Why You Should Make Potato Croquettes In Your Air Fryer

Centuries before zero-waste cooking and Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns' sustainable dining were trending concepts, peasants — out of necessity — were creating recipes to limit kitchen waste. In rural Italy, "cucina povera," or the no-waste poor cooking tradition, led to regional recipes like biscotti, bruschetta, ribollita, panzanella, and even French toast, which are still enjoyed today, per Eataly.

Similarly, in France, recipes such as the open-faced sandwich casse-croûte, and croutons – especially when soaking up the juices in the recipe herbed faux-tisserie chicken and potatoes – were created to use up stale bread. The cold weather comfort food, French onion soup, was designed to use stale bread and old cheese. Can you even imagine where we'd be gastronomically if that young shepherd hadn't forgotten his lunch, returning to find moldy cheese in the village of Roquefort? (via France Today).

Zero-waste cooking has created some of the most delicious recipes over the years, including potato croquettes. This French dish is said to have originated in the late 19th century by Auguste Escoffier, the French chef that modernized traditional French cooking. While each culture has a version of the fried snack with different fillings, the original mashed potato version is one of the more popular ones, per Porto's Bakery.

Traditionally breaded and deep fried, potato croquettes, along with other unique things, can be made in an air fryer, cutting the cooking time and modernizing this century-old recipe.

Air fried potato croquettes

Once viewed skeptically as a one-trick pony, the air fryer has solidified its place in American kitchens over the last decade. According to The NPD Group, a market research firm, U.S. sales of air fryers have risen 76% since 2020, with 25.6 million units sold from January 2020 through December 2021. Although the mighty kitchen appliance doesn't precisely produce deep-fried results, food develops a crisp exterior with a few tablespoons of oil versus the cups required in deep frying.

According to Simply Recipes, most recipes that you'd traditionally fry, roast, or grill can be made in the air fryer, especially potatoes. With a few tweaks to the cooking time, a couple of shakes to the air fryer basket, and a lower temperature, crispy potato croquettes with a creamy mashed potato center can be in your hand in under 10 minutes — it may become your favorite second to air-fried ravioli.

Using leftover mashed potatoes and an egg to bind them together, prepare the delicious bundles by forming them into patties, balls, or logs. Then perform the traditional three-step breading process, rolling each croquette into flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

Using a vegetable oil spray or a gentle hand, lightly coat the croquette before air frying them at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes or until golden brown and warmed through. Potato croquettes are the perfect finger food for your next get-together or as a side dish for dinner.