Jazz up your breakfast with these Breakfast Stuffed Arepas. Crispy pancetta, scrambled eggs, avocado slices and tomato are stuffed into warm arepas made with corn flour.
There’s a Venezuelan restaurant in a neighboring town that my kids just love. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is fun. One of their specialties are their arepas, which come with all sorts of fillings. Arepas are common food in Venezuela and are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today, I’m sharing a breakfast arepas, but I’ve also stuffed arepas with leftover bits and pieces from my refrigerator for a quick afternoon snack for my son.
What’s great about arepas is that they are naturally gluten-free, and make the perfect vehicle for just about any filling, from eggs to cheese, to meats. Arepas can be made ahead and reheated too. I try to use them up within a few days as they do tend to get hard if kept too long.
Recently, I decided to try to make arepas at home. They are actually really easy to make – the key is to find the special corn flour for arepas, called masarepa, a pre-cooked corn flour. You can find it in the Latin American section of your grocery store. The dough is nothing more than masarepa, water and salt. Simple. And the cooking process is also easy – the arepas are pan-grilled first, then finished in the oven.
The fun part is the fillings. I’ve stuffed arepas with leftover Slow Cooker Island Pulled Chicken, Chicken Tinga, and other leftovers. Just be careful not to overstuff the arepas; otherwise, they’ll break apart. You can also use some foil and wrap the bottom half of the stuffed arepas to make it easier for your kids to hold while they’re eating them.
I made this particular arepas for breakfast on Saturday morning, and stored the extra arepas in my refrigerator. The extra arepas came in handy for breakfast and dinner during the week – they reheat nicely in the toaster oven.
- 2 cups Masarepa flour (pre-cooked corn flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups warm water
- olive oil
- scrambled eggs
- sliced avocado
- tomato slices
- diced red onion
- shredded cheese, optional
- uncured pancetta, very thinly sliced (I used Applegate)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add water and stir until mixed through, making sure there are no lumps; let stand 5 minutes; dough will thicken.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece in the palm of your hand and flatten into round patties, about 4 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and lightly oil. Cook arepas until lightly browned on one side, about 3 minutes; turn over and lightly brown other side, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer cast iron skillet from stove to oven (if you're using a skillet that's not oven-safe, place arepas on lightly greased baking tray). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove; let cool slightly. Arepas should have a nice crust and sound hollow when thumped gently with your fingertip.
- Crisp pancetta by placing pieces in cast iron skillet and cooking until browned and crispy.
- Slice arepas in half to create a pocket, making sure not to cut all the way through, and stuff with desired fillings.