Cuban Series, Part 2: Yuca Con Ajo

Side Dish – Yuca with Garlic Sauce or Yuca Con Ajo  yuca-1353258_1920-2

Yuca is one of the root vegetables that are staples in Cuba. It’s a mainstay dish at parties and at holiday gatherings such as Christmas Eve. As always, Essential Puree recommends clearing the dish, ingredients and preparation with your healthcare provider. (See below).

Yuca con Ajo — Yuca with Garlic Sauce

By Three Guys From Miami Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes  Yield: 8-12 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds yuca, peeled, halved and cut into chunks (Frozen yuca may be available in Latin markets in your area. Supermarkets in Florida carry several brands.)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 6 cloves garlic mashed into 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine


Place yuca in a saucepan; add water until yuca is just covered. Add salt and lime juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender — about 30 minutes. Drain. Remove the “woody” or fibrous core from the center of the yuca. Extremely important for the patient with swallowing difficulties! Mash garlic cloves into salt with mortar and pestle. Add garlic, lemon juice, and onions to olive oil in a separate saucepan, heat until bubbling, and then pour over yuca. Toss the yuca and all ingredients lightly while continuing to sauté over medium heat until barely browned, but not crisp! It is important for the dysphagia patient that the yucca be cooked only until barely browned.

For the Puree

Be sure to remove any woody parts from the center of the yucca before puree. Or run the puree through a wide mesh sieve with a spatula. Place a cup of the yucca and vegetables into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to combine. Add more liquid if puree is too thick, a tablespoon at a time, warm water or warm stock. To thicken the dish, use gum-based thickener, powder or gel, according to manufacturer’s directions. See thickening products guide on the Essential Puree website. Make sure the dish is at a proper temperature before serving.

Swirl Away!

Nutritional Information

Yucca is also called cassava and is a carbohydrate. It is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of manganese, and a very good source of vitamin C. For a complete nutritional analysis of raw yucca sourced, visit USDA. For this recipe and others, visit the Three Guys from Miami. Note: The National Dysphagia Diet, NDD, is not a one size fits all diet. It is flexible. Through mindful preparation, the dysphagia patient may enjoy traditional foods. The object is not to include any ingredient that will cause coughing and aspiration. This varies with individuals, according to their own medical histories. Therefore it is best to involve your dietitian, speech language pathologist or physician for consultation and review before adding new recipes to the diet. The goal is good nutrition for the dysphagia patient and good quality of life.


Featured photo credit: Brett_Hondow via Pixabay, cc