Homemade Arepas

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I grew up in sunny Miami, Florida and lived there until I graduated high school.


One of the best parts of growing up in Florida (besides the sun and surf!) was the awesome Hispanic food.  


One of my favorite things to eat were arepas, a corn-based bread from Colombia and Venezuela that is often fried and stuffed with cheese.  Think grilled cheese, but better.  They. are. awesome.  Arepas are frequently sold from little streetside vendors.  The greasier the better!

arepas (source)


I was trying to figure out what to do with all the leftover Corn Casserole when it hit me…


MAKE A HOMEMADE (and healthier) AREPA!


Oh. My. Goodness.  For all that is holy in cheese and corn, this is awesome.


To make homemade arepas, take about 1.5 servings of leftover and cold corn casserole and form into two small balls.


Smash to form flat circles and put a generous amount of mozzarella cheese in between.  I microwaved the arepa for 30 seconds before placing it on the griddle for a few minutes.


So cheesy.  So delicious.


With a side salad:


I love arepas!  And other people do, too – there’s even a Facebook fan page dedicated to the cheesy treat. 🙂



  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 27, 2010, 1:42 pm

    Looks yummy!

  • tina October 27, 2010, 1:42 pm

    omg, these look DELISH!

    ps, i found another vegan sour cream substitute making a cashew cream ! can’t wait to try a vegan corn casserole 🙂 and then i can make arepas with vegan cheeze- woo hoo!

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 1:43 pm

      oh good idea!!

  • Brandy @ Simply Fit Mama October 27, 2010, 1:43 pm

    I’ve never had an arepas before but they look delicious!! My mouth is watering. 🙂

  • Rachel October 27, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Nicely done!!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 27, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Is this like papusas? I have made papusas before and it looks very similar. They look delicious. Though could you go wrong adding cheese? I think not.

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog October 27, 2010, 1:45 pm

    oh my gosh genius. I freaking LOVE arepas. they were at basically every festival in Miami. I miss the hispanic food there!! my bff is getting married in miami in two weeks and the rehearsal lunch is at versailles. can.not.wait.

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) October 27, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I’ve never heard of arepas, so I am curious to try them now! They sound good!!

  • Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher October 27, 2010, 1:45 pm

    mmmmm! i’ve had them. love them!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 27, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Holy amazing those sound SO GOOD!

  • Amanda (Eating Up) October 27, 2010, 1:47 pm

    I’ve never had one! But now, thanks to this post, that can soon change!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 27, 2010, 1:47 pm

    Gonna give us the secret recipe?? They look delish!!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg October 27, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Yum!! I love specialty dishes like this!

  • Erin October 27, 2010, 1:48 pm

    A restaurant just opened near my house that sells these but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ll have to make it a point to stop by there some evening.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story October 27, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I am of the school of thought that thinks corn and cheese is one of the greatest combinations ever in the history of the world. This looks absolutely amazing.

  • Nicole @ Yuppie Yogini October 27, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Oh my gosh…that looks incredible. You can repost this as a day after Thanksgiving recipe!

  • Karen @ Not Just Celery October 27, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Mmmm I love arepas! They were my favorite when I had the chance to go to Bogota, Colombia last year! There is a restaurant in the East Village in NYC that makes arepas and empanadas as their main features and it’s one of my favorite spots to take company when they visit! I love your idea of making them at home and will be sure to try it sometime!

  • Michelle October 27, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Wait a second… is this what Speedy Gonzales was yelling about all those times?

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:05 pm

      No no! Hehe he is yelling “Andale! Andale! Epa, Epa! Arriba! Arriba!” which basically means let’s go, let’s go! faster! faster!

      • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:05 pm

        Major LOLs though

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) October 27, 2010, 2:02 pm

    What a great idea! I love it when you can take leftovers and make something totally new!

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe October 27, 2010, 2:03 pm

    What a great idea! I’ve never tried one of those.

  • Amanda October 27, 2010, 2:05 pm

    Looks great! I’ve never heard of them before. You learn something new everyday 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 27, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of these but they sound tasty! Yet another reason why leftovers are great! 😀

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition October 27, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Your baby picture is so cute! lol I love old pictures.

  • grocery goddess jen October 27, 2010, 2:13 pm

    I’ve never even heard of those, but now I want try them.

  • Janie October 27, 2010, 2:16 pm

    such a good idea!!! we make a similar corn casserole for thanksgiving…but instead of the sour cream, we use one stick of butter and some cayenne! im definitely doing the arepa thing for leftovers…xoxo

  • Hope October 27, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Holy yum! I love the corn/cheese combo! This looks so good!

