Move over potatoes! This post on How To Cook Yuca (Boiled Yuca) is going to have you boiling up a dish of this creamy and fluffy root instead. Whether you’re a seasoned chef looking to expand your repertoire or a novice ready to experiment with new ingredients, you’re in for a treat.

Join us as we unlock the secrets to mastering the art of cooking yuca right in your own kitchen.

Boiled yuca on a white plate, hemp seeds, cocoa nibs, beige dish towel, and a spoon.

This post marks the beginning of a series dedicated to yuca-inspired recipes. Following a recent trip to Costa Rica, where I was inspired by the many uses of this root vegetable and wanting to bring a little bit of my Latin cuisine to your kitchen, I felt compelled to delve into the versatility and nutritional value of this creamy, nourishing root vegetable.

Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing cherished yuca recipes from my childhood. To kick off this series, I aim to start with the fundamentals: guidance on how to properly cut and peel yuca, cooking techniques, and tips for storage.

Let’s commence by exploring the essence of yuca itself.

What is yuca or cassava?

Native to South America, and popular in my country Brazil, yuca is an edible starchy root tuber. Also known as cassava, this tuber is grown year round in tropical and subtropical climates.

In many countries around the world cassava is a major source of nutrition as it can grow in different types of soil. A good source of carbohydrates, boiled yuca or boiled cassava, is the most common way it is consumed. However, yuca has many different uses beyond just eating it this way. Cassava root can be added to soups, stews, ground into flour which we call tapioca flour. Yuca (or cassava) can be made into fries and chips, and substitute potatoes in most recipes.

Long and tubular in shape, cassava comes in different sizes and the inside, or the flesh, can be white or light yellow. See FAQs bellow to learn how to pick fresh yuca and avoid rotten yuca.

Different sizes of yuca.

Whenever I talk about yuca, I always emphasize its lower ranking on the glycemic index compared to white potatoes. This characteristic makes yuca an excellent option for individuals seeking to regulate their blood sugar levels. Essentially, what this means is that as a carbohydrate, yuca is less prone to causing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels compared to potatoes.

Now, you must be intrigued about this unique looking vegetable and may be wondering how do you prepare yuca for eating, well not to worry, all the details are below.

How To Cut And Peel Yuca

Here’s a guide on how to cut and peel yuca:

  1. Use a sharp knife to trim off both ends of the yuca root.
  2. Place yuca root on a cutting board of kitchen towel and cut into rounds. One root may yield 3-4 round.
  3. Place flat side of yuca round onto a cutting board.
  4. Using a knife, peel away the thick, waxy outer layer of the yuca. Alternatively slice the waxy skin from top to bottom much like you would with a pineapple.
  5. Once peeled, stand each section upright on the cutting board and slice lengthwise to create uniform pieces, resembling french fry shapes if desired.
  6. Rinse the yuca pieces under cold water to remove any remaining debris or residue.
  7. At this point, the yuca can be cooked, boiled or be prepared for freezing.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to cut and peel yuca efficiently, ready to be incorporated into your favorite dishes.

How to Freeze Yuca

Freezing yuca root is a great way to preserve it for future use. Here’s how you can freeze yuca root:

  1. Peel and wash the yuca root thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or residue.
  2. Cut the yuca into manageable-sized pieces. You can cut them into chunks, strips, or any shape you prefer.
  3. Place yuca pieces on a kitchen towel and allow it to dry completely. Alternatively you can pat the yuca pieces dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  4. Transfer the yuca pieces to airtight freezer bags or containers. Be sure to label the bags or containers with the date and contents.
  5. Store the frozen yuca in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready to use the frozen yuca, simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and cook them according to your recipe.

Peeled yuca in a blue bowl.

How To Cook Yuca

Step 1: Place the yuca in a pot of boiling water and cook until fork tender (see notes).

Step 2: Drain remaining water and mash yuca with a fork or potato masher.

Step 3: Top the yuca with your preferred toppings and serve.


