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Cheese Enyucados Recipe Costa Rica – Croquettes

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These  Costa Rican croquettes stuffed with cheese are the quintessential accompaniment to a Costa Rican breakfast, lunch, or coffee hour. Boiled yucca mashed and stuffed with mozzarella cheese and then fried to golden perfection, these will soon be a hit as a side dish to many meals.

About Costa Rican Enyucados

I’ll never forget the first time I tasted an enyucado in Costa Rica. I was at a friend’s house and she was serving us traditional coffee and homemade bread. Suddenly she brought out these tiny croquettes filled with typical Costa Rican cheese and lightly fried.

I bit into the cheesy goodness till hot from the pan and I fell in love. Naturally, I asked for the recipe. She wrote the following:

  • Yuca (yucca)
  • Queso (cheese)
  • Aceite (oil)

No instructions.

It was a bit hilarious, and also not too helpful. Hopefully, this recipe is much more helpful.

Related post: Costa Rican Appetizers You’ll Love

What Are Enyucados?

Enyucados are essentially like croquettes that we see in many types of cuisine around the world.

These croquettes are made from mashed yucca. Yucca is a root vegetable that is quite starchy. It has a touch brown exterior and is off-white inside. It can have a waxy exterior to preserve shelf life.

Yucca can be popular because of its long shelf life, and because there are so many uses for it.

Yucca is most often boiled before consumption. It is not very good raw, and is often hard even on the inside.

It is a popular food in Costa Rica, both because it is endemic to the region, and because there are a wide variety of foods you can eat it with. For example, it is part of the national dish, olla de carne. It is also boiled and used in the popular street food called vigoron. There is even pan de yuca, a yucca bread.

Related post: 30+ Foods To Try In Costa Rica

How To Peel Yucca

Peeling yucca can be an adventure in itself if you aren’t familiar with how to do it. Here are the steps:

First, wash the yucca (I use a scrub brush to get into the grooves on the outside). Place it on a cutting board.

Cut the ends of the yucca off and cut the yucca in half. If it is especially long, you might want to cut it into thirds.

Along the long side of the yucca, make a cut through the outer skin only.

Using your hand, peel off the outer skin, starting at the cut you made in the previous step. Discard the skin and you are ready to go.

Enyucados Recipe

Printable recipe below

Ingredients

  • yucca root
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • table salt

Kitchen Equipment

  • 3-quart stockpot
  • Tongs
  • Frying pan
  • Potato masher

Instructions

Wash and peel the yucca root.

Slice the yucca root into 2-inch rounds. 

Place the yucca in a 3-quart stockpot. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. 

Boil yucca until very tender (about 30 minutes)

Drain excess water from the yucca and mash until a puree is formed. Allow puree to cool before forming croquettes. 

Take a handful of yucca- enough to make about a 3” ball. Flatten the yucca into your hand and place about 1 ounce of mozzarella into the middle.

Form into a flat oval and set aside. Repeat until all of the yucca has been used up. Can use a bit of flour on your hands to the yucca doesn’t stick, or some food gloves.

In a frying pan, pour about 1” oil.  Heat oil on medium-high heat until bubbling. Carefully place the enyucado in the oil and fry until golden brow on the outside. The inside will still be tender.  Using tongs, remove the enyucado from the oil and allow excess oil to drain.

Flip about halfway through. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side. 

Place fried enyucado on a plate covered with a paper towel to allow the additional oil to absorb.

Serve with your preferred dip- I love it with salsa rosada.

Substitutions

You could substitute mashed potatoes for the yucca in this recipe. You could also do a sweet potato. Basically any root vegetable you can boil and mash would work for this recipe.

You can substitute any type of frying oil for vegetable oil (peanut, etc.)

These can also be made in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Variations

The most common variation of this recipe is to fill the enyucado with ground beef spiced with red pepper, cilantro, yellow onion and garlic.

What to Serve With Enyucados

There are several traditional foods that we serve yucca with. For breakfast, these are often accompanied by gallo pinto, fried cheese, avocado, fresh tortillas and coffee.

At lunch buffets, enyucados will often be an option as an accompaniment to a traditional Costa Rican casado.

These croquettes are also often served in the afternoon with coffee or hot chocolate.

Join me over at my favorite place- Instagram.

Yield: 8 enyucados

Costa RicanCheese Enyucados Recipe

Costa RicanCheese  Enyucados Recipe

These  Costa Rican croquettes stuffed with cheese are the quintessential accompaniment to a Costa Rican breakfast, lunch, or coffee hour. Boiled yucca mashed and stuffed with mozzarella cheese and then fried to golden perfection, these will soon be a hit as a side dish to many meals.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large yucca root
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Equipment:
  • 3-quart stockpot
  • Tongs
  • Frying pan
  • Potato masher

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel the yucca root. To peel, slice the root in half, then make a cut on the long edge of the yucca. Peel back the outer skin.
  2. Slice the yucca root into 2-inch rounds. 
  3. Place the yucca in a 3-quart stockpot. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. 
  4. Boil yucca until very tender (about 30 minutes)
  5. Drain excess water from the yucca and mash until a puree is formed. Allow puree to cool before forming croquettes. 
  6. Take a handful of yucca- enough to make about at 3” ball. Flatten the yucca into your hand and place about 1 ounce of mozzarella into the middle. Form into a flat oval and set aside. Repeat until all of the yucca has been used up. Can use a bit of flour on your hands to the yucca doesn’t stck, or some food gloves.
  7. In a frying pan, pour about 1” oil.  Heat oil on medium-high heat until bubbling. Carefully place the enyucado in the oil and fry until golden brow on the outside. The inside will still be tender.  Using tongs, remove the enyucado from the oil and allow excess oil to drain.
  8. Flip about halfway through. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side. 
  9. Place fried enyucado on a plate covered with a paper towel to allow the additional oil to absorb.
  10. Serve with your preferred dip.

Notes

See photos in main post for how to form the enyucados.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 314mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, travel and language. I’m a mom of two Latinas, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here

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