Potato Croquettes with Chorizo, Manchego and Pine Nuts

I absolutely love croquettes.  When I see them on a restaurant menu I simply must order them.  Yet it occurred to me recently that I’ve never made them!  This recipe gave me a great excuse to play with my new deep fryer again.

When I put this recipe together, I was focused on creating a perfect balance of flavor in each bite.  This took quite a bit of experimentation and several test rounds.  I wanted them to be extremely flavorful, with bits of sweetness, spice and crunch.  The balance of chorizo, Manchego, pine nuts, and slightly caramelized onions achieved my goal.  The chorizo is spicy and meaty, and the toasted pine nuts add just the right amount of crunch.  The cheese is gooey and adds a bit of extra savoriness, or umami.  The onions add just enough sweetness (if you caramelize them too much they add bitterness).  Every bite really is perfect.

You don’t need a deep fryer to make these.  You can heat a neutral flavored, high smoke point oil (vegetable, canola, peanut, etc) in a large sauce pot or dutch oven.  I recommend using a thermometer to make sure you’re around 360 degrees.  If the oil is too hot, the outside will brown before the inside is properly cooked.  If the temperature isn’t hot enough the croquettes might absorb oil and become greasy.  You can try baking them but I can’t promise you’ll have the same results.  The outside won’t be as crunchy.

Lastly, you can substitute regular milk or cream for the evaporated milk.  I like using it because it has a subtle tang, almost like yogurt.  It adds another dimension of flavor.

Potato Croquettes with Chorizo, Manchego and Pine Nuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 13 croquettes
  • 1 large Idaho Russet Potato
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large chorizo link
  • ⅓ cup yellow onions, small dice
  • 1 small or ½ large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup Manchego cheese, small dice
  • ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Boil the potato in salted hot water until fork tender, approximately 30 minutes. Allow them to cool and then mash them or use a potato ricer to create a smooth puree. You should have approximately 1 cup of mashed potatoes.
  2. Add the evaporated milk, egg yolk, flour and salt to the potato. Combine well and set aside.
  3. Remove casing from the chorizo. In a medium saute pan, render the fat from the sausage on low heat. After a few minutes turn the heat up to medium and brown the sausage while breaking it apart with a spatula. Allow the bottom of the pan to brown and then deglaze it periodically with 1-2 tablespoons of water. When the pan sizzles, use the spatula to scrape up the brown bits and incorporate them with the chorizo; the water will cook away. Continue to break apart the chorizo so you have very small pieces. Once the sausage bits are brown and crunchy (15-20 minutes), remove from the pan and allow excess fat to drain on a paper towel. Measure out ½ cup of chorizo and set aside.
  4. In the same saute pan, sweat the onions and garlic on medium-low heat. If there's no leftover fat from the chorizo, add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking. Saute for a few minutes and then turn off the heat when the onions and garlic are just starting to brown. Set aside.
  5. Toast the pine nuts in a 350 degree F oven until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Heat up the vegetable oil to 360 degrees F in a deep fryer or medium sauce pot.
  7. Place breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  8. Combine the potato mixture, chorizo, pine nuts and Manchego cheese. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and use your hands to form a ball. Roll it around in the breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  9. Fry the croquettes until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow the excess oil to drain on paper towels for a minute or two.
  11. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Disclaimer:  This post is part of a contest sponsored by the Idaho® Potato Commission to celebrate February being Potato Lover’s Month.

  • http://rufusguide.wordpress.com Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

    What a great combo of ingredients. Love this one!

  • http://www.grubarazzi.com Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    This is a simply perfect recipe. Really love the color of these as well as the combination of flavors. I will file this under “must do” when I need to feed a few friends :) Happy 2012!

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Happy 2012 to you as well!

  • http://www.relishingit.com Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It

    Wow! Those look amazing. I need to make them ASAP. :)

  • http://trialsinfood.wordpress.com trialsinfood

    Looks great! I love croquettes! Who am I kidding? I love anything potato!

  • http://bitsandbreadcrumbs.com bitsandbreadcrumbs

    Beautiful photo and a terrific sounding recipe. Bookmarked.

  • Lan

    sign me up as someone who loves croquettes. (have you had the ones at Jaleo’s?) did you serve this with any type of aioli or sauce?

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Jaleo has amazing croquettes. I thought about making an aioli but I didn’t want to mask the flavors. I think sauces work better with simpler croquettes.

  • http://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com Mad Dog

    I’m 100% in agreement with you – croquettes are gorgeous! Yours sound amazing ;-)

  • ceciliag

    Oh these look FANTASTIC. I love your combinations and it has been years since I made croquettes. Lovely.. c

  • http://stowell.wordpress.com Food,Photography & France

    I was looking, without success, for a croquette recipe but yesterday. That chicken is now a pie but it could well have been in a croquette. I love your combination of ingredients – great post.

