Garlicky Cuban-Style Yuca Recipe

Discover the delightful flavors of garlicky Cuban-style yuca with our simple recipe that is bound to become your new favorite side dish. This recipe, deeply rooted in Cuban culinary heritage, brings together the comforting essence of yuca, also known as cassava, with a zesty and garlicky twist.

According to Ksenia Prints from At the Immigrant's Table, traditional Cuban-style yuca is typically accompanied by a sauce infused with naranja agria, a unique bitter orange that tastes like a cross between oranges, lemons, and limes. Since this distinctive citrus might not be readily available to everyone, our recipe simply combines the juices of all three major citrus fruits, ensuring you still get that ubiquitous Cuban taste.

With a focus on simplicity and authenticity, we'll guide you through each step, from boiling yuca to sautéing aromatic red onions to create a dish that encapsulates the heartwarming essence of Cuban cuisine. Let's get started on bringing this vibrant and flavorful experience to your kitchen!

Gather the Ingredients for garlicky Cuban-style yuca

Begin by assembling the essentials for this simple, but flavorful dish. You'll need frozen yuca, a starchy delight that you can find in most Latin and Asian supermarkets. When cooked, yuca becomes bland like a potato, and its neutral flavor and creamy texture are complimented by the aromatic flavor of sliced red onions sautéed with minced garlic. The dish gains its Cuban flair from the vibrant trio of citrus juices — orange, lemon, and lime — infusing a tangy undertone. Finally, cilantro steps in as a garnish with a burst of freshness, bringing all these elements together in one fresh, comforting dish.

Boil the yuca

Start by adding your frozen yuca to a pot of boiling water. Boiling is a crucial preliminary step that allows the yuca to cook evenly and attain the desired softness. While in many Latin American recipes yuca is fried, boiling the starchy vegetable attains a texture and flavor that is similar to mashed potatoes.

Cover the pot with a lid and let the yuca simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes. You can gauge its doneness by inserting a fork — if it effortlessly glides through, the yuca is ready. This careful boiling also aids in neutralizing any potentially bitter flavors that may be present in raw yuca.

Once the yuca achieves the perfect softness, delicately remove the hard inner spine, a fibrous core that runs vertically within the yuca. This essential step ensures that your final dish is not only tender but also enjoyable to eat.

Make the tangy garlic sauce

While your yuca is cooking, grab a pan. Sauté thin slices of red onion in olive oil for 3 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant. Now, add the minced garlic, along with the combined citrus juices — orange, lemon, and lime. Sprinkle a bit of salt for seasoning. Cook it all together for 5-7 minutes, letting the flavors meld into a tangy and aromatic sauce. Cooking the onion in the citrus juice makes it especially pleasant to eat, ensuring it glides softly through the mouth without any bite or bitterness.

Assemble and serve the garlicky Cuban-style yuca

With your yuca soft and your garlic sauce ready, it's time to plate up. Arrange the yuca wedges on a plate or in a bowl. Pour that flavorful garlic sauce generously over the yuca. Give it a finishing touch by sprinkling chopped cilantro for a burst of freshness. A pinch of salt and pepper adds the final seasoning.

Serve immediately and enjoy your garlicky Cuban-style yuca! We love it alongside Cuban staples like picadillo, black beans, or Cuban-style pork. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, so you can savor this delicious dish over time.

Garlicky Cuban-Style Yuca Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
This garlicky Cuban-style yuca recipe brings together the comforting essence of yuca with a zesty and garlicky twist.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Boiled yuca with salt and pepper
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 pound frozen yuca
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, for garnish
  1. Add frozen yuca to boiling water. Bring back to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let yuca cook for 20 minutes until it is soft. Remove the hard inner "spine" (hard, twig-like string in the center of the yuca).
  2. In a pan, sauté onion slices in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add minced garlic, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, and some salt. Fry for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Transfer soft yuca wedges to a plate or bowl. Pour garlic sauce over yuca. Sprinkle with cilantro and add salt and pepper for taste. Serve immediately.
  4. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Calories per Serving 565
Total Fat 34.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 538.2 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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