Colorful Arepas, Two Ways: Sweet & Savory

by | Updated: October 29th, 2021

A South American staple, particularly in Columbia and Venezuela, arepas are stuffed cornmeal cakes that are crispy outside and fluffy inside. Every culture – and even household – puts their unique spin on them, and they’re enjoyed at all times of the day as a snack, side, main dish or dessert. This recipe allows you to try your hand at two distinct, delicious fillings – one a flavorful mix of black beans, cheese and plantain and the other, sweet caramelized pears with a dulce de leche drizzle.

Get even more creative with the dough by mixing in a great chef’s secret – natural superfood color powders from Suncore Foods. Purple sweet potato powder is mixed into the savory arepas and pink pitaya powder is incorporated to add a bright pop to the dessert. Feel free to skip the coloring and keep the cakes their traditional golden hue, but the food powders make the presentation strikingly beautiful – and food should be as much of a celebration as possible!

Arepas With Sweet & Savory Fillings on White Plates |

Arepas With Sweet & Savory Fillings on White Plates |
0 from 0 votes

Colorful Arepas, Two Ways: Sweet & Savory

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Calories 265 kcal
Author Iso Rapalo



  • 2 cups pre-cooked white corn meal
  • 2-½ cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil

Optional Dough Colorings

Savory Filling

  • 1 ripe sweet plantain sliced into rounds
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small purple onion diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 15 oz. can Vitacost Organic Black Beans drained
  • ½ block queso fresco/white cheese sliced into small pieces
  • Optional: Fresh crema/whipped sour cream for topping

Sweet Filling

Dulce De Leche Cream

  • 2 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


Arepa Dough

  1. In large bowl, combine warm water, salt and avocado oil. Gradually add pre-cooked white corn meal. Stir well.
  2. If adding coloring to dough, divide dough into two equal parts in two separate mixing bowls.
  3. In small bowl, add 1 to 2 tsp. of purple sweet potatoes powder and mix with 1-2 tsp. of water to form paste. In separate small bowl, repeat process using pink pitaya powder.
  4. Pour one coloring each into bowls containing separated dough. Knead together each dough ball and coloring until smooth. Let rest 5-10 minutes.
  5. Grease hands with avocado oil and shape each of the colored doughs into approximately 5 balls. Press each ball with palms to form disc-shaped patty.
  6. In skillet or griddle over medium heat, add ghee and cook dough 5-8 minutes per side until browned. (Note: For crispier arepas, bake in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degree F.)



  1. In non-stick skillet over medium heat, add small amount of oil. Cook plantains until brown and remove from skillet.
  2. In same skillet, add olive oil, onions, garlic and salt and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add black beans and cook 8 minutes. Set aside.


  1. With sharp knife, carefully slice purple arepas down middle most of the way to create pocket. Fill each with plantains, bean mixture and cheese. Top with dollop of fresh crema, if desired.


  1. In bowl, combine pear slices with lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In skillet over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, ginger, spices, vanilla, condensed milk, cream and honey bourbon (if using) and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and caramelized. (Note: Do not burn.)
  3. Add pears, lower heat and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.

Dulce De Leche Cream

  1. In saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook, stirring, until it thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Note: Do not burn.)


  1. With sharp knife, carefully slice pink arepas down middle most of the way to create pocket. Fill each with pear mixture. Drizzle with dulce de leche cream.

Recipe Notes

Get the ingredients you’ll need!

Nutrition Facts
Colorful Arepas, Two Ways: Sweet & Savory
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 304mg13%
Potassium 326mg9%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.