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Potato croquettes

Potato croquettes with manchego cheese and quince sauce

Croquettes are very popular Spanish tapas. Often béchamel is the base, but here we use potatoes and bread them for a crunchy golden shell. For the best flavor, use true Manchego made from ewes’ milk, and preferably cured, for these savory croquettes. Cured Manchego is drier than semi-cured and easier to grate.
Adapted from Spain and The World Table, The Culinary Institute of America.

Potato croquettes


  • 1 pound 4 ounces (575 g) russet potatoes, scrubbed

  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or as needed

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 ⅔ cups grated Manchego (loosely packed)

  • 2 teaspoons minced green onions

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Pinch thyme

  • Pinch hot pimentón or cayenne

  • 3 large eggs, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • ⅔  cup dry panko breadcrumbs

  • Olive oil, for frying


  1. Cook the unpeeled potatoes in a medium saucepan with ¼ teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Cover partially and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the potatoes, cover tightly, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  2. Use a ricer to mash the potatoes into a bowl and fold in the olive oil.

  3. Stir in the cheese and add the green onions, parsley, ½ teaspoon of salt, thyme, and hot pimentón or cayenne.

  4. Separate two of the eggs.  Stir the yolks into the potato mixture.

  5. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks at medium-high speed, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vinegar until just combined. Fold half of the beaten whites into the potato mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the remaining whites.

  6. Beat the remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Spread the panko breadcrumbs on a baking sheet.

  7. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture and use your hands to shape the portions into balls or ovals.   Roll the croquettes one at a time into the beaten egg to coat all sides. Drain excess egg and transfer to sheet with the breadcrumbs. When you’ve dipped 6 of these, roll in the breadcrumbs to coat all sides, and then place on a parchment-covered half sheet pan. Repeat this process with the remaining potato mixture.

  8. Heat the oil in an 8-inch wide deep skillet to 360°F. Fry the croquettes in batches of six, turning them once, until golden brown, about 1½ to 2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Hold the finished croquettes in a warm oven until ready to serve (up to 15 minutes).

Croquettes can be fried in advance and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours. To reheat place in a preheated 400°F oven, about 10 minutes. 

Fried croquettes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Remove them from the freezer 15 minutes before heating. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes

  • Serve with  Quince Sauce (see recipe )

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