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Must-Try Spanish Ham Croquettes Recipe

Sometimes we need to cook something to get us out of trouble. We don’t always want to spend hours in the kitchen, there are times when we want to prepare something tasty but fast.

If you are looking for that, then Spanish ham croquettes will be perfect for you. 

With only a couple of ingredients and less than an hour, you will have a delicious dish that can be a side dish, appetizer, or even a main dish.

spanish ham croquettes in a serving basket, on a black plate, next to red peppers and a drink. Must-Try Spanish Ham Croquettes

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Keep reading this article to get to know why it is one of the most popular serrano ham recipes by learning more about its history, how to make the croquette recipe step by step, and all the changes you can make.

Background of the Dish

closeup of some spanish ham croquettes, served as tapas, on a slate surface

The technique of coating food with breadcrumbs and eggs was already done in ancient Rome, but over time it spread to all of Europe. 

When it arrived in Spain, in Andalusia they gave it their own touch and that is how the croquettes were created.

This is not surprising since Andalucia is the land of appetizers (which are known here more than anything else as Tapas). 

There are honestly hundreds of recipes, from the Spanish bacalao croquettes to meaty albondigas or the easy Pan con Tomate.

Despite all that competition, the Spanish ham croquettes manage to stand out.

They are made with Serrano ham, which gives them the characteristic flavor that is only found in the south of Spain.

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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Ham Croquettes

For this croquetas recipe, you just need some milk, flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and the star: serrano ham. 

A large pot would be helpful for the frying process, (though as you’ll see later you could switch the cooking method).

Serrano ham on a wooden plate for the spanish ham croquettes

Ingredients

  • 250 g serrano ham
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (50g) flour
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and Pepper (to season)
  • 3 Eggs (for coating)
  • Breadcrumbs (for coating)
  • oil for frying

How to Make Spanish Ham Croquettes – Step by Step Guide

spanish ham croquettes being covered with breadcrumbs
  1. To start making this Spanish croquettes recipe, grab a large pot, pour the milk and take it to the stove over medium heat, without letting it boil. Then set aside
  1. After that, you have to peel and chop the onion. Add the sunflower oil to a saucepan and when it gets hot, add the onion and fry until it takes on a light color.
  1. Now pour in the flour and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  1. Then add the milk all at once and stir until the béchamel begins to thicken (it is like the dough for the croquettes), add the Serrano ham cut into cubes and mix well.
  1. Pour the dough into a bowl or baking tray and let it cool until it reaches room temperature (you can do this faster by taking it to the fridge). Then, with the help of two spoons, shape the ham croquettes, cover them with breadcrumbs, and then a mixture of beaten egg and again breadcrumbs to get a thick crust.
  1. After that finish shaping the ham croquetas with your hands, and leave them on a plate while you finish shaping them.
  1. When frying the croquettes, the oil has to be very hot so that they absorb as little oil as possible and remain crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Fry the croquettes without overcrowding the pan, so that they all cook equally.
  1. Once they take a nice golden color, you can serve your Spanish croquetas.

Substitution of Ingredients

spanish croquettes recipe on a black plate, on a wooden table.

The croquettes recipe is simple and only requires basic ingredients. However, making changes to the ingredients can be tricky and one wrong step can ruin the entire recipe.

For example, milk and eggs cannot be missing. You could change the milk to plant-based milk, but the egg cannot be missing so it is not suitable for vegans.

Other Spanish croquettes can help you think about ingredient changes, especially if you don’t like or can’t get the serrano ham. 

For example, you can make Spanish mushroom croquettes to have a vegetarian version, or Spanish chicken croquettes to have something more conventional.

In both cases, the step-by-step is the same, you just have to include the filling, preferably cooked in the dough.

Tips on Serving Spanish Ham Croquettes

spanish ham croquettes with salad and fries on a black plate

If you make these croquetas de Jamon, you can serve them at any time of the day. 

They are one of the most popular tapas ideas because they are easy to serve, you grab them with your hand and eat them in one bite.

You can also transform these Spanish appetizers into a main dish if you serve a good amount of them along with a side dish like salad or fries.

The good thing about them being Serrano ham is that the croquette has a lot of flavors.

If you want to give it an extra touch, you can serve it with dipping sauces (sour cream, ketchup, bbq sauce, honey mustard, aioli, etc.)

Did you enjoy these Spanish tapas? Then we encourage you to try the Spanish dates wrapped in bacon or the Spanish mushrooms with garlic.

How to Store Spanish Ham Croquettes

How to Store Spanish Ham Croquettes. An open fridge with various vegetables and fruits in plastic containers.

This recipe stands out from other Spanish appetizer recipes because you can also freeze them in the fridge.

In both cases, it must come to room temperature, and then you must put them in a Tupperware or on a plate covered with plastic wrap.

They must be covered as otherwise the Spanish ham can absorb the taste of other foods in the fridge and the croquettes will practically spoil.

Once frozen, Spanish Ham Croquettes can last up to 30 days. In the fridge, they last up to 3 days, and you should always warm them up before eating them (in the microwave or in the oven).

Recipe Card: Spanish Ham Croquettes

Yield: 5

Spanish Ham Croquettes Recipe

spanish ham croquettes in a serving basket, on a black plate, next to red peppers and a drink

Sometimes we need to cook something to get us out of trouble. We don't always want to spend hours in the kitchen, there are times when we want to prepare something tasty but fast.

If you are looking for that, then Spanish ham croquettes will be perfect for you. 

With only a couple of ingredients and less than an hour, you will have a delicious dish that can be a side dish, appetizer, or even a main dish.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250 g serrano ham
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (50g) flour
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and Pepper (to season)
  • 3 Eggs (for coating)
  • Breadcrumbs (for coating)
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a pot, bring the milk to the stove over medium heat, without letting it boil. Then set aside
  2. Peel and cut the onion. Add the sunflower oil to a saucepan and when it starts to get hot, add the onion and fry until it takes on a light colour.
  3. Pour in the flour and toast for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the milk at once and stir until the béchamel begins to thicken, add the Serrano ham cut into cubes and mix well.
  5. Pour the dough into a bowl and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. Then, with the help of two spoons, shape the croquettes, make them go through breadcrumbs, then a mixture of beaten egg and again breadcrumbs to get a thick crust.
  6. Finish shaping with your hands, and leave the croquettes on a plate while you finish shaping them.
  7. When frying the croquettes, the oil must be very hot so that they absorb as little oil as possible and remain crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Fry the croquettes without overcrowding the pan, so that they all cook equally and the oil does not cool.
  8. Once they take a nice golden colour, serve them.

Notes

This ham croquettes recipe is fantastic for its simplicity and for how fast it is. They can be done so quickly thanks to the fact that the croquettes are fried.

If you don't want to fry them, you can cook them in an air fryer or oven, but keep in mind that it will take at least 40 minutes and the Jamon croquetas won't be as crispy.

Nutrition Information

Yield

5

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 389Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 5.2gCholesterol 135mgSodium 894mgCarbohydrates 30.9gFiber 2gSugar 6.9gProtein 19g

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