Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron Recipe from Venezuela

Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron

Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron Recipe from Venezuela
Region / culture: Venezuela | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 6


Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron
Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron

Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron are a delightful twist on the traditional South American staple, arepas. These fried arepas, filled with either cheese or crispy pork rinds (chicharrones), offer a crunchy exterior and a soft, flavorful interior. This recipe is perfect for those looking to explore the rich culinary traditions of South America, with a dish that is both versatile and delicious.


The history of arepas dates back to the pre-Columbian indigenous tribes of present-day Venezuela and Colombia. Traditionally, arepas were made from ground maize dough and cooked on a griddle. The introduction of frying and fillings such as cheese and chicharron came later, as a result of cultural fusions and culinary experimentation. Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron represent a modern take on this ancient food, showcasing the adaptability and enduring popularity of arepas in Latin American cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Knead the dough with cheese or chicharrones.
  2. Shape the dough into 4-inch discs and deep-fry them in hot oil until crispy.
  3. Drain the discs on paper towels and serve them hot.


  • For a lighter version, try baking the arepas instead of frying. You can also experiment with different fillings, such as black beans and cheese, shredded beef, or even a vegetarian option with avocado and tomato.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, ensure your oil is at the correct temperature for frying (around 350°F or 175°C) to avoid soggy arepas. If using cheese, opt for a type that melts well but doesn't ooze out during frying. For the chicharrones, ensure they are finely crushed to integrate seamlessly into the dough. Resting the dough for a few minutes before shaping can also make it easier to handle.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these arepas hot, straight from the fryer, for the best texture and flavor. They can be enjoyed on their own or with a side of salsa or guacamole for added freshness and zing.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the traditional method for this recipe, but for a healthier alternative, air-frying can achieve a similar crispy texture with less oil. Ensure the arepas are not overcrowded in the fryer to allow for even cooking.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're unable to find traditional white maize flour for arepas, pre-cooked cornmeal can be a suitable substitute. For a gluten-free option, ensure the flour is certified gluten-free. Vegan cheese or mashed beans can replace the cheese or chicharron for a plant-based version.

Make Ahead Tips

The arepa dough can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Shape and fry just before serving to ensure the arepas are fresh and crispy.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the arepas on a colorful plate with a garnish of fresh cilantro or parsley. A side of lime wedges can add a bright touch and a zesty flavor contrast.

Pairing Recommendations

Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron pair wonderfully with a cold beer or a tangy, fruit-based cocktail. For a non-alcoholic option, a chilled glass of guava or passion fruit juice complements the flavors beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover arepas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a toaster oven or air fryer to restore the crispy texture. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make the arepas soggy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single arepa can range from 200 to 300 calories, depending on the fillings and the amount of oil absorbed during frying. Cheese-filled arepas tend to be on the lower end of this range, while chicharron-filled arepas are on the higher end due to the fat content.


A single serving of Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron contains approximately 30-40 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the maize flour used in the arepa dough. The exact carbohydrate content can vary based on the specific type of flour used and the size of the arepas.


The fat content in these arepas is significantly influenced by the filling and the frying process. A serving can contain between 15 to 25 grams of fat, with higher values associated with the chicharron version due to the pork fat content and the absorption of oil during frying.


Protein content varies based on the filling: cheese-filled arepas provide approximately 8-12 grams of protein per serving, while those with chicharron can offer slightly more, around 10-15 grams, due to the protein content in the pork rinds.

Vitamins and minerals

Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron are a source of several vitamins and minerals, including calcium from the cheese and iron and zinc from the chicharrones. They also provide B vitamins from the maize flour, though the amounts can vary based on the specific ingredients used.


This recipe contains potential allergens, including dairy (in the cheese) and gluten, depending on the type of flour used in the arepa dough. Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron are a delicious, albeit indulgent, option. They offer a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with some vitamins and minerals. However, due to their fried nature and the potential allergens, they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron are a versatile and delicious dish that pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of South America. Whether enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main dish, these arepas offer a delightful combination of flavors and textures that are sure to please any palate. With options for customization and various cooking methods, this recipe can be adapted to fit any dietary need or preference.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always be cherished. It was on a warm summer day, many years ago, when I was visiting a small village in Colombia. I remember walking through the cobblestone streets, surrounded by colorful buildings and the sound of music playing in the distance.

As I wandered through the village, I stumbled upon a small food market where vendors were selling all sorts of delicious treats. The smell of freshly fried food filled the air, and my stomach grumbled with hunger. I made my way to a stall where an elderly woman was cooking up a batch of Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron. The golden discs sizzled in the hot oil, and the cheese and pork cracklings inside melted and crisped up to perfection.

I watched in fascination as the woman skillfully flipped the arepas with a practiced hand, her apron stained with food and her face lined with years of cooking experience. Intrigued by the delicious aroma wafting from her stall, I approached her and asked if she would be willing to share her recipe with me.

With a twinkle in her eye, the woman nodded and beckoned me closer. She began to explain the ingredients and steps required to make the perfect Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron. She told me how she had learned the recipe from her grandmother, who had passed it down through generations of their family. She spoke of the importance of using fresh ingredients and cooking them with love and care.

I listened intently, taking mental notes of each step and ingredient she mentioned. As she finished explaining the recipe, she handed me a small scrap of paper with the instructions written in her neat handwriting. I thanked her profusely and promised to make the arepas at home, using her recipe as my guide.

When I returned to my own kitchen, I gathered the ingredients and set to work making the Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron. The dough came together easily, and the savory filling of cheese and pork cracklings added a delicious crunch to each bite. As I fried the arepas in hot oil, the aroma filled my kitchen, bringing back memories of that sunny day in the Colombian village.

When the arepas were finally ready, I took a bite and closed my eyes in pleasure. The flavors exploded in my mouth, transporting me back to that small food market where I had first tasted this delicious dish. I knew then that this recipe would become a beloved staple in my own kitchen, passed down to future generations just as it had been to me.

As I sat at the table, enjoying my homemade Arepas Fritas de Queso o Chicharron, I thought of the kind woman who had shared her recipe with me. I felt grateful for the chance encounter that had led me to discover this culinary treasure, and I knew that I would always hold onto the memory of that special day in Colombia. And with each bite of the crispy, cheesy arepas, I felt a connection to a tradition that had been passed down through generations, bringing joy and delicious flavors to all who tasted it.


| Cheese Bread Recipes | Cornmeal Recipes | Meat Appetizer Recipes | Muenster Recipes | Pork Recipes | Savory Pastry Appetizer Recipes | Venezuelan Appetizers | Venezuelan Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients