Friday, July 8, 2022

Arepa con Queso inspired by Encanto #MoviesandMunchies

Our Movies and Munchies film this month is Encanto, chosen by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  

Disney's Encanto

In true Disney fashion this animated film is filled with music and beauty and a lesson about loving and accepting yourself for who you are and the gifts you have.

Encanto translates to Enchanted and the Madrigal family live in an enchanted house and have each been blessed with magical gifts....all except for Mirabel....who is lovely, and kind, optimistic, and happy but not blessed with any magical talents as is the rest of her family.  

It is set in the mountains of Columbia and as you watch you learn of traditional foods, celebrations, dances, etc.   Mirabels mother, who has healing powers, is preparing for one of these celebrations when Mirabel arrives in the kitchen upset and with a cut to her hand.  Her mother, gives her an arepa straight from the pan and as Mirabel eats it her hand heals.  Mirabel who is complaining that she wasn't gifted saiys "you just healed my hand with an Arepa con Queso".

Arepas con Queso

I immediately knew what I was going to make.  I had never heard of nor eaten Arepas.  When I looked it up I learned they were cornmeal cakes made with a special precooked cornmeal called masarepa and are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

The photo from the recipe I found and used from All Ways Delicious showed an Arepa close up and broken open so you could see the center of it.  I didn't realize that they are supposed to look more like a roll or bun with smooth edges and able to be cut open to be stuffed with filling. 

Arepa batter

I added the cheese right to the batter and formed them into balls until putting them in the pan where I smashed them down into rounds and you can see what I got.  

When my friend, Terri of Our Good Life, shared her inspiration from the movie in the form of Breakfast Arepas, I realized that mine were not made properly.  A little more research showed that I just needed to add more liquid, allow the dough to rest a few minutes and then form them into patties, with smooth edges before placing them in the pan to fry.  

Arepas pin

I was going to redo the recipe but then I changed my mind.  I kind of like these rustic little snacks that I chose to top with the last of my homemade peach salsa and sour cream.  Frank and I had gone out on a lunch date and weren't very hungry come dinner time so these Arepas con Queso made the perfect light dinner.

I will be making these again and will share additional recipes as I do.  I ordered my masarepa from Amazon so I have a 5 lb. bag that needs to be used so I'll be researching masarepa recipes for ideas.  How do you use masarepa?

You still have plenty of time to watch the movie and join us.  You need only to make a recipe inspired by the movie, post it on your blog or on Instagram tagging #MoviesandMunchies and stop by our Facebook page to let Amy know so she can add you to the roundup at the end of the month.

Appetizers, Snacks, Entrees, Meatless, Cheese, Cornmeal, Bread
Yield: 12 Arepas
Author: Wendy Klik
Arepas con Queso

Arepas con Queso

Cornmeal and cheese formed into a patty and pan fried to a crispy brown outside with a soft fluffy interior.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 5 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 1 c. warm water + more as needed
  • 1 T. butter, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c. Masarepa
  • 16 oz. Cotija Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Toppings of choice, I used salsa and sour cream


  1. Combine the warm water, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Add half of the cornmeal and mix to combine.
  2. Add the remaining masarepe and cheese. Use your hands to mix until it is completely incorporated adding more warm water as needed to have a moist, pliable dough that can be formed into a ball that you can pick up without falling apart.
  3. Let dough rest for 5 minutes or so then form the dough into 12 balls and then shape each ball into a patty about 1/2" thick.
  4. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over med high heat and cook each arepa for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  5. Serve warm with desired toppings.


Adapted from a recipe found at All Ways Delicious.

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  1. I think yours look amazing. I’m going to try it your way. I need to let my dough rest. I didn’t do that and I can tell. I also need to lower the heat to give the inside more time to cook without getting too brown.

    1. Thanks, I was much happier with them before I realized they didn't look as the should LOL.

  2. These look delicious, no matter the method you use to make them!


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