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Arepas rellenas - a Venezuelan corn cakes

Arepas Rellenas – Black Beans and Cheese Venezulan Corn Cakes

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  • Author: Janine Do
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 arepas 1x


This Arepas rellenas is a Venezuelan styled recipe. It’s a thick corn cake that is split and then stuffed with black beans, cheese and optional garnishing or meat.




  • 2 cups very fine corn flour, maiz meal, or masarepa
  • 2 ears fresh corn, washed shucked and cut away from cob (for ~1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of scallions (green onions), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Guasacaca – Avocado Sauce

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Additional Toppings (All Optional)

  • Black bean sofrito
  • Avocado
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Crumbled queso fresco, cojita or feta cheese
  • Cooked and shredded meats (i.e. pulled pork or shredded chicken)


Stage 1 – Make Your Arepas

  1. In a large bowl, combine your sea salt and corn flour (masarepa). Mix well together with your hands
  2. Next, very gradually add your water into the mixture. As you add water, mix it into the corn flour to begin the formation of your dough. Continue to add water and mix into the corn flour until you’ve used all your water. Once you’re done, you should have a fairly thick and mealy textured dough
  3. Next, add in your fresh corn, chopped cilantro, green onions, and your chili powder. With your hands, mix together to well distribute the ingredients

Stage 2 – Shape and Stuff Your Arepas

  1. With your arepa dough ready to go, take a handful (the size of your palm) into your hand and, with both of your palms, begin to roll it into the shape of a ball. Continue with this until you’ve created equally-sized balls from all of your dough
  2. Next, on a flat even surface, press a ball of arepa dough downward into the surface. Be careful so as not to crack the outer edges of the dough, but what will happen is that your arepa develops the shape of a disc. You want them to be about half an inch thick. Repeat until you’ve created discs out of all your dough

Stage 3 – Cook Your Arepas & Prepare Guasacaca

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit and setting aside a pre-oiled baking sheet
  2. To start, take either a flat pan or a griddle and heat it over medium heat. Once hot, add the most scantest of dashes of oil to it and spread around evenly
  3. Once the surface is nice and hot, place your discs of arepa dough onto the griddle. Sear each side of your discs for 3-5 minutes until you see a nice golden brown color forming
  4. With your arepas now nice and golden brown on the outside, transfer each disc to the baking dish and place in the oven for another 15 minutes
  5. While your arepas are baking in the oven, combine all the ingredients for the guasacaca sauce together into a blend. Blend everything until you have a smooth, creamy paste
  6. After 15 minutes, take your arepas out of the oven and open them down the middle, add your fillings and a nice dollop of guasacaca, and you’re done! Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Venezuelan