Spanish Croquetas Do Not Have Potatoes Nor Cheese: Debunking Common Myths


Croquetas, or croquettes, are a beloved staple of Spanish cuisine, cherished for their creamy interiors and crispy exteriors. However, there are several misconceptions about what ingredients define a traditional Spanish croqueta. Contrary to popular belief, authentic Spanish croquetas do not contain potatoes or cheese as their primary ingredients. In this blog, we will explore the true essence of Spanish croquetas, their history, traditional ingredients, and why potatoes and cheese are not part of the authentic recipe.

The History of Spanish Croquetas

The origins of croquetas can be traced back to France, where the word "croquette" comes from the French verb "croquer," meaning "to crunch." These delightful bites made their way to Spain and evolved to become a distinct part of Spanish cuisine, reflecting the country's unique flavors and culinary traditions. Spanish croquetas were originally created as a way to use up leftovers in a delicious and economical manner. Over time, they have become a beloved tapas dish, found in homes and restaurants across Spain.

Traditional Ingredients of Spanish Croquetas

The foundation of a traditional Spanish croqueta is a rich béchamel sauce, which is then mixed with various fillings, breaded, and fried to perfection. Let’s take a closer look at the key components:

1. Béchamel Sauce:

  • Butter: Provides the rich base and depth of flavor.
  • Flour: Acts as a thickening agent for the sauce.
  • Milk: Gives the sauce its creamy texture.
  • Nutmeg: Adds a subtle warmth and complexity.
  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning.

2. Fillings:

Here is where creativity comes in. You can add anything you want. Initially the croquetas were made with leftovers, so for example, if you cook a whole chicken, you can use the leftovers to add that to the croquetas. 

In our case, we make 4 variations every week, but we have made other types in the past and can do more options under request.

  • Serrano Ham: the classic, the one that almost everyone loves.
  • Apple & Blue cheese: our own creation, and our favourite!
  • Mix of mushrooms: seasonal mushrooms are used to get always the fresher and tastier output!
  • Cod: another classic, with a touch of the sea.

Remember, you can get them delivered to you!

And if you live in a 10 mile radius of us (SW19), you can get them freshly fried as well!

3. Coating:

  • Breadcrumbs: For the crispy exterior.
  • Eggs: Helps the breadcrumbs adhere to the croquetas.

4. Oil for Frying:

  • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil: Used for deep-frying the croquetas.

Debunking the Potato Myth

One of the most persistent myths about Spanish croquetas is that they contain potatoes. This misconception likely arises from confusion with other similar dishes, such as the French potato croquettes or certain regional variations of croquetas in other countries. In Spain, however, the traditional croqueta is defined by its use of béchamel sauce, not potatoes.

The creamy interior of a Spanish croqueta comes from the béchamel sauce mixed with finely chopped fillings. Potatoes are not part of the classic recipe, as they would alter the texture and flavor profile that make Spanish croquetas unique.

Debunking the Cheese Myth

Another common misconception is that cheese is a primary ingredient in Spanish croquetas. While there are variations of croquetas that include cheese, such as our Caramelised Apple & Blue Cheese croqueta, cheese is not a traditional or essential component of the standard Spanish croqueta. The primary purpose of the béchamel sauce is to create a smooth and creamy texture that binds the other ingredients together. Introducing cheese as a main ingredient would change the consistency and overall experience of the croqueta.

Why Béchamel is Key

The use of béchamel sauce is what sets Spanish croquetas apart from other types of croquettes around the world. This classic French sauce, made from butter, flour, and milk, serves as the perfect base for a variety of fillings. When done correctly, the béchamel provides a velvety, smooth interior that contrasts beautifully with the crispy breadcrumb coating.

The béchamel-based filling allows for endless creativity while maintaining the essential characteristics of a Spanish croqueta. Whether mixed with ham, chicken, fish, or vegetables, the béchamel sauce ensures a consistent and delectable texture that defines this iconic dish.


Spanish croquetas are a testament to the ingenuity and culinary tradition of Spain. By understanding that the true essence of these delightful bites lies in their béchamel-based filling, rather than potatoes or cheese, we can better appreciate their unique place in Spanish cuisine. Whether enjoyed as part of a tapas spread or as a standalone snack, authentic Spanish croquetas offer a rich and satisfying experience that highlights the best of Spanish culinary artistry.

So the next time you savor a croqueta, remember that its creamy interior and crispy exterior are a celebration of tradition, flavor, and the art of making the perfect béchamel sauce.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.