These crispy baked yuca fries are the perfect side dish, appetizer or snack. Cooked in the oven till crispy perfection, these yuca fries taste delicious with our favorite easy garlic aioli, our 5-minute Sriracha chili sauce, or cilantro lime crema. Yuca fries are naturally gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them!
Yuca Fries: The Perfect Substitute for Potato Wedges!
If you’ve never eaten yuca fries before, you’re in for a treat! Plus, if you’re sick of eating normal fries or potato wedges, and want to change up your side dish or appetizer routine, these crispy baked yuca fries are perfect for snacking on or accompanying a main dish.
What is Yuca?
Yuca (pronounced “you-ka“) is basically the root of the cassava plant, which is also known as cassava, manioc, or mandioca. Yuca, which is native to South America, but it is also widely found in Asia and Africa, is a very dense and starchy tuber, similar in texture to yams or sweet potatoes.
Because it is very versatile, yuca can be eaten fried, boiled, baked, or mashed. In the tropics, yuca is an indispensable part of the carbohydrate diet, is a source of resistance starch, and a staple for many people. This is the plant which cassava flour (or cassava starch) and tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch) is made from. If you’re gluten-free or paleo, you are probably already familiar with tapioca starch since many recipes call for it.
Are Yuca and Yucca the same?
Many people tend to confuse yuca with yucca, because there is literally just one letter differentiating them. However, they cannot be more different!
While the yuca root is edible and widely eaten, the yucca family of plants are grown mainly for ornamental purposes. You definitely don’t want to be eating fries made of ornamental plants!
How to Prepare Yuca for Making Yuca Fries
The yuca root may look rather ugly, with a coarse brown skin that leaves brown rust-like powder on your hands. But apart from it’s ugly external appearance, the skin can be easily removed with any normal vegetable peeler (or potato peeler). I like to use a big knife to cut off the ends before peeling the yuca root so it makes things a little easier.
Once the skin is removed, cut the yuca root into wedges like you would normal potato wedges. I recommend cutting into thicker wedges so the fries don’t dry out when you cook them later on.
The Secret to Perfect Yuca Fries: Boil the Yuca First
Due to the starchier consistency of the yuca root, you can’t just fry or bake them immediately or you’ll end up with a crispy exterior and a still raw or under-cooked interior. Making yuca fries is a twice-cooked process, and the first thing to do is to boil them in generously salted water, before you fry or bake them.
To save time, I recommend bringing a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop as you prepare the yuca. By the time you’re done with peeling and cutting the yuca, your water will be almost boiling. Add the cut yuca to the pot and let them cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the yuca is fork-tender (i.e. you can easily pierce them with a fork), but be careful not to let them overcook or they will fall apart.
Pat the Boiled Yuca Dry!
Once the yuca has been boiled and is fork tender, make sure to pat the wedges dry with paper towels.
Tip: Make sure you don’t skip this step! Patting the yuca dry helps to prevent them from getting waterlogged when you bake them, so you end up with crispy fries instead of soggy ones!
Why Bake Yuca Instead of Fry?
While you can definitely deep fry yuca, I’m personally not a fan of that as it makes my whole house smell of oil and because it requires so much oil (plus deep frying is really unhealthy).
That’s why I prefer to bake them in the oven, as this requires just a fraction of the oil used for frying. Also, since I can obtain the same crispy effect in the oven, it’s a double whammy!
How to Cook Crispy Yuca Fries in the Oven
Now let’s get on to how to make crispy oven baked yuca fries! Once you’ve patted the yuca dry, toss them with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil until they are evenly coated.
Place the oil-coated yuca fries in a single layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to leave some space between each fry so you don’t overcrowd them. Bake the yuca at 425F for 40 minutes, flipping them every 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.
Optional Seasonings to Sprinkle on Yuca Fries
For seasoning, here are the various options we like (which you can add either together with the oil as you toss the yuca, or sprinkle them on after the yuca fries are ready):
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Ground paprika
- Ground turmeric
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Tip: Serve and Eat Immediately
For the best results, I highly suggest serving and eating these yuca fries straight from the oven to enjoy the crispy effect. If you let the yuca fries sit for too longer after being baked, they tend to dry out and lose the crispiness.
What to Eat with Yuca Fries
Since yuca is a much denser starch than potatoes, yuca fries are generally drier and are best eaten with some sort of a dip or sauce. Here are some of my favorites sauces:
- Easy Garlic Aioli (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
- 5-Minute Sriracha Chili Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Cilantro Lime Crema
- Jalapeño Crema
- BBQ Sauce
If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll also love these other snacks/appetizers:
- Rosemary Focaccia Bread (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Sunflower Seed Crackers (Paleo, Vegan)
- Easy Stovetop Popcorn (With Microwave Option)
- Easy Creamy Hummus (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Gluten-Free Naan Bread (No-Yeast, Dairy-Free)
- Gluten-Free Flaxseed Coconut Bread (Paleo, Dairy-Free)
- Pumpkin Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Carrot Turmeric Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Roasted Artichokes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Gluten-Free Polenta Bruschetta
If you want a break from potato wedges, these crispy baked yuca fries are the perfect side dish, appetizer or snack. Cooked in the oven till crispy perfection, these yuca fries taste delicious with our favorite easy garlic aioli, our 5-minute Sriracha chili sauce, or cilantro lime crema. Yuca fries are naturally gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them!
- 8 cups filtered water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large yuca (4 cups cut)
- 4 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the 8 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- While the water is heating up, cut off the ends of the yuca and use a vegetable peeler to peel off the brown skin.
- Cut the peeled yuca into uniform finger-sized wedges (like you would potato wedges).
- When the water starts to boil, add the yuca wedges to the pot and cook them in the boiling water for approximately 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
- Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the yuca is cooked, remove the wedges from the pot and pat them dry with paper towels (make sure you do this so the yuca doesn’t get waterlogged and turn soggy when you bake them!)
- Place the dry cooked yuca in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving space between each wedge so they are not overcrowded and can crisp evenly.
- Bake the yuca fries for 40 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper or desired seasoning on the yuca fries and serve straight away (see notes below for seasoning options).
Vegetable Oil: I used sunflower oil, but you can use other oils such as corn oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil as well.
Seasoning Options: here are the various options we like (which you can add either together with the oil as you toss the yuca, or sprinkle them on after the yuca fries are ready):
– Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
– Ground paprika
– Ground turmeric
– Chili powder
– Garlic powder
– Onion powder
Discard Parts with Brown Streaks: When cutting the yuca, make sure to discard the parts with many brown streaks. For best results, use yuca with predominantly white flesh, as many brown streaks means that the yuca is past its prime and will result in hard-to-chew yuca fries.
Eat these Yuca Fries with:
– Easy Garlic Aioli (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
– 5-Minute Sriracha Chili Sauce (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
– Cilantro Lime Crema
Keywords: yuca fries, crispy baked yuca fries