These Vegan Arepas recipe will immediately gain a place in your heart and kitchen. Easy to make and filled with Marinated Grilled Tofu, Caramelized Onions, and Creamy Vegan Sauce.
🧐 Arepas in Latin America
Maize tortillas constitute a staple of our Latin American cuisine. You can find tortillas in different shapes, colors, and flavors, as there are more than twelve thousand types of corn.
These Vegetarian Arepas are soft on the inside, crispy on the inside, and filled with the rewarding filling of Marinated Grilled Tofu and a Creamy Pesto-Like sauce that you cannot miss. We even offer professional wine pairing recommendations at the end!
In the South (Colombia and Venezuela), people call these corn shapes Arepas. From Panama and up to Mexico, we call them tortillas. Venezuelan Arepas are the sandwiches of South America, as you can eat them with whatever filling you think makes a great combination.
We both share a love for Arepas. Joaquin tried them for the first time, thanks to his Colombian roommates back in Buenos Aires.
I am from Panama, where we have our version made out of yellow corn (called Tortillas de Maiz). Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela are neighboring countries.
Subsequently, we eat Venezuelan and Colombian arepas quite regularly.
This recipe is the Venezuelan version which works better for filling them with whatever you can think of.
The Colombian and Panamanian versions are thinner and work better to have a bite as you munch them with something else, like french fries.
🧾 Arepa ingredients
- White maize flour
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
Arepa filling ideas
We always try adding some protein, something fresh, like a tabbouleh salad, and something to round things up, something creamy, like cheese or caramelized onions.
Our favorite arepa fillings are
- Marinated Tofu (recipe) and the air fryer tofu nuggets
- Creamy vegan sauce (recipe)
- Caramelized Onions
- Fresh arugula
- Lemon to top
But you can think of anything you would put in a sandwich because arepas are simply white corn sandwiches.
More great arepas filling options are vegan cheddar cheese, vegan ricotta cheese, gouda cheese, grilled asparagus, roasted butternut squash, roasted vegetables, falafels, chickpea hamburgers, roasted peppers hummus, or vegan tuna salad.
Get crazy with pesto sauce; there are many options like mint pesto, basil pesto, arugula pesto, kale pesto, red tomato pesto, and even pistachio pesto.
Arepas are versatile, naturally vegan, and welcome every stuffing you can imagine. We have tried a myriad of combinations.
In this vegan arepas recipe, we suggest you have arepas with this Marinated Grilled Tofu and this 5-minute Creamy Vegan Sauce, similar to a pesto. Optionally, add some arugula and caramelized onions for an extra flavor kick.
Your Must-Have + Optional Ingredients for the Vegan Arepas
You can make everything in minutes and feed your whole family with quickly adjustable measures.
Make the 5-minute Creamy Vegan Sauce.
Grill the Marinated Grilled Tofu.
Mix the pre-cooked cornmeal, water, and salt, in a bowl. Knead for 2 minutes and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into four balls and flatten them with your hands until you get discs of about three inches. Shape the discs to resemble a flying saucer, pressing more on the edges and less on your palm’s souls.
Cook them on a grill on medium heat for five minutes on each side.
Optionally Caramelise some onions with the Same Tofu Marinade.
Once you've got the Vegan Arepas Grilled and Ready, you just cut them halfway and start filling them with some arugula, the grilled tofu, and the creamy vegan sauce.
This combination is magnificent!
🌽 White Corn or Maize as a Nutrient
Corn is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, and it is an excellent carbohydrate option for people with gluten intolerance.
🍷 Wine pairing
- Spain - Dry White - Albariño (Rías Baixas)
- Portugal - Fortified Dry or Semi-Dry - "Rainwater" Madeira
📚 More Latin American Recipes
🥪 More vegan sandwiches
- Try our vegan tuna salad sandwich, a classic.
- Make a delicious falafel wrap with our crispy falafel recipe
- Vegan Egg salad sandwich made with protein-rich tofu and cauliflower.
- See how to make the most fantastic chickpea vegan burger, a great recipe for meal prepping.
Let us know if you try this recipe and the suggested area fillings! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Arepas + Delicious Arepa Fillings
- 2 cups white maize flour corn meal, pre-cooked
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- Creamy Vegan Sauce
- Marinated Grilled Tofu
- 1 bunch arugula
- ½ red onion sautéed
- 1 pinch red chilly if you like to make it spicy
- Make the Marinated Grilled Tofu Recipe.
- Make the 5-Minutes Creamy Sauce for Everything in the Notes.
- Mix the pre-cooked cornmeal, water, and salt. in a bowl Knead for 2 minutes and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four balls and flatten them with your hands until you get discs of about three inches. Shape the discs, so they resemble a flying saucer, pressing more on the edges and less on your palm’s souls.
- Cook them on a grill on medium heat for five minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile cut the red onions and sauté with one teaspoon of cooking oil and optionally adding the remaining juice of the grilled tofu marinade (should have some ginger, garlic, and soy sauce).
