How to make the Arepas from Encanto

Make Magical Arepas like Julieta's in Disney's Encanto!

In Encanto, The Family Madrigal all have special powers. Mirabel’s mum Julieta has the special power of being able to heal people through food.

In the film we see her cook the traditional Colombian food – arepas. Mirabel even sings about it saying ‘My mom Julieta can make you feel better with just one arepa’. In our Activity Quest podcast we made our own arepas, and you can too with our recipe below!

What is an Arepa?

An arepa is a bit like a pancake but made of corn. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – truly magical.

Arepas come from South America and Different countries in South America make their own versions of arepas.

In Venezuela they are normally thick and stuffed with a filling like shredded beef or black beans. In Colombia, which is where Encanto is set, they are more flat and eaten with cheese. 



  • 2 Cups of Arepa Flour (See Note*)
  • 2 Cups of Warm Water
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 4 Tbsp of Butter or Margerine
  • 1/2 Cup of Cheese (optional)

*You can get arepa flour online or in the South American section of some supermarkets – you need to make sure you get the right kind, you will find is called Masarepa or Harina de Maiz Refinada.


  1. Mix together your arepa flour, the warm water, salt and butter in a bowl. 
  2. Knead all ingredients together until the mixture has a soft consistency – you can mix the ingredients with your hands
  3. Add more water if too dry and more arepa flour if it’s too wet
  4. In Encanto, Julieta Madrigal makes Arepas con Queso, con Queso means ‘with cheese’ in Spanish. So if you’d like to make your Arepas con queso then add half a cup of grated cheese and mix it into the dough.
  5. Once the dough is ready make 5 balls and place them between 2 sheets of baking paper
  6. Roll the balls with a rolling pin so that they are half an inch thick – make sure your arepa is round, cut off extras to shape it round if needed.
  7. Get an adult to put a little oil on a pan or griddle and turn the hob onto a medium heat. 
  8. As soon as the griddle is hot enough you can get your responsible adult to add the Arepas one by one.
  9. Cook the arepas on both sides until they are golden and crispy
  10. You can also add some cheese on top while they are cooking .

You can eat Colombian Arepas with all sorts.

We like ours with pico de gallo which is a salsa made from tomatoes, lime and onion.

In Colombia you have them with more cheese and butter for breakfast and a hot chocolate.

You can add an egg and have arepa de huevos which means arepa with eggs or you could make it sweet by adding some jam or sugar and cinnamon. 

Has your casita come alive with magic like in Encanto?

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