It should come as no surprise that we absolutely love Disney’s Encanto. The story of the magical Madrigal Family has struck a chord with us, just like so many others. As a matter of fact, it even inspired us to do an entire episode dedicated to the film on our Hyperion Adventures Podcast. Now, we’ve decided to extend that inspiration to our food with this Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso Recipe. Now, our version may not heal your wounds, like the kind Julieta Madrigal creates. But we do think they’ll do marvelous things for your soul.
Let’s get our Arepas on!
The list of components for our Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso recipe is not a lengthy one. There are only 7 of them and most you should already have right in your pantry or refrigerator.
However, there is always at least one contradiction to the rule. With this recipe, it’s the Masa Harina. Essentially, this is pre-cooked Corn Flour and happens to be the key to this entire dish. So, you want to be sure you have this on hand. Depending on where you live, it may be a little tricky to obtain, though. You may be able to find it in your grocery store. If not, you will almost certainly be able to track it down if you have a local Latin market. Should those options fail, you can order it online. If you still can’t dig it up, you can try to use corn meal or polenta, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They just don’t absorb the liquid with the same ease or cook to the proper consistency. So, try your best to find the Masa!
As for the Queso we’ll be using for this recipe, I prefer Mozzarella. It has just enough moisture and salt level to blend well but not be overpowering. You could also use Monterey Jack, Provolone or a combination of any of these.
Our Arepas con Queso Dough
The first step to our Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso is to heat the Milk. Place it in a small pan on the stove over medium heat and slowly bring it to a simmer while stirring occasionally.
While the Milk is heating, you can put together the dry ingredients. Place the Masa Harina, Salt, Sugar, and Shredded Mozzarella in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
Once the Milk has reached a simmer, remove it from the heat and stir in the Unsalted Butter. Continue to stir until the Butter has melted in the hot Milk.
Next, pour the heated Milk and Butter into the bowl containing the Dry Ingredients. Mix until just combined. Let rest for at least 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the dough seems “wet” to begin with. It should begin to firm up as the Masa absorbs the Milk.
After the dough has rested for at least 15 minutes, check its consistency. You want it to be slightly sticky and somewhat elastic. If yours is still a bit wetter than you’d prefer, you can add a little more Masa to tighten it up. (I needed to add about 2 tablespoons to mine) If it seems a little dry, you can add a little water at a time until it loosens up to the point you’d prefer.
Now, turn the Arepas con Queso dough onto a wooden cutting board that is dusted with a little more Masa Harina. Using a bowl filled with water to keep your hands slightly wet, knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes. Grab a small portion and roll into a ball. Press to see if the sides crack. If they do, you’ll want to work a little more water into the dough.
Next, divide the dough into 10 to 12 equal portions and hand roll them into a ball. Using your palms, flatten each portion into a disc that is approximately 4” wide and ⅓” thick. Place each uncooked Arepa on a sheet of wax paper until ready to cook.
Frying Our Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso
Now that we have all our Arepas con Queso portioned and shaped, it’s time to get them cooked. Start by placing a medium fry pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of Vegetable Oil to the pan and heat until it begins to “shimmer”.
Add 3 to 4 of the Arepas to the pan, being sure not to overcrowd it. Cook over medium-low heat until dark golden-brown patches begin to form; approximately 7 to 8 minutes. The time and relatively low heat will allow the inside to cook through while the outside is browning and getting nice and crispy. Turn them over and cook for an additional 7 to 8 minutes. Once finished cooking, place on a pan or plate lined with paper towels and keep warm.
Continue the same process for the rest of the Arepas, adding more Oil, as needed.
Place on a serving platter or plate and top with a little crumbled Cotija cheese (if desired). Serve immediately, while still warm, and enjoy!
These Arepas con Queso would make Julieta Madrigal proud. They are crispy on the outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. Take a bite and you get the sweetness from the Corn combined with the richness of the Queso. The Mozzarella also gives the dish just enough of a light hit of “saltiness” to keep the dish balanced. Basically, they’re delisious. (I had to stop myself from eating them before they made it out to the rest of my family)
These are wonderful just on their own but would also be amazing as a base for other ingredients. Try them topped with some shredded Carnitas or Pollo. If you prefer something more vegetarian, seasoned Black Beans work really well. (That’s what we did) If you prefer a little more cheese, you can place extra Shredded Mozarella in between two Arepas and cook them up like a delicious, Colombian-style, grilled cheese. Or, you could just go as simple as just a little Guacamole and Salsa on the top.
The options are nearly limitless!
Whichever way you choose to serve these Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso, you can’t go wrong. Make them this weekend and bring a little bit of the Encanto Madrigal Magic into your Casita.
You can even talk about Bruno while frying them up. Yes, yes, yes!
Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso Recipe – Inspired by Disney’s Encanto
Makes approximately 10 to 12 Arepas
- 2 ½ cups – Milk
- 1 ½ cups – Masa Harina – Pre-Cooked Corn Flour
- 1 cup – Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded
- ¼ cup – Unsalted Butter – Cut into cubes
- 1 tbls – Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp – Salt
- Vegetable Oil
- Cotija Cheese – For garnish if desired
For the Disney Dishes Arepas con Queso Dough
- Place the Milk in a small pan on the stove over medium heat. Heat to a simmer
- While the Milk is heating, place the Masa Harina, Sugar, Salt, and Mozzarella in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined
- Once the Milk has reached a simmer, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it has completely melted
- Pour the heated Milk & Butter into the bowl with the Masa and stir until the ingredients just come together
- Allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes
- Once the Dough has been properly rested, check the consistency. It should be slightly sticky and elastic. If the dough is too wet, add a little more of the Masa Harina. If it appears too dry, add a little water.
- Turn the dough out onto a wooden cutting board dusted with a little more Masa Harina.
- Using a small bowl with water to keep your hands slightly wet, knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes
- Using your hands, roll a small portion of the dough into a ball and press to flatten with your palms to check the consistency. If the dough begins to crack at the edges when pressed, knead in a little more water
- Once the dough is the correct consistency, separate into 10 to 12 equal portions
- Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball then flatten gently with the palms of your hands until each is approximately 4” wide and ⅓” thick
- Place formed Arepas on a sheet of wax paper until ready to cook
For frying the Arepas con Queso
- Once the Arepas have all been formed, place a medium-sized fry pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of the Vegetable Oil
- When the Oil is heated and begins to shimmer, add 3 to 4 of the formed Arepas; being sure not to overcrowd the pan
- Cook until dark golden-brown splotches begin to form on the bottom; approximately 7 to 8 minutes
- Turn the Arepas over and cook for an additional 7 to 8 minutes
- Once cooked, remove to a pan or plate lined with paper towels and keep warm
- Continue the process until all the Arepas are cooked; adding more Vegetable Oil, as needed
- Place the warm Arepas con Queso on a serving platter or plate, sprinkle with a little crumbled Cotija Cheese (if desired), serve immediately and enjoy