Cuban Style Gluten Free Croquetas

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.

ham gluten free croquetas stacked on a plate

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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.

Up close shot of 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).

diced ham for gluten free croquetas

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:

  1. Put it in a large ziplock freezer bag and pipe it out (I suggest this, faster and less messy).
  2. 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!

Gluten Free Croquetas lined up on a plate


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!

gluten free croquetas on a plate
Print Recipe
4.75 from 16 votes

Cuban Style Gluten Free Croquetas

Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 57.45kcal


  • 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.


Using a ziplock to pipe croquettes is easier than rolling them by hand. Be sure to use super fine gluten free bread crumbs. I used precooked ham steaks and ground them with my food processor.


Calories: 57.45kcal


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  • Reply
    August 31, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Mil gracias! Como me hacen falta las croquetas tambien! Can’t wait to try these.

    • Reply
      September 3, 2019 at 11:27 am

      De nada! I hope you love them as much as we do!

  • Reply
    Margaret E Clegg
    March 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Pinning now to have on hand, to use up leftover Easter ham!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Sounds so interesting, with ham!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Wow, these look so good! I have not tried these before. On my list to make soon.

  • Reply
    Megan Stevens
    March 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    So yummy! What comfort food!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Love cuban food and these look so delicious! Pinning this for our next party!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    These look great for entertaining! Have pinned to try over the weekend!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    These look like a great party pleaser. I know a lot of people who’d love a bunch of these!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Your labor of love is highly appreciated! These look fantastic.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I’m so glad you took the time to develop this recipe for all the GF croquetas lovers! These look legit and delicious! Good job!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    these look amazing! I’d eat the whole pan full!

  • Reply
    Raia Todd
    February 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Wow, those look so delicious!

  • Reply
    Joni Gomes
    February 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Living in Miami, we love croquetas! Need to try your gluten free version!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2019 at 8:08 am

    These are a must for any party that includes kids and the grown ups love them as well!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    OMGoodness, YUM. These look so crunchy and delicious, and the flavors sound amazing!

  • Reply
    Tessa Simpson
    February 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Drool! First time I had a croqueta I was hooked…I never even thought of attempting a gf version, win!!!

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  • Reply
    Jereann Zann
    April 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Yes, they are so popular in Miami! They really look delicious Amanda! Great job πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Thanks!they were so good!

  • Reply
    Kristina Sloggett
    April 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    these look so crispy good! I love that they are gluten free, and I really want to try Leslie’s idea of a mushroom swap! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:21 am

      I think that would be great!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Croquetas are so delicious, and are an excellent use for lefover ham. I saw you suggested mushrooms as a possibility to make these meatless. Intriguing idea that I may pursue since I love mushrooms.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:30 am

      They are delicious and I’m sure mushrooms will be awesome!

  • Reply
    Alisa Fleming
    April 20, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Wow, those look like store-bought perfection Amanda! Love this idea and need to try it.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Thank you! I think to make them dairy free almond milk might work best with the flavors.

  • Reply
    Kristen Wood
    April 19, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I’m not a meat eater but these look like you’d never know that they are gluten-free!!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Love the spices that you’ve added for some oomph. Looks super tasty!

  • Reply
    Jen E.
    April 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I’m so out of the loop on this, I’ve never seen these before. They look great, and this recipe is definitely simple and (from the photos) delish. My kids would devour these, I’ll have to give these a go! thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:29 am

      So good! They will love them!

  • Reply
    Leigh Suznovich
    April 18, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Oh these look incredible, I love snacks like this!! I am definitely making them soon.

  • Reply
    Jules Shepard
    April 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    If I ate meat I’d make these in an instant! Looks fantastic.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      They are so good, if you do fish, you might be able to try that, it would be interesting to try with something like mushrooms.

  • Reply
    Megan Rowsey
    April 18, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    My bestie was just diagnosed with Celiac so I can’t wait to share your sit with her! These look so yummy!

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      I’m sorry she was diagnosed, but if I can help, please let me know!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Sounds like a fun appetiser. What would you suggest as a dip?

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      I debated on making a dip to go with these, I’ll probably add a recipe for one later. They aren’t usually served with a dip, but if I were to make one I would do a cilantro lime crema, maybe with a bit of garlic- I’ll get to work on it!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 10:04 am

    These look delicious! My grandma always makes a ham loaf every holiday, which is basically the meat filling of these croquetas. The thought of breading and frying that ham loaf is making my mouth water! I’m definitely trying this recipe.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      That sounds so good! I’ve never had a ham loaf, but I’m willing to try anything twice (you gotta try things twice to be sure!)

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 9:47 am

    this looks like something i could totally make for lunch!

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 9:58 am

      I wish I had some left over for lunch!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I have never heard of these, but they sound super tasty! I love that you called it meat dough, lol.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 9:58 am

      They are so good, if you have the opportunity try them! I wasn’t really sure what to call it, it really is like a dough made of meat :).

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 8:50 am

    These are wonderful! We moved from Tampa about 10 years ago where there lots of Cuban restaurants…I’m missing recipes like this!

    • Reply
      April 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

      They are so good. I miss eating food like this too. It’s hard because it is all around, but it’s not usually safe for me to eat.

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