Boiled Yuca Recipe – Costa Rica

bowl of freshly boiled yuca from costa rica

This boiled yuca recipe (yuca hervida) from Costa Rica is a simple and versatile side dish and a staple ingredient in most Central American and Caribbean cuisine.

bowl of freshly boiled yuca from costa rica

About This Recipe

Yuca roots are large tubers endemic to Central America and much of the world. It’s one of the oldest foods around- it’s filling and inexpensive.

Many Latin American countries use yucca in their national recipes- Dominican yuca empanadas, yucca fries, yuca mash, yuca tamales, even Costa Rican enyucados– little cassava patties with cheese and fried until golden.

Cuban party food is not complete without yucca roots boiled and served with garlic and onions- same with Puerto Rico. 

costa rican boiled yuca in a wooden bowl on a placemat

Yuca, also spelled yucca, is also called cassava. It’s a long, brown root vegetable with a very tough and waxy dark brown exterior shell. It grows to an almost spiky point at its base and is quite heavy and dense. 

You can generally find yucca in most grocery stores- I often find it at Kroger and Sprouts. Yucca does contain a bit of cyanide so it is best to cook it all the way through before serving (obviously).

To peel, you simply (ok it’s not that simple, it’s kind of a pain in the butt) chop off the top and the bottom. Then, create a long lengthwise cut through the tough brown exterior. From there, use a paring knife to remove the exterior. I then cut the yucca into pieces about 3-4 inches long. After boiling, it will separate itself into several longer pieces. You can then mash or fry the pieces if you want- like for Costa Rican yuca fries

Our Most Popular Costa Rican Recipes:

Central American Boiled Yuca Recipe (Yuca Hervida)

Yield- About 2 cups boiled yuca

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yuca root, peeled and sliced into 3-4 in long chunks
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2-3 tsp salt

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in your pot and bring to boil on high. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil, covered for 35-45 minutes, or until yucca is tender but not falling apart. The yucca will change in color from white to a light yellow.

Drain and serve as desired. 

Instant Pot Instructions:

This is super easy to make in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Just put about 1/2 cup water in the bottom of your pot. Place yucca in the pot, then cover and cook on high pressure for 3-4 minutes. Allow pressure to release on its own before draining and serving.

yuca hervida in wood bowl

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is often served as a side dish alongside Costa Rican chicharrones (pork rinds), and chimichurri. It’s also part of the Costa Rican Vegetable Beef Soup (olla carne), and the Costa Rican vigorón salad.  We often make them into Costa Rican yuca fries too!

Many people serve it with lime juice, or add garlic, olive oil and salt before serving. Even mashed with some butter is delicious. Of course, Costa Rican serve it with Salsa Lizano.

FAQ

Where can I buy yuca? – I find it at most grocery stores like Walmart or King Soopers. Any Latin grocery will also have it.

How long does this keep? – Yuca keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

Boiled Yucca Recipe - Costa Rica

Boiled Yucca Recipe - Costa Rica

This boiled yuca recipe (yuca hervida) from Costa Rica is a simple and versatile side dish and a staple ingredient in most Central American and Caribbean cuisine.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • large yuca root, peeled and sliced into 3-4 in long chunks
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2-3 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in your pot and bring to boil on high.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil, covered for 35-45 minutes, or until yucca is tender but not falling apart.
  3. The yucca will change in color from white to a light yellow.
  4. Drain and serve as desired

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3567mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

Don’t forget to pin it!

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