What to Eat with Arepas – 25 Tasty Ideas You Can Make

Arepas are one of my favorite foods. They’re so versatile and can be topped with just about anything. But sometimes, finding good side dishes that go well with them can be hard.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why don’t you just pair them with the same thing every time?” And while that’s a valid point, however, it can get a bit repetitive after a while.

That’s why I decided to share this article with a list of side dishes that I’ve tried over the last few months. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on what to serve with your arepas. Let’s get started!

Side Dishes to Eat with Arepas:

  1. Bandeja Paisa
  2. Corn and Pulled Pork
  3. Tamales
  4. Chicken Avocado Salad
  5. Garlicky Shrimp
  6. Carnitas and Sweet Potato
  7. Guasacaca Sauce
  8. Orzo Pasta Salad

Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja paisa is a popular dish from the Colombian region of Antioquia. It is traditionally served with arepas and is made with rice, beans, pork, beef, chicken, plantain, avocado, or a fried egg.

This hearty combination provides a complete protein source, as well as complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. When arepas are served with bandeja paisa, they provide a complete and balanced meal that is sure to satisfy hunger.

Corn and Pulled Pork

If you’re looking for something that’s both flavorful and hearty, look no further than corn and pulled pork, as both dishes are traditionally served with arepas.

The corn is usually cooked in a flavorful broth and topped with cheese, while the pulled pork is shredded and simmered in a delicious sauce. Together, these two dishes create a perfect balance of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

So next time you’re looking for a new side dish to try, go for corn and pulled pork. You won’t be disappointed.


Tamales are the perfect side dish – they’re quick and easy to make, they can be made ahead of time, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. Not to mention, they’re a great way to use up leftover rice and beans.

Simply combine cooked rice, beans, and your favorite seasonings in a corn husk, wrap it up tightly, and steam for about 15 minutes. Voila – you’ve got a delicious, healthy side dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

The next time you’re looking for an easy side dish to accompany your arepas, look no further than the humble tamale. There are chances that it might become your new favorite side dish.

Chicken Avocado Salad

Chicken avocado salad is the perfect side dish for any meal. The combination of chicken, avocado, and salad is a delicious and healthy way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Plus, the salad is high in protein and low in calories, making it a great option for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

And best of all, this salad is easy to make and can be tailored to your taste. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, chicken avocado salad is a dish that’s sure to please.

Garlicky Shrimp

A classic shrimp recipe enhanced with garlic, garlicky shrimp dish is perfect as a side dish for arepas. One of the best things about shrimp is that they cook so quickly, and this recipe is no exception. In just a few minutes, you can have a delicious and healthy meal on the table.

The key to making this dish is to use fresh garlic; the flavor of jarred or pre-peeled garlic simply cannot compare. For an extra burst of flavor, try grilling the shrimp instead of cooking them in a pan.

Carnitas and Sweet Potato

Carnitas are a type of Mexican pulled pork that is traditionally made by braising or simmering pork in oil or lard until it is shreddable. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are a type of starchy tuber that is often used as a side dish.

While both carnitas and sweet potatoes are delicious on their own, they also pair well together. The rich, savory flavors of carnitas are offset by the sweetness of the sweet potato, creating a unique and satisfying dish.

What’s more, you ask? The two ingredients complement each other nutritionally, providing a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. So if you’re looking for an interesting side dish for your arepas, consider pairing carnitas with sweet potatoes. You just might be surprised by how well they go together.

Guasacaca Sauce

Guasacaca sauce is a delicious, versatile condiment that originates from Venezuela. It is typically made with avocado, cilantro, onion, vinegar, and olive oil, and can be used as a dip, a salsa, or a sandwich spread.

Relatively unknown in the United States, it is gaining popularity as more people become aware of it. The sauce has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with many different foods apart from arepas, as it can be used as a dip for chips or vegetables or added to tacos or burritos for extra flavor.

Whether you are looking for something new to try or are simply looking for a tasty way to add some excitement to your arepas, this guasacaca sauce is worth considering.

Orzo Pasta Salad

In search of the perfect side dish to accompany arepas? Look no further than orzo pasta salad!

This light and refreshing salad is packed with flavor, and its delicate texture pairs perfectly with the crispy exterior of an arepa. This pasta salad can be easily customized to suit your taste, and it can be made ahead of time, making it the perfect potluck dish.

To make orzo pasta salad, simply cook the pasta according to the package directions. Then, add your favorite vegetables, herbs, and dressing. For a touch of sweetness, add a handful of raisins or chopped dried apricots.

This salad is best served cold or at room temperature, so be sure to chill before serving. Your guests will love this flavorful and easy-to-make side dish!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make the perfect arepas?

Arepas are simple to make and can be tailored to your taste. To make arepas, start by mixing cornmeal, water, and salt in a bowl. Then, knead the dough for about five minutes until it is smooth, and allow the dough to rest for about ten minutes so that it will be easier to work with.

Next, divide the dough into six equal portions. Use a rolling pin to roll each portion of dough into a thin circle. Be sure to keep the circles as even in size as possible, as this will help them cook evenly.

Finally, place the circles of dough on a hot griddle or in a hot skillet and cook for about two minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Enjoy your arepas with your favorite fillings!

What can I put in my arepas?

Arepas are versatile food items, and there are endless possibilities for fillings. Some popular choices include shredded chicken, beef, pork, black beans, queso fresco, and avocado. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can put in your arepas.

If you are looking for something a little different, why not try some of these unique fillings:

  • Fried plantains
  • Pulled pork
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Salsa verde
  • Pico de gallo

With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a filling that everyone will love.

How do I store leftover arepas?

Arepas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you would like to freeze them, allow them to cool completely before placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They will keep in the freezer for up to six months.


Arepas are a delicious and versatile food item that can be paired with many different toppings and fillings. Whether you are looking for something new to try or are simply in need of a quick and easy meal, these South American favorites will not disappoint. Be sure to give them a try today!

What to Eat with Arepas – 25 Tasty Ideas You Can Make

Check out these 25 remarkable recipe pairings to elevate your dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Columbia
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


  • Bandeja Paisa
  • Corn and Pulled Pork
  • Tamales
  • Chicken Avocado Salad
  • Garlicky Shrimp
  • Carnitas and Sweet Potato
  • Guasacaca Sauce
  • Orzo Pasta Salad


  • Choose your preferred side dish recipe to serve with meal
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
  • Enjoy
Keyword What to Eat with Arepas