Boiled Yuca with Garlicky Onions


This tender, flaky yuca side dish is the perfect starch to serve with a pot of Cuban-style black beans.

Overhead view of boiled yuca with garlicky onion, flanked by a small bowl of extra sautéed onions.
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Yuca, or cassava, is a starchy tuber that can be boiled, fried, or baked like a potato. For this Cuban side dish, photographer Romulo Yanes likes to simmer the root until tender and flaky then dress it in a hot onion ⁠— and garlic-infused oil. It's the perfect accompaniment to saucy ropa vieja or a pot of slow-simmered black beans.

One final note: Do not confuse this delicious root vegetable with yucca, a family of inedible flowering succulents.


  • 4 1/2 pounds fresh yuca, peeled and cut into 3-inch rounds

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 medium white onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise


  1. Place yuca in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium and simmer until yuca splits open and is soft throughout, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on thickness of yuca.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 20 seconds. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is light golden and crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

  3. Drain yuca in a colander. Gently separate the chunks into large pieces and remove the tough core if necessary. Arrange yuca on a platter or in a wide serving bowl. Pour the hot oil, garlic, and onions over the yuca. Serve immediately.

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