Ham Croquettes with Cheese and Jalapeño, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Ham Croquettes with Cheese and Jalapeño

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 26-28 minutes
Servings: 16 Croquettes
The best leftovers you will have! Leftover, smoky ham with mashed potatoes, jalapeño and cheese are what makes these ham croquettes worth a second helping!

What do I enjoy most about preparing ham for Easter? The leftover ham! Besides sandwiches or soup, I love ham croquettes! Enjoy the ham croquettes as a snack, appetizer or as a light meal with a salad. Essentially what you have is a potato cake. Prepare them ahead of time and store in the freezer. Bake in a preheated oven and you have a delicious meal anytime.  This is not only a great use for leftover ham, but for leftover mashed potatoes.  How about a chicken dinner croquette? Mix in some previously roasted shredded chicken with some peas and carrots. Delicious!


  • For the Quick Aioli Sauce
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Croquettes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion diced fine
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper seeded and minced
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup ham previously baked and finely chopped
  • 1 cup muenster or jack cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs plus more for breading croquettes
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • You Will Also Need
  • 2 more large eggs beaten
  • 2 or more cups seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • cilantro finely chopped
  • lemon wedges for garnish

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  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the quick aioli. Taste for salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to saute pan and heat to medium. Add the onions and jalapeño. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the potatoes, ham, cheese and breadcrumbs. Stir well to combine. Mix in the eggs and cooled onions and jalapeño.
  4. Line a tray or large plate with wax paper. Take about 1/4 cup size of potato mixture and form into an egg shaped patty. Place onto lined plate or tray. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
  5. When ready, preheat oil in skillet to medium for 5-7 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  6. While oil heats, place 1 or 2 croquettes in egg wash and turn using a spoon to coat both sides. Then use a fork to pick it up and let excess egg fall back into bowl. Transfer to bowl with breadcrumbs and gently turn to coat all sides.
  7. Place breaded croquettes onto a plate and let them sit for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF. Fry for 2 minutes per side and then transfer all of them to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce. Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce. Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges.

Chef Notes

A potato-based croquette is a delicious dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways! Get creative and add in some fire-roasted green chile with your favorite extra sharp cheddar and bacon.

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