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. Naturally gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them!
- Yuca Fries: The Perfect Appetizer or Snack
- What is Yuca?
- Are Yuca and Yucca the same?
- Why Bake Yuca Instead of Fry?
- Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ingredient Notes/Substitutions:
- How to Cook Crispy Yuca Fries in the Oven (Step by Step)
- Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks:
- What to Eat with Yuca Fries
- Other Delicious Gluten-Free Snacks/Appetizers:
- Appetizers to Snack On:
- Crispy Baked Yuca Fries (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Yuca Fries: The Perfect Appetizer or Snack
If you’ve never eaten yuca fries before, you’re in for a treat! Plus, if you’re sick of eating normal French fries, potato wedges, plantain fries, or even sweet potato fries, 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, yucca 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 root vegetable, 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 resistant 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 as an ornamental plant. You definitely don’t want to be eating fries made of ornamental plants!
Why Bake Yuca Instead of Fry?
While you can definitely deep fry yuca (also known as “yuca frita“, a popular latin american snack, particulary in Central America), I’m personally not a fan of deep-frying 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!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
To make this baked cassava fries recipe, you’ll need very basic ingredients. With the exception of the yuca itself, you probably already have the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen (water, salt, pepper and sunflower oil).
(For exact measurements and quantity, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Discard Parts with Brown Streaks or Spots: When cutting the yuca, make sure to discard the parts with many brown streaks or brown spots. For best results, use yuca with predominantly white flesh, as many brown streaks/spots means that the yuca is past its prime and will result in hard-to-chew yuca.
- Sunflower Oil: I like using sunflower oil because I always have a bottle of sunflower oil on hand, but you can use another vegetable oil such as corn oil, avocado oil, olive oil or even coconut oil as well.
How to Cook Crispy Yuca Fries in the Oven (Step by Step)
1. Bring Water to a Boil
Combine the 8 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot and bring the large pot of water to a boil.
2. Peel Yuca Skin
While the water is heating up, let’s prepare the yuca. The fresh yuca root may look rather ugly, with a coarse brown bark-like 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) to get to the starchy center.
I like to use a big knife to cut off the ends before peeling the yuca root so it makes things a little easier.
3. Cut Yuca into Wedges
Once the skin is removed, use a sharp knife to cut the yuca root into uniform finger-sized 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.
4. Boil Yuca Until Tender
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 (i.e. you can easily pierce them with a fork), but be careful not to let them overcook or they will fall apart.
(Here’s a little secret for making perfect yuca fries: 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. For best results, baking yuca 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.)
5. Preheat and Line
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Pat the Boiled Yuca Dry
Once the yuca is cooked, remove the wedges from the pot and pat them 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!)
7. Toss Yuca Wedges With Oil and Arrange on Baking Sheet
Toss the yuca with oil (or spray with cooking spray) and arrange the 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.
8. Bake Until Crispy
Bake the yuca wedges for 40 minutes, tossing them with a spatula or a slotted spoon every 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.
9. Season and Serve
Sprinkle salt and pepper or desired seasoning on these delicious yuca fries and serve straight away (see notes below for seasoning options).
Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks:
- Serve and Eat Immediately: For the best results, I highly suggest serving and eating these cassava fries straight from the oven to enjoy the crispy effect. If you let the baked yuca sit for too long after being baked, they tend to dry out and lose the crispiness.
- 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 fries are ready). You can use sea and ground pepper, or ground paprika, ground turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, or even onion powder.
What to Eat with Yuca Fries
Since yuca is a much denser starch than potatoes, these yuca wedges are generally drier and are best eaten with some sort of a dip or sauce. Here are some of my favorites sauces, but feel free to use your favorite dipping sauce!
- Easy Garlic Aioli (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
- 5-Minute Sriracha Chili Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Avocado Sauce
- Cilantro Lime Crema (Cilantro Sauce)
- Aji Amarillo
- Jalapeño Crema
- BBQ Sauce
Other Delicious Gluten-Free Snacks/Appetizers:
- Crispy Air Fryer Plantain Chips (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Crispy Air Fryer Kale Chips (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Crispy Air Fryer French Fries (Fresh or Frozen)
- 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
Appetizers to Snack On:
P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!Print
Crispy Baked Yuca Fries (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
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. 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 sunflower oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring Water to a Boil: Combine the 8 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Peel Yuca Skin: 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 into Wedges: Cut the peeled yuca into uniform finger-sized wedges (like you would potato wedges).
- Boil Yuca Until Tender: 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 and Line: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pat the Cooked Yuca Dry: 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!)
- Toss Yuca with Oil and Place on Baking Sheet: Toss the yuca with oil (or spray with cooking spray) and arrange the 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 Until Crispy: Bake the yuca fries for 40 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Season and Serve: Sprinkle salt and pepper or desired seasoning on the yuca fries and serve straight away (see notes below for seasoning options).
Sunflower Oil: I like using sunflower oil because I always have a bottle of sunflower oil on hand, but you can use other neutral-flavored vegetable oils such as corn oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil as well.
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.
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
Eat these Yuca Fries with:
– Easy Garlic Aioli (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
– 5-Minute Sriracha Chili Sauce (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
– Cilantro Lime Crema
Adapted from: Paleo Running Momma and Detoxinista
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: yuca fries, crispy baked yuca fries
Hi. I love yuca and it was boiled or deep fried where I grew up. I would love to
try this way (baked) but unfortunately it’s not easy to find them here on the northwest.
If I see them in a store, they are covered with wax ;-(
felicia | Dish by Dish says
Hi Su! Thanks for stopping by. Hmm… what if you removed the waxy skin with a potato peeler? That should get rid of the wax I believe!
Grace Lim says
I really like your tip on the 2-cooking process in this recipe in order to achieve the desired result (crispy on the outside and tender on the inside) of the yuca fries.
Do you think if we are to air-fry the yuca, would we also get the same outcome as baking them?
I love you !
felicia | Dish by Dish says
Hi mummy! 🙂 Yes, the boiling part is super important so it’s also cooked inside!! Hmm regarding the air fryer I’ve never tried but I imagine that if you tossed the yuca wedges in oil before placing it in the air fryer it should work! 🙂