This recipe for potato croquettes, or crispy & cheesy potato balls, is a delicacy that is crunchy on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside. The preparation combines the simplicity of mashed potatoes with a golden and crispy crust, offering a satisfying snack or an irresistible appetizer.
If you want to prepare the world-renowned potato croquettes recipe at home, here’s how! Each crispy potato croquette is flavored with fine spices and aromatic herbs, then fried until it reaches an ideal texture. These potato croquettes are perfect for any occasion, be it a family dinner or a party with friends, quickly becoming the star of the table.
Origins & variations
Potato croquettes, also known as potato balls, have a history and origin that span several cultures and eras. Although it is difficult to identify a precise point of origin, this type of food is rooted in the European culinary tradition, becoming popular in many countries, each adapting the recipe to local tastes.
Europe: Potato croquettes became popular in Europe in the 19th century, especially in France, Spain and Italy, where cooks began to experiment with leftover mashed potatoes, turning them into small fried delicacies. In Spain, for example, croquettes are often filled with various ingredients, such as serrano ham or cheeses, while in Italy, potato croquettes, known as “crochette di patate”, may include parmesan and Italian herbs. Try the Spanish croquetas recipe.
International Influences: As Europeans traveled and settled in different parts of the world, they brought with them the recipe for potato croquettes, adapting them to local ingredients and tastes. For example, in Latin America, potato balls have been embraced and varied, sometimes including ingredients specific to the region, such as corn or chili.
Versatility and Popularity: Part of the popularity of potato croquettes comes from their remarkable versatility. They can be served as an appetizer, side dish or even main course, depending on the size and filling of the croquettes. They can also be easily adapted to fit vegetarian or even vegan diets, replacing animal ingredients with plant-based alternatives.
Nowadays, croquettes are a globally loved food, with each culture adding its own unique twist. This adaptability and ability to cross cultural borders make cheesy potato balls a shining example of how a simple recipe can become a valuable part of the world’s culinary heritage.
Healthy version: Air Fryer Potato Croquettes
Preparing potato croquettes in an Air Fryer comes with several significant benefits, which make this method particularly attractive for those interested in a healthy lifestyle and for those who want to save time without compromising the taste or texture of the dishes:
- Reduction of Oil Consumption: One of the biggest advantages of using the air fryer is that it requires much less oil compared to traditional frying in an oil bath. This means that potato croquettes will have a lower fat and calorie content, making them a healthier option.
- Crunchy Texture: The air fryer circulates hot air at a high speed, ensuring that the outside of the potato balls becomes nicely crispy, while the inside remains soft and creamy. This way you get that desired texture, the characteristic of frying, without its shortcomings.
- Cleanliness and Comfort: Unlike frying in oil, which can create a mess due to splashing oil and requires constant supervision, the air fryer keeps everything clean and simple. There is no hot oil to splash, and cleanup afterwards is minimal.
- Fast and Efficient Cooking: Potato balls cook faster in an air fryer than in the oven, saving time and energy. Also, there is no need to preheat the air fryer, which reduces the cooking time even more.
How to make potato croquettes
- 1.3 kg potatoes diced
- 8 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ½ cup Cheddar cheese diced
- ½ cup Provolone cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a pot, add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt, cover with water and bring to a boil. After the water boils, reduce the heat and let the potatoes boil for 20 minutes or until soft.
- Strain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add butter, salt, pepper, milk and an egg. Mash everything with a blender until you get a homogeneous and sticky composition. Add the chopped parsley.
Preparation for breading:
- Prepare three bowls: one with flour, one with beaten eggs and another with breadcrumbs.
Forming the croquettes:
- With a spoon, take the potato mixture, place a cube of cheese in the center and shape it in the palm of your hand until you get a ball. Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients.
- Dip each ball in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Fry the croquettes, 3-5 times, until they become golden and a crispy crust forms. Take them out on a paper napkin to absorb the excess oil.
Preparing the Sauce:
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce and mix well.
- Serve the croquettes warm, along with the sauce.