Homemade Croutons are one of those simple pleasures that I look forward to every week when I whip up a quick batch for my family. They’re super simple to make and they add a little extra love to our salads.
These little gems are so yummy! I could honestly eat the whole bowl-full alone. They really do add an extra special element to my favorite spinach salad.
Homemade Croutons are so easy to make and very versatile! Consider my recipe below as the base recipe with endless flavor combinations between the bread varieties and seasoning blends. Here are a few of my favorites.
Crouton Flavor Combinations:
- French bread & herbs de Provence
- Italian Bread & Parmesan (use 1/4 cup of shredded cheese)
- Rye bread & salt and pepper
- Pumpernickel bread & salt and pepper
- Foccocia bread & Italian seasoning
- Sour Dough bread & Montreal seasoning
- Cornbread & taco seasoning (you’ll need to cook the bread cubes a little longer because of how dense and moist the bread is. Usually 20-30 minutes will do it).
- Cornbread & creole seasoning
How do you make croutons?
The most important thing that you need to know about making stellar croutons is that you must start with stale bread.
You know how when you water a potted plant that hasn’t been watered for a while, the soil just soaks up all the water that you give it?
That same thing happens with the stale bread. But instead of water, the stale, thirsty bread cubes soak up olive oil and BUTTER! This makes the croutons so savory and flavorful!
Plus the bread is less prone to tearing while cutting when it’s stale.
Ok, back to how to make croutons….
All you need to do is:
- Cut the stale bread into cubes.
- Place the cubes on a baking sheet.
- Next, pour on the butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and seasoning.
- Use your hands to give everything a good toss.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until the bread cubes are nice and golden brown.
- Finally, cool the croutons and then use them on your favorite salad!
How long can you keep homemade croutons?
- These will keep in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 10 days.
Can you freeze croutons?
- Yes! Simply place them in a zip-top freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you’re ready to use them, simply thaw the croutons to room temperature and then crisp them on a baking sheet in a 250 degree F oven for about 10-15 minutes.
How I use these homemade croutons:
- Stuffing – Instead of buying a bag of stuffing mix around the holidays, I like to coarsely crush up a recipe of these croutons to use in their place!
- Soups – these are killer on top of tomato soup, broccoli soup, and basically any creamy or Italian soup.
- Breadcrumbs – I love using crushed up croutons as a breadcrumbs substitute. They add SO much flavor!
- Salads – These are fabulous with my Garden Bean Salad, Summer’s Bounty Salad, Cobb Salad, and Spinach Salad recipes (see the Spinach Salad in action below)!
Homemade Croutons are not only easy to make but fun, too! When you make this recipe grab the kids, they’ll love getting their hands dirty in step 3 of the recipe below!
Cook’s Note – Homemade Croutons:
- If you only have half or a quarter of a loaf, then halve or quarter the recipe according to how much bread you have.
- These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 10 days.
Cook’s Tools – Homemade Croutons:
ONE YEAR AGO: Paradise Cookies
TWO YEARS AGO: Goat Cheese Tomato Tart
THREE YEARS AGO: Carrot Cake Cookie Bars
Homemade Croutons Recipe
- 1 loaf french bread a few days old, about 4 heaping cups of bread cubes
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Move the oven rack to the middle positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice the bread into small 1-inch cubes.
- Transfer the bread cubes to a parchment or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet.
- Pour the butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning over the bread cubes. Toss the croutons with your hands until they are evenly coated.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the croutons are nice and golden brown. Cool your pan on a wire rack until they reach room temperature, and then serve them on top of your favorite salad.
This crouton recipe was first published on FFF in January of 2011. I recently updated the recipe and pictures. Here’s one of the original pictures below.