Ham Croquettes: A Delicious History, Variations, Tips, and Tricks

Ham Croquettes: A Delicious History, Variations, Tips, and Tricks

Spanish ham croquettes, also known as “croquetas de jamón,” have long been a staple in Spanish cuisine. These delightful bite-sized treats feature a creamy filling made from a mixture of béchamel sauce and finely chopped Spanish ham, coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. Dive into the fascinating history, explore exciting variations, and learn valuable tips and tricks for crafting the ultimate Spanish ham croquettes.

History of Spanish Ham Croquettes

The origins of croquettes trace back to France, but they quickly gained popularity in Spain, where they became an integral part of Spanish gastronomy. The combination of rich béchamel sauce and the country’s renowned cured ham, such as Jamón Serrano or Ibérico, resulted in the iconic croquetas de jamón that we know today. These croquettes exemplify the Spanish culinary tradition, often enjoyed as tapas or appetizers.

Variations of Spanish Croquettes

While ham is the classic filling for croquetas, variations abound to suit different tastes and preferences. Some popular variations include mushroom croquettes, chicken croquettes, or even seafood-based croquettes with shrimp or cod. These variations offer a diverse range of flavors, making them suitable for various dietary preferences or as a way to utilize leftover ingredients creatively.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Ham Croquettes:

  1. Béchamel Consistency: Achieve a creamy and smooth béchamel by ensuring the right consistency. Cook the flour and butter mixture to a golden hue before gradually adding milk, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  2. Finely Chopped Ham: The texture of the ham plays a crucial role in the croquette’s overall experience. Finely chop the Spanish ham to ensure a harmonious blend within the creamy filling.
  3. Proper Chilling Time: Refrigerate the croquette mixture for at least two hours to allow it to firm up. This step is essential for shaping the croquettes and preventing them from falling apart during frying.
  4. Breadcrumb Coating: Use fresh breadcrumbs to achieve a crisp exterior. For an extra touch of flavor, you can add a hint of grated Parmesan or herbs to the breadcrumbs.
  5. Ideal Frying Temperature: Maintain a consistent oil temperature of around 350°F (175°C) for perfectly golden and crispy croquettes. Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure even frying.

Spanish ham croquettes, with their creamy and flavorful filling encased in a crispy shell, are a true delight. With a rich history, versatile variations, and expert tips and tricks, you can master the art of making these delectable croquetas. Embrace the flavors of Spain by incorporating Spanish ham croquettes into your culinary repertoire, whether as a tapas dish, party appetizer, or a special homemade treat.

Ham croquettes

Ham Croquettes: A Delicious History, Variations, Tips, and Tricks

Discover the rich history, delectable variations, and expert tips for making Spanish ham croquettes, a beloved tapas dish. This comprehensive guide provides a flavorful croquette recipe, highlighting the art of creating crispy and creamy croquetas using finely chopped Spanish ham.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Béchamel´s Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 100 g Butter
  • 100 g Flour
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 100 g Serrano ham Finelly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • Olive Oil


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and stir until well combined.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps, until the mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pan.
  • Add the chopped ham and stir to combine.
  • Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Transfer the mixture to a container and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the mixture is firm.
  • Once the mixture is firm, use your hands to form small croquettes.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and place the breadcrumbs on a plate.
  • Dip the croquettes in the beaten eggs and then coat them in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  • Remove the croquettes from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Serve the ham croquettes hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Keyword Appetizer, Recipe
Share If you like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating