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Croquetas de Jamón Recipe – Spanish Ham Croquettes

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Croquetas de Jamón, also known as Spanish ham croquettes, are a staple on every Spanish tapas menu, and you can find these creamy-crunchy bites all over the country. Check out our Croquetas de Jamón Recipe.

Unlike the usual croquettes made using potatoes, our croquetas de Jamon recipe contains none. Instead of potatoes, the filling is made using bechamel sauce and Serrano ham. 

Perfect for a game day or any appetizer party, these tiny, lightly breaded, and fried bechamel croquettes include tasty Spanish cured ham and are relatively easy to make at home.

What are Spanish Ham Croquettes?

If you live in Spain or ever traveled to Spain, you may have probably heard of croquettes—delicious, tiny fried bites that are often served as appetizers at many events and even house parties. 

Everyone loves croquettes, including those who don’t even know it yet. These small fried food rolls are available at every corner and center of the country, and you’re guaranteed to fall in love with its deliciousness. 

Croquettes first originated in France, where they offered a mashed potato center; however, the recipe underwent a few changes and became croquetas when they traveled down to Spain

Instead of potatoes, Spanish croquetas include a center filling of creamy bechamel sauce and dry-cured ham (Jamon). Deliciously crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, croquetas de Jamon is traditionally served in numerous bars and restaurants as a tapas dish

If you eat around Spain for a long time, you’ll soon have a list of places where there is no shortage of different flavors of Spanish croquetas.

Since the Spanish love to experiment with the ingredients, your taste buds can go from mushroom to mint, potatoes, and salt cod as there are enough croquettes for every taste. But, nothing beats the classic Croquetas de Jamón recipe!

Croquetas de Jamon Ingredients

Here are the ingredients used to make the Croquetas de Jamón recipe: 

  • Serrano ham leftovers: In Spain, Croquetas de Jamón is, made using cured Jamon—either Serrano or Iberian (can substitute prosciutto). 
  • Flour: We use wheat flour; however, if you prefer gluten-free flour, you can use it in the recipe. Please let us know how it turns out to be in the comment section below. 
  • Oil: It is advisable to use a high-quality oil for our Croquetas de Jamón recipe, like the extra virgin olive oil. 
  • Bread crumbs (you are free to use bread crumbs of your choice)
  • Milk (whole milk at room temperature) 
  • Onion 
  • Butter 
  • Eggs  
  • Nutmeg 
  • Salt 

Spanish croquetas can combine a wide range of other center fillings added to the bechamel sauce, including chicken, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and sea salt. Again, you can play with the ingredients and churn out your own Croquetas de Jamón recipe.

Tips to prepare Croquetas

To ensure that you get the best results for your Croquetas de Jamón recipe, you must finely mince the ham so that it can be mixed thoroughly with the dough. 

In addition to that, you need to refrigerate the batter for a minimum of three hours. If you’re planning on making the croquettes the next day, you can leave them in the fridge overnight, but ensure covering it. 

Another secret to making the ideal croquetas is—time and patience. It may be tempting to pop them in the fryer or oven right away (depending on if you’re frying or baking them), but you must make sure to let them chill as long as the bechamel takes to hold its shape. If you try to bake or fry them before that, the croquetas will fall apart. 

Nonetheless, the creamy filling of our Spanish croquettes will leave you confused whether you’re eating some extremely delicious melted cheese croquettes or ham-flavored mashed potatoes. In reality, neither of them. 

Croquetas de Jamón recipe is the traditional Spanish man’s meal, where the center filling is a creamy bechamel sauce (made using olive oil, butter, flour, and milk) combined with Serrano ham’s leftover scraps. You can either deep fry or bake the croquetas based on your preference.

How to prepare Spanish Croquetas de Jamon – Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Start by heating four tablespoons (around 60 grams) of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup (about 60 milliliters) of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Keep the flame low and let the butter meltdown before adding anything else.

croquetas de jamon

Step 2. Once the butter is completely melted and hot, add one medium-sized onion (very finely diced) to the pan. Sauté for about five to six minutes and move on to the next step as soon as the onion slices start to gain some color.

spanish croquettes

Step 3. Once the onion shows some color, add a pinch of salt and nutmeg to the pan and mix everything thoroughly.

serrano ham croquettes

Step 4. Now it’s time to add the finely diced Serrano ham to the pan. Remix everything and cook the ham for a maximum of one minute. Keep stirring the pan to ensure nothing gets burnt.

what is a croqueta

Step 5. Add one cup of flour (approximately 120 grams) to the mixture and sauté everything constantly to avoid unnecessary burns.

como hacer croqueta de jamon

Step 6. Keep stirring the mixture repeatedly to cook the flour as much as possible while also not burning it. Once the paste starts showing a creamy brown color, it is time to add milk to the paste.

jamon croquettes

Step 7. Add a bit of milk to the brownish paste and remix everything.

how to make croquetas

Step 8. Continue adding milk to the paste little by little every time for the next 15-20 minutes to thicken the paste. Each time the mixture in your pan dries up, add more milk to it. Stir constantly all the time while you’re adding more and more milk until the dough is creamy and thick enough.

croquetas recipes

Step 9. Pour the dough into a large bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Afterward, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (directly over the dough) and store it in the fridge for at least four hours. For better results and taste, leave the paste covered with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.

spanish croquetas

Step 10. Check the dough after 4-5 hours or the next day (even better) and see if it is thick enough to make croquettes out of it. If the croquette dough is thick and cold, begin forming small croquette logs and place them on a plate.

Note: You can use a metal spoon to help you with the process.

spanish ham croquettes

Step 11. When your croquettes are all made and look perfectly chilled, it is time to bread and fry. Prepare three separate bowls with flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs, respectively. Start by cover the croquettes one by one in flour, then eggs, and then bread crumbs.

