A crispy shell surrounds a mix of creamy mashed potatoes, queso fresco, and chorizo sausage for these delicious Mashed Potato Croquettes. They are a great appetizer for parties and game day.
Croquettes are the kind of food that I always tend to order at restaurants, but they are actually very easy to make at home!
Why This Recipe Is So Good
✅ Comfort food at its finest – You can think of these potato croquettes as like cheesy mashed potato balls with a crispy shell. The combination of textures is a glorious experience.
✅ Versatile – I add spicy, smoky chorizo sausage and queso fresco cheese to the mix, but you can add whatever you want inside. Swap in parmesan cheese and skip the meat altogether, or add little bits of ham or bacon. There are a million possibilities.
✅ Make ahead friendly – While you will want to wait to fry them until they’re ready to eat, they can be mostly made ahead. Then when you’re ready to cook, they only take 3 minutes to fry. This makes them a little easier for entertaining.
Croquettes are traditionally deep fried, which is how I cook them here. I used to have a plug-in deep fryer, but now I just use a dutch oven or heavy stockpot to fry them right on the stove.
Step by Step Process:
As an overview, we need to make the filling by combining mashed potatoes with sausage and cheese, or whatever ingredients you desire, then bread and fry the croquette balls.
Make the Mashed Potatoes
To make mashed potatoes, it’s as simple as peeling a couple russet potatoes and cutting them into chunks, boiling for about 15 minutes until fork tender, draining the potatoes, then mashing them up with a fork:
They don’t need to be super smooth.
Also, feel free to use leftover mashed potatoes instead! I often have leftover from making Pierogies.
Add Sausage and Cheese to the Potatoes
Place the mashed potatoes into a big mixing bowl along with some cooked chorizo sausage crumbles and crumbled queso fresco cheese:
Trust me, it is essential to get the queso fresco. It’s so delicious! I get mine from Whole Foods, but I know Walmart has it too.
Mix it All Up
Mix that all together, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Then, once it’s seasoned to your liking, mix in one egg. It will look fairly soft:
Scoop into Balls
I find the easiest way to do this is use a cookie scoop (affiliate) to portion out a mound of potatoes:
Then roll that in your hands, until you get a uniform ball:
Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, and evenly space the potato balls on a sheet tray.
Chill the Mashed Potato Balls
Now, refrigerate or freeze the potato balls, so they have a chance to firm up.
Then take the balls and dip them in beaten egg, then in Italian bread crumbs:
Place them back onto the same sheet tray, so you can carry them over to the fryer.
Fry for 3 Minutes
Heat up a few inches of tallow or your preferred deep frying fat in a fryer or dutch oven, and fry the potato balls for 3 minutes:
That’s how long it takes for the balls to get golden and crispy.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the croquettes to a paper towel-lined plate:
They’re at their best when enjoyed hot out of the fryer, so be ready to serve them. They’re tasty as is, but are awesome with a homemade aioli if you feel up to make it.
What to do with the used cooking oil?
One benefit of using tallow instead of fats like soybean oil or peanut oil, is it’s stable enough that it can be reused again and again. I simply filter it to remove the crumbs and sediment from the cheese sticks, then use it for another deep fried recipe, such as Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, Fried Calamari or Coconut Shrimp.
This Buffalo Chicken Dip is another great appetizer for football parties. Enjoy!
Recipe FAQ and Tips:
Like many other fried foods, it’s never as good as when it’s freshly fried. But technically you can keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze them.
You can assemble the balls all the way up to the point of breading them, then keep in the fridge for a day or two, or freeze a couple weeks ahead of time. I recommend coating them with the bread crumbs right before you fry.
You can freeze leftovers for up to 2 months. When ready to eat again, roast in a 300F convection oven until crispy and hot, about 10 minutes.
For the Potato Croquettes:
- 2 lbs russet potatoes
- 1/2 lb fresh chorizo sausage
- 3/4 cup queso fresco crumbled
- 3 eggs divided
- 2 cups italian bread crumbs
- tallow or vegetable oil for frying
- Peel the potatoes, then cut them into large chunks. Place them in a big pot of water, and generously season the water with salt (it should taste as salty as the ocean).
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a sheet pan. Mash them well with a fork.
- Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat.
- While that heats up, remove the chorizo sausage from the casing, then brown it in the pan for about 5 minutes, until fully cooked.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir to combine the mashed potatoes, chorizo, and queso fresco.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in 1 egg.
- Use a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop to portion out balls, and shape them with your hand.
- Set them on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so they retain their shape while frying. Alternatively, you can freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate as long as overnight.
- Set up a breading station with the bread crumbs in one dish and the other two eggs in the other.
- Whisk to blend the eggs, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roll each ball in the egg, let the excess drip off, then dip it in the bread crumbs. Repeat with remaining potato balls.
- Heat up a deep fryer (or a big stockpot with a couple inches of oil) to 375 degrees F.
- Fry the croquettes for 3 minutes, until golden and crispy, then let them drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
[Recipe updated from the archives with new photos, writing, and a video in January 2021. Originally published August 2011]