These Air Fryer Yuca Fries, aka cassava fries, are crisp, creamy, and seasoned to perfection. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy the best Paleo and Whole30 appetizer, snack, and side dish.
Can you put yuca in the air fryer? Yes! With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn how to make seriously crispy and insanely tasty fried yuca in the amazing air fryer.
Yuca Vs Yucca
Before diving into the deets, let’s quickly distinguish the difference between “yuca” and “yucca.” The only similarity between the two is their similar spellings. While yuccas do produce edible seeds, flowers, and fruits, they are commonly an ornamental plant native to the southeastern states. Not exactly good for fries.
On the other hand, Yuca is the root of cassava -a tropical tuber plant native to South America and Africa, is perfect for turning into fries! Yuca is sweet, nutty, creamy, and a potassium-packed alternative to potato fries.
Cooking yuca in your air fryer (or Ninja foodi!) is:
- Quick and easy
- Healther than deep fried yuca
- A great way to add yuca to your diet
- Better than potato fries
- Paleo & Whole30
📝 Ingredients & Equipment
- Fresh Yuca Root – If you can’t find raw yuca root, it’s almost always available year-round at asian and latin grocery stores.
- Avocado Oil – to coat the surface of the fries and create a golden brown crisp. You can also use olive oil.
- Sea Salt – The larger granules give the fries pleasant texture. You can also use kosher salt.
- Spices – black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Simple and delicious.
- Water – to soak and boil the yuca.
- Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi – You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket. I use a Ninja Foodi. It’s an air fryer/pressure cooker all in one!
- Medium Size Bowl – to soak the uncooked yuka and prevent browning before boiling.
- Medium Size Pot – to boil the yuka fries.
- Tongs – to transfer fries.
🔪 How To Properly Cut and Prepare Yuca
Before cooking with yuca, the wax-coated outer skin needs to be peeled, and the flesh needs to be cut and boiled.
- Don’t bother with a vegetable peeler. Use a very sharp knife to peel and cut.
- Cut off the ends on both sides and then cut the down the center lengh-wise. Stand each half up and carefully slice down the length to peel away the skin.
- Carefully guide the knife around the grooves and bumps to remove the skin.
📖 How To Make Yuca In The Air Fryer
1️⃣ Cut yuca into fries.
Using a very sharp knife, cut off both ends of the yuca root and remove the outer skin. Cut the flesh into 3-4 inch stick-shaped pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl of water as you cut them
2️⃣ Boil yuca.
Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Then, add the prepared yuca and boil until the pieces are fork-tender. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your fries.
3️⃣ Drain yuca & season.
Drain the boiled yuca and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the yuca with oil and the dry seasonings until fully coated.
4️⃣ Cook yuka in the air fryer.
Preheat your air fryer to 400° F. Then, carefully arrange the yuca fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket and set the timer for 15 minutes.
5️⃣ Toss while cooking.
Toss the yuca with tongs every few minutes to achieve a golden brown crisp on all sides.
6️⃣ Season to taste and serve.
Once the outside is nice and crispy, using tongs, remove the fries from the air fryer and toss with more seasoning to taste. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
👉 Air Fryer Frozen Yuca Fries
In addition to fresh yuca, it’s common to find pre-cut frozen yuca at international grocery stores. Pre-cut yuca is a huge time saver!
To cook frozen yuca in the air fryer, boil the yuca until fork-tender. Then, drain, season, and follow the instructions for cooking fresh yuca fries in the air fryer.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe Tips
- Feel free to cut the yuka into round chips shapes instead of fries. Use a mandolin for the perfect thickness, and keep an eye on the air fryer as they will cook quicker than fries.
- The purpose of soaking cut fries in water is to slow down oxidation and prevent browning.
- Boiling the yuka first is important! Otherwise, the surfaces of the fries will cook much quicker than the centers and burn.
- To acheive evenly cooked and crispy yuka fries, preheat the air fryer and be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket.
♨️ Baked Cassava Fries
No air fryer? No problem. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and bake your seasoned cassava fries on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Seasonings – Cassava root is naturally sweet and nutty, so I kept the dry seasonings simple with garlic powder and paprika. Try blackening seasoning, seasoning salt, or dry ranch seasoning to change things up.
- Parmesan & Herbs – Hot out of the air fryer, toss yuka in fresh herbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Dipping Sauce – Yuca fries taste amazing, dipped in cool, tangy, and creamy sauces like habanero ranch dressing -or keep things classic and serve with homemade ketchup.
- Chimichurri – Dip hot and crispy yuka in a cilantro chimichurri.
♻️ Storing & Freezing
Storing: Air fryer cassava fries are best eaten fresh. If you happen to have leftovers, you can keep them for 1 to 2 days in the fridge. Reheat them in the air fryer for 4 to 5 minutes at 375 degrees. Freezing is not recommended.
No! It’s essential to remove the skin from cassava root before cooking it. The peel contains cyanide.
Yuca is one of the few root vegetables that should never be eaten raw. It has dangerous levels of cyanogenic glucosides that are toxic to humans and animals, so always peel and cook your yuka.
Yuca has more calories, protein, and carbs than potatoes. It also has more fiber and potassium, and less sugar.
No. There are about 26 grams of carbs in a 1/2 cup serving of yuca fries.
More Air Fryer Fries Recipes
Air Fryer Yuca Fries
- air fryer
- medium saucepot
- medium bowl
- 1 pound yuca root raw
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or any neutral tasting oil with a high smoking point
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika
- 6 cups water
- Using a very sharp knife, cut off both ends of the yuca root and remove the outer skin. Cut the flesh into 3-4 inch stick-shaped pieces. Place the cut pieces in a bowl of water as you cut them.
- Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Then, add the prepared yuca and boil until the pieces are fork tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your fries.
- Drain the boiled yuca and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- In a large bowl, toss the yuca with oil and the dry seasonings until fully coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F.
- Carefully place the yuca fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket and set the timer for 15 minutes.
- Toss the fries with tongs every few minutes to achieve a golden brown crisp on all sides.
- Once the outside is nice and crispy, using tongs, remove from the fries from the air fryer and toss with more seasoning to taste.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or a sprinkle of fresh parsley.