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What Is a Croquette?

B. Turner
B. Turner

A croquette is a small patty made from meat, potatoes, or vegetables. These ingredients are mixed together, then coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried to create a golden, crunchy outer shell. While the croquette can serve as both a snack and a full meal, it's most widely prized for its portability, which makes it a popular convenience food. The name croquette is likely derived from the French verb croquer, which means to crunch.

Many people mistakenly believe that this food originated in France, but it can actually be traced back all the way to the early Roman empire. The Romans used a pastry-like coating around meat or vegetables to create a dish known as rissoles. This recipe spread throughout Europe over time, and by the early 18th century, the French were the first to use breadcrumbs in place of the traditional pastry coating. The first written record of the croquette in the United States came in a late 19th century cookbook. Croquettes remain popular in various forms throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Crab cakes, a type of croquette.
Crab cakes, a type of croquette.

The croquette may contain a wide variety of ingredients mixed together, or may consist of just one basic filling. Minced or chopped beef, pork and chicken are among the most popular fillers, followed by sausage and fish. Mashed or chopped potatoes also feature heavily, as do peas, cabbage, and other vegetables. Some croquette recipes call for cheese and various spices, while others are mild. Cheaper or lower quality croquettes often contain binders or fillers such as breading or cheap vegetables.

Peas are commonly included in croquettes.
Peas are commonly included in croquettes.

This dish is often influenced by regional preferences and traditions. In the United Kingdom, the croquette is strictly a potato dish, and is rarely made with meat. People in the United States enjoy deep-fried fish or crab cakes, as well as salmon patties. In South America, croquettes often contain minced chicken or fish, while Europeans focus on beef- and sausage-filled varieties. In Asian nations, the croquette typically contains vegetables and potatoes, with very little meat.

When making croquettes, breadcrumbs are used to coat patties prior to frying.
When making croquettes, breadcrumbs are used to coat patties prior to frying.

When served as a snack, croquettes often come with a special dipping sauce or mustard. They may be used as an appetizer, or sold at street fairs and in bars. In some countries, the croquette is served alongside soup or another side to form a complete meal. It can also be stuffed into a piece of bread to form a simple sandwich, or topped with tomato sauce to form a stew-like dish.

Discussion Comments


I have tried crab cakes before, and I think that if it weren't for the spicy peppers in them, I would have enjoyed them. I know that I love deep-fried catfish and even fish sticks.

Some people prefer their fish broiled or baked, but to me, the texture is just too slick. I like some rough crumbs in the mix to make it crunchy.

I once tried coating tilapia with onion-flavored potato chip crumbs. They resembled toasted bread crumbs, because they were porous and crumbly.

The fish would have tasted better baked with these crumbs than fried, though. The oil in the skillet dampened the crumbs too much, and they lost their crunch.


I like eating vegetable croquettes. The nutritious center helps me forget that I am actually eating a fried food. It's a good balance.

I love eating squash and zucchini croquettes. These have been dipped in an egg and rolled in toasted bread crumbs. Then, they are fried in a skillet until golden.

I get the nutritional benefits of the vegetables with extra flavor and texture. This makes them a lot more filling than if they were steamed or boiled, and it is also an option for getting your kids to eat their vegetables.


@cloudel – Your mom's salmon croquettes recipe sounds just like the one I use. I have made these for myself for years, but my husband doesn't like them, so he tried to come up with some other type of croquette we could both enjoy.

We decided to deep fry some sausage battered in something resembling biscuit dough. We used a donut recipe for the batter, but we left out the sugar.

We cooked the sausage in a skillet until it was no longer pink. Then, we dipped the sausage in the biscuit batter. We lowered it into a pot of boiling vegetable oil and let it cook for just a couple of minutes on each side.

When the croquettes were brown, we removed them from the oil and put them on a napkin to blot off some of the grease. They tasted amazing, but they were so full of fat that they made me sick. My husband loves them, though.


I have eaten salmon patties all my life, but I didn't know that they were called “croquettes.” My mother has been making them for as long as I can remember, and though they leave quite a strong smell in the house, I love having them for dinner.

My mom opens a can of salmon and spoons it into a bowl. She mixes in an egg and some flour, and this eventually causes a crust to form around the fish.

She cooks the salmon patties in a skillet until they are golden brown on each side. They stick together very well after they have been cooking for a short time, so flipping them over is easy.

My favorite way to eat them is inside a biscuit. It provides a soft, absorbent contrast to the fried meat inside.

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    • Crab cakes, a type of croquette.
      By: blueee
      Crab cakes, a type of croquette.
    • Peas are commonly included in croquettes.
      By: sevenk
      Peas are commonly included in croquettes.
    • When making croquettes, breadcrumbs are used to coat patties prior to frying.
      By: Vidady
      When making croquettes, breadcrumbs are used to coat patties prior to frying.
    • Croquette typically contains more potatoes and vegetables than meat.
      By: James Martin
      Croquette typically contains more potatoes and vegetables than meat.
    • Croquettes may be sold at street fairs.
      By: Elenathewise
      Croquettes may be sold at street fairs.