These crispy black bean croquettes are a super easy vegetarian appetizer to serve for a Cinco de Mayo party. Serve them with guacamole or salsa for dipping and watch them disappear in no time!
But, guys, you may need to sit down for this one.
This recipe is fried.
I can see the hate mail piling up as I type this.
My guess is that you never thought you would live to see the day that you saw a fried recipe on “Healthy” Seasonal Recipes. And you guys, when I put this recipe on my editorial calendar I questioned my sanity a bit.
I have to admit that I had to search my soul AND phone a friend (really- I did) when it came time to decide weather or not to move forward with this recipe. You see, I had it in my mind, I wrote the hypothesis draft and tested it, and LOVED it, and my family LOVED it. But then I thought of you dear people and I worried you would think I was crazy, that you would leave me forever, click unsubscribe because you would think this recipe was dreadfully unhealthy because it is fried.
So I asked myself, if I could convince you that it actually wasn’t as bad as you think nutrition wise (3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and only 2 grams of saturated fat) would you like this recipe too? My suspicion was that you actually would like this recipe because a fried appetizer (or chocolate or whatever) every once in a while keeps cravings away. And if you’re like me, that if you’re going to eat fried food, you want to know what’s in it, and you want it to be worth it!
Read on, these are totally worth it!
Then I ran the analysis and realized that only ½ cup of the oil is absorbed in the frying process, which works out to be less than a tablespoon of oil per serving. Okay I was convinced, I just needed to see if you could be.
Then to make the final determination, I decided that I would have to ask one of you. I literally reached out to one long-time reader, and asked her if I WAS crazy. Would she just scroll right on by if she saw a fried recipe in her feed and say, nah… too unhealthy. She said she might, and that she actually had a bit of a frying anxiety.
But then she read through the recipe, saw how easy it was and confirmed that she would in fact like the recipe.
So here I am out on a limb with my pot of hot oil. Hope you all will support me.
My guess is that if you’re still reading, you want to know about the 5 ingredient Black Bean Croquettes.
First up… the bread crumbs. K, so these are fresh bread crumbs, not dried bread crumbs. Which means I made the breadcrumbs from bread. All you do is cut off the crusts, and then blast the bread in the food processor with the steel blade attachment. You’ll end up with fluffy moist breadcrumbs. They go into the bean mixture and help hold them together so the croquettes don’t shatter in the oil. I tried this with gluten-free bread, and sadly they didn’t hold together at all. The fresh bread crumbs on the outside become crispy when they are fried and really add a nice texture contrast.
And about that frying anxiety. Let me help quell those fears. Foremost: If you have a candy thermometer in your kitchen, attach it to the side of the pan to regulate the temperature of the oil. The thermometer really takes the guess work out of frying, and it can actually make the croquettes absorb less oil. That’s because when the oil is not hot enough the croquettes soak up the oil too much and become greasy. So wait until the thermometer says 350 degrees and you’ll be good to go! Also if you have a fume hood, turn it on!
The texture of these Black Bean Croquettes when the batter is still wet is really loose, but have faith. That’s part of the beauty of them when they are cooked, I mean fried– gasp that still sounds strange– the outside is super crispy, but the inside is really tender and savory. In this video you can really get a sense of the texture of the filling.
Even if you weren’t convinced about the frying bit, the mere fact that you can achieve this ultra yummy appetizer with just 5 basic pantry staples is like totally high five worthy! So try them out! And serve them to your friends, and they will think you are the bomb for making such a yummy meatless Mexican appetizer for Cinco de Mayo!
And just a reminder, if you do make a recipe here, please come back and let me know by leaving a comment, rating or tagging me on social media!
Do you have frying anxiety?
Would you have guessed that cooler oil means that the food absorbs more oil?
Did you know that you could make fresh breadcrumbs in the food processor?
These crispy black bean croquettes are a super easy vegetarian appetizer to serve for a Cinco de Mayo party. They're made with only five ingredients and are ready in just 30 minutes!
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup salsa or picante sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups fresh bread crumbs *See tip
- 2 cups avocado or grape seed oil, for frying
- Pulse beans and salsa in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment until it forms a coarse paste. Add egg, and pulse 4 to 5 times. Scrape sides and add 1 ½ cups bread crumbs. Pulse, scraping sides as needed until incorporated but not too smooth.
- Divide mixture into 12 croquettes, 2 generous tablespoons each. Place the remaining ¾ cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish and roll the croquettes into the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Heat oil in straight-sided skillet or saucepan over medium high heat until 350 degrees F. Gently lower 6 croquettes 1 at a time into the hot oil. Let cook, flipping once with a slotted spatula, until the breadcrumbs are deeply golden and the croquettes are hot all the way through, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from oil and set on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining 6 croquettes, adjusting heat to make sure oil temperature remains around 350 degrees. Serve hot with salsa.
Tip: To make fresh bread crumbs. Slice dark crust off day-old bread. Break or cut into quarters. Process in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment until forms crumbs. 4 to 6 slices bread equals about 3 cups, depending on brand of bread.