Croquetas De Jamon (Ham Croquettes)

"This is the way my aunt used to make croquetas, with bechamel - an old family and personal favorite. If you don't know what croquetas are, they are deep-fried treats about the length of your thumb and twice as wide. Variations of croquetas are famous around the world, but this recipe is Spanish (although it would truly be Spanish made with Serrano ham, but that's not the way my aunt made it). I used to eat several as a meal but generally these are served as tapas (appetizers/light lunch). These are perfect to throw in the lunch box too! Also, please don't be intimidated by the long list of directions, because in the end this is pretty simple to make. This is a great make-ahead dish too."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
3hrs 10mins


  • 3 ounces minced ham (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour, highly suggest using white flour only, as the consistency of wheat might ruin the recipe
  • 1 12 cups milk, divided, whole milk works best, but any kind will do
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs, as needed


  • Make your bechamel sauce by first melting olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add flour to melted butter and mix well with whisk.
  • Add 1/2 cup milk to saucepan and increase heat to medium-high.
  • Stir constantly to avoid burning, and cook for about 5 minutes or until bechamel has thickened.
  • Reduce head to medium and cook for another 10 minutes to allow bechamel to thicken fully.
  • Add minced ham and season lightly with salt (as ham is already salty).
  • Blend evenly and transfer mixture to a lightly oiled 8 inch shallow dish. Ensure the mixture is even all across.
  • Refrigerate mixture at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
  • To make croquetas, shape the chilled ham mixture either with two tablespoons or your hands into a cylindrical shape about the length of your thumb or forefinger.
  • Break eggs into a bowl and whisk. Put breadcrumbs seasoned with salt only, if you really want to season breadcrumbs, on a plate.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Dip croquetas into egg and roll in breadcrumbs; do this twice to double-coat them.
  • After all croquetas have been assembled, refrigerate them for 30 minutes before frying.
  • Fry each croqueta until golden brown and put on paper towel-lined plate. As you cook, you can keep them warm in a low oven.
  • I like to eat these alone, or maybe with some steamed white rice and black beans. I hope you enjoy!

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  1. OK, I made these, let them sit in the fridge per the directions (overnight) and then fried them up tonight to go with dinner. Bland and boring at best -- my wife and kids thought they were frankly pretty disgusting. I had to agree. On top of that, there are a couple of blatant errors in the recipe... it never says what to do with the last cup of milk (although I assumed it should be added to the sauce mixture) and it says "head" instead of "heat." Overall, not what I would consider to be a good recipe at all. They looked nice, but were basically inedible.



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