Croquetas de Jamón (Spanish Ham Croquettes)

Croquetas de Jamón (Spanish ham croquettes) on a white cutting board

The Spruce

 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
577 Calories
47g Fat
29g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 577
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 608mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 214mg 5%
*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.)

Croquetas de jamón, or ham croquettes, are a staple on Spanish tapas menus, and you'll find them offered throughout the country. These small, lightly breaded and fried béchamel fritters include delicious Spanish cured ham, and they aren't hard to re-create at home. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, they are a sure hit as an appetizer for your next party or as an afternoon snack with a glass of beer or wine.

In order to ensure the best outcome for your croquettes, make sure the ham is very finely minced so it can be mixed thoroughly with the dough. Once it's made, the batter needs to refrigerate for a minimum of three hours, but you can leave it in overnight if you want to make the croquettes the next day, as long as it's covered. You can even make the batter ahead of time, as long as it's covered and kept in the fridge, before frying the croquettes in olive oil.

If you don't like or don't eat ham, you can easily substitute 1/2 cup finely minced, cooked chicken for the ham.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Salt, to taste

  • Dash of ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup finely minced Spanish cured ham

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, for coating

  • 3 cups Spanish olive oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for croquetas de jamón (Spanish ham croquettes)

    The Spruce

  2. Heat the 1/2 cup olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Very slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, and add the chicken broth until both liquids are incorporated. This can take up to 30 minutes.

    Chicken broth added to dough on the stove
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  3. Add the nutmeg and the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

    Croquetas de jamón dough with added salt, pepper, and nutmeg

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  4. Add the minced ham and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes over low heat, continuing to stir. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Minced ham added into croquettes de jamón dough

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  5. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then refrigerate at least for 3 hours until the mixture is cold. If you are preparing a day or so ahead, you can cover the mixture tightly and keep refrigerated until you are ready to fry the croquettes.

  6. Beat the eggs with the water in a separate small, wide bowl.

  7. Pour the breadcrumbs into a small, wide bowl.

  8. Cover your hands in flour, then divide the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a plate so that they are not touching.

    Spanish ham croquettes coated in flour

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  9. Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to be 1/2-inch deep. Heat the olive oil to about 355 F.

  10. Dip the croquettes in the beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs by rolling in the bowl.

    Croquetas de jamón coated in breadcrumbs

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  11. Place the croquettes in the hot oil and fry quickly, in batches, turning several times, until golden and all the croquettes are fried.

    Ham croquettes frying in a cast-iron pan

    The Spruce

  12. Remove the croquettes with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

Tips

  • If the croquettes mixture is spread out in a thin layer on a flat dish before chilling, you will need to refrigerate it for less time. A large glass baking dish works well.
  • If you prefer, you can use a deep fryer to fry the croquettes. Be sure not to overcook them.
  • You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. Take the croquette dough out of the freezer to thaw, form into balls, and coat in breadcrumbs, and fry. If you have enough freezer space, you can even freeze breaded croquettes—then all you have to do is fry them up.
  • If the croquettes will not be served immediately, place in a warm oven (200 F) for up to 30 minutes.

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