  • http://theroaminggastrognome.wordpress.com Peter

    Those look awesome!

  • http://mamasgottabake.wordpress.com Mama’s Gotta Bake

    will make these for my next get-together!

  • sweetsimplestuff

    These sound and look wonderful! Have you ever tried a different sausage … I am not a big fan of chorizo.

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      I only used chorizo but feel free to experiment! No recipe is set in stone.

  • http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com cookinginsens

    Those look and sound very, very good!

  • Susan

    What a great combination — I love these big, bold flavours. Sounds like a delicious tapa! (Now where is my copa de vino…?)

  • mbnilsson

    Mmmmm. I LOVE croquettes. Chicken ones too. I know you can do these without a deep fat fryer, but I’m beginning to wonder how hard it would be to find one in Sweden. Hmmmmmm…..

  • http://happinessstanlives.wordpress.com trixfred30

    They look great! I’ve made something like this using left-over risotto rice (ambriosi or something can’t remember the name…)

  • http://peppermeister.wordpress.com PEPPERMEISTER!

    Incredible! I cannot wait to try this, I adore chorizo and potatoes and my wife’s favorites are manchego and pine nuts! I’m obviously going to have to add some of my dried organic serrano powder to spice it up, but this looks like a home run.

  • teenylittlesuperchef

    I’m with you. I always order croquettes in a restaurant but have never tried my hand at making them. Thanks for posting this recipe. It makes them seem so much more simple than I thought they could ever be. I don’t have a deep fryer (too dangerous for me to own) so it looks like I’ll have to use the old Dutch oven method. Do you think they could be baked? I know they probably wouldn’t taste as good, but would save my hips a bit of pain.

  • http://foodfamilyandvino.wordpress.com foodfamilyandvino

    OMG! These look so good! I’m making these this weekend! Would you mind if I put your post as part of my blog…giving you all the credit of course for the awesome recipe!

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Go right ahead :) Enjoy.

  • gourmetmommy

    Oh yum. I’ve been wanting to have a tapas night one of these days with a little sparkling rose or something equally fun. This looks like it’s just the ticket! Some warm, marinated olives, garlicky shrimp and these croquettes are a party waiting to happen!

  • http://russianmomcooks.wordpress.com Anastasia

    Looks beautiful and delicious! I just nominated you for a 7×7 award. Please see more details at http://russianmomcooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/2012_feb_bookclub/!

  • http://thecompletecookbook.wordpress.com thecompletecookbook

    I fear these will be far too addictive! Delicious!
    :-) Mandy

  • Tutti Dolci (@Tutti_Dolci)

    These sound delicious – I love that you added caramelized onions. Whenever I caramelize onions I have to restrain myself from eating the entire pan in one sitting.

  • http://aftertasteblog.wordpress.com After Taste

    These look absolutely amazing. Yum.

  • easybaked

    I’ve never had a croquette in my life….but now that I’ve read through this recipe I simple MUST try them…how could I have missed something this yummy for so long???

  • Moni

    These sound delicious! I can’t make them in my tiny apartment, or it will smell like fried food for days, but I will definitely tell my mom to make them with her when I see her.

  • http://jensfreshandfabulous.wordpress.com Jen Roque

    Oh my gosh these sound phenomenal. I love croquettes and have never made them oddly.

  • http://chillininja.wordpress.com Chilli Ninja

    I love croquettes too! I especially like the additions of chorizo & pine nuts – sounds like a composite for tasty.

  • http://cakeboule.wordpress.com cakeboule

    These look great and the photograph really does them justice – clean image which really entices you in!

  • http://atoastandtea.wordpress.com a toast and tea

    Oh yum, I love all three of those ingredients on their own, and I love croquettes. These sound amazing, and perfect for a tapas-themed party (or really any party)!

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  • http://chicaandaluza.wordpress.com Chica Andaluza

    I´m a huge fan of croquettes and these sound amazing. Will def be giving these a go soon!

  • http://wonderlandkitchen.com/ Molly @ Wonderland Kitchen

    I got a fail in frying (seriously, I’m cursed), so I’ll have to keep ordering in restaurants, but congrats to you. Great potato dish!

  • Flip’s Foodie Files

    My mouth is watering!

  • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy

    This is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever!

  • http://gravatar.com/savourytraveller Christine @ The Savoury Traveller

    Mmm, I adore croquettes too! I insisted on them on an almost daily basis when we were honeymooning in Spain!

  • http://canalcook.wordpress.com canalcook

    Croquettes are my favourite too!

  • http://tinfoilduck.wordpress.com tinfoilduck

    I’magonnahaveto try this one! I love corquettes too!

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  • http://dailycrave.wordpress.com Natalie

    These look delish!

  • http://keelymarie.com Keely Marie

    These sound sooooo good!

  • http://theadmirableadmiral.wordpress.com kberesford

    Yum! Chorizo, potatoes and pine nuts, some of my favourite ingredients!