Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe (Croquetas de Bacalao)

These delicious salt cod croquettes can be found in tapas bars throughout Spain. They’re a staple for my family on Christmas Eve, and this classic salt cod croquettes recipe is one of the easiest you’ll find.

Salt Cod croquettes recipe
Delicious cod croquettes.

Best Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe

Croquettes are the delicious fried Spanish snacks that I’ve raved about before, especially when I shared my favorite recipe for ham croquettes. Luckily, as a snack historically made from leftovers, the possibilities for croquettes are countless and I am going to make an effort to share more of my delicious croquette recipes on the Spanish food and recipes section of this blog.

Cod croquettes (croquetas de bacalao) are among my favorite of the croquette family. I absolutely love the salty, fishy flavor of cod, and the creamy béchamel sauce ensures that these bite size morsels will melt in your mouth. The most famous cod croquettes in Madrid are found at Casa Labra one of the oldest taverns in Madrid(!), but after trying them, I still think they come out much better at home!

Try this traditional Spanish salt cod croquettes recipe for a plate full of creamy goodness that won’t disappoint!

Spanish Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe

Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe (Croquetas de Bacalao)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious and traditional salt cod croquettes recipe from Spain.
Recipe type: Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 18 small croquettes
  • 250 grams of salt cod
  • 1 medium sweet onion (or 3 shallots), diced small
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • About 3 cups of whole milk (at room temperature!)
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2-3 beaten eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  1. When working with salt cod, you will first need to desalt it. This is done by soaking the cod for at least 24 hours in cold water, changing the water at least five or six times.
  2. After soaking, shred the cod into small pieces, try to not allow any bones to sneak through!
  3. Add 2 T of olive oil to your pan and sauté the diced onion for about 10 minutes. When the onion is completely tender and translucent, add the shredded cod and some black pepper.
  4. Sauté for a few minutes and then take off the heat and reserve.
  5. To make the béchamel sauce, first sift the flour to avoid lumps.
  6. Next, in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt.
  7. When it turns light brown and starts to foam, add the sifted flour to make a roux (a flour/fat mixture).
  8. Constantly stirring, cook the roux until it becomes a nice sandy brown color and forms a ball.
  9. Whisk in one cup of milk and while constantly stirring, add the pepper and nutmeg.
  10. When the roux has absorbed the first cup of milk, add the other two and stir for about 5 more minutes until you have a dough with a good consistency.
  11. Finally, add in the cod and onion mixture and mix well.
  12. Let the dough cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.
  13. The next day, make small balls or logs with your hands and pass them through beaten egg and then breadcrumbs.
  14. Deep fry your cod croquettes in hot oil and enjoy these crispy treats!

And there you have it– delicious and creamy homemade salt cod croquettes. I know that having to refrigerate the dough seems annoying, but I guarantee that it is well worth the wait for these delicious Spanish fritters.

Which croquette recipe would you like to see next?


  1. Pingback: Salt Cod Croquettes (Croquetas de Bacalao) – Spanish Sabores | ClubEvoo
  2. I didn’t use this recipe – I used one from ‘500 tapas’… but I add, I have never used baccala/salted cod before.
    My partner went to the pub (friday night) came home to similar croquettes/aioli/ & my bog standard salad with lemon garlic dressing. A couple of beers & I was in heaven.
    Why am I here you ask, well I like to see others intepretations of a theme – so as to adapt, for my taste.
    My lemons are too ‘sweet’ (aioli) & I reckon a pinch of chilli would also enhance everything.
    I highly recommend you try these great Friday night morsels…or as ‘tapas’ in general.
    Thank you Lauren.

  3. Croquetas, I grew up making them from whatever we had available in Castro’s Cuba. I remember one time I made lunch croquetas with hard boiled eggs, there was nothing else no meat, nothing, but we ate. Of course there was no butter or milk either, cooking oil and water were good enough. So I looked for a real bechamel recipe I ‘ll make some croquetas tomorrow.

    1. I don’t remember exactly, but probably about 14-18 medium-sized ones. I tend to like mine quite small, and often roll them rounder than others as well. It’s all up to you, but double it for more than 4 people (or even 3 if you want a few each!).

  4. In step 10 of the recipe you say after five minutes you should have “dough”. I had no such thing, but rather a béchamel sauce the thickened up overnight though was not easy to make croquttas from.

    Any suggestions?


    1. Exactly – that is the “dough” I’m talking about 🙂 — if it’s too thick it needed more milk. It will thicken when it cools, and the trick is making sure it’s not too thick to for the croquettes, but also not too thin to just fall apart. When I take the dough out of the fridge it can often seem too thick, but once it warms a bit and I roll the croquettes in my hands it softens. Hope this helps!

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