Arepas Trinidad Recipe - Authentic Trinidad and Tobago Cuisine

Arepas Trinidad

Arepas Trinidad Recipe - Authentic Trinidad and Tobago Cuisine
Region / culture: Trinidad and Tobago | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 6


Arepas Trinidad
Arepas Trinidad

Arepas Trinidad is a delightful and traditional dish that hails from the vibrant culture of Trinidad and Tobago. This recipe offers a unique twist on the classic South American arepa, incorporating flavors and ingredients that reflect the diverse culinary heritage of the islands. Perfect for any meal of the day, these arepas are filled with a savory minced chicken mixture, making them a satisfying and versatile dish.


The history of Arepas Trinidad is deeply rooted in the multicultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago. Originally inspired by the indigenous arepa of South America, this recipe has evolved over time, incorporating influences from African, Indian, and European cuisines. The addition of local spices and the technique of frying the arepas give this dish its distinctive Trinidadian flair.



How to prepare

  1. Season the ground beef, then brown it in oil (or use other minced meat).
  2. Cover and stew for about 0.5 hour, then finely mince again.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cornmeal.
  4. Add butter and lard, and thoroughly mix with fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  5. Add enough water to make a soft dough.
  6. Knead lightly, then cut into pieces the size of a golf ball and flatten them into 4" circles.
  7. Place about 1 tbsp of the meat mixture on one half of the circle, dampen the edge, and fold over the other half to form a crescent shape.
  8. Squeeze the edges together.
  9. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  10. Drain on brown paper and serve hot.


  • Experiment with different fillings to suit your taste preferences. Some popular variations include black beans and cheese, shredded beef, or a mix of vegetables for a vegetarian option.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Arepas Trinidad turn out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use fine cornmeal for a smoother texture.

- When mixing the dough, add water gradually to achieve the right consistency.

- Let the dough rest for a few minutes before shaping to make it easier to handle.

- For a lighter filling, you can substitute the chicken with fish or vegetables.

- Ensure the oil is hot enough before frying to prevent the arepas from absorbing too much oil.

Serving Suggestions

Arepas Trinidad can be served as a main dish or a snack. They pair wonderfully with a side of coleslaw, a fresh salad, or a tangy salsa for added freshness and flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Frying is the traditional method for cooking Arepas Trinidad, but they can also be baked for a lighter version. Ensure the arepas are cooked until golden brown and crispy for the best texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, substitute the flour with a gluten-free blend. The chicken filling can be replaced with any minced meat or plant-based alternative for variety.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough and filling for Arepas Trinidad can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Assemble and cook the arepas just before serving to ensure they are fresh and crispy.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the arepas on a colorful platter garnished with fresh herbs. A side of dipping sauces, such as guacamole or a spicy tomato sauce, can add an extra touch of flavor and elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

Arepas Trinidad pairs well with light, refreshing beverages such as limeade, iced tea, or a crisp white wine. The flavors of the dish are complemented by the acidity and freshness of these drinks.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover arepas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven until warmed through and crispy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Arepas Trinidad contains approximately 350 calories. The combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins makes these arepas a hearty and fulfilling dish.


Each serving of Arepas Trinidad contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the cornmeal, which provides energy for the body. The small amount of flour also contributes to the carbohydrate content.


The fats in Arepas Trinidad come from the butter, lard, and oil used in the recipe. Each serving contains about 15 grams of fat, which helps to provide a rich flavor and tender texture to the arepas. It's important to use these fats judiciously to maintain a balanced diet.


Arepas Trinidad is a good source of protein, with each serving offering approximately 20 grams. The protein comes mainly from the chicken filling, making these arepas a satisfying option for meal times.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is also a source of various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B from the cornmeal, iron from the chicken, and calcium from the dairy ingredients. Including a variety of fillings can further enhance the nutritional profile of the arepas.


The main allergens in this recipe include gluten (from the flour) and dairy (from the butter). Individuals with dietary restrictions should consider suitable substitutions.


Overall, Arepas Trinidad offers a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. While mindful of allergens and caloric intake, this dish can be a nutritious part of a varied diet.


Arepas Trinidad is a versatile and flavorful dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. With its savory filling, crispy exterior, and nutritious ingredients, it offers a delightful eating experience that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, Arepas Trinidad is sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated by its flavors. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting a friend in Trinidad. As we sat in her kitchen, sipping on coconut water and chatting about life, she pulled out a bag of cornmeal and began to mix it with water and salt. Intrigued, I asked her what she was making, and she simply smiled and said, "Arepas Trinidad."

I had never heard of Arepas Trinidad before, but as she continued to prepare the dough and shape them into patties, I could already smell the delicious aroma wafting through the air. She explained that Arepas Trinidad were a traditional Trinidadian dish made with cornmeal, water, and salt, and cooked on a griddle until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

As she cooked the Arepas Trinidad, she shared with me the story of how she learned to make them. She told me that her grandmother had taught her the recipe when she was just a little girl, and that she had been making them ever since. The secret, she said, was to let the dough rest for a while before shaping it into patties and cooking them on a hot griddle.

I watched in awe as she flipped the Arepas Trinidad on the griddle, the smell of corn and salt filling the room. When they were done, she served them hot with a dollop of butter and a sprinkling of sugar. The first bite was pure heaven - crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make Arepas Trinidad. My friend graciously shared her recipe with me, and I promised to carry on the tradition and pass it on to future generations.

Back home, I gathered the ingredients and began to make my own Arepas Trinidad. I followed the recipe to a tee, letting the dough rest and shaping it into patties before cooking them on a hot griddle. The aroma that filled my kitchen brought me right back to that warm summer day in Trinidad, and I knew that I had succeeded in capturing the essence of this traditional dish.

As I bit into my first Arepa Trinidad, memories of my friend and her grandmother flooded my mind. I could almost hear their laughter and feel the warmth of their kitchen. And as I savored each bite, I felt a deep connection to the culinary traditions that had been passed down through generations.

From that day on, Arepas Trinidad became a staple in my kitchen. I would make them for family gatherings, potlucks, and even just for myself when I needed a taste of Trinidadian comfort. Each time I made them, I felt a sense of pride and gratitude for the friends and family who had shared their recipes with me.

Now, as I sit here reflecting on my journey with Arepas Trinidad, I am reminded of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. I am grateful for the friends and loved ones who have taught me their recipes, and I look forward to passing on the tradition to future generations.

So if you ever find yourself craving a taste of Trinidadian comfort, I urge you to give Arepas Trinidad a try. Let the aroma of corn and salt transport you to a warm kitchen filled with laughter and love. And remember, the secret to a perfect Arepa Trinidad lies in the care and love you put into making it.


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