Butternut Squash Croquettes

Butternut Squash Croquettes - these healthy baked veggie fritters are a delicious appetizer or snack.

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com

I don’t have much of a weakness for fried foods. French fries don’t make me crazy, I never really cared for fried chicken… but whenever we’re on vacation, I find myself ordering little balls of fried stuff everywhere we turn. Cod croquettes in Japan, arancini in Italy, and all kinds mashed veggie fritters (with tangy yogurt sauces) in London.

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com

Since we’re currently not on vacation, these are baked, not fried… but I promise they’re so good that you likely won’t even notice. I mash creamy butternut squash with cumin and smoky paprika, mix in some tangy feta, and serve them with a creamy light yogurt sauce for dipping. They’d be great as party food but, really… Jack and I often sit down to a plate of these, a glass of wine (or two), and call it dinner.

Butternut Squash Croquettes // loveandlemons.com

butternut squash croquettes

Serves: makes 12 balls
  • ½ a medium sized butternut squash, roasted until soft (about 1.5 cups of mash)
  • ⅓ cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne
  • splash of maple syrup or agave (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional, omit if vegan)
  • salt & pepper
  • about 1 cup panko bread crumbs, for rolling
yogurt sauce:
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • juice and zest of one lime (or ½ a lemon)
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Roast your butternut squash in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until it's soft. I roast mine whole (make a few holes in it with a fork), and then cut it in half lengthwise (and save the other half for another day). When it's cool enough to touch, scoop out the soft flesh. If it's not soft enough continue cooking it.
  2. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the butternut squash with the garbanzo flour, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, a touch of maple syrup, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Stir in the scallions, feta, and chopped cilantro. You can taste it at this point and adjust seasonings... (although keep in mind that the flavor gets infinitely better once they're cooked).
  3. On a large plate, spread out the panko bread crumbs. Spoon about a tablespoon amount of the mash and shape into balls (as best you can, it's messy). Then gently roll them in the panko. (you might not use all the panko, it's ok).
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.. If you have a broiler, turn it on during the last few to help the golden-ing along.
  5. While the croquettes bake, stir together the yogurt sauce ingredients. Set in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.


adapted from the Leon Cookbook



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. ivana from mylittlethings.com

    Your web is amazing!

  2. Kathryn from londonbakes.com

    I love croquettas and I love that book but somehow, I’ve never put both of those together and made them which I’m really regretting now.

  3. Carla from allofmenow.com

    If I’m dairy free, any suggestions for what I can sub the feta with? These look amazing!

    • jeanine

      Hi Carla, you can just omit the feta – there’s so much flavor already that you won’t even miss it.

  4. Moira from eatbelive.wordpress.com

    Thank you very much for the quick reply and great suggestions!

  5. Moira from eatbelive.wordpress.com

    Oops, well I guess I missed the “Panko bread crumbs” for rolling… Any suggestions on a good substitute other than crushed brown-rice crackers or toasted, finely-chopped almonds?

    • Alene

      Gluten free panko is even at my Publix in a dinky Florida town, so it must be pretty easy to find. I use it all the time. I am gluten free by necessity, and I love your recipes! They are often adaptable to gluten free diets. Thank you for this one!

  6. Moira from eatbelive.wordpress.com

    These look and read delicious, and I appreciate that they’re gluten-free. I imagine they’re best served as appetizers, but would make for a nice meal served alongside a simple salad. Thank you.

  7. Tina from Www.thealbrecht.com

    What a delightful looking treat and a perfect little meal idea! Love it.

  8. Elizabeth A.

    Ooh, I just might have to take your suggestion and have these for dinner with a glass o red.

    For those who were curious – garbanzo bean flour has some special property that helps it bind, like eggs, so I’m not sure you could sub it in this recipe with adding eggs or some other binder.

    • jeanine

      Hi Elizabeth – thanks for mentioning that… You’re right, whenever I’ve made other patties & things like this I’ve used breadcrumbs and eggs to bind them together… the garbanzo flour really made them hold together.

  9. Oh feta in the croquettes – butternut squash goes so well with it! And stilton too. Delish 🙂

  10. These look super super delicious! To be honest mine might be a little more like yoghurt with butternut squash croquettes – I put yoghurt on absolutely everything!!

  11. Ashley from edibleperspective.com

    Seriously cannot even handle the idea of this recipe!! And the color. And flavors. Ahhhhh. Definitely making these. I must admit, I am a sucker for french fries.

  12. Sarah from thesugarhit.com

    With a glass of wine? That sounds about perfect. A great, healthier alternative to a traditionally deep friend croquette, but with all the same, crispy crunchy gooey factor. Heavenly.

  13. Terry from majamaki.com

    Wow, that looks fantastic. I’m definitely trying this recipe. I would consider using sage, nutmeg, and a little cinnamon since they work so well to enhance the butternut squash flavor.

    • jeanine

      can’t go wrong with those flavors!

  14. Those look so delightful. I adore croquettes. Never thought about using squash before. Amazing idea!

  15. Okay, the recipe looks amazing, but the cookbook – you just MADE MY MONTH!

    I was in England a year ago and laid my eyes on that cookbook in a 1/2 price book store. But with an armload of cookbooks and no place left in my suitcase to pack them, I had to walk away with just a photo of the book on my iPhone with a promise to buy it on Amazon at a later date.

    Skip forward a few months, my iPhone was stolen in Chicago along with a dozen or so photos of cookbooks from that trip that I still hadn’t purchased. For some reason, we couldn’t access the photos on our computer on the backup, so I was at a loss.

    But today, TODAY! You literally made my day. Thank you from the bottom of my cookbook loving heart.

    • jeanine

      oh I’m so glad! What a sad story :). It’s really such a great book… I die over the design of it just as much as the recipes.

      • Kier from nicandkier.blogspot.com

        The design is what caught my eye in the first place too – I think these books would make fabulously memorable gifts for holidays, birthdays, etc, just because of the design.

  16. Mmm, these look divine. I might have to chop a fresh red chili up in there to control my spice-fiend ways, but I definitely want to add this to my rotation. Agree they’d be nice simply with yoghurt and red wine, but… these guys are calling out for some pulled pork! {if you’re not veggie, of course}

  17. You are lucky you don’t go crazy for fried foods, french fries are my weakness! Would whole wheat flour be a suitable substitute for the garbanzo bean flour?

    • jeanine

      It’s all a balance right? I have a harder time not being persuaded by chocolatey foods… On the wheat flour, I’m really not sure what the difference would be because I didn’t try it. I wonder if it would make them more dry… so I might start out with less? (using just enough to get them to stick together). Or use bread crumbs or mashed beans in place of the garbanzo flour? Just some thoughts…

    • Alana

      Hi Abby,

      Just wondering if you tried the whole wheat flour in the end and how it worked out? I’m not sure i’d be able to find the garbanzo bean flour around these parts!


A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.