Ham and cheese croquettes

Snacking doesn't get much better than this.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Makes 20
  • Print
The classic combination of oozy ham and cheese centre with a crunchy breadcrumb coating and served with a home-made tomato sauce.
They're a great way to use up leftover Christmas ham and serve them up at your next gathering.
Looking for more hearty snack ideas?


  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 small onion (80g), chopped finely
  • 100 grams leftover ham, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup (35g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1¼ cups (310ml) milk
  • 150 gram manchego cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2 cups (150g) panko (japanese) breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (150g), chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 400 grams canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar


  • 1
    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add onion and ham; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add flour; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat; gradually whisk in milk. Return to heat; cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute; stir in cheese, paprika and parsley.
  • 2
    Pour mixture into a shallow heatproof dish. Cover, refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold.
  • 3
    Using two dessert spoons, shape tablespoon measures of mixture into quenelle shapes. Dip croquettes in egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Place croquettes on a tray lined with plastic wrap or baking paper. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, make tomato sauce. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook onion, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add garlic and chilli; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Season to taste.
  • 5
    Fill a large saucepan one-third full with oil; heat to 180°C/350°F (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Deep-fry croquettes, in batches, for 2 minutes or until browned lightly and heated through. Drain on paper towel.
  • 6
    Serve croquettes with tomato sauce.


Deep-fried food is very hot in the centre; allow the croquettes to stand for a few minutes to cool slightly before serving.
do ahead Recipe can be made to the end of step 4 a day ahead. Deep-fry croquettes and reheat sauce just before serving.

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