Reina Pepiada Arepa (Venezuelan Sandwich)

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 6

These naturally gluten free sandwiches resemble pita pockets, and are so addictive! The cornmeal dough gives these arepas a soft chewy inside and crusty exterior. They can be filled with everything from meat to beans to eggs to this addictive chicken salad. Reina Pepiada is among the most common variety and in Venezuela they are eaten for breakfast or as a snack after a night out. However, in Canada, we typically eat them for lunch. They are hearty, delicious and surprisingly healthy.


canola oil
2 cups (500 mL) Harina P.A.N. flour
2 cups (500 mL) water
2 chicken breast(s)
2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) Spanish onion(s), minced
1 lime
3 tbsp (45 mL) cilantro, fresh, finely-chopped


1 Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
2 Add the flour and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the water into the bowl and combine. Knead the dough with your hands until it forms a round ball that does not crack. Add a little flour or a little water as necessary.
3 Divide the dough into six equal sized portions. Pat and turn the dough ball until it’s a ½-inch thick and 4 inches wide disc. At this stage the dough will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days when wrapped in plastic.
4 Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil in a heavy frying pan. Once hot add the arepa in batches and sear until the exterior gets crisp then flip and continue to sear, total time should be less than 8 minutes.
5 Transfer the arepas to a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes until they sound hollow when tapped.
6 While the arepas bake, make the filling. Combine the chicken, avocado, onion, lime juice and cilantro in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt.
7 Slice into the arepa (like a pita pocket) to make room for filling.
8 Divide the filling between the arepas and serve immediately.