Fluffy, buttery, Potato Croquettes coated with golden, crisp gluten free breadcrumbs. They’re easy to make, versatile and completely delicious. Make them cheesy, or not. Either way, you’ll love them.
First published 22nd October 2016. Updated 31st May 2023
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Jazz up potatoes with gluten free Potato Croquettes – It’s easier than you might think!
When I was a kid I LOVED Potato Croquettes. They were so much more tasty and interesting than plain old mashed potatoes. And when it came to mash… I am ever grateful that I lived with parents who refused to go with the original ‘Smash’ fad of the 70’s… If you tried it, you’ll know!
For the most part, potato croquettes (and anything else we ate at home) were made from scratch. The idea that mashed potato was a tricky or even time-consuming thing to prepare never even crossed my mind. And so it remains today. I am endlessly bemused by the fact that we can buy ‘ready-mashed’ potatoes or ‘microwave-ready’ jacket spuds. Even when pushed for time, they are quick and simple.
Nonetheless, when we became a Coeliac family, I did initially miss foods that were ‘crumbed’. Whether potato croquettes, scampi, breaded chicken, fish fingers, arancini or schnitzel… They initially felt beyond reach. But that was then and this is now! Today, there are any number of commercial gluten free options out there. And once you’ve got your head around the wonders of gluten free bread crumbs at home, you can make ANYTHING you ever missed.
So read on lovely people, because today I share my delicious Potato Croquettes recipe. It’s time to jazz up those potatoes gluten free style!
Ingredients for making gluten free Potato Croquettes
I guess the first question has to be ‘What do I need to make Gluten Free Potato Croquettes?’ Actually, you need very little…
- Potatoes – obviously! However, some are better than others for mashing, so I’ve discussed the potato question separately below.
- Butter – to loosen the mash and to make the croquettes rich and creamy.
- Cheddar Cheese – or an alternative hard, meltable cheese. This is optional, but in my opinion, cheesy mash makes the best croquettes.
- Seasoning – A little salt at minimum (although if using salted butter, leave it out). And preferably a good grind of black pepper and some herbs as well.
- Flour (gluten free), egg and gluten free breadcrumbs – to coat and ‘croquette’ the mashed potato. I use a combination of corn starch (UK cornflour) combined with fine ground polenta as the base flour coating. This gives great flavour and texture. However, corn starch alone or a gluten free flour blend will also work well.
What are the best potatoes for making potato croquettes?
When it comes to mashing, not all potatoes are made equal. Thus, for the BEST Potato Croquettes, it’s important to choose a variety that is suited to the task. For mashed potatoes, floury potatoes that cook up fluffy and a little dryer are best. Great mashers include:
- Maris Piper
- King Edward
- Yellow Queen
- Yukon Gold
Many supermarkets now included ‘best use’ labels on their potatoes which are a helpful guide.
Using leftover mashed potatoes
It’s great to make Croquettes with potatoes specifically cooked for the task. However, they are so versatile they can also be made with leftover mashed potatoes as well. Simply add some (optional) grated cheese and any additional seasoning you fancy to the leftovers, before shaping and coating ready to cook.
Breadcrumbs – all the gluten free options!
Gluten Free breadcrumbs have come a long way in the last decade. It seems that there are now any number of options for coating Potato Croquettes (and anything else that requires a crumb). So… What are your choices?
- Commercially produced gluten free breadcrumbs. These are now widely available in many supermarkets and online.
- Homemade standard breadcrumbs are REALLY easy to make. Even better, they are the perfect use for any stale, leftover gluten free bread. And can be freshly ground or dried for storage. If you haven’t made them before, check out my post on how to make Gluten Free Bread Crumbs for some know-how and a ‘recipe’.
- Homemade Panko Breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can step up your Potato Croquettes with some Homemade Panko Breadcrumbs. They are also really easy to make and give all the ‘poshness’ that wheat-eaters enjoy with none of the gluten!
- Crushed or ground Cornflakes (breakfast cereal). If you can’t find commercial breadcrumbs and don’t want to make your own, crushed Cornflakes make a quick and easy alternative. However, make sure the brand you choose is certified gluten free.
- Crushed gluten free crackers. Providing they are plain in flavour, these too should work relatively well.
Why I don’t add egg or milk to my Potato Croquettes
If you’ve looked at other recipes for Potato Croquettes, you’ll probably have seen the addition of egg and/or milk to the mashed potato. The milk is usually to ‘loosen’ the mash and the egg is used to ‘bind’ it. I have found the addition of both or either to be entirely unnecessary. Why? Because the starchiness of the potato itself acts as the perfect binder. And the butter (which is added to make it rich and creamy) adequately loosens the mash without the need for anything else.
In fact, I actively AVOID adding either milk or egg, having had a couple of disasters when giving them a trial. The potato simply remained too loose to shape (even after a good 24 hours chilling in the fridge). And then impossible to coat without disintegrating.
