gluten-free paleo sides vegan

Crispy Baked Yuca Fries

March 17, 2015

Change up your typical potato side with these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries! They’re crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of spice. No frying and just a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole recipe!

Change up your typical potato side with these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of spice. No frying and just a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole recipe!Dear potato, I love you. But sometimes I just need a break. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so this separation will only bring us closer together. Please forgive me for cheating on you with yuca.

It all started in Costa Rica when our chefs got me absolutely hooked on yuca. I was the only person in our group that didn’t speak Spanish but I took in what I could by watching them prep and cook it.

What is Yuca?

Yuca (sometimes called Cassava) is a root vegetable similar to the potato with a waxy outer skin and a starchy center. It is native to South and Central America and used quite widely in Latin cooking. Yuca is similar in shape to a sweet potato and can be found in the produce aisle. Although it’s similar to sweet potatoes and yams, it has a bark-like skin that you have to remove… which can be intimidating but we’ll tackle that together!

Before Costa Rica, my only experience with yuca was either in Latin restaurants or in tapioca flour (which comes from the cassava/yuca plant) but I had never attempted to cook it at home. The two most important observations I made from the chefs in Costa Rica were that a) the outer skin is easily discarded with a vegetable peeler and b) unlike potatoes, yuca must be boiled before it can be baked or fried.

Change up your typical potato side with these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of spice. No frying and just a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole recipe!

So immediately upon arriving home I ran to the grocery store, dug through the potato section to find some yuca, spent 10 minutes trying to convince the cashier at the grocery store that I didn’t just find this strange root on the ground and that they did in fact sell it in their stores. Then I hit the kitchen and this is how these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries were born.

Dear potato, I don’t know how I feel about being exclusive. I would rather be in an open relationship with you and yuca. You can be sister wives and we can be one big happy family. I hope you can find it in your heart to understand.

Change up your typical potato side with these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of spice. No frying and just a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole recipe!

How to Make Yuca

Like I said earlier, yuca takes a little more prep than potatoes. You have to start by removing the waxy, rough outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop your yuca in half, lengthwise and slice into fries. Place the sliced yuca in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 8-10 minutes. After boiling, strain and rinse with cold water. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder and spread out on a baking sheet. Make sure there is a little space between each fry so they can crisp up! Bake for 15 minutes, flip the fries and bake for another 15 minutes.


Crispy Baked Yuca Fries

  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins


  • 2 large yucas
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Peel yucas with a vegetable peeler to remove waxy skin.*
  3. Chop in half and then slice each half into fry-shapes.
  4. Place sliced yucca into a large pot and fill with water.
  5. Heat on stovetop until water comes to a boil. Let cook in boiling water for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Strain yucca from water and rinse with cold water.
  7. Place yucca in a large bowl and top with olive oil.
  8. Sprinkle with chili powder, salt and pepper and lightly toss to coat.
  9. Line onto a baking sheet (do not overcrowd) and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and flip.
  11. Place back into oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
  12. Serve warm.


*The inside of the yuca should be stark white. If there are black lines, discard and use another yuca.


  • Serving Size: 4


Change up your typical potato side with these Crispy Baked Yuca Fries! They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of spice. No frying and just a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole recipe!

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  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    March 17, 2015 at 7:07 am

    i have not yet eaten yuca…need to change that as these fries look beyond delish!

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    March 17, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I make mine almost exactly the same except I toss in coconut oil instead of olive. They are delicious, one of my favorite fries for sure!

  • Reply
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth
    March 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I haven’t had any since I was home for Christmas a couple years ago but cassava is the I’ve never heard it called yuca before though :/
    Ah wells, either way, still good 😀

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    March 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I had a patient once from Mexico who liked to eat yuca! I’ve never tried it myself, but you’ve definitely got me intrigued.

    My current food rut is chickpeas. I swear I’ve gone through like 4 cans of them in the past month haha.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    March 18, 2015 at 1:50 am

    You take that back about the potatoes…..

  • Reply
    March 18, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    YU-reek-A! This looks sooooo delicious.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    These look delicious. Is there a dipping sauce you’d recommend to go with them?

    • Reply
      May 7, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Chipotle Mayo, garlic & olive oil (mojo/mojito) , mustard, ketchup…anything works really 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I have never even heard of a yucca before. Where do you even buy them? I have got to find one now!

