Recipe: Entertain guests with Parma Ham and Parmesan Croquettes

By Hayden Groves

This tasty recipe with Parma Ham presents a traditional dish with an Italian twist. Perfect for entertaining and aperitivos, these croquettes filled with the flavour of Parma Ham will have guests asking for more.


  • 100g Parma Ham, preferably in 1 piece
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 450ml full-fat milk, heated
  • 2 tsps chives, finely chopped
  • 30g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 125g fine panko breadcrumbs
  • 1.5 litres vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper


1. First, heat the olive oil and the butter in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ of the Parma Ham, previously diced as finely as possible, and cook until it has begun to turn crispy.

2. Turn the heat down, gradually stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring regularly for about 3 minutes until a blond-coloured roux has formed.

3. Gradually stir in the hot milk, a ladleful at a time, beating it well until you have a smooth thick béchamel sauce. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until it has the consistency of smooth mashed potato.

4. Put the béchamel in a bowl, cover it with cling film pressing onto the surface to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

5. After, roll into 20g balls and chill again for a further 10 minutes.

6. Put the beaten eggs into a bowl and the panko breadcrumbs into another. With generously floured hands, coat each piece all over and dip into the beaten eggs, then roll into the panko breadcrumbs until well coated. Reserve on a plate scattered with some crumbs.

7. Heat the oil in a large pan to 180°C and fry the croquettes in batches for a couple of minutes until golden, then lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Season with a pinch of fine sea salt and serve.

About Parma Ham

Parma Ham is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and is 100% natural. The drying process that Parma Ham goes through creates a ham that is very low in fat content, with many mineral salts, vitamins, antioxidants and easily digestible proteins. This means that Parma Ham is truly a food for everyone.

Prosciutto di Parma is produced in the hills surrounding the Italian town of Parma.

The unique taste of Parma Ham is dependent on the traditional production process passed down from Roman times, carefully controlled by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma. Only hams that have passed stringent curing regulations approved by the EU can be awarded the stamp of the Ducal crown – a five pointed coronet logo with PARMA in the centre which is branded onto the ham’s skin. The Ducal Crown is now a certification trademark.

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