Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe (Croquetas de Bacalao) - Spanish Sabores

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

Salt Cod Croquettes Recipe (Croquetas de Bacalao)

A delicious and traditional salt cod croquettes recipe from Spain.
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Course: Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18 small croquettes
Calories: 112.73kcal


  • ½ lb of salt cod (250 grams)
  • 1 medium sweet onion or 3 shallots, very finely diced
  • 1 scant cup of flour just under a cup (or 120g)
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 cups of whole milk at room temperature! (1 liter)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Plus more for frying
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2-3 beaten eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  • Flour additional flour for breading


  • 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. In Spain you can also find salt cod already desalted, so if that is possible it will save you some time!
  • After soaking, shred the cod into small pieces, making sure that no bones sneak through!
  • Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil to your pan over medium heat 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.
  • Sauté for a few minutes and then take off the heat and reserve. You'll add this back in later.
  • To make the béchamel sauce, first sift the flour to avoid lumps.
  • Next, in a large, heavy pan over medium heat, melt the 4 tbsp of butter with the remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil.
  • When the butter starts to foam, add the sifted flour to make a roux (a flour/fat mixture).
  • Stir continuously, and cook the roux until it becomes a nice sandy brown color and starts to form a ball. You must not stop stirring or the flour will burn!
  • Add the milk little by little, always stirring until you incorporate the entire amount. It should take about 20 minutes to add it all.
  • Stir in the nutmeg and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Finally, add in the cod and onion mixture and mix well. Taste for salt and adjust.
  • Let the dough cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. To do so, butter the sides of a large bowl and wrap the croquette dough inside, covered directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  • The next day, make small balls or logs with your hands and pass them through flour, beaten egg, and then breadcrumbs.
  • Deep fry your cod croquettes in hot oil and enjoy these crispy treats!


Calories: 112.73kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.53g | Protein: 11.12g | Fat: 4.91g | Saturated Fat: 2.32g | Cholesterol: 48.45mg | Sodium: 1010.97mg | Potassium: 287.16mg | Fiber: 0.26g | Sugar: 3.08g | Vitamin A: 170.87IU | Vitamin C: 1.37mg | Calcium: 77.35mg | Iron: 0.63mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @spanishsabores on IG and hashtag it #spanishsabores!

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?

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Croquettes are one of my favorite authentic tapas recipes, especially when they're made with fresh seafood! This recipe for salt cod croquettes is guaranteed to impress for dinner appetizers or a tapas party. It does take some time, but the technique is surprisingly easy and the results are delicious!


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  1. 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!

    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!).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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