Cheese-Stuffed Arepas

Prep Time
50 min
8 pieces

Who knew that arepas were so simple? These delicious corn cakes take no time to make, and are infinitely adaptable. Experiment with toppings like fried eggs, guacamole and Cotija — a dry and crumbly Mexican cheese.



Kosher salt
cups pre-cooked white corn meal, such as P.A.N.
ounce part-skim mozzarella, cut into 8 cubes
cup vegetable oil, or as needed



Cook’s Note: You can skip the cheese and make plain arepas to stuff with your favourite fillings, such as shredded beef or pork or avocado and beans. Form patties that are 3-inches wide and 1/2-inch-thick and cook according to directions. When the arepas are cool enough to handle, use a thin serrated knife to slice a third of the way through each arepa. Then use the knife tip to cut open the centre of each to form a pocket, taking care to keep the sides intact. Wipe down the knife between cuts to remove any sticky cornmeal. Then stuff with the fillings of your choice.

Step 1

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.

Step 2

Stir together 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the corn meal into the water, using your fingers to stir and combine, until a soft and moist dough forms.

Step 3

Divide the dough into 8 golf ball-size balls and pat each into a patty about 5-inches wide and 1/4-inch-thick.

Step 4

Put a cube of mozzarella in the centre of each patty. Fold the dough over the cheese, making sure the cheese is completely covered and sealed. Pat it back down until 3-inches wide and 1/2-inch-thick (see Cook’s Note).

Step 5

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the corn patties, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side (making sure the oil is hot for each batch). Transfer to a cooling rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.

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