Beef and Avocado Arepas are flavorful Venezuelan sandwiches that are made with homemade arepa dough.
Beef and Avocado Arepa
Have you ever had an arepa before? I hadn’t, and I cannot believe I’ve never been exposed to these little pockets of awesome. I LOVE sandwiches, so finding a kind I’ve not only never tried, but have never even heard of? That’s a good day. This beef and avocado arepa made a good day really great.
Arepas are Venezuelan breads made with cornmeal. I used P.A.N. Cornmeal. Make sure you are using a similar variety or your results may not match what you see here. You need precooked white cornmeal in order for this to work.
These were like a cheesy taco sandwich, and the arepas were the perfect enclosure. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, full of avocado and beef and cheese.
I love having a little change up from the norm that usually happens with taco night, and the kids loved this neat little twist.
Well – MOST of the kids. Can’t win them all. 😉
These are kind of fool proof, to be honest. The dough is simple to mix together, and you can fry it up in a flash. There are so many fillings that these would be perfect for. Just make sure you’ve got the right kind of cornmeal. The stuff on a lot of US shelves won’t cut it!
Don’t confuse Masarepa (such as P.A.N. pre-cooked cornmeal) with Masa Harina. Masa Harina is used to make things like tortillas and cornbread. Masarepa is used for this, and they can not be substituted for each other.
Want a dessert to go with these arepas?
I’d eat them plain, they were so great. I love it when simple things can be so delicious. Let this be a starting point for you! I hope I can inspire you to create your own arepas. What flavor will you come up with? These versatile breads are quick and easy and delicious.
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4-5 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
- 1 tablespoon beef Better Than Bouillon
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
- taco sauce
- Mix together the cornmeal, warm water, salt, and butter. Mix until fully combined, and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Let rest while you cook the beef.
- Brown the ground beef with the salt, onion powder, and dried onions. Drain off excess fat, and add in Better Than Bouillon, water, cumin, and chili powder. Simmer over medium to low heat for 15 -20 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and slowly incorporate cheese, mixing frequently, until its fully melted and has tightened up the sauce. Keep warm over low heat while frying your arepas.
- Once the beef is being held over low heat, preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat with a teaspoon or two of oil inside. Roll out the arepa dough into balls, press into flat 1/2 inch thick discs, and place into hot pan. Fry 6-7 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Once cooled enough to handle, slice the arepas through the middle, and fill with beef and garnish with avocado, lettuce, and taco sauce. Enjoy hot!