11 Perfect Side Dishes for Arepas You’ll Love

One of my all-time favorite dishes is the humble yet versatile arepa. These cornmeal cakes are incredibly satisfying on their own, but they truly shine when paired with the right side dishes.

When it comes to what to serve with arepa arepas, I’m all about loading them up with mouth-watering sides that take those delicious corn cakes to another level.

Over the years, I’ve curated a list of my top eleven side dishes that elevate the arepa experience to a whole new level.

From vibrant sauces to hearty meats, these accompaniments will transform your meal into a culinary celebration.

Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a meal at home, these side dishes are sure to impress.



Creamy, fresh, and bursting with flavor, guacamole is a classic choice.

What makes this guacamole recipe so special is the perfect balance of flavors – creamy avocado chunks, zingy lime, fresh cilantro, a kick of jalapeño heat, and juicy grape tomatoes for texture.

It comes together in just 10 minutes!

The secret is to use ripe avocados that mash easily but retain some chunks, go easy on the lime so the avocado flavor shines, and don’t skip the cilantro for that fresh herby essence.

This easy guacamole is an unbeatable party appetizer with tortilla chips, but I also love smothering it on arepas for a tasty vegetarian side dish.

Once you try this heavenly dip, you’ll be hooked!

2.Charred Blender Salsa

My authentic Mexican blender salsa is a staple in my house that we eat nearly every day. The key is charring the fresh tomatoes and hot serrano or jalapeño peppers to get that incredible roasted flavor.

Lime juice adds bright tanginess, while garlic packs an aromatic punch. I love how versatile it is – perfect for chips of course, but also eggs, chilaquiles, tacos, pizza, you name it!

It adds a fiery kick that complements the mildness of arepas.


This bright green sauce packs a serious punch of flavor from fresh parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar and spicy aji molido chilies.

Making it is ridiculously simple – just some chopping and mixing and you’ve got an unbelievably tasty sauce in 15 minutes.

The signature ingredients like aji molido give chimichurri its unique taste that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s an acquired flavor that we grow up loving and slathering on our beloved choripán sandwiches.

A few days in the fridge lets the vinegar and garlic mellow into an even better sauce.

It’s a must-try for anyone who loves bold flavors.

Veggies & Salads

4.Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)

Tostones, those crispy twice-fried plantain coins, stole my heart the first time I tried them in college.

Their savory, french-fry-like texture and easy preparation hooked me instantly.

What makes them special is the garlic-lime soaking step between fries – it infuses incredible flavor while making the inside fluffy.

Just fry green plantain slices, smash, soak, and refry. In less than 30 minutes, you have an addictively delicious side to serve with arepas or for snacking.

5.Pico de Gallo

This Easy Pico de Gallo recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It’s light, refreshing, and adds a bright, acidic contrast to the savory arepas.

What makes it truly special is the vibrant combination of chunky roma tomatoes, zesty red onion, fragrant cilantro, spicy jalapeño, a punch of lime juice, and aromatic garlic.

This recipe requires no cooking,  just chop and mix!

Pico is incredibly versatile as a dip for chips or topping for dishes like arepas – its chunky texture provides amazing bursts of flavor in every bite.

It’s simple, delicious, and a million times better than store-bought.

6.Simple Sautéed Vegetables

These simple sautéed veggies are one of my go-to side dishes.

The mix of textures and colors from the crisp-tender carrots, zucchini, squash and bell peppers is so appealing.

I always keep this dish in my arsenal for nights when I need a quick, tasty side. The high-heat sauté technique ensures the veggies stay crisp instead of turning soggy.

They’re the perfect light and fresh side dish for hearty mains like arepas. Load up those arepas with your favorite toppings, then let these simply sautéed veggies brighten up the plate with their vibrant colors and flavors.

Ready in 10 minutes, this colorful medley never disappoints.

7.Tortilla de Patatas

Also known as Spanish omelette, this dish is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions.

The potatoes get beautifully crispy from being fried in olive oil. When combined with the  eggs, it creates an amazingly delicious and unique texture.

It’s so versatile and convenient! You can enjoy it warm or at room temp. Tortilla de patatas makes an easy tapa, main course with bread, or even a snack.

Preparing the thin potato slices takes a little effort but it’s so worth it for this iconic Spanish classic.

It’s the perfect simple yet tasty side to serve with arepas.

Side Dishes

8.Authentic Homemade Refried Black Beans

Creamy and flavorful, refried black beans are a staple side dish.

My authentic Mexican refried bean recipe starts with dried pinto beans cooked until tender in the Instant Pot or slow cooker with onion and salt.

Despite the long cook time, hands-on prep is minimal, making this the perfect fast and flavorful side to serve with fresh arepas or tacos.

One bite and you’ll never want the canned version again!

9.Carne Mechada (Venezuelan Shredded Beef)

As a lover of Latin American cuisine, Carne Mechada is one of my favorite dishes to make at home.

This slow-cooked, flavorful shredded beef is a traditional filling for arepas.

The key is slowly braising the beef until it’s fall-apart tender, then quickly sautéing it with a zesty sofrito of tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic.

This two-step process packs in so much savory depth of flavor. It comes together quickly, especially if using an Instant Pot.

10.Mexican Chorizo

I love bold spicy flavors so much I can’t get enough of this homemade Mexican chorizo! It’s incredibly easy to whip up a big batch at home using ground pork (or beef) and a mouthwatering blend of chili powders, warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, garlic, and vinegar.

The mix of ancho and guajillo chilies gives it a robust, authentic Mexican chorizo flavor that really kicks things up a notch. Just mix everything by hand and it’s ready to cook or freeze for later.

It’s phenomenal stuffed into arepas with some queso fresco. The rich, meaty chorizo is the perfect savory complement to the slightly sweet corn arepas. But you can use it in so many ways – tacos, burritos, eggs, you name it.

11.Poached Eggs

For a simple yet elegant touch, top your arepas with perfectly poached eggs.

And contrary to popular belief, they’re quick and easy to make at home! The key is using super fresh eggs and straining off the thin outer whites through a mesh sieve.