Say goodbye to the stale store-bought croutons that taste like cardboard. Homemade croutons are the easiest thing to make and will take your salad recipes to the next level. From now on, you can have crunchy croutons right at your fingertips!
Homemade Croutons Recipe
My tasty leafy green salads have never been better! This homemade crouton recipe has made each salad so incredibly tasty. Seriously — why did I ever buy croutons at the grocery store?
Making your own croutons is as simple as tossing cubed bread in olive oil and Italian seasoning and throwing them into the oven. That's really it!
Have you ever gone to a local diner or deli-style restaurant and gotten a huge salad with house-made croutons? The flavor and texture is always so good! Store-bought croutons just don't hold a candle to them.
I love making a big ol' grilled chicken salad and topping it with a heaping serving of crunchy and flavorful fresh croutons. It tastes exactly like something I would order at a mom and pop restaurant, and that just brings a smile to my face.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Whether you use homemade bread or bread from the store, making a fresh batch of homemade croutons will forever ruin you for anything less. So fair warning! Once you make these, you just can't go back. But that's ok because they're incredibly easy to throw together!
- Don't let your stale bread go to waste! You can this easy homemade croutons recipe with stale bread and give it a new purpose. Reduce food waste and save a couple bucks along the way.
- Make the best croutons in just a few minutes. While you build your salad, they can bake in the oven!
- If you have dietary restrictions, you'll love making your own homemade croutons. You can make sure you use ingredients that fit your preferences and allergies, and then eat a good crouton that is safe for you!
These simple ingredients are all you need to make this easy crouton recipe. Five ingredients and a few kitchen tools to make the most tasty croutons:
- cubed bread
- olive oil
- black pepper
- Italian or pizza seasoning
Substitutions and Variations
If you have Italian seasoning, you can use that to season the croutons. Homemade pizza seasoning would be good to season these crunchy little bites too!
Don't have olive oil? You can use melted butter or avocado oil in its place.
Make garlic croutons by adding some garlic powder or fresh garlic into the mix when tossing the cubes of bread with oil and seasoning. Feel free to use some finely chopped fresh herbs in this recipe too.
Type of Bread for Homemade Croutons
There are many different types of bread you can use to make homemade croutons.
If you love to make sourdough bread in your home, dice it up and use it in this recipe! But homemade bread is not necessary to have the best croutons.
Grab a loaf of your usual sandwich bread at the grocery store, and then use some of that in this recipe. You can also use whole wheat bread, rye bread, and even a loaf of french bread from the bakery section.
Make this recipe without gluten by using your favorite gluten-free bread!
Some of my favorite end results with this recipe have been when I used a crusty loaf of bread. A loaf that is freshly baked and has a crispy and crunchy outer shell, wow it makes some good croutons.
You can use both fresh bread and stale bread to make fresh croutons. Just make sure to check leftover bread for mold before dicing it into bread cubes and using it in this recipe.
How to Make Homemade Croutons
Preheat your oven to 400°Fahrenheit, then line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it to the side.
Using a sharp knife or bread knife, cut slices of bread into evenly sized cubes.
Then place them into a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning.
Dump the seasoned cubes of bread onto the previously prepared baking sheet
Spread them into a single layer, then bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until each bread piece is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Top your favorite salad with fresh crunchy croutons and enjoy!
How to Store Leftover Homemade Croutons
Allow croutons to cool completely to room temperature before storing. Transfer leftover croutons to an airtight container or zip top plastic bag. Store at room temp in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze homemade croutons! Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. Allow to thaw before eating.
Uses for Homemade Croutons
Not only can croutons be used in salad, but they have tons of other uses too!
If your homemade croutons are nearing the end of their shelf life, throw them into a food processor and make some delicious bread crumbs! Then use those in things like baked chicken meatballs or jalapeño popper dip.
Tips for Success
- Make sure all the seasoned bread pieces are spread out into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet so that they bake evenly.
- If you do not have parchment paper, then grease the baking sheet well with non-stick cooking spray. However, parchment paper makes for easy clean-up!
- Look in the bakery section of your grocery store for discounted day-old bread. A french baguette that is a day or two old will make perfect homemade croutons! Not to mention, you'll save a bit of money.
To keep the fresh croutons crispy and crunchy, make sure they are stored correctly. If you store in a plastic bag, be sure to squeeze all of the air out first. Storing in an airtight container will likely keep the croutons fresh a little longer.
If you end up with croutons that have not crisped up, you likely had too many cubes of bread on one baking sheet. Make sure that your sheet pan is large enough to spread the unbaked croutons out and leave space between them. If you don't, then the build up of heat could steam the bread keeping it soft and making the croutons soggy.
More Salad Topping Recipes
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
- 2 cups of cubed bread (about a ¼ of a loaf of bread or 6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian or pizza seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400°F (20°C) and line a baking sheet in parchment paper.
- Slice your favorite bread into cubes using a sharp knife.
- Place the bread into a mixing bowl and add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Toss the bread until evenly coated.
- Spread the unbaked croutons onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Allow to cool, then serve on top of your favorite salad or soup!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: ½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 332mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g