    • Reply
      May 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      You can usually find them in the frozen section near the vegetables. these are already peeled!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Here in Texas, they are in the produce area, next to the potatoes

    • Reply
      Jose Perez
      April 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Ask anyone that was borned in Puerto Rico or anywhere in the Caribbean and you will get an earfull of of suggestions on where to buy them, how to cook them and what goes Great with them. I like mine fried a little salt and plenty ketchup.

  • Reply
    Ally @OmNomAlly
    March 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    These look sooooo good! Yuca is a new ingredient for me, it’s only in the last 12 months that I’ve even seen it available in Australian grocers. Even then I haven’t really know what to do with at home lol. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I’ve Pinned and shared it so I have some inspiration when I finally buy some cassava 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I just stuck a giant dish of potatoes in the oven so I think your paramour is paying me a visit, and I like it. Don’t worry, I’ll send him back when I’m done.

    The yucca looks a bit stringy, more like a squash can be. Is that right? I’m fascinated.

  • Reply
    lynsey | lynseylovesfood
    March 22, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    i need to try Yuca stat…. these look amazing. thanks for bringing into my life. xo

  • Reply
    Lori @
    March 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Oh yes! Yucca is so delicious and I especially love it when it is spiced up like this. Chili powder should do the trick! Pinning for later —

  • Reply
    August 14, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I made exactly as written, but the yucca were mushy after boiling! I recommend not boiling for long, or at all. This did not turn out well for me.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Haha loved your brief story on yucca. Thanks for the detailed recipe! I’ll try it right away 🙂

  • Reply
    March 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I am astounded that people did not know about Yucca!! It is eerywhere you go in the stores!! In krogers, Walmart!! People neet to be more detailed when they are going grocery shopping

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

      agreed! I’ve been seeing it a lot more often lately. You just have to be on the lookout for it!

      • Reply
        June 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm

        Boiling for ten minutes makes mashed yuca.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Davida, I’ve been using your recipe for awhile altho I skipped the stehp on boiling first. When I had yuca fries in a resto, theirs was so much softer inside and they told me they boiled it first. Yummy, altho fried with great sauces. Decided to try your recipe again and boiled for 7 minutes and let it stand for 3 minutes. Wow, cooked also at your temp (as before when I didn’t boil only baked at 375 degrees) with coconut oil and delish!! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Davida! Can I prep the fries a day before I make them?

  • Reply
    July 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Loved the recipe, definitely going to try it out. I’ve been eating Cassava since I was a kid and I absolutely love it till this day. My mom use to grate the Cassava and form little hash browns with them before deep frying them in a pan. The oil brought out the crispness and the sweetness of the root. She serves it with a Latin coleslaw and it is bomb! Too bad now I can’t eat as much as I use to but your recipe gives me hope to eat Cassava in a much healthier way, heh.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    So lets get started, first go to eBay and buy Yucca or Cassava cuttings, then plant them in your back yard or garden. In a year or so you have plenty of Yucca for you very own fries. I have over 100 trees growing in my back yard in Florida, they may not grow in the north very well, but if you can you should grow your own. Plant and forget for the most part, they grow in good to awful soil all on their own. The better the soil the faster to harvest though.


  • Reply
    Debbie Young
    February 26, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I did the 10 minute pre boil and they kind of fell apart. Did I do something wrong?

    • Reply
      April 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      No, boiling cooks it and it will become mush.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 6:38 am

    What is the nutritional info on this? Especially carbs

  • Reply
    Ernie Perez
    April 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    As a native Costarrican and an avid cook, may I suggest that you boil the peeled yuca till it’s soft like a potato.
    Finely dice some garlic and fry it in some olive oil with some lemon juice and salt to taste and pour over the yuca while everything is hot.
    If you have any left over fry them like a french fry and think of me while you enjoy a “tico” pronounced (tee ko) treat.
    Their great with Mayo.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I was bummed after I boiled for 8 min and found they were too mushy to make anything but mashed yuca:(
    10 minutes is too long to boil them unless maybe you made giant chunks!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    These turned out delicious! I loved them. I omitted the chili powder and pepper to make them AIP-friendly, and I also used coconut oil instead of olive. I’ll try olive next time. I found they didn’t need quite as long in our oven, and they were done after about 20 minutes. Thanks for a great recipe – will be trying again soon! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Boiling Yucca is not necessary. It is correctly identified as Yucca with two Cs. You can soak it in salted water to remove cyanide. Boiling to bake cooks it and creates a mushy end product. They can be soaked 20 min to overnight.

    After soaking drain well, oil and season then bake. I love mine crunchy I bake for 1hr. I have been making baked Yucca fries for 7yrs.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Going to try this on the grill!

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