Reina Pepiada Arepas, Filled with Avocado & Chicken

Reina Pepiada arepa from Venezuela

Reina pepiada arepas are the favorite of Venezuelan homecook Liliana Hernández. Made with avocado, shredded chicken and minced onion, this royal relleno is one of the most traditional and popular fillings for arepas, Venezuela’s national bread. It was also the winner of Familia Kitchen’s Your Favorite Arepa Recipe Contest. Felicidades, Liliana!

“But I’m sure the first question you have is: Why is it called reina pepiada?” says Liliana, who was born in Caracas. “Here’s the story: Venezuela is well known for, among other things, its beauty queens. In 1955 a Venezuelan beauty queen named Susana Duijm, won Miss World. A man who owned an arepera, an arepa restaurant, wanted to pay tribute to this momentous event, so he named one of his arepas after her: reina—queen.”

“In those days, if a woman had a great figure — if she had one of those iconic curvilinear silhouettes —people would say she was pepiada: Wow, estás pepiada. This applies to both women and men, by the way. If a man in the 1950s was very well dressed, looking very elegant, people would say: Estás pepiado. And so that is where the name reina pepiada comes from. A fitting tribute to a Venezuelan queen, no?”

How to make a reina pepiada arepa, step by step. So delicioso, satisfying and avocado-licious.

How to Make Reina Pepiada Arepas

Reina pepiada arepas are made with shredded chicken and avocados onions, cilantro, lime and a little bit of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt. This royal treat is one of Liliana’s favorite ways to eat an arepa. (And now that we think of it, the curvy avocado is pepiado, right?)

If you would like to see the recipe being made step by step, via video, check out her Mi Show de Cocina’s episode on reina pepiada arepas. (See Liliana’s step-by-step instructions on how to make traditional Venezuelan arepas here.)

For more of Liliana’s traditional Venezuelan family-famous recipes, try her life-changing coconut bienmesabe cakeasado negro for celebrations, can’t-stop-at-one cheese-stuffed tequeños, handmade toasted corn flour arepascarne mechada arepa filling, and her mother’s go-to ensalada rusa potato salad. All are 100% delicioso.

Ready to Make Reina Pepiada Filling for Your Arepa?

Liliana’s Classic Reina Pepiada Arepa

Recipe by Liliana Hernández
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Venezuelan


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Shredded Chicken
  • 1 1/3 lbs chicken breasts

  • 1/2 onion, medium, chopped

  • 1 cilantro sprig

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 cups water, or to cover chicken

  • 3 avocados, peeled and sliced

  • For the Sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 onion, medium, diced

  • 1 cilantro sprig, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise or Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper


  • For the Shredded Chicken
  • Place the water, onion, cilantro sprig and salt in a large pan. Bring to a medium simmer. Add the chicken and gently boil until cooked.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks or in your mixer set to low. Set aside.
  • For the Sauce
  • In a bowl, mix the lime juice, mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a second, larger bowl, place the avocado slices, holding back a couple to use as garnish.
  • Add the diced onion to the bowl, to taste.
  • Mix in the avocado.
  • Chop the cilantro and mix into your bowl.
  • Add the lime-mayonnaise or lime-yogurt dressing. Blend well. Liliana likes to keep some of the avocado chunks larger for texture, but you can mix it to the consistency you like.
  • Add the shredded chicken in one or two batches. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
  • Your reina pepiada is ready to be fill your arepa. Garnish with an avocado slice or two and a last sprinkle of cilantro and lime. Enjoy this beautiful treat.


  • To shred the cooked chicken, use two forks and pull apart gently. Or do it Liliana’s favorite way: in her stand mixer set to slow with the wide beater attachment.
reina pepiada arepa
The reina pepiada arepa is named after a 1950s beauty queen from Venezuela, Susana Dujim, who won Miss World. That’s her behind Liliana.
reina pipiada arepa
This classic arepa is made with shredded chicken, avocados, onions, cilantro, lime, and mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.
reina pipiada arepa
Liliana’s pollo hack: “I like to shred cooked chicken with my mixer using the flat beater attachment.“
reina pipiada arepa
Liliana likes to keep some of the avocado chunks larger for texture.
reina pipiada arepa
Liliana is ready to fill her arepa with reina pepiada relleno. Garnish with an avocado slice or two and a last sprinkle of cilantro and lime, she says.

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