Try this recipe for Venezuelan arepas, then check out our classic beef empanadas for another South American-inspired snack. Next read our guide to Colombian cuisine.

Try this Venezuelan arepa recipe from Venezuelan-born chef Vitelio Rayes. Vitelio says, "As with many other diets in South America, our main ingredient for several national dishes is corn. With corn we make Venezuelan arepas (arepa comes from the aborigine language and translates as 'bread made with hands'), which can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and filled with anything you can imagine. From seafood salad to carne mechada – which is the Latin American version of a beef ragu – arepas are the staple street food of my country."

This is a recipe that Vitelio shared as part of his guide to Venezuelan cuisine. Check it out to learn about the importance of Venezuelan sauces, the country's national beer, asado and more.

Born in Caracas, Vitelio Reyes trained in Venezuela and has worked in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has worked with Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz at Lima Floral in Covent Garden and is now executive chef of Amazónico in Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, a restaurant that takes its inspiration from the cultural diversity and gastronomic heritage of the Amazon region. On the new menu dishes include salteados (sautéed), a nod to Chifa, the combination of Chinese and Peruvian flavours such as ginger, coriander and lemongrass, tiradito, meat grilled on a parilla and empanadas.

Arepas reina pepiada recipe



  • 200g cornmeal, (we used Harina Pan Blanca)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying


  • 1 avocado
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1½ tbsp mayonnaise
  • 200g shredded chicken, (boiled in vegetable stock and salt)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the cornmeal, oil and ½ tsp of salt in a bowl. Add 100ml of cold water and allow it to soak for a few minutes, before mixing to form a dough.

  • STEP 2

    Knead until it’s a slightly wet, soft dough without any lumps. Make balls of dough weighing roughly 150g each, until you run out of dough, and flatten each ball using a little oil in your hands.

  • STEP 3

    Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil and fry the arepas until a crust forms on both sides.

  • STEP 4

    Put them on a baking tray in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until they puff up. Cool on a wire rack until warm.

  • STEP 5

    Tip the avocado into a bowl and mash with the lime juice. Mix in the mayo and the cooked chicken, and season. Split the arepas in half and fill with the avocado and chicken mixture.

Check out our easy avocado on toast recipes

Avocado Toast Recipes

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