling of fresh avocado and chicken inside.
Are you going to make Arepas de Queso?
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