Croquetas de Jamon (Cuban Ham Croquettes) with Mayoketchup

Croquetas de jamon or ham croquettes

These croquetas de jamon were waiting in our Familia Kitchen inbox when we sat down to work this morning. Can you imagine a more delicioso way to start the day — any day — than with these creamy-savory-crunchy Cuban ham croquettes?

Us neither. So we imagined biting into a toasty-melty croqueta with a cafecito bien fuerte, and sat down to share this recipe with the world.

Mil gracias to Michelle Ezratty Murphy, one of our favorite Puerto Rican-food homecooks with a talent for all things criollo, for sending us this traditional Cuban recipe. Turns out she and her Puerto Rican husband, Pat, were in Miami visiting their son and daughter in law and couldn’t get enough of these crunchy-good ham croquettes.

“It’s is of our favorite Cuban street food staples,“ says Michelle. ”Eaten morning, noon and night, dipped in mayoketchup — (or not).” For those who don’t know, mayoketchup is a velvety pale-pink sauce something like Thousand Island dressing, but simpler. It’s made with equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup and is a must-have with lots of Caribbean-style beach snacks and french fries.

Making these Cuban-style croquetas de jamon takes Michelle Ezratty Murphy back to her childhood.

Back home in Arizona, Michelle set out to create her own version of this traditional Cuban treat. She had no choice, she says. ”I love croquetas de jamón and they aren’t very easy to find where we live. To satisfy my cravings, I decided to start making them myself.” With enorme success, it turns out. ”I love this recipe because of the creamy, smoky ham filling with a slight crisp outside. My family absolutely loves them. They taste and look authentic: Just the way they would be if you bought them in a Cuban bakery,” says Michelle.

As she loves to do, Michelle made enough for a crowd and invited friends over. “I served them to Cuban and Puerto Rican friends in Arizona. I knew these special island treats would make them happy!” And they did. The croquetas are a hit with their non-Latino friends, too. ”I’m also known for introducing Latin American food to our friends and neighbors so that they can taste the amazing flavors that they may have never tried before.”

croquetas de jamon
These crispy croquetas de jamon are over-the-top delicioso when dipped in mayoketchup sauce.

These croquetas de jamon are going into regular rotation, Michelle reports. ”I plan on making these when I crave the flavors of food that I grew up with. Foods like this bring me back to my childhood in Puerto Rico, when they were always readily available. And of course I plan on serving these to our Cuban and Puerto Rican friends whenever they come over.“ Luckies.

Because: When you know you know!” says Michelle. “These ham croquettes are by far one of my favorite Cuban foods. Though I’d never pass up a really good Cubano [sandwich].”  

To try more of Michelle and Pat’s friend-and-family-famous Puerto Rican and Cuban favorite recipes, check out their Familia Kitchen Grand Prize-winning Titi Rosa’s arroz con pollo, Cuban black bean soup, mojitos, tostones, ropa vieja and many more favorite dishes.
And how I think they taste the best.”

To try more Cuban croqueta recipes, check out Margarita’s family-famous croquetas and these plant-based croquetas made with beans and mushrooms.

Ready to Make Michelle’s Cuban Croquetas de Jamon?

Croquetas de Jamon (Cuban Ham Croquettes) with Mayoketchup

4.0 from 2 votes
Recipe by Michelle Ezratty Murphy Cuisine: Cuban


Prep time


Cooking time


Fridge Time




  • For the Croquetas
  • 16 oz ham, diced

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 3 tsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp butter

  • 1 Tbsp dry parsley

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 packet sazón with cilantro and achiote

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, plain

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil for frying

  • For the Mayoketchup Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise

  • 3 Tbsp ketchup

  • 1 1/2 tsp fry sauce shake or rib rub


  • Make the Jamon or Ham Filling
  • In a food processor, mince the ham. Transfer to a bowl.
  • In the same food processor, finely chop the onion and transfer to a separate bowl.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy skillet.
  • Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add ham to the onions and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add parsley, paprika, sazón, salt and pepper. Combine well. Taste for salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle in flour and stir until well incorporated.
  • Pour in milk. Bring to a simmer. Stir until thickened. Turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the ham filling into a glass baking dish, smoothing it into one thick layer.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Mix the Mayoketchup Sauce
  • Add the ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Shape and Fry the Croquetas
  • With a fork, lightly beat eggs in a wide bowl.
  • Pour breadcrumbs into a second wide and shallow dish.
  • Once the ham filling is cooled and firm, remove from the fridge.
  • With a spoon, scoop about 2 Tbsp of the filling into the palm of your hand. Using your hands, shape the mixture into a small, cigar-shaped croquette about 2 1/2 inches long.
  • Dip each croquette in the egg mixture, dredge in the bread crumbs, and then place flat on a baking sheet. Repeat, until the rest of the ham filling is used and the croquettes are stacked on the sheet.
  • When all the croquetas are ready, put the tray in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. They will fry much easier.
  • Heat 4 cups oil in a shallow pan to 350°.
  • Fry the croquetas de jamon for about 5 to 6 minutes each, or until they turn golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  • Serve warm with a bowl of mayoketchup for delicioso dipping. Watch them disappear.


  • For bread crumbs, Michelle recommends using El Mexicano Pan Molido para Empanizar brand for that extra touch of delicioso.

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