If you choose good mashing potatoes to make your Croquettes, then they should be the perfect texture regardless.
Tips for making the Best Potato Croquettes
Although Potato Croquettes are REALLY easy to make, there are a few tips that will help the process to run smoothly and will ensure the potato mixture shapes, coats and cooks to its BEST…
- NEVER use instant mash to make Potato Croquettes. It’s completely the wrong consistency.
- Don’t overcook the potatoes. They need to be soft enough to mash, but not to the point where they are disintegrating in the water. If they are disintegrating, they may have become too ‘wet’ and this may lead to a sloppy, unshapable mash. Test the potatoes in the pan with a knife… If it slides in easily without the potato breaking apart, then they’re ready to drain.
- Drain the cooked potatoes well using a colander, to remove any excess liquid.
- Before mashing, return the drained potatoes to the pan and set over a low heat for a couple of minutes, shaking frequently. This too will help to steam off any remaining excess moisture for the best mash.
- Mash the potato with the butter, cheese and seasoning until any lumps have gone. But stop at this point. Excess mashing can sometimes lead to a gluey texture.
- Let the mashed potato cool COMPLETELY before shaping. When the mash cools, the starches help to firm it, making it easier to shape. Indeed, chilling the mash in the fridge after it cools, will make it even better to handle!
- See below for tips on shaping, coating and cooking Croquettes.
- Once coated, chill the Croquettes for about an hour before cooking.
How to shape and coat Potato Croquettes
Once the mashed potato mixture is cold enough (providing the excess liquid was well drained as advised above), it should be easy to shape into Croquettes. You can mould them into ‘traditional’ fat sausage shapes, or balls. Both will taste great. Either way, don’t worry about whether they are identical in size… This is home cooking, not the MasterChef kitchen!
To shape, simply scoop balls of mash from the bowl and roll or squish. If the mash feels a little sticky, it might help to lightly flour or dampen your hands.
Once shaped… Either coat straight away, or set on a tray lined with baking paper until all the potato has been moulded, ready to crumb.
When coating Potato Croquettes with breadcrumbs, preparation is key. You need three separate flattish bowls (that are large enough to fit a croquette). These three bowls (lined up side by side) contain the
- Gluten free flour
- Beaten egg
- Gluten free breadcrumbs
These ingredients are used in turn to coat each Croquette before it is set aside ready to cook. The flour and egg protect and bind the potato surface, while also providing a tacky coating for the breadcrumbs to stick.
Be aware that coating Croquettes can get a little messy. But once you get into a rhythm, dipping from one bowl to another, it’s pretty straightforward.
How to cook potato croquettes
When it comes to cooking Potato Croquettes, you have a couple of options, although I personally always fry mine in hot oil for the most appealing colour and crunchiest breadcrumb coating. And that’s what I suggest on the recipe card. Either way… Here are your options:
Shallow-fry the Croquettes in hot oil.
- It’s best to use an oil that is fairly neutral in flavour and has a high smoking point. Sunflower or canola oils are good options. You need enough oil in the base of the frying pan to give a layer 3 to 5 mm deep. And make sure it is good and hot before frying the Croquettes (or they won’t seal properly and will soak up the oil to become greasy).
- To check the oil is hot enough… Drop a cube of stale bread into it. If it sizzles and browns crisply in about 30 seconds, then the oil is good to go.
- Fry the Croquettes in small batches of no more than 3 to 4 at a time. This will allow room to turn them in the pan and will avoid the oil cooling too much.
- While they are frying, turn the Croquettes frequently using tongs, a spatula or a slotted spoon, so they crisp and cook evenly.
- Once cooked, remove them from the pan to a plate lined with kitchen paper, so that any excess oil is removed.
Although you may want to bake the Potato Croquettes to make them lower in fat, I personally find that baking them results in a dryer, less-enjoyable result. And you’ll still need to use a spray or drizzle of oil anyway to get them to come up golden. Nonetheless, it can be done…
- Heat the oven to about 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Smear a light coating of oil over the surface of a baking tray.
- Arrange the Croquettes on the tray with space between them for the heat to circulate.
- Drizzle or spray lightly with a little extra oil
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (turning occasionally) until crisp.
Although I’ve not tried it myself (yet)… Potato Croquettes can also be easily air fried. Again, it’s worth using a light drizzle of oil for the best crispness and colour of crumb. But otherwise, air fry a small batch at a time, turning during cooking. And keep a close eye to ensure they don’t burn (air fryers are much quicker than standard ovens).
Flavour up Potato Croquettes – the options are endless!
The recipe shared below is for simple cheesy Potato Croquettes with a little seasoning and parsley. However, the options for flavouring up and varying the recipe are pretty much endless!
However you choose to personalise Croquettes, the basic rule is this… Don’t add anything to the mash that is too wet or liquid… This will impact the texture and ability to shape it and is likely to lead to Croquettes that fall apart when cooked. Other than that… play with add-ins and flavours as you wish. Here are a few ideas to mix and match and to get you inspired…
- Switch the cheese… Use different cheese, blue cheese or no cheese.