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) October 27, 2010, 2:35 pm

    Yum! We’ve topped our corn casserole with cheese, so I’m sure this combo is delicious. And I just looooove corn cakes…but I usually eat those with honey. 🙂

  • Marina October 27, 2010, 2:47 pm

    arepas sound awesome, I love combo of corn and cheese!

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 27, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I love how this looks — I’ve had papusas which sound similiar — fried corn “cakes” with cheese or beans stuffed inside. They are amazing!

  • Janae Jacobs October 27, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I have never tried an arepa before but now I am sold on making your healthier version! Thanks!

  • vicki October 27, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Love love LOVE arepas! My dad was born in Colombia and these were a staple at my grandmother’s when I was little. I feel really lucky to have an amazing Colombian restarant nearby that makes them almost as well.

  • Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice October 27, 2010, 3:03 pm

    There’s an arepas place near my neighborhood and it’s so delicious! I didn’t know how easy it was to make at home. I love the cheese in it.

  • carlee October 27, 2010, 3:06 pm

    Oooo! I’m so going to do that! That’s awesome!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In October 27, 2010, 3:06 pm

    Um Wow.
    My mom makes a creamed corn cornbread and I see this in the future. Perfect for a cheese craving!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie October 27, 2010, 3:08 pm

    That’s such a good idea! I have to try that. Cheese takes so many things to another level.

  • diana October 27, 2010, 3:20 pm

    is that another word for pupusa?!

    thats a banging idea!!! i went to the market today and got me corn casserole ingredients. i may make it today.. since today is my only free day this week. woof! i love all the food you eat, except the brussels sprouts haha!

  • Meaghen October 27, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Those look awesome! I’ve never really had hispanic food before. Miami is mostly Cuban food right? But it always sounds and looks so good!

  • Leanne @ Simplicitlee October 27, 2010, 3:32 pm

    Hahaha I love that there is a facebook page!

  • Candice October 27, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I’ve never heard of Arepas before, but they look and sound delicious! And considering I love cornbread and cheese, I’m thinking I wouldn’t have a problem getting down a couple of these:)

  • Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous October 27, 2010, 3:38 pm

    My boyfriend’s dad is Venezuelan so his mom makes arepas all the time. She has a special machine though that you put like 6 balls of dough in then you close the lid, it smooshes to sizes and cooks it up so they aren’t fried. Then we slice them in half and fill with cheese and sometimes ham too!

  • Danielle October 27, 2010, 3:46 pm

    Yum! There is a great arepa place in NYC called Caracs Arepa bar. Lots of varieties!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman October 27, 2010, 3:57 pm

    I’ve never had these, but now I want to. Corn cakes with cheese in between? YUM.

  • Charlie October 27, 2010, 3:59 pm

    Better than grilled cheese? Must be delicious!

  • Tay October 27, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Reminds me of a papusa! Which, sadly, the only place I’ve had them from is Costco. But they were good!!

  • L October 27, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Those look AMAZING. Just curious if you’ve heard or have any thoughts about this latest Marie Claire snafu? Looks like irresponsible journalism strikes again! (Or maybe they were looking for a controversial topic to bring readers?)

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 4:19 pm

      I think you’re right – its a little of both! It blows, obviously.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit October 27, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Wow, that looks amazing! Never heard of arepas before.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 27, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Soooo yummy. I haven’t’ had a good arepa in ages. This should be a fun thing to add to my to-make list.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 27, 2010, 4:50 pm

    oh my – this looks wonderful!!!!

  • Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition October 27, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Growing up my family was crazy! We used to drive to Florida from Easter Long Island (29 hour ride!) every year in our lovely dodge mini van. haha good times though!!

  • Lesley October 27, 2010, 4:54 pm

    I love Hispanic food in all forms, so I am very sad I’ve never even heard of an Arepa before. Your homemade version looks amazing!

  • Allison K October 27, 2010, 5:13 pm

    OMG. anything with melted cheese has my vote.

  • Kelly October 27, 2010, 5:28 pm

    YUM!! Looks amazing…these are the times when I wish my computer had a smell option!!!! 🙂

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 27, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Ahhhh that looks amazing and I’m not even a cheese person. Somehow authentic dishes are always better than their American knockoffs!

  • Allison October 27, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Never had corn casserole before, but after seeing the arepas, I am thinking I must try it!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black October 27, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Never heard of these but they look great!!!!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black October 27, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Never heard of these but they look great!!!!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black October 27, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Never heard of these but they look great!!!!

  • Rachel October 27, 2010, 6:16 pm

    mmmm – I miss the Mexican food I grew up with in Southern California. Arepas are a favorite of mine too and yours look fantastic!

  • Balanced Healthy Life October 27, 2010, 7:03 pm

    Yum! Those look great! For some reason, anything with loads of cheese always taste great!

