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Fried mashed manioc or cassava balls filled with cheese

Brazilian manioc or cassava balls stuffed with cheese {Bolinho de Macaxeira}

Delicious and filling fried manioc or cassava balls made with manioc (yuca / cassava root) and a cheesy filling. These cassava style dumplings or fritters can be served as a snack or appetizer.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Keyword Cassava balls, Manioc fried balls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Refrigeration resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 small cassava balls
Author Andressa Vieira


  • 1 ½ cups of cooked and smashed cassava root
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cilantro or parsley finely chopped
  • Breadcrumbs or flour to coat
  • Diced mozzarella cheese
  • Oil enough to fry the balls


  • Cook the manioc or cassava in water and salt, but don't let it get too soft. You'll know when it's ready when you stick it with a fork and it opens itself. If you are cooking fresh cassava, it will take about 20-30 minutes to cook, depending on how young it is. If you are cooking it from frozen, then it will take closer to 40 minutes. Keep an eye on it during the last minutes to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  • Drain all the water, remove the center stringy part of the cassava (if you didn't remove them before boiling), and smash the cassava while still hot with a fork. Don't let it cool off, otherwise it becomes hard to mash.
  • Add the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Add salt, pepper and fresh cilantro/parsley. Taste and add more seasonings, if needed. If the dough is dry, you can add additional butter or oil as needed.
  • Mold the dough into little balls and fill each one with cheese (and meat if using).
  • Coat them with flour or breadcrumbs.
  • For best results you can refrigerate the cassava balls for 30 minutes to an hour before frying - this will help keep the cheese filling from leaking out while frying.
  • Fry the mashed cassava balls in hot oil, the oil must be very hot, otherwise the balls will be mushy.
  • Place the cassava balls on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil excess,
  • Serve the warm fried mashed cassava or manioc balls with a dipping sauce. I suggest a chilli sauce, a salsa rosada or golf sauce (ketchup mixed with mayonnaise), or a tomato onion curtido style salsa.


To try the variation of this recipe that has egg and flour in the dough, you can add an additional cup of mashed manioc, one egg, and two tablespoons of flour. The dough might be more sticky and harder to mold, so you can use two spoons to mold it and transfer to the oil for frying.