Creamed Yuca (Cassava) With Roasted Garlic

Creamed yuca (cassava) with roasted garlic

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
412 Calories
14g Fat
69g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 412
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 470mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 37mg 185%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 542mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yuca is a starchy root vegetable popular in Hispanic, Latin, and Caribbean cuisine. Used as an accompaniment for grilled meat or saucy preparations, yuca, also known as cassava, can play the part of potatoes in pretty much any dish you can think of. By simply peeling, boiling, and mashing yuca, you'll have a delicious dish on your table that can serve as a side to stews or roasts beautifully.

Commonly used in soups, eaten boiled with sofrito, or fried with a sprinkle of salt, yuca is a wonderful addition to your ingredient list. It's affordable and widely available, so you can find it in most supermarkets and Latin stores.

Similar in shape to a very long sweet potato, yuca has a hard, firm texture and shiny brown skin. It's naturally gluten free—tapioca, farinha, and garri are staple products made from this root in Brazilian, Portuguese, and West African cuisines.

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 2 1/4 pounds yuca (cassava)

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 cup half-and-half, warmed

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • Pinch grated nutmeg

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this yuca dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Roast the Garlic

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamed yuca (cassava) with roasted garlic ingredients

    The Spruce

  2. Heat the oven to 450 F. Peel off as much of the head of garlic’s papery skin as you can and cut off about 1/2 inch from the top, exposing the cloves.

     Cut off the top of the garlic exposing the cloves

    The Spruce

  3. Place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle it with olive oil.

    Garlic on a square of aluminum foil drizzle with olive oil

    The Spruce

  4. Wrap the garlic tightly with the foil. Bake for 1 hour.

    Garlic wrapped with aluminum foil on a baking sheet

    The Spruce

  5. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow it to cool before handling.

    Roasted garlic cooling on a baking sheet

    The Spruce

  6. Squeeze the garlic out of the papery husks into a bowl. Reserve.

    Roasted garlic in a bowl

    The Spruce

Cook the Yuca

  1. While the garlic is roasting, peel the yuca, using a sharp knife or potato peeler. Cut the yuca into cubes.

    Peeled and cubed yuca on a cutting board with a knife

    The Spruce

  2. Place the yuca in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt, bring to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat.

    Yuca in a saucepan with salted water

    The Spruce

  3. Cover and simmer until the yuca is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. The yuca should be fork tender and slightly translucent.

    Yuca boiling in a covered pot

    The Spruce

  4. Remove the yuca from the heat and drain off the water.

    Yuca drained of water in a colander

    The Spruce

  5. Place cooked yuca in a bowl along with the half-and-half, butter, and roasted garlic.

    Half-and-half, roasted garlic, butter, and yuca in a bowl

    The Spruce

  6. Mash together with a potato masher or whip using an electric hand mixer.

    Mashed yuca with garlic, half-and-half, and butter

    The Spruce

  7. Season with nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

    Mashed yuca seasoned with nutmeg, salt, and pepper

    The Spruce

Tips

If you can’t find fresh yuca, use frozen yuca that is already prepared for cooking. Heat according to package instructions and when hot, proceed with the recipe.

Variations

  • While half-and-half is used in this recipe, soy milk, whole milk, 2 percent milk, and skim milk are all reasonable substitutes.
  • For a yuca mash with a hint of coconut, use full-fat coconut milk instead.
  • For a vegan version, use cashew or oat milk, which are creamier than other non-dairy milks, and substitute the butter with either vegan margarine or extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Grate Parmesan cheese on top and place the puree under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown. For an even cheesier version, add 3/4 of the cheese of your choice right after mashing the yuca. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and serve.

How to Store and Freeze Creamed Yuca

Leftovers of this dish will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. Store it tightly covered, and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until completely hot. You can also freeze this dish, and reheat the same way, or defrost in the fridge first. You may need to add a little butter or half-and-half to improve the consistency.