If you’re on the hunt for a delicious dish that can be enjoyed year-round, look no further than these mouthwatering Ham and Cheese Croquettes. Whether you’re looking to use up leftover holiday ham or want to whip up a tasty treat using ham steaks, this recipe will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Easy Ham and Cheese Croquettes
These creamy, crispy Ham and Cheddar Croquettes are the perfect way to savor leftover ham in your fridge. Made with ground ham, sharp cheddar, and scallions, these croquettes are not only easy to prepare but also versatile enough to be served as a main course or appetizer. In fact, my boyfriend even prefers them to the ham itself!
Making the Croquettes
To make these delectable croquettes, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ham – either leftover or ham steaks
- Butter – unsalted or salted, depending on your preference
- Flour – regular all-purpose flour
- Milk – 2% or whole, whichever you have on hand
- Salt and pepper – essential seasonings
- Shredded cheese – sharp cheddar, but other options like Monterey Jack, Gouda, or Swiss can work as well
- Scallions – for a mild onion flavor, but chives or shallots can be substituted
- Garlic powder – to enhance the flavor
- Crackers or Panko bread crumbs for coating
- Oil – such as vegetable, peanut, or canola, for frying
Making the Croquette Mixture
To start, finely grind the ham in a food processor and set it aside. The croquettes are made by creating a batter-like mixture, consisting of a roux made with flour and butter, milk, and your choice of meat.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then gradually add the flour, cooking it for a few minutes. Next, whisk in the milk and spices, cooking until a thick base for the croquettes forms.
Once the base is ready, fold in the ham, ½ cup of shredded cheddar, and the scallions to create a luscious batter. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or even overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
Afterward, fold in an additional ½ cup of shredded cheddar to ensure a moist and cheesy texture, with delightful pockets of melted cheese.
Forming the Croquettes
Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, shape it into evenly-sized balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a medium ice cream scoop, portion out the mixture and gently roll it between your hands to create smooth balls. The mixture may be slightly sticky, so I recommend refrigerating it again for an hour to firm it up before dredging and frying. Believe me, the wait will be worth it!
Breading and Frying the Ham and Cheese Croquettes
To bread the croquettes, either finely grind crackers in the food processor or use Panko bread crumbs. Create a dredging station by rolling the ham balls in seasoned flour, then in beaten egg/milk, and finally in the cracker crumbs or Panko.
Place the breaded croquettes back onto the parchment-lined sheet and continue until all of them are coated. Heat about ½” of your preferred oil in a large, deep frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in batches, fry the croquettes for about 1-2 minutes per side, flipping them once and applying gentle pressure after flipping. Once they turn a crispy golden brown, transfer them to a cooling rack.
Tools for Great Croquettes
For the best results, make sure you have the following tools on hand:
- A food processor
- A sheet pan
- A cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate
- A cheese grater or a food processor attachment for grating the cheese
- A few mixing bowls
- A 12″ cast iron skillet for frying the croquettes
While these ham croquettes taste incredible on their own, they can also be enjoyed with a variety of dips such as honey mustard, spicy brown mustard, or even leftover ham glaze or hot sauce. The choice is yours, so dive right in or dip away!
Need More Recipe Inspiration?
If you’re looking for more delicious recipes, try these mouthwatering options:
- Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Biscuits
- Browned Butter Boursin Mashed Potatoes
- Rosemary Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baby Carrots
Made This Recipe? Let’s Hear Your Thoughts!
If you decide to make these Ham and Cheddar Croquettes, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and value your feedback. And if you love the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram with your photos!