Arepas, those irresistible, versatile cornmeal patties from Latin America, can be filled with a whole host of delicious ingredients.
But what to serve alongside them to create the perfect meal? Here are my top 16 side dishes that beautifully complement arepas.
Looking for a quick answer?
The best side dishes to serve with arepas are pulled pork, chicken burrito bowl, salsa, steak fajitas, garlic shrimp, Tabasco, dulce de leche, plantains, guacamole, black bean salad, chorizo sausage, queso fresco, ceviche, pico de gallo, rice and beans, and grilled vegetables.
Now, let's get cooking!
Table of Contents
1. Pulled Pork
Tender, juicy pulled pork is a fantastic partner for arepas. The sweet and tangy flavor of the pork contrasts beautifully with the subtle sweetness of the arepas. Pile the pork high on or beside your arepas for a hearty, satisfying meal.
2. Chicken Burrito Bowl
A chicken burrito bowl provides a colorful, flavorful accompaniment to arepas. The combination of tender chicken, black beans, corn, and rice is not only delicious but also filling. Top the bowl with some salsa and guacamole, and you have a feast that's sure to impress.
Salsa, with its vibrant flavors and colors, is a must-have side for arepas. The tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet salsa cuts through the richness of the arepas, adding a refreshing contrast. Whether it's a classic tomato salsa or a fruity mango salsa, it's sure to enhance your arepas experience.
4. Steak Fajitas
Steak fajitas bring a hearty, savory element to your arepas meal. The tender, flavorful steak, sautéed with bell peppers and onions, pairs wonderfully with the slightly sweet arepas. It's a match that's not only delicious but also quite satisfying.
5. Garlic Shrimp
Garlic shrimp is a side that adds a touch of elegance to your meal. The succulent, garlicky shrimp contrast beautifully with the soft, warm arepas. The slight sweetness of the shrimp and the punch of garlic make for a delightful combination.
Tabasco sauce, with its tangy, spicy kick, can elevate your arepas to a whole new level. A few dashes on your arepas can add a surprising depth of flavor. It's a simple side that packs a punch.
7. Dulce de Leche
For a sweet finish to your arepas meal, consider serving some dulce de leche. This thick, sweet caramel sauce can be spread on warm arepas for a delicious dessert. It's a sweet twist that showcases the versatility of arepas.
Plantains, either fried until sweet and caramelized or turned into savory tostones, make a fantastic side dish for arepas. Their unique flavor and texture complement the soft, warm arepas perfectly, and they add a touch of authentic Latin American flair to your meal.
Guacamole, with its creamy texture and bright flavors, is a fabulous addition to any arepas meal. The blend of ripe avocados, lime juice, cilantro, and other seasonings offers a refreshing contrast to the warm, hearty arepas. It can be served as a dip, a topping, or even a filling for your arepas.
10. Black Bean Salad
A black bean salad, with its mix of tender black beans, corn, tomatoes, and a zesty lime dressing, is a vibrant and healthy side dish. It offers a great combination of flavors and textures that pairs wonderfully with arepas.
11. Chorizo Sausage
Chorizo sausage, with its bold, spicy flavors, makes a great partner for arepas. The richness of the sausage is balanced by the subtle sweetness of the arepas, creating a satisfying and delicious combination.
12. Queso Fresco
Queso fresco, a soft, mild cheese, can be a wonderful addition to your arepas meal. Crumble it on top of your arepas or serve it on the side for an extra touch of creaminess.
For a lighter, refreshing side, consider ceviche. This dish, made from fresh seafood marinated in citrus juices and mixed with onions, cilantro, and other seasonings, offers a tangy counterpoint to the rich, warm arepas.
14. Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo, a fresh tomato salsa, brings a burst of refreshing flavor to your arepas. Its mix of juicy tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice offers a perfect contrast to the hearty arepas.
15. Rice and Beans
Rice and beans, a staple in Latin American cuisine, make a hearty, comforting side dish for arepas. The soft, fluffy rice and tender beans, seasoned with a variety of spices, provide a satisfying, flavorful accompaniment.
16. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables, with their slightly smoky flavor and charred edges, are a great side dish for arepas. Whether it's bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or corn, the vegetables' natural sweetness is enhanced by the grilling process, complementing the savory arepas beautifully.
What To Serve With Arepas
- 2 arepas
- Make the best arepas using your favorite recipe.
- Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat arepas with pulled pork, chicken burrito bowl, salsa, steak fajitas, garlic shrimp, Tabasco, dulce de leche, plantains, guacamole, black bean salad, chorizo sausage, queso fresco, ceviche, pico de gallo, rice and beans, and grilled vegetables.
- Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