Although spinach is available throughout the year, the most tender crops are gathered during the Spring. These croquettes offset the leaf’s bitter tang with a dairy-free bechamel sauce before taking things one step further by coating the rounds in breadcrumbs and frying.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- 400ml – Plant-Based Milk unsweetened
- 250 gm – Spinach frozen
- 120 ml – Vegetable broth
- 1& 1/2 cup – Breadcrumbs/ Gluten-free breadcrumb
- 2 – Onion chopped
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder
- 4 cloves – Garlic cloves 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.