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? October 27, 2010, 7:10 pm

    Oh this just looks way too good!!
    Of course, you had me convinced as soon as you said “cheese”. 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now October 27, 2010, 7:16 pm

    I’ve never heard of them before, but it sounds like cornbread meets grilled cheese to me, which can’t be bad!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed October 27, 2010, 7:17 pm

    These look so good! Genius. I’ve never hear of arepas – thanks for the introduction!
    Heidi xo

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up October 27, 2010, 7:18 pm

    Oh. My. God. My mouth is officially watering. 🙂

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 27, 2010, 7:30 pm

    oh my goodness. Those arepas look SO good! Corn and cheese – yes please 🙂

  • chelsey October 27, 2010, 7:49 pm

    That is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. If i weren’t corn inolerant, I’dbe all over that.

  • Vanessa October 27, 2010, 8:31 pm

    Hola Caitlin, I absolutely love your blog and read it daily. I’ve never commented but had to today since you featured one of my fave foods. My parents are from Colombia and arepas are a staple at our house. We usually have it for breakfast topped with huevos pericos( scrambled egg with green onions , peppers, & tomato). Your mozza-arepa looks delicious 🙂

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 9:18 pm

      huevos pericos sound SOOOO GOOD!

  • Camille October 27, 2010, 8:44 pm

    That looks to die for!

  • Wei-Wei October 27, 2010, 8:49 pm

    Ooh, Jen just posted about this over on Use Real Butter! Check it out: http://userealbutter.com/2010/10/27/arepas-with-guasacaca-recipe/

  • Gree October 27, 2010, 9:40 pm

    Wow, those do look delicious. We have some leftover polenta, maybe I should try it with that! I love making not-so-healthy recipes healthy, it’s one of my favorite pastimes!

  • Ashley October 27, 2010, 9:46 pm

    What?! I went to grad school at FAU in Boca Raton for 2 years and never once heard of arepas!!! So sad I missed out on those bad boys while I was living in South Fl!!!

  • Katharine October 27, 2010, 9:53 pm

    Those look amazing. I love anything with cheesy goodness! Yum!!

    After I read this post earlier I was reading the new Cooking Light and they had a section on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers…Turkey Arepas! You are ahead of the times Caitlin! 😉

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska October 27, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Oh cheese and corn. This former Texan LOVES these things!

  • Lauren October 27, 2010, 10:23 pm

    Are the arepas you got in FL filled with mozzarella? I was in Venezuela but the cheese was definitely not mozzarella…I could barely eat it by the end of my trip. Not for me! I had a “mozzarepa” from a stand by that name at the beach once. Totally different than the ones in Venezuela!

    • Caitlin October 28, 2010, 7:59 am

      I’m not sure what of kind cheese it is… Hmm.

  • Kiran October 28, 2010, 12:05 am

    OMG! I need to try these. It’s a shame as a Floridian, I’d never knew about arepas 😀

  • Kristy October 28, 2010, 8:02 am

    OMG! I need these in my life! Its funny – unless you’ve lived in FL people under estimate how much latin influence is around. I.E. I grew up on these too and I’m white!!! 🙂

  • Carolina October 28, 2010, 9:51 am

    I LOVE arepas! I make them with flour & cheese instead of corn, they’re more salty & so delicious! Glad you enjoy them 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 28, 2010, 9:57 am

    I’ve never heard of arepas before, but they sound delicious! There’s nothing better than gooey, melty cheese! 😀

  • Elisabeth C October 28, 2010, 10:21 am

    I made these last night – SO delicious! The only thing I changed was that I used Jiffy Yellow Cake mix instead of cornbread mix. It was delicious!

    • Caitlin October 28, 2010, 12:56 pm

      glad you liked them!

  • Angelica October 29, 2010, 12:35 pm

    This is awesome Caitlin. I was born in Venezuela and you could actually call these “cachapas” as well! They are very similar to arepas but you add corn to them. You can also use “queso blanco” for the cheese. The cheese is a bit salty so it goes well with the corn.
    So glad to hear you love them!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life October 29, 2010, 6:27 pm

    Oh my God, those look delicious! I have never had Arepas. (I guess it’s not a popular upstate NY thing 😉

    After all your corn posts I’ve decided to make some scalloped corn tomorrow since I haven’t had it since Thanksgiving. Thanks for inducing major food cravings Caitlin! 🙂

  • Luis Fernando November 2, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Sincere congratulations on your nice website, Caitlin. I´m Colombian. I love the delicious Colombian arepas. God bless you and keep you always. A warm hug from a distance. 😀

  • Elena November 11, 2015, 6:54 am

    Lovely blog and pictures but just so you know Arepas are VENEZUELAN originally! not colombian -Arepa was named by caciques who are venezuelan! It is a common misconception that really annoys me!

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