Arepas with Carnitas and Sweet Potato

Image of arepas with carnitas and sweet potato

Active Time

35 minutes

Total Time

55 minutes

Serving Size


Bring the flavors of your traditions straight to your kitchen with this delicious staple.


  • 1 small red onion
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups precooked white cornmeal (harina de maiz blanco)
  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can seasoned black beans
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, for juice
  • ½ cup crema (or sour cream)
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 2 lb Deli mojo pork
  • 6 oz queso fresco


  1. Cut onion in half, then slice (about 1 cup). Place in bowl with vinegar. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place water in microwave-safe dish; microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until warm. Combine cornmeal and 3 teaspoons salt; add to water and whisk until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  2. Divide cornmeal mixture into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten gently to create 1-inch-thick discs. Heat ¾ cup oil in large, heavy sauté pan on medium 3–4 minutes. Add arepas to pan (in batches, if needed); fry 6–7 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer arepas to paper towel–lined baking sheet; let stand 5 minutes to cool.
  3. Peel sweet potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups). Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place remaining 3 tablespoons oil in pan; add potatoes, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and tender. Remove potatoes and cover to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, drain beans and place in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30–60 seconds. Chop cilantro (1/4 cup); juice limes (2 tablespoons). Combine in small bowl: crema, salsa, lime juice, and cilantro until blended. Shred pork (about 2 cups) and crumble queso fresco (about 1 ½ cups).
  5. Cut arepas, creating pockets; fill evenly with pork, potatoes, and beans. Drizzle with sauce and top with queso fresco and pickled onions. Serve.

Nutritional information

Amount per 1/16 recipe serving: Calories 360, Total Fat 17g, Sat Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g, Chol 45mg, Sodium 1000mg, Carb 33g, Fiber 4g, Total Sugars 4g (Incl. 1g Added Sugars), Protein 20g, Vit D 0%, Calc 10%, Iron 10%, Potas 6%