- When the arepas are ready, cut them carefully on one side, without cutting them all the way through, and stuff the arepas with the sauce, the sautéed onions, arugula, and tofu chunks.
- Spain - Dry White - Albariño (Rías Baixas)
- Portugal - Fortified Dry or Semi-Dry - "Rainwater" Madeira
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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Looks like an interesting recipe. I'll have to run this past my husband and see if it is something he'd be interesting in having. 🙂
Cool! Hopefully, he is interested! Let us know how it turns out.
Will do. In the meantime, next week when I go to the market again, I'm going to pick up some fresh parsley and basil and make your vegan green sauce. Besides putting it over vegetables and the like, I think it might be a nice addition to a veggie burger.
Yes, I agree it would be a great addition to a burger! We have been munching on it with Arepas (just posted the recipe yesterday). We love it!
Anami | Lemongrass BB says
Oh, I'd love to make these. I don't have a grill - can I put them in the oven instead, or should I fry them on a pan? Ps I found your post on Vegan on a Budget and I couldn't like it for some reason!
They totally work in the oven, I have made them that way as well. A pan also work, if you do oven or pan, always remember to us medium-low heat so they form a nice crust. ????
OMG this arepa recipe is amazing. Thank you for sharing.
These arepas are delicious! The basil and parsley sauce is the perfect touch!
yeah! we wanted to get out of the mainstream and came out with that green sauce... became instantly our favorite!
Kayla DiMaggio says
Such a fun, fun recipe! I loved the flavors and every bite was delicious!
These arepas are deliciousc, I've been dreaming about making these since my last trip to Central America. These so good with the grilled tofu and green sauce! Thank you for sharing, I love this recipe.
Wow! I love this recipe! I need to make this soon, Thank you!
Wow! This was absolutely amazing! I loved all of the flavors in this and am so glad I gave it a shot. Thank you for providing us a delicious recipe and clear instructions.
This was my first time trying arepas and they were delicious. The marinated tofu and creamy vegan sauce goes with them perfectly. Such a satisying and nourishing meal.
This is a great recipe! I never tried anything like it. It was filled with delicious fillings and the sauce was so flavorful. Everybody loved it.
There is so much going on in this recipe ... flavour, taste interesting ways of eating them. Wow! We ate the arepas just as you describe them here. I like the way that you cook the tofu, that was really good and then paired with the yoghurt sauce that just took it to the next level. I think that I can use eat part of this recipe for different things so that's brilliant. Loved it! I like versatile recipes like this one.
Yes! You got it all! Is sort of a mix and match of recipes, all simple ones! They work for a number of dishes!
I love arepas and these vegan ones look amazing. So hearty and delicious.
Claudia Lamascolo says
I love this white corn meal and the recipe turned out fantastic it goes a long way with that bag also thanks for sharing we love this!
We are glad you enjoyed them Claudia!
This is so delicious with the grilled tofu and the sauce! It's such a great meal to have for a lighter lunch. So good!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
I've never heard of these before but they look gorgeous and I love that crispiness with the creamy dressing too.
Thank you for your review! We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed our arepas vegan version. The crispiness of the leaves with a creamy dressing is one of our favorite combinations too.
If there's anything else we can do, please let us know.
Mindee Taylor says
Great Sunday afternoon lunch! Delicious, yet easy!
Thank you for your review and rating, Mindee! We're so happy to hear that our Sunday afternoon lunch was a delightful experience.
We hope you'll stop by again soon to try some of our other delicious menu items.
What a brilliant recipe! I've always wanted to try making arepas, and all of your detailed instructions and photos are so helpful. Love the bright green of the sauce, and the wine pairings are so appreciated!
Thanks, Eliza, we are glad you appreciated the wine pairing and our delicious green sauce! Yey!
Oooh, such wonderful flavors packed into these Arepas! I especially love the addition of the caramelized onions.
This is by far my favourite arepa recipe I've tried so far! Highly recommended! Thanks for the recipe.
thank you, Ieva! That's great to hear!
My whole family loved these! Will definitely make again!
That's great Elizabeth! Thank you! We are big arepa lovers!
So delicious! Your homemade creamy, vegan sauce really takes everything to the next level. Love mixing it up and having something so unique for dinner - thanks for sharing!
I am glad you and your family enjoyed the arepas, we really looove that sauce, we use it literally for everything!
Jacqueline Meldrum says
I'm drooling here! Pass me one will you?
Hehe! They are really easy to make Get a Masa Harina! 🙂
I've only ever tried the meat arepas here. I can't wait to try them with marinated tofu!
These arepas were super delicious! Thanks for sharing your version 🙂
Yes, they are! You are welcome!
Looks amazing! I am making it this weekend, and I can't wait!
Jessica Stroup says
So pretty and yummy! We loved these!
That's great Jessica! Thanks for you review!