Spanish croquettes with cochinita pibil. A tribute to Hispanic culture

Croquetas (Spanish croquettes) are one of the most popular tapas in the Mediterranean country. The philosophy behind this traditional dish is to make the most out of your leftover food. This means you can make them with meat, fish, vegetables or even cheese. The result will probably be amazing.

Croquetas cochinita pilbil tapa receta facil

Spanish croquettes with cochinita pibil

Taste Evocations
In this recipe, we wanted to mix elements from the culture of Spain with some Mexican influences and that is how these amazing croquettes with cochinita pibil filling were born (that and some leftovers from a taco night).
With this very easy recipe, you will be able to prepare them of anything you want. In our case we used cochinita pibil for a nice touch, but the method stays the same regardless of the filling.
The most traditional fillings for this tapa are Spanish ham (jamón), chicken and cod so you can change it for anything you want. If you wuold like to learn how to prepare our cochinita pibil, you can find the recipe here.
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting time 8 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican, Spanish
Servings 10 units (croquettes)


  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g all-purpose flour for the béchamel
  • 400 mL milk
  • 150 g filling in our case cochinita pibil
  • salt to taste
  • 20 g all-purpose flour for the breading
  • 1 whole egg
  • 40 g panko or breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • First, we have to prepare a thick béchamel. In order to do that, we incorporate all the butter into a pan in medium heat.
  • When the butter is completed melted, we incorporate the 50 g of flour little by little and with a spatula we make sure we are creating a uniform mixture with no lumps.
    This process is easier if we sift the flour first.
  • Once we have incorporated all the flour, we start adding the milk very slowly, ensuring that the liquid is absorbed by the flour in a uniform way.
    At first the mixture will be very thick, but by adding more milk it will eventually acquire a more creamy texture.
  • Once we have finished adding the milk,incorporate the filling (cochinita pibil in our case) into the pan and increase the heat to medium-high.
    Mix everything very thoroughly and let it reduce while stirring very often to ensure it does not burn nor stick to the pan. This process can take 30 minutes depending on the mixture. Add salt if needed.
    We will know it is ready once the dough separates very easily from the pan when using a spatula.
  • Transfer the content of the pan to a tray, distributing it evenly. Then cover the surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a crust.
    Let this dough rest and cool in the fridge until it has completely cooled down (in our case we let it sit overnight for 8 hours).
  • After letting the dough rest, we need to shape it. Use your hands or a pair of spoons to give them the shape you desire (in our case we went for spheres of approximately 30 g each).
    Now it is time for breading.
  • For the breading, it is best if we prepare all that we need before starting the process. We prepare a recipient with some flour, another one with a beaten egg and a final one with panko or breadcrumbs.
  • First, we coat the dough in flour, then submerge into the egg and finally cover with panko/breadcrumbs.
    Now we can either freeze them/put them in the refrigerator for later or fry them if we are having them now.
  • When it’s the time to eat them, we heat vegetable oil in a pot until it reaches 160°C /320 F.
    Very carefully introduce the croquettes in the oil and turn them from time to time to ensure they are fried evenly.
  • Once the outside of the croquette is golden brown, remove them from the pot and put them on some kitchen towel or rack to remove the excess oil.
  • And that’s it! They should be crunchy on the outside but creamy and soft on the inside.
    Hope you like this recipe!


  • You can use either salted or unsalted butter, we will after adding the filling. Just be careful if your filling is very salty and you plan on using salted butter.
  • If you heat the milk before pouring it to made the béchamel, it will be easier to incorporate into the mixture.
  • You can use a food storage container for breading. Just add some panko/breadcrumbs and the croquette, close the recipient and shake it a bit so that it is coated evenly.
Keyword bechamel, breading, cochinita pibil, croquetas, croquettes, easy, fusión, homemade, tapas, traditional

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