- Add some meat… Chopped ham, cooked bacon, roast chicken or any other leftovers are perfect.
- Make them fishy… Add flakes of tuna, salmon, cod, cooked prawns, crab or any other fish you fancy… Freshly cooked or tinned.
- Go veggie… with some crispy onion or garlic flakes, chopped pepper, sweetcorn kernels, peas or sundried tomato.
- Spice it up… by adding chilli flakes or powder, paprika, plenty of black pepper, finely-chopped jalapeño, cumin, etc
- Throw in some herbs… fresh or dried. Anything goes, but my favourites are parsley, coriander, chives, basil or thyme.
Can I make them ahead?
Yes. You can either make them ahead and pop them in the fridge (before frying/baking) ready to cook when you need them. They will last for 3 to 4 days chilled.
Or, they can be frozen (see below)…
Can I freeze Potato Croquettes?
Yes. Potato Croquettes are perfect for freezing. Freeze them after they have been shaped, dipped and coated, but BEFORE they have been fried or baked.
They are best frozen separately on trays (so that they don’t stick together) and then popped into an airtight container ready for when you need them. When you want to cook them, take them from the freezer, defrost and cook as normal.
Frozen croquettes are good for 2 to 3 months.
How to serve Croquettes
Croquettes are usually served freshly cooked and hot and in the same way as any other potato side dish. They are perfect in place of roasties at Sunday lunch, with fish, sausages, meat or veggie burgers, etc. And kids go nuts for them dipped in ketchup or mayo.
Or… They can be served warm as a party and buffet snack with dips.
Ready to make Gluten Free Potato Croquettes?
And so I share my recipe for gluten free Potato Croquettes. I hope you love every morsel of yumminess. Please let me know if you make them with a comment, social media share or recipe rating. Don’t forget to tag me in. The places I hang out most are Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
We also have loads more amazing recipes on the blog. Just head over to our Gluten Free Recipe Index to start your kitchen journey. All our recipes are tried and tested and come from our family kitchen. And every one of them is shared with my love, for free, with the Gluten Free Community.
Potato Croquettes (gluten free)
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- large saucepan
- potato masher
- 3 shallow bowls
- heat-proof tongs
- kitchen paper
- 1 kg floury potatoes unpeeled weight – peeled and cut into chunks
- 35 g butter
- 80 g Cheddar cheese or alternative
- salt and pepper seasoned to taste – If using salted butter, do not add any additional salt as seasoning.
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley fine chopped
- Optional: 80g chopped ham
To coat the Croquettes
- 50 g corn starch UK cornflour
- 10 g fine polenta or just use the corn starch or a gluten free flour blend on its own
- 1 large egg – beaten
- 120 to 150 g breadcrumbs (gluten free) – approximate weight
- sunflower or canola oil or an alternative that is mild in flavour, with a high smoke point
- Once, peeled and cut, place the potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water.
- Bring the water to the boil and simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes until tender, but still holding together without disintegrating. Poke them with a knife to test… If it slides in easily, the potatoes are done.
- Immediately drain the potatoes in a colander, then return them to the dry pan and set over a low heat for a couple of minutes, jiggling intermittently to steam off any excess water.
- Cool very slightly and then add the butter, cheese and seasoning.
- Mash using a potato masher or fork until smooth with no obvious lumps.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When cool, add any ham or other meat/fish/veggie add-ins.
- If the mash is not quite firm enough to mould, place in a bowl in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours or overnight.
Shaping and Coating the Croquettes
- Take spoonfuls of the mash and shape into small fat sausage shapes (or balls) using hands (it may help to lightly flour or dampen the hands). Set aside on a baking sheet lined with baking paper until all the mash has been shaped.
- Prepare 3 shallow bowls (wide enough to fit a croquette). In the first bowl, mix together the corn starch and polenta; In the second beat the egg; In the third, place the breadcrumbs.
- One by one, dip each croquette in the flour, followed by beaten egg, followed by breadcrumbs to completely coat and then return to the baking tray until ready to cook. Chill for about an hour before cooking.
Cooking the Croquettes
- The best way to cook the croquettes is to shallow fry: Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to make a layer about 3 to 5 mm in depth and heat. To check the oil is hot enough… Drop a cube of stale bread into it. If it sizzles and browns crisply in about 30 seconds, the oil is good to go.
- Fry the croquettes in small batches of no more than 3 to 4 at a time. This will allow room to turn them in the pan and will avoid the oil cooling too much.
- While they are frying, turn the Croquettes frequently using tongs, a spatula or a slotted spoon, so that they crisp and cook evenly.
- Once cooked, remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon or tongs to a plate lined with kitchen paper, so that any excess oil is removed.
- Serve hot or warm as a side dish or with a favourite sauce.
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