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Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried

These Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried are popular in Spanish bars all around the world. They’re easy to make, full of flavor, and make an excellent vegan finger food or appetizer! The process of making Spanish croquettes is fairly straightforward, though they do take some time!

Those who like vegan & vegetarian recipes can join my Facebook group World Best Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes. 

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An ideal appetizer for parties or any other gathering, this spinach croquette is stuffed with creamy bechamel sauce.

There are four main fillings in traditional Spanish croquetas: jamón, chicken, cod, and pancetta, but you can easily veganize them by adding vegetables.

This healthy vegan recipe for spinach croquettes is an excellent option for everyone to enjoy. With some onion and garlic powder, they’re baked or pan-fried or air-fried, so you don’t need oil to fry them. Their breading is made with panko. Enjoy this tasty vegan recipe.

I tried both ways and loved them equally. These potato vegetable croquettes are deliciously baked or fried. The main difference between a Spanish dish and a croquette is that it is made with flavors you can add using a béchamel sauce. Stirring constantly is the best way to get a smooth and creamy béchamel.

You then need to chill the filling for several hours or overnight so as to get a consistency that is manageable so you can roll it into a croqueta.

You can use them as a breakfast treat, a simple side dish, or a nutritious savory breakfast for that matter.

You may also like some other snack recipes on my blog – Mexican fiesta rice – Instant Pot Recipe,  Air Fryer Cucumber Fritters,  Chili Cheese Toast – Air Fryer Spicy Cheese Toast, Instant Pot Lemon Rice.

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Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes - Air Fried
These Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried are popular in Spanish bars all around the world. They’re easy to make, full of flavor, and make an excellent vegan finger food or appetizer! The process of making Spanish croquettes is fairly straightforward, though they do take some time!

Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes - Air Fried

 

About Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried Recipe

Everybody loves croquettes! And the good news is that there are dozens of ways to make them. Whether you prefer to use the Instant Pot, air fryer, or just stick them in the oven, all are full of great flavor. 

Because I hate eating fried foods after my gall bladder removal, I decided to air fry these croquettes instead of frying them. I’m too lazy to deep fry them and then clean the pot, so I’m going to air fry them instead. 

Also, Instead of all-purpose flour, I decided to use Topiacca flour as its gluten-free. Ideally suited for a hot, savory snack, and, naturally, their small size makes them ideal for little finger foods.

Many countries around the world have different versions of croquettes, such as potato-filled croquettes called aloo Tikki in India, korokke in Japan, and crocheted with vegetables or mashed potatoes in Italy. 🙂

There are several different ways to make croquettes, so make them in whatever shape you want. I prefer making oval shapes.

So I’ll tell you that it takes some determination to make Spanish croquettes, but in the end, you’ll have a delicious tapa! Once you have your béchamel filling ready, you can add any kind of flavoring you like.

It is also possible to add other types of fillings if spinach or cheese doesn’t feel right for you. However, I find that the greens are a good way to cool this meal down.

You can really tweak these so that each time they taste completely different! I enjoyed this recipe which complimented many sauces, ranging from ketchup to vegan mayo sauce, and it was incredible with my spicy-sweet peanut sauce!

What Are Croquettes?

The croquette originated in France, which contained a mash potato center. When croquettes traveled down to Spain, they became croquetas, which are a bit different.

Croquettes are fried potatoes, meat, fish, macaroni, or flour fillings & cheese that are breaded and dipped in batter and then baked or air-fried, or pan-fried. Today I use spinach with tapioca flour as it’s gluten-free. These croquettes go great with leftover Thanksgiving meat! If you don’t want to preheat the oven, then air fry them instead!

You can make these yummy vegan spinach croquettes gluten-free or crispy from the outside and filled with creamy bechamel sauce from the inside. These medium-thick white sauces are known by the French name béchamel. They would make a perfect dinner or party snack.

There was no such thing as a “one size fits all” vegan recipe for Spanish spinach croquettes because every cook does béchamel differently. No kidding, the proportions of flour to fat to milk were different, too!

Feel free to make any changes to this recipe to suit your preferences. For a creamier filling, add a bit more milk I used almond milk to veganize it. If spinach doesn’t appeal to you, you can use mushrooms or finely chopped any other vegetables instead.

What is Bechamel Sauce?

A basic base sauce made with milk and vegetable stock, the bechamel sauce mainly consists of butter and flour. Add the vegan butter to a pot on medium heat, when melted add onion chopped then garlic then add the flour to the butter by serving with the help of a sieve, stir and then stir for about 4 minutes, add the plant-based milk mixed with vegetable stock little by little as you stir vigorously. Repeat this process until all the milk is added to the pot.

Add seasonings like salt, pepper, nutmeg, and nutritional yeas according to your choice, mix to combine.

Making croquetas involves a slight variation from the basic bechamel recipe by adding more flour with almond milk to make it vegan to the basic recipe, thus creating a sauce that becomes very thick after it is chilled.

Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes - Air Fried

 

Ingredients 

  • 600ml – Almond milk
  • 250 gm – Spinach chopped
  • 120 ml – Vegetable stock
  • 1& 1/2 cup – Breadcrumbs/ Gluten-free breadcrumb
  • 2 – Onion chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder
  • 4 cloves – Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup – Tapioca flour / Almond flour/ Gluten-free flour
  • 3 tbsp – Olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 cup – Coriander leaves chopped

Almond milk – This is an excellent plant-based dairy-free milk for kids since it is high in calcium and high in protein, which promotes overall growth in children as well as good immunity for adults too.

Spinach –  In this recipe, baby spinach is used, but regular spinach can also be used. Wash and pluck the leaves from the stems before using them in the croquettes. You can even use frozen spinach for this recipe.

Vegetable stock – I have used water plus maggie seasoning to make delicious and flavourful vegetable stock. You can use regular vegetable stock for this recipe.

Bread crumbs – To finish off your croquettes, add bread crumbs on top of the batter to keep the batter in place. Crumbs will keep the batter in place and will make the croquettes even crispier. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Onions – It is customary to use red onions for these. However, other types of onion can be used as well.

Seasonings – Use black pepper powder and salt to taste. I used maggie seasoning to make vegetable stock.

Vegetables – You will require garlic cloves and coriander chopped for extra flavoring.

Tapioca flour – You can use this gluten-free tapioca flour for making the cream with almond milk. You can also use almond flour or all-purpose flour.

Olive oil – You should use cooking spray for this recipe. If you don’t have it, then apply some vegetable oil or olive oil with a brush to the croquettes. 

Check out the Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried Video :

Why should I use an air fryer for fries?

It’s no secret that deep frying is a pain. All you have to do is drop the food into hot oil, carefully take it out and drain it… and then you repeat the process again. So it is best to air fry your food instead.

These Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes made in the air fryer are,

  • Vegan
  • Crispy
  • Addictive
  • Easy & Quick
  • Perfect for munchies

What If You Don’t Have An Air Fryer?

There are no causes for concern! You simply need to heat a nonstick skillet with a few drops of oil and cook the Fritters until they’re done.

I only had to cook the fritters in two batches in a skillet as well as in an air fryer. I really like the XL size of the Philips Air Fryer. I can cook several fritters in it at the same time.

It almost took me 20 minutes for 5 croquettes at a time in an air fryer. Frying on a skillet will take a maximum of 10 minutes on medium flame till they are golden brown from all sides.

How To Bake, Toast, or Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes?

In the oven – For delicious croquettes, preheat the oven to (400°F) while placing all croquettes on a baking tray. Bake at 400°F for approximately 10 minutes. Then check and Cook the croquettes for 5 to 10 minutes more You can experiment with the amount and types of vegetables you use until they turn light golden brown. When they are done pile them onto serving platters and turn off the oven.

The Stovetop Methods – They are very simple. Simply put a little oil and then the croquettes that have been covered in bread crumbs and are placed over a hot skillet. Fry for 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides.

Having the croquettes fried on a Tawa would be a totally different experience since they appear differently than when they are baked in an oven. The golden spots will appear on both of them because of their bread crumb coating and they will taste equally as good.

Air-fry Method – Frying croquettes in your air fryer normally takes about 20 minutes, depending on how thick they are and what type of coating you like. I recommend cooking them for 10 minutes, adding another few minutes if you want a crispy coating.

Grease the air fryer with little oil. You can preheat the air fryer for 360 degrees F for 5 minutes and then put the croquettes by spraying a little oil over them in the frier for about 10 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit, then open the basket and spray with little olive oil halfway through the cooking time, and then again cook for 10 minutes at 360 degrees F. The process will appear below.

How To Make Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried Recipe Step By Step With Photo:

  1. Take 3/4 cup water and one sachet of Maggi Masala for preparing vegetable stock or just take vegetable stock. Keep aside. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and add chopped spinach and blanch for 3 minutes. Take out turn off the gas.
  2. Strain all the water. Wash the boiled spinach with cold water. Wash again and strain the water.
  3. Drain out excess water and keep it aside on a plate.
  4. Add milk to a pan. Add vegetable stock. Warm the milk do not boil the mixture for 4 minutes. Keep aside.
  5. In a pan, add olive oil. Add chopped garlic cloves. Sautee for one minute.
  6. Add onions chopped. Fry till translucent.
  7. Take a sieve and pour tapioca flour / all-purpose flour.
  8. On medium flame, sieve the flour. Mix everything for 4 minutes.
  9. Gradually add milk mixture into the flour. Mix everything nicely. Keep stirring till smooth creamy mixture.
  10. Add blanched spinach and coriander chopped. Mix everything nicely.
  11. Add salt and black pepper powder as per your taste. Turn off the gas when the mixture is ready. Pour mixture into a bowl. Let it cool down.
  12. Now keep in the fridge for 2 hours. Take out from the freezer. Take some mixture to oval shape the croquettes.
  13. Dip the croquettes in almond milk. Then coat in breadcrumbs. Again dip in almond milk and again coat in breadcrumbs. Prepare all the croquettes in the same way.
  14. Grease oil in the air fryer. Put all the croquettes.
  15. Set the air fryer 360 degrees F or on 200° C depends on your air fryer. Set timer for 10 minutes.
  16. After 10 minutes take out and grease oil. Put it inside and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  17. Take out carefully with help of a tong.
  18. Croquettes are ready to be served with ketchup or dip of your choice. 

