Try our croquetas recipe then check out our patatas bravas, Spanish tortilla, gildas and more Spanish recipes. Plus, find plenty more tapas ideas.


  • 150g serrano ham, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 75g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 50g manchego, grated
  • a grating nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • groundnut oil, for deep frying


  • STEP 1

    Heat a non-stick pan and fry the ham and bay leaf gently until any fat has melted off the ham, then scoop it out leaving the fat behind.

  • STEP 2

    Add the butter to the pan and, when it has melted, stir in the flour to make a thick paste.

  • STEP 3

    Gradually stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce.

  • STEP 4

    Add back the bay leaf and ham and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted, then add a good grating of nutmeg and season really well.

  • STEP 5

    Scoop into a tray or dish, cool, then chill completely in the fridge. (This can take 2-3 hours, or you could do it the day before.)

  • STEP 6

    Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the mix and roll each into balls about 3cm across.

  • STEP 7

    Put the beaten egg on one plate and breadcrumbs on another. Roll the balls in the egg then the crumbs. Repeat so you have a double layer of egg and breadcrumbs.

  • STEP 8

    Fill a pan no more than ⅓ full with oil and heat to 180C (or until a cube of bread browns in around 30 seconds), then deep fry the balls in batches for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper (you can keep cooked croquetas warm in a very low oven).


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