Arepas are small corn cakes, a staple of South American street food. Make your own cheesy version on the barbecue and serve them plain or with a filling of your choice. They’re also great as the base for our South American Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayo.

Yield: Makes 12.



  • 2 cups corn flour or masa harina
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil or canola oil


  1. Combine corn flour, Parmesan cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, honey and salt in a bowl. Add buttermilk and stir until dough comes together.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough gently and shape into a ball. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover dough. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball into a disc shape about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer arepas to a parchment paper-lined tray. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and set aside.
  4. Place a 10 inch cast iron frypan on natural gas barbecue grid. Heat frypan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in frypan on barbecue grid. Cook arepas in batches in frypan, adding remaining oil as necessary, until browned and heated through, about 5 minutes per side.
Nutritional analysis per arepa:

178 calories, 8.5 g fat, 7.4 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 277 mg sodium


Corn flour is finely ground dried corn kernels that is finer than cornmeal. Both yellow and white corn flour is available. Masa harina is a flour made using dried masa, which is the dough typically used when making corn tortillas. The Spanish name translates to “dough flour”. Look for these products in large grocery stores and specialty grocery stores.


As an alternative to using the barbecue, arepas may be cooked in batches on the stovetop in a greased frypan over medium heat until browned on both sides and heated through.