Stuffed with ham (or chicken!), breaded and lightly fried, these gluten free croquetas are what food dreams are made off. These Cuban style gluten free croquetas will knock your socks off.
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Gluten Free Croquetas
There are a few foods that when I went gluten free I knew I would miss. Not just miss a little, like tears welling up miss. One was Papas a la Huancaina (which turns out is super simple to make gluten free- the recipe is), but croquetas were another story.
Over the past few years, so many great gluten free products have come on the market, but croquetas are kinda a Miami thing. Every party you go to has them. Even the gas stations sells them. No one I knew made them, so I really had no idea if I could replicate the deliciousness that is a croqueta.
For one year we had an all gluten free restaurant, but the restaurant closed (like most gluten free restaurants in Miami do) and I was back to missing gluten free croquetas.
Tips and Tricks
I put a lot of love and labor into the recipe. I always put a lot of love into recipes, but this one was particularly tricky. We ate a lot of so-so croquetas (as did my poor neighbors) before I got it right.
I would love to tell you that these are quick and easy, but while they are easy, they are not quick. They have to be refrigerated and put in the freezer at different steps. Plus the molding and dipping and breading take a little bit of time. If you are craving croquetas today, unless it’s 10 in the morning, it’s probably not going to happen. However, once you make them, they can be frozen and then fried whenever you have the craving!
They may not be quick, but THEY ARE WORTH IT! Plus, I have a few tricks to make them easy to make.
The mixture itself is simple. Basic bechamelle, add finely chopped ham (see picture) and bread crumbs (super fine bread crumbs, like Schar’s. If your bread crumbs are thicker like 4C or Alexa you will need to run them through the food processor or magic bullet it get them fine, large bread crumbs will not give you the right texture).
Once you have your meat dough (sounds gross, but that’s basically what it is), it goes into the freezer or fridge to cool down.
When it is cooled down enough you have two choices for forming the dough:
- Put it in a large ziplock freezer bag and pipe it out (I suggest this, faster and less messy).
- Mold them into little sticks by hand (takes forever).
After they are molded, dip in egg and super fine bread crumbs and freeze them for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to fry them!
Final Thoughts on Gluten Free Croquetas
These taste so good. Just like I remember. Of course, having been gluten free for so long, I did have non-gluten free eaters try them and everyone loved them. They are totally worth the time it takes to make them.
It’s an easy to make recipe that just takes a little bit of time. If you are making them for a party, just make ahead and freeze them until you are ready.
If you don’t eat ham, chicken can also be used for these as well.
As a reminder. The two main tricks to getting these to come out perfect is finely chopping the ham (see picture above) and using super fine bread crumbs. The only brand I’ve found super fine is Schar, but I’ve used others and just blended them to get them super fine.
You are going to LOVE these gluten free croquetas.
Happy Gluten Free Eating!
Cuban Style Gluten Free Croquetas
- 16 ounces cooked ham ground
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1 cup super fine gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs beat
- Melt butter in large saucepan.
- Whisk in gluten free flour. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add milk, whisking as adding.
- Add onion powder, pepper and nutmeg.
- Cook milk mixture for 3 minutes or until thickened (it's a basic bechamel).
- Add finely chopped ham.
- Mix in 3/4 cup bread crumbs.
- Stir together well.
- Refigerate for one hour or place in freezer for 1/2 hour.
- Place meat dough in a large Ziploc bag and cut whole in tip.
- Pipe 3/4 inch tubes, cutting at desired lengths. (About 3 inches long.)
- Dip in egg, then roll in bread crumb mixture.
- Place on pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat enough oil in a pot (or pan with high sides) over medium heat.
- Carefully drop gluten free croquettes into oil.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning half way through, until golden.