  • Butter: Salted or unsalted both work, if you use salted just adjust the amount of salt you add.
  • Seeds or nuts: Choose your favorite seeds or nuts; almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds are all good options. You can toast them beforehand to deepen their flavor, or top with your favorite granola.
  • Coconut flakes: You can use coconut flakes or shredded coconut to get the coconut flavor.
  • Cacao nibs: Use cocoa nibs but if you don’t have any you can also use chocolate chips.
  • Cinnamon and sugar: This is a great combination for flavoring the yuca.
White and blue dish towel, yuca root in a white bowl with a brown rim, butter, hemp seeds, cocoa nibs, and sea salt.

Tips and Variations

Use the right amount of water. Make sure to completely cover the yuca with water. You should use the same amount of water you would use to boil potatoes. If the water is running low and the yuca is not fully cooked, add really cold water to the pot. This helps the yuca soften and become super creamy.

Leave some chunks. The yuca doesn’t have to be completely mashed, it’s okay to leave some chunks for texture. If you are using this recipe to make mashed yuca and you want a smooth consistency then you can go ahead and mash completely.

Try savory toppings. Go ahead and stir in some roasted garlic and caramelized onions for a more savory flavor.


The best way to check if the yuca root is good and fresh, is to break off the end of the yuca. If the flesh has brown lines, or any discoloration, it should be discarded.

Peeled and chopped yuca on a wooden cutting board with a knife and a white and grey dish towel.


What is yuca?

Yuca is a starchy tuberous root that is consumed in many different ways. It can be boiled, the starch can be extracted for cooking and the roots can be ground into a flour.

are yuca and cassava the same?

Yes, yuca and cassava are the same. Different countries/regions call it either yuca or cassava.

How many calories does yuca have?

Yuca is relatively high in calories with one cup containing over 300 calories.

Which is healthier yuca or rice?

There is a place for both yuca and rice in our diets. However yuca has more fiber than rice and is a better choice for those looking for lower glycemic index foods.

how can you tell if yuca is bad?

If there are any lines in the flesh, if the yuca is really soft or if there is an odd smell to it, the yuca is bad.

How long does yuca last in the fridge?

Cooked yuca can last up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

which is better to use fresh or frozen yuca?

Both fresh and frozen yuca are good. If you can buy frozen it’s easier to prepare because the skin is already peeled and you can see if the flesh is white and therefore good to eat.

is it yuca or yucca?

Yuca, yucca is an entirely different plant.

is yuca gluten free?

Yes, yuca is naturally gluten-free.

Boiled yuca in a yellow pot, hemp seeds, butter, cocoa nibs, and a dish towel.

Make ahead and storage

Make ahead: If you like to meal prep, yuca is a great option as it lasts for up to one week in the fridge. You can boil it and then season it as you like just before serving.

Storage: Store yuca in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat over the stove or in the microwave.

Boiled and mashed yuca with hemp seeds and cocoa nibs on a white plate with a fork.


Yuca is safest consumed cooked so it is not recommended to eat raw yuca.

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How To Cook Yuca
5 from 3 votes

How To Cook Yuca (Boiled Yuca)

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Move over potatoes! This post on How To Cook Yuca (Boiled Yuca) is going to have you boiling up a dish of this creamy and fluffy root instead. Whether you're a seasoned chef looking to expand your repertoire or a novice ready to experiment with new ingredients, you're in for a treat.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 lbs yuca root
  • pinch sea salt

Optional toppings

  • butter
  • seeds, nuts
  • coconut flakes
  • cacao nibs
  • cinnamon and sugar


  • Peel and cut yuca according to instructions (above).
  • Add yuca to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender (see notes). The amount of water would be the same as if you were cooking potatoes.
  • Drain remaining water and mash yuca with a fork or potato masher. It's okay to leave some chunks for texture unless you are using this recipe to make mashed yuca and you want a smooth consistency.
  • Add your preferred toppings and serve.



If the water is running low in the pot add cold water instead of room temperature. The shock of cold water helps soften up the yuca. 


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: boiled yuca, how to cook cassava, how to cook yuca
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Brazilian, Caribbean, Latin
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Boiled and mashed yuca with hemp seeds and cocoa nibs on a white plate with a fork, butter.

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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