Note: If your croquette dough turned out to be sticky, you could use wax paper to keep the croquette logs on.

Step 12. Finally, it is time you start frying the croquette logs. Heat extra virgin olive oil and ensure it gets hot, but not too hot, or the croquettes will burn. Start heavy frying the croquettes, and do NOT forget to turn them around so that they get evenly brown on all sides.

Note: The ideal time for frying the croquettes is five minutes, ensuring keeping a close eye on all the croquettes and not letting them burn. The smell of our delicious Spanish croquettes may entice you to take a bite, but resist yourself as they are burning hot.

ham croquetas

Step 13. Once they are nicely fried, remove the croquettes from the pan and drain them on paper towels to let them soak up all the extra oil and cool down. Once cool enough, you can begin enjoying these delicious bites with your friends and family.

Croquetas de Jamon Recipe - Spanish Ham Croquettes

FAQ

How long can you keep croquettes?

You can keep croquettes for an average of 3 days, and they will still taste delicious. However, if you are not planning on consuming these creamy-crunchy bites within 3 days, placing them in the freezer would be your ideal option.

Moreover, croquettes can even last a month if frozen uncooked and placed in a zipper bag.

What are Spanish croquettes made of?

Unlike usual croquettes made with a potato-mashed center filling, Spanish croquettes are made using an utterly delicious bechamel sauce and cured Serrano ham.

You can even combine some other center fillings added to the bechamel sauce, including chicken, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, and sea salt.

Why are they called croquettes?

The word “croquette” is a French word derived from croquer (to crunch). A croquette is a small cylinder of finely minced and seasoned food (usually meat or veggies), including a thick binder combined with a filling, deep-fried in oil, and sometimes sprinkled with breadcrumbs. Croquettes are usually served as a snack or fast food all over the world.

What city did croquettes originate from?

Croquettes first originated in France in the 19th century as a delicious way of recycling leftover meat and scraps during the lean time. But, on its way down to Spain, the croquettes recipe underwent a few changes (since the Spanish like to experiment) and became croquetas.     

Are croquettes vegan?

Spanish croquettes are not vegan as they contain eggs and usually ham. However, if you want to make vegan croquettes, you can replace the Serrano ham center-filling with mashed potatoes.

How do you make bread crumbs?

To make breadcrumbs, you can either use fresh bread or stale bread (as leftover bread becomes dry in a day or two).

Step 1: Toast them on medium flame until they acquire a lovely golden brown color.
Step 2: Keep them on a rack and let them cool up.
Step 3: Break the bread into small pieces and place them in the mixer.
Step 4: Grind it until you get nice and fine breadcrumbs.

Make sure you do not grind it too much or too little, as you don’t want the breadcrumbs to be too fine like powder or too coarse.

Yield: 8

Croquetas de Jamon Recipe - Spanish Ham Croquettes

Croquetas de Jamon Recipe - Spanish Ham Croquettes

Croquetas de Jamón, also known as Spanish ham croquettes, are a staple on every Spanish tapas menu, and you can find these creamy-crunchy bites all over the country. Check out our Croquetas de Jamón Recipe.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (about 60 grams) unsalted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces (about 120 grams) flour
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1/4 gallon (1 liter) whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 9 ounces (around 250 grams) Serrano ham
  • Flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Heat up four tablespoons (around 60 grams) of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup (about 60 milliliters) of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Keep the flame low and let the butter meltdown before adding anything else.
  2. Once the butter is completely melted and hot, add one medium-sized onion (very finely diced) to the pan. Sauté for about five to six minutes and move on to the next step as soon as the onion slices start to gain some color.
  3. Once the onion shows some color, add a pinch of salt and nutmeg to the pan and mix everything thoroughly.
  4. Add the finely diced Serrano ham to the pan. Mix everything again and cook the ham for a maximum of one minute. Keep stirring the pan to ensure nothing gets burnt.
  5. Add one cup of flour (approximately 120 grams) to the mixture and sauté everything constantly to avoid any unnecessary burns.
  6. Keep stirring the mixture repeatedly to cook the flour as much as possible, while also not burning it. Once the paste starts showing a creamy brown color, it is time to add milk to the paste.
  7. Add a bit of milk to the brownish paste and mix everything again.
  8. Continue adding milk to the paste little by little every time for the next 15-20 minutes to thicken the paste. Each time the mixture in your pan dries up, add more milk to it. Stir constantly all the time you’re adding more and more milk until the dough is creamy and thick enough.
  9. Pour the dough into a large bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Afterwards, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (directly over the dough) and store it in the fridge for at least four hours. For better results and taste, leave the paste covered with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.
  10. When the croquette dough is thick and cold, begin forming small croquette logs and place them on a plate.
  11. Prepare three separate bowls with flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs respectively. Start by cover the croquettes one by one in flour, then eggs, and then bread crumbs.
  12. Heat up extra virgin olive oil and ensure it gets hot, but not too hot or the croquettes will burn. Start heavy frying the croquettes and do NOT forget to turn them around so that they get evenly brown on all sides.
  13. Once they are nicely fried, remove the croquettes from the pan and drain on paper towels to let them soak up all the extra oil and cool down. Once cool enough, you can begin enjoying these delicious bites with your friends and family.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 700Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 302mgSodium: 3088mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 75g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate.

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More Spanish Croquettes Recipes

Croquettes with ham

Croquettes with spinach

Croquettes with mushrooms

Tuna Croquettes

Croquettes with codfish

Croquettes with chicken

Croquettes with cheese

Croquettes with octopus

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Croquetas de JamOn Recipe

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