Important Suggestion To Keep In Mind

  • You can experiment with the amount and types of vegetables you use.
  • You can use tapioca flour gluten-free instead of all-purpose flour which is usually used for making the bechamel sauce.
  • You can use plain vegan butter instead of olive oil.
  • Fresh spinach can be substituted with frozen spinach.
  • Blanch the spinach for 5 minutes and then strain out excess water with cold water.
  • I have used almond milk you can also use full-fat milk.
  • Compared to the whole wheat panko crumbs, white panko crumbs don’t have a nice golden-brown color when baked. If your croquettes are going to be baked, I suggest using whole wheat panko crumbs.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy them with ketchup or any dip. You can try to make lemon-dill mayonnaise sauce by (1 cup vegan mayo, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, 12 tablespoons lemon juice, pinch each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.) It’s ready.

Storage Suggestion

Put them in an airtight container as soon as they are frozen solid, then fry them right away if you are ready. 

Let the croquetas thaw out for 15-20 minutes on the counter before frying to prevent them from molding or breaking.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you make them ahead of time?

Crispy croquettes can be prepared in advance and served at a party ahead of time, or they can be fried right after being made.

You can store the pieces once breaded and frozen in an air-tight container in the freezer until you are ready to cook them up, which your guests will love because of the creamy interior, crispy exterior, and salty bits of onion.

Variations of croquettes?

Most of the time, croquettes are made with leftover cooked meat or tuna, but vegan and vegetarians can make them by substituting some plant-based meat or fish.

There are several options available like mincemeat, sausages, or any other substitute; whatever you have to hand. I would personally suggest potato or  Quinoa, prepared as instructed on the packet then finely diced in a food processor.

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Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried

Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes – Air Fried


  • Author: Sanchita Dey
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + Chill time - 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hour 30 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A typical tapa in Spanish bars, these Vegan Spanish Spinach Croquettes have tons of flavour and can be a terrific, vegan party finger food or appetizer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 600ml – Almond milk
  • 250 gm – Spinach chopped
  • 120 ml – Vegetable stock
  • 1& 1/2 cup – Breadcrumbs/ Gluten-free breadcrumb
  • 2 – Onion chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder
  • 4 cloves – Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup – Tapioca flour / Almond flour/ Gluten-free flour
  • 3 tbsp – Olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 cup – Coriander leaves chopped

Instructions

  1. Take 3/4 cup water and one sachet of Maggi Masala for preparing vegetable stock or just take vegetable stock. Keep aside. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and add chopped spinach and blanch for 3 minutes. Take out turn off the gas.
  2. Strain all the water. Wash the boiled spinach with cold water. Wash again and strain the water. 
  3. Drain out excess water and keep it aside on a plate. 
  4. Add milk to a pan. Add vegetable stock. Warm the milk do not boil the mixture for 4 minutes. Keep aside. 
  5. In a pan, add olive oil. Add chopped garlic cloves. Sautee for one minute. 
  6. Add onions chopped. Fry till translucent. 
  7. Take a sieve and pour tapioca flour / all-purpose flour. 
  8. On medium flame, sieve the flour. Mix everything for 4 minutes. 
  9. Gradually add milk mixture into the flour. Mix everything nicely. Keep stirring till smooth creamy mixture. 
  10. Add blanched spinach and coriander chopped. Mix everything nicely. 
  11. Add salt and black pepper powder as per your taste. Turn off the gas when the mixture is ready. Pour mixture into a bowl. Let it cool down.  
  12. Now keep in the fridge for 2 hours. Take out from the freezer. Take some mixture to oval shape the croquettes. 
  13. Dip the croquettes in almond milk. Then coat in breadcrumbs. Again dip in almond milk and again coat in breadcrumbs. Prepare all the croquettes in the same way.  
  14. Grease oil in the air fryer. Put all the croquettes. 
  15. Set the air fryer 360 degrees F or on 200° C depends on your air fryer. Set timer for 10 minutes. 
  16. After 10 minutes take out and grease oil. Put it inside and set a timer for 10 minutes. 
  17. Take out carefully with help of a tong. 
  18. Croquettes are ready to be served with ketchup or dip of your choice.  

Notes

  • You can experiment with the amount and types of vegetables you use.
  • You can use tapioca flour gluten-free instead of all-purpose flour which is usually used for making the bechamel sauce.
  • You can use plain vegan butter instead of olive oil.
  • You can use frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach
  • Blanch the spinach for 5 minutes and then strain out excess water with cold water.
  • I have used almond milk you can also use full-fat milk.
  • Compared to the whole wheat panko crumbs, white panko crumbs don’t have a nice golden-brown color when baked. If your croquettes are going to be baked, I suggest using whole wheat panko crumbs.
  • Category: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
  • Method: Air-fry
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12
  • Calories: 150Kcal
  • Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Protein: 1.7g

Keywords: Vegan Croquettes With Spinach, Croquettes, Vegan snack

Note: A rough estimate of nutrition is provided.

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