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What To Serve With Arepas – 33 BEST Side Dishes

If you’re wondering what to serve with your arepas, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I list 33 of the most popular side dishes for arepas.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best dishes to serve with arepas are deviled ham, chicken tinga, Texas-style chili, and shrimp ceviche. You can also try vegan picadillo, bacon guacamole, or dulce de leche if you fancy something sweet. Whip up Colombian red beans and fried pork belly to go with your arepas for a full bandeja paisa. 

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Deviled ham

Devilled ham is an excellent accompaniment for arepas. 

You can easily find it ready-to-eat in cans, but the homemade version is tastier and only takes five minutes to make! 

True to its name, it has a spicy kick that blends superbly with the cream cheese and mayo, resulting in a well-balanced bite. 

Stuff your arepas with devilled ham and cheese for the ultimate treat. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s even tastier the next day.

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Tuna salad
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Cucumber dill chickpea salad

Bacon guacamole

Adding bacon bits is one of the best and easiest ways to jazz up your guacamole. 

The bacon brings a salty, savory twist that contrasts wonderfully with the guac’s bright, zesty flavors. Plus it adds a nice crunch.

This guac is excellent as a dip, but it’s also fabulous when smeared inside a warm, fluffy arepa. 

Why we love this recipe: everything’s better with bacon. 

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Bacon guacamole
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Grilled avocado guacamole
Make it different
Avocado chicken salad

Chicken tinga

Add some delicious Mexican flair to your arepas with a serving of chicken tinga.

The most important element of this dish is the tasty tomato sauce.

This recipe uses fire-roasted tomatoes to add a layer of smokiness and chipotle peppers for a fiery kick. 

Psst… can’t handle spice? You can skip the peppers and just use the adobo sauce. 

Why we love this recipe: the leftovers will last you for days. 

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Chicken tinga
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Texas-style chili

This unique chili doesn’t use any beans, relying instead on fork-tender chunks of beef.

The result is a hearty dish that boasts a robust, savory flavor with a hint of umami (thanks to the addition of miso paste). 

Soak up all the goodness from this delicious chili with a couple of cheesy arepas. YUM.

Why we love this recipe: it will fill your kitchen with a mouthwatering aroma.  

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Classic homemade chili
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White chicken chili

Tomato corn salad

Take a break from rich, meaty sides and pair your arepas with this vibrant salad instead.

It’s simple but packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients. And the refreshing lime dressing brings everything together.

Pro-tip: add chopped fresh herbs to the dressing to make it even tastier.  

Why we love this recipe: its beautiful vibrant colors make for an insta-worthy dish!

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Tomato corn salad
Make it Tex-Mex inspired
Cowboy caviar
Make it creamy
Cucumber avocado salad

Colombian red beans

These beans are a staple of Colombian cuisine. 

This dish is traditionally made using bolo Roja beans, but cargamento or red kidney beans can also work in a pinch. 

You can enjoy them on their own with a side of arepas, but if you have more time, go all out and make a traditional bandeja paisa

Why we love this recipe: you can’t beat the classics.

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Drunken beans
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Cuban black beans

Shrimp ceviche

Shrimp ceviche is usually served as an appetizer, but it’s also a fabulous filling for arepas if you want something fresh and loaded with protein.

It’s easy to make and involves no actual cooking.

Instead, the shrimp is marinated in lime juice, which breaks down the protein and ‘cooks’ the shrimp for you.

Psst… you can also poach your shrimp if you want to be extra safe. 

Why we love this recipe: it’ll remind you of summer, no matter the season. 

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Instant pot dulce de leche

Unlike caramel, you only need one ingredient to make dulce de leche – canned condensed milk! 

It’s usually boiled over the stovetop, but using an Instant Pot will shorten the cooking time significantly.

Spread the warm dulce de leche over your arepas for an indulgent sweet twist. 

Why we love this recipe: there’s zero hands-on cooking involved. 

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Make a favorite
Homemade salted caramel
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Colombian scrambled eggs

Also known as huevos pericos, this dish involves scrambling eggs with tomatoes and scallions.

This combo acts like a sofrito base, which makes the eggs oh-so-delicious. 

And the best part? It’s super nourishing too. 

Start your day the right way with a meal of Colombian scrambled eggs, fluffy arepas, and hot chocolate. 

Why we love this recipe: you can pair this with other starches like bread, tortillas, and rice. 

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Ham, egg, and cheese breakfast casserole
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Vegan picadillo

If you’re a budding vegan, this vegan picadillo is a must-try. 

It tastes similar to the classic version but uses shiitake mushrooms and lentils instead of beef, which gives the dish a familiar meaty texture.

Load your arepas with this vegan picadillo for the ultimate meatless meal.

Why we love this recipe: even meat lovers will be raving about this vegan version.

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Instant pot sloppy joes

Colombian-style fried pork belly

Like the red beans, this fried pork belly is an essential element of a bandeja paisa (or paisa platter) alongside arepas. 

The key to perfecting this dish is to cook the pork belly low and slow with water. 

This technique renders the fat, which replaces the water, and then you can fry the pork belly until crispy. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s straightforward and requires little active cooking time. 

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Colombian-style fried pork belly
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Pork belly burnt ends

The best dishes to serve with arepas

  • Deviled ham
  • Bacon guacamole
  • Chicken tinga
  • Texas-style chili
  • Tomato corn salad
  • Colombian red beans
  • Shrimp ceviche
  • Instant pot dulce de leche
  • Colombian scrambled eggs
  • Vegan picadillo
  • Colombian-style fried pork belly

What To Serve With Arepas

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your arepas.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, South American
Keyword: arepas side dishes, what to serve with arepas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 219kcal


  • 1 portion arepas


  • Prepare your arepas according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: deviled ham, bacon guacamole, chicken tinga, texas-style chili, tomato corn salad, Colombian red beans, shrimp ceviche, instant pot dulce de leche, Colombian scrambled eggs, vegan picadillo, and Colombian-style fried pork belly.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 219kcal

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