These crunchy Homemade Croutons are the one ingredient that's guaranteed to make any salad taste amazing! You'll love their irresistible garlic-herb flavor, and the fact that they're so simple to make!
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I don't know about you, but I've never met a Crouton I haven't loved ... they instantly make any salad about 100 times tastier!
These Homemade Croutons are the BEST though. In fact, they're so tasty, that I've even found myself snacking on them.
You just can't beat the crunch, however it's their savory garlic, herb, and parmesan flavor that will make you fall in love!
If you've never made Croutons at home before, you'll probably we surprised by just how easy they are to make. And they're versatile too ... don't save them just for salads, serve them in soup, sprinkle them over a casserole, substitute them for bread crumbs, and so much more.
Have I tempted you yet? You'll find all the details below, so just keep scrolling!
This recipe uses simple, easy to find ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Bread - Making Croutons is the perfect way to use up leftover or stale bread. I used my favorite white bread, however you can make them with whole grain bread, Italian bread, sourdough, or even rye bread. Avoid using bread that's dried out and tough though, otherwise you won't be able to chew them.
- Olive Oil - You'll toss the bread cubes with extra virgin olive oil before baking them. The oil gives the Croutons a great flavor, helps the seasonings stick to the bread, and makes them super crunchy.
- Spices - I used a combination of basil, oregano, and garlic powder, along with salt and pepper. Dried spices work great for this recipe, because they won't burn while baking.
- Cheese - Freshly grated Parmesan adds a savory cheesy flavor that's totally mouthwatering. Skip for vegan Croutons or sprinkle on nutritional yeast instead.
You'll Also Need
How to Make Croutons from Scratch
These perfectly seasoned Croutons couldn't be easier to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Cut bread into cubes. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into one-inch cubes.
- Drizzle bread with olive oil. Pour the oil over the cubes as evenly as possible, then toss until well coated. Don't worry if you don't get every cube.
- Add seasonings. Sprinkle the garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and half the Parmesan over the bread, then toss everything until it's well coated. Spread the cubes into a single layer, then top with the remaining Parmesan.
- Bake. Cook the bread cubes for about 15 to 20 minutes (flipping about halfway through), or until they're crunchy and golden brown.
Wasn't that easy? You'll never throw out stale bread again, now that you know how easy it is to make these scrumptious baked Croutons at home!
Once you've mastered the basic recipe, you can have fun playing around with ingredients and seasonings! Here are a few ideas to try:
- Bread - Experiment with different types of bread. Everything from sourdough to rye will work, and each type will lend a distinctive flavor.
- Herbs - Swap in other herbs for the basil, oregano, and garlic, such as thyme, rosemary, onion powder, sage, tarragon, smoked paprika, cayenne, or parsley. Blends, such as Italian Seasoning or Herbes de Provence also work great.
- Zest - Give your homemade Croutons a bright, fresh flavor by adding fresh lemon zest along with the herbs.
- Oil or Butter - Instead of olive, you could use a different type of oil or even melted butter.
- Vegan - This recipe can easily be made vegan / dairy free simply by skipping the cheese. If you still want that cheesy flavor, try sprinkling the bread cubes with nutritional yeast instead.
- Gluten Free - Swap in your favorite gluten free bread, and you're good to go!
These crunchy Croutons are the perfect topper for all your favorite salads, like this Simple Garden Salad, Creamy Kale Salad, Quick Chopped Salad, or this Kale Caesar Salad. They're also wonderful on soups, such as this Creamy Tomato Soup, Celery Soup, Beer Cheese Soup, Roasted Pumpkin Soup, or this Chickpea Kale Soup.
Don't stop there though! Use them to top anything that needs a little crunch, like casseroles. You can smash them up a bit to use instead of bread crumbs, use them to stuff veggies or make stuffing, or simply snack on them. Which is what you might catch me doing ... they're that good!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To make croutons crispy, first toss them with olive oil. Then, cook them until they're golden brown and crispy throughout. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
Homemade croutons will keep for up two weeks if stored in an airtight container. However, they will taste freshest (and will be crispiest) when eaten within a week.
Croutons are a great way to use up stale bread. Simply toss the bread with olive oil and seasonings, then bake until crisp.
If your croutons are too hard, try using a bread with a lighter texture. Bread that is super crusty (like baguettes), can make croutons that are difficult to chew.
Once baked, croutons do not need to be refrigerated. They will stay freshest when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
- 6 to 7 slices bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (enough to make 6 cups)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place bread cubes on baking sheet in a single layer (use two baking sheets if necessary), then drizzle evenly with olive oil. Toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and half of the Parmesan. Mix until well coated.
- Space cubes evenly over pan in a single layer, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Bake croutons until golden brown and crisp, flipping halfway through (about 15 to 20 minutes total).
- Let croutons cool completely on baking sheet, then store in an airtight container until ready to use. Enjoy!