Croquetas de Jamón Serrano: The Ultimate Spanish Recipe to Impress Your Friends

12 Oct

Everyone likes croquettes… I mean, wikipedia defines them as “small fried food rolls” and who in their right mind could find something wrong with that? There is a croquette for everyone, vegetarians included, and Spanish people love to experiment with different ingredients. But true to every Spaniard’s heart are the classic Croquetas de Jamón Serrano (Serrano Ham Croquettes). Their creamy filling is bursting with flavor and leaves many wondering whether they’re eating ham flavored mashed potatoes or some exotic melty cheese and ham concoction. The answer is neither. The truth is much more simple, although a little less appetizing. Being a traditional “poor man’s food” Ham Croquettes are basically a damn good bechamel sauce enriched with leftover scraps of serrano ham and deep fried to crispy perfection.

Did you really want to know that?

Now that you do, there is no excuse not to make these ridiculously easy and extremely tasty tidbits of Spanish goodness. The following is my favorite version of the recipe and it will not disappoint! Vegetarians, I’ll take care of you soon– I have lot’s of amazing vegetarian croquette recipes too!

Croquetas de Jamón Serrano


~ 60 grams/4 T unsalted butter

~ 60 grams/1/4 C olive oil

A bit less than 1 C of flour (120 grams)

One medium onion very finely diced

1 Liter (~1/4 gallon) whole milk at room temperature

1 packet (250 grams) of jamón Serrano diced into small pieces

Flour for breading

2 beaten eggs

Bread crumbs


Melt the butter and warm the oil in a medium size pan over a medium high heat.

Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until it just starts to brown.

Add a pinch of salt (don’t add too much because Serrano ham is already quite salty). Add the diced ham and sauté for 30 seconds more.

Add the flour and stir continually, until the flour turns a light brown color. You must not stop stirring or the flour will burn!

When the flour changes color add the milk little by little, always stirring, until you incorporate the entire liter.

It should take about 20 minutes to add it all. Turn off the heat and let the dough cool a bit.

Butter the sides of a large bowl or plastic wrap and wrap the dough. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours but preferably overnight. To make the croquettes shape them into little logs (or use a pastry sleeve if you have one). Next, while heating a pan full of olive oil on the stove, pass the croquettes through the breading process. First, cover them in flour, then in egg, and, finally, in the breadcrumbs.

Fry in the hot oil and let cool a few minutes before enjoying!

Easy, quick, cheap, and impressive… did you try them yet? What is your favorite croquette? Are there any you would like the recipe for here?



12 Responses to “Croquetas de Jamón Serrano: The Ultimate Spanish Recipe to Impress Your Friends”

  1. Sunshine and Siestas October 12, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    EASY!? I think croquetas are the most time-consuming thing ever! Having to leave the bechamel overnight after knocking your arm off to try them? You have my heart, L! Happy cumpleaños to a dear friend…and let someone else cook for you today! so excited to see you next week!

    • Lauren October 13, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      Haha, well the time is the only annoying part, but I swear they are easy to make! Try them!!!

  2. Cassandra Gambill October 12, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    You’re really churning out the entries–and the good eats–this week! Thanks for the visual tutorial, you remind me that croquetas are on my scrolling list of items I want to try my hand at.

    • Lauren October 13, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Do it! The best thing is there are croquetas de todo!

  3. Lauren October 13, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    I love it. I’ve been wanting to cook now that I’m settled in my piso. Your entries are inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to post. Now that I’m blogging and adding photos to my post, I realize it takes some time.

    • Lauren October 13, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      You’ve got to try them! And blogging definitely takes some effort but I really enjoy it!

  4. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] October 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    I’ll agree with Ms. Cat in that I do not find croquettes easy. Plus, Mario’s mother and aunt already make to-die-for ones. So I cannot really measure up.

  5. Kyle October 15, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    I feel fatter just after reading this recipe. But OMG SOOOO GOOD. I love croquetas!!!

  6. Mo November 25, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I´ve managed to avoid making them for about ten years after my disastrous early attempts. Just saying the word bechamel to me brings me out in a sweat. However, thanks to your post I´ll try again. Let´s face it, I´d be a Superstar in my own home, since as you say, who doesn´t like croquetas?(Or cocretas as linguistically-challenged Spaniards call them.)

    • Lauren November 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Haha! “Cocretas” I love it! It’s so true (especially where I used to live) although now the Madrileños are pretty finos. The ones I feature here really are easy! I promise! Let me know how they turn out and thanks for reading– (although all new posts are now at

      • Mo November 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

        Spanish food is just so fab! I´ve just roasted some of those supposedly Italian peppers (are they really Italian?), I´m sure you know the ones, long and pointy and very green, and they taste amazing. So ……cue pepper recipes, porfa!


  1. Spanish Mealtimes: When do Spanish people eat? « spanishsabores - October 24, 2011

    […] Tapas for sure although exactly what depends on my mood! Croquetas are always delicious, fried eggplant with honey, baked goat cheese with jam… there are endless […]

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