Arepas con Pavo! (Colombian Corncakes with Turkey!): Latin Twist Recipe


What to do with leftover turkey? How about making some arepitas!

Being in the kitchen the day after Thanksgiving is not something that lures many people (beyond cooking nerds like myself!). Still, well, we’ve got a lot of food—thankfully—and would like to consume it, or have it consumed! As I’ve mentioned before (mostly on my other blog, In the Kitchen with Arlen), leftovers need some reinventing. So, how about creating a turkey dish, with a Latin twist? Options are numerous, and I don’t want to send you running to the store for too many things, but I’d like to share one idea: Arepas with Turkey.

What are arepas? They’re Colombian corncakes—and actually I wrote about them for this blog (Latin Twist arepa recipe) way back in August.

But this time, I’m strongly suggesting something: that you buy the arepas if you have had enough of being in la cocina and not really into shopping for numerous ingredients! And the recipe I’m sharing here can easily be adpapted for tortillas (turkey quesadillas are also wonderful!).  You can also add other veggies that you’ve got in your fridge. Again, the sky’s the limit!


What to sip on while you eat your day-after-Thanksgiving treats? Sangría of course!

In fact here,  my friends, I’m sharing a video of the sangría I made live on Telemundo yesterday morning!  (Arlen’s Sangría on Telemundo!)

Latin Twist: Arepas con Pavo! (Colombian Corncakes with Turkey!)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Latin Twist: Arepas con Pavo! (Colombian Corncakes with Turkey!)

Simple and sabroso (tasty!), this leftover turkey arepa is a great way to reinvent some of your dinner from yesterday's meal! And remember--you don't have to use leftover turkey; you can also make this with shredded chicken, pork--or simply cheese and veggies. ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!


  • 1 arepa (can be sweet corn or white), homemade or bought at a local market that carries Latin American products
  • 1/4 cup (approximately) shredded or diced turkey
  • 3 to 4 (or more!) strips roasted peppers
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro or flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • Hot sauce (optional--and should be served on the side!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the arepa(s) on an ungreased baking sheet, and top with the turkey, roasted peppers, and shredded cheese.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the arepa and turkey are warm, and the cheese has melted.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
  5. Top with fresh cilantro (or parsley) and serve immediately!







About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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