Making croutons is a great and easy way to use up extra bread and start making more of your own food at home. Not to mention they are super easy to make!
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” –James Beard
Croutons, in my opinion, are great, you can put them on salads, and soups, and crush them to create quick and easy toppings for chicken, or casseroles.
Because of these reasons and many more, but mostly because I can’t eat a salad unless it has some kind of crunch. I very often found myself wondering why we never can croutons at home.
The answer was actually pretty simple. We never had croutons because spending money on them just didn’t seem worth it.
Buying croutons from the grocery store is expressive, not to mention store-bought croutons are full of added sugars and preservatives. They don’t taste very great most of the time and they go stale unbelievably fast.
While these reasons might have answered my first question, they bagged a second question, why don’t we make homemade croutons?
We’d done it in the past a few times and we always loved it, they are quick and easy to make, so how come we never got around it? Needless to say, I decided pretty quickly that I should make a point of making croutons at home more often and you should too!
This recipe is super easy to make and takes very little time. They taste amazing, can easily be flavored any way you like and they’re sure to be a hit no matter the occasion!
Why you should make your own croutons
As I mentioned above homemade croutons are much cheaper than the ones you buy in the store, as a matter of fact, they are just about free. How? Because nothing makes better croutons than stale bread, bread ends. over-baked bread, and leftover bread.
Making your own croutons is not only cheaper but a great way to use up those unwanted odds and ends you might have laying around. It allows you to get the most out of the food you already have, which in turn saves you money and is better for the environment.
Homemade croutons are a great and easy way to start making more of your food from scratch. If you are just learning how to cook or are just started down this road of from-scratch cooking. Having easy and simple recipes on hand is a must! And the croutons couldn’t be easier to make.
Another great reason for making your own croutons is that you can flavor them any way you want. You can season them to go anything with anything, you can play around with more unique flavors, and create croutons that pair perfectly with any soup or salad!
And finally making your own croutons is healthier than buying them from the store. You can also easily make them gluten-free, they are naturally sugar-free, and you can make them with sourdough bread, basically, you can very easily change this recipe to fit any eating restrictions!
How To Make Croutons At Home
I’m sorry to say there aren’t really precise measurements for making croutons, I’ve laid out roughly how to make them. But the amount of butter and spices will depend on how much bread you are using and how flavorful you want them to be. Just be sure that your bread cubes are well coated in butter and seasoning.
Leftover or old bread. Any kind of bread works well. White bread, sourdough, homemade bread, whole wheat bread, crusty bread, gluten-free bread, french bread, etc.
Butter. You can also use extra-virgin olive oil, but I prefer butter.
Salt and pepper croutons -Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Garlic and parsley croutons – Garlic Salt and Dried Parsley
Italian croutons – Italian Seasoning and Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 350F.
If making more than one flavor, divide the bread evenly and place it into bowls.
Cut the bread into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Place the cubed bread in a large bowl
Melt the butter over low heat. once it is completely melted pour it over the bread pieces.
Season with your desired spices and mix well, making sure everything is well coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Spread the bread pieces on a large baking sheet, and try to keep them in a single layer(you can line your baking sheet with parchment paper, but it isn’t needed)
Bake for 10-15min. Or until golden brown. They will be still soft when you pull them out but don’t worry they get crunchy as they cool.
Allow the croutons to cool for 15-20min before serving.
Croutons can be stored in a freezer bag or airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
Try Different Spices/Flavors
Looking for more whys to seasoning your croutons check out these ideas!
Cheddar garlic Croutons: Use shredded cheddar cheese and garlic salt. ( or sea salt and garlic powder)
Parmesan Croutons: Use shredded Parmesan cheese and sea salt
Spicy Italian: Use Italian seasoning, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes
Ranch Croutons: Use homemade or store-bought ranch seasoning mix
You could even make exotic croutons using Cajun seasoning, Asian spice mix, and even BBQ seasoning or blue cheese. Really there are endless flavors and combinations you can try. So don’t be afraid to switch things up a little and try something new!
- Leftover or old bread cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup butter melted
For salt and pepper croutons
- Sea Salt
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
For garlic parsley croutons
- Garlic Salt
- Dried Parsley
For Italian croutons
- Italian Seasoning
- Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- If making more than one flavor, divide the bread evenly and place it into bowls.
- Place the cubed bread in a large bowl
- Melt the butter over low heat. once it is completely melted pour it over the bread pieces.
- Season with your desired spices and mix well, making sure everything is well coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Spread the bread pieces on a large baking sheet, and try to keep them in a single layer(you can line your baking sheet with parchment paper, but it isn’t needed)
- Bake for 10-15min. Or until golden brown. They will be still soft when you pull them out but don’t worry they get crunchy as they cool.
- Allow the croutons to cool for 15-20min before serving.