These vegan mushroom croquettes, or croquetas de setas, are the typical Spanish tapa. The outside is golden brown and crispy while the inside is smooth and creamy with bits of meaty mushrooms. Eat them alone or with your favorite dipping sauce!
Croquettes are one of the most popular Spanish tapas – you can get them in pretty much every bar and supermarket in the country. They’re made with a béchamel that’s chilled until it can be easily rolled into a log shape then breaded and fried.
Typically, Spanish croquetas are meant to make use of any leftover bits of meat after the holidays. Just chop it up and add it to the béchamel. But there are a couple of vegetarian variations, like these Spanish spinach croquettes and the recipe that follows for mushroom croquettes.
You can use any type of mushroom you like for these croquetas. I used a wild variety called robellón, or saffron milk cap, which are in season right now and are my favourite mushroom for their super meaty texture. A good substitute for texture would be Portobello or oyster mushroom but you could even use white button mushrooms.
To make mushroom croquettes you start by sautéing onion and garlic with the mushrooms. You can also add in any herbs you like, with wild mushrooms we typically use Italian parsley.
In a small pot make the béchamel. It’s not as tricky as you may be led to believe, you just need to whisk it while slowly adding in the milk and you’ll get a smooth, lump-free sauce. Fold the mushrooms into your béchamel and refrigerate the mixture for a few hours or overnight.
Once it’s chilled you can roll the filling into the correct shape. Spanish croquetas are usually this log shape but you can also roll them into a ball if you prefer. Each croquette is rolled in breadcrumbs, then milk and a second coating of breadcrumbs, and dropped into a pot of hot oil.
They’re done when they’re golden brown on all sides and nice and crispy. They’re best served right away while at their maximum crispiness. If you’re making these mushroom croquettes as part of a tapas night, then be sure to take a look at my recipes for this vegan Spanish omelette and Spanish potato salad (ensaladilla rusa).
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 215 grams (7.5 oz) mushrooms, finely diced (I used wild but any type will work: Portobello, oyster, Asian, button, cremini, etc.)
- ½ cup (75 grams) flour
- 2 ¾ cups (650 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk, divided
- ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for the mushrooms
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups (135 grams) bread crumbs
- Oil, for frying
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until transparent then add the garlic and fry until soft and fragrant. Remove to a plate.
- I usually do the mushrooms in two batches so that they are in a single layer in my pan and fry rather than steam. So add half the chopped mushrooms and leave them alone for a few minutes to brown on the first side before stirring to brown on the other side. Once browned, season with salt and pepper and remove to the plate with the onions and fry the second batch of mushrooms. Set aside.
- Combine 1 ¾ cups (400 ml) of the plant milk with the vegetable stock in measuring cup or bowl. Set aside for the moment.
- In a small pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Little by little, sift in the flour, stirring it in as you add it so that it doesn’t lump. You’ll end up with sort of a ball of dough. Allow it to cook, stirring constantly, until the raw flour smell goes away – a minute or two.
- Add a small amount of the plant milk-stock mix and whisk it really well. At first it will evaporate but keep adding the liquid little by little, whisking constantly, until it starts to come together into a sauce. To avoid lumps you really need to whisk it! Once all the milk has been added, keep whisking while it comes to a simmer and simmer, whisking, for a couple of minutes until it’s thick.
- Remove from the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Transfer to a dish and let it cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the top of the filling, and refrigerate until completely cold.
- When you’re ready to fry, heat oil for deep frying in a small pot over medium heat.
- Put the remaining cup (250 ml) of plant milk in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another. Take about a teaspoon of the filling and roll it into a log shape. Cover it in breadcrumbs, then dip it into the milk and back into the breadcrumbs once again.
- Fry in batches of 5 or 6, flipping as necessary, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 696mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5g Protein: 12g
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