This lovely arepa salada (Dominican savory cornbread) is one of our best-loved dishes. It is very versatile, and I have experimented with topping it with cheese for breakfast, having it on its own as a snack, or serving it as a side dish with "guisados", our sauce-rich dishes.
Why we ❤️ it
I think that most people who try Arepa salada (Dominican savory cornbread) get that same feeling of excitement, discovery, and anticipation that is usually associated with a food that many of us first encounter on road trips.
For me, arepa salada brings back memories of road trips through El Cibao (the valley in the center of the country). It is accompanied by memories of greasy, flavorful roadside foods, crisp air, misty mornings, childhood excitement, and that lovable cibaeño accent that I wish I could imitate.
What's arepa salada?
Arepa salada is the savory version of the much-loved Dominican Arepa dessert, a dense cornmeal cake baked in a Dominican-style dutch oven.
Funnily enough, and an example of the way that even between regions there can be different names for foods, or sometimes how we prepare them, the first time I tried it it was under another name: Torta -- or "toita", to tease my Cibaeño friends.
Arepa salada (Dominican savory cornmeal cake).
- To obtain the traditional pot-shaped cake, bake it in an enamel cast-iron pot (dutch oven). The disadvantage is that you might have a hard time getting it out in one piece. If you don't want to take that risk, bake in a nonstick baking pan, the deepest you have.
- Cornmeal is slightly finer than polenta. If you find it impossible to find cornmeal, use polenta, but be aware that the texture will be a bit "rustic" than with regular cornmeal.
About this recipe
This is the savory version of the more famous sweet Dominican Arepa, and as you may imagine, there are tons of versions of this recipe. I picked the one I like the most, and I have to say that it is one of the most moreish dishes I have ever tried. As luck would have it,
There's no wrong way to eat Arepa salada.
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Arepa Salada Recipe (Dominican Savory Cornbread)
- Grease a 2½ quart [2½ liter] baking pan with a tablespoon of butter (see notes).Heat oven to 350 ºF [175 ºC].
- Mix coconut milk and broth, salt to taste. Mix in parsley, cornmeal, and the remaining butter.
- Stir the batter with a spatula and pour into a 3 quart [3 liter] cooking pot and heat on the stove over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.When it breaks the boil, lower the heat and continue stirring until it thickens enough to start lifting from the pot when you stir and it sticks to the spoon.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake until you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean (30-40 minutes). It should be light golden brown. Let it cool down to room temperature before removing from the pan.
- Once it has cooled a bit, cut it into slices and serve. See the suggestions above the recipe.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Published May 27, 2015, revised