Day old bread turns into the crunchiest homemade croutons with this simple recipe! Toss these on salads, soups, or just eat them as a snack. You won’t believe how much better they are than store bought croutons.
If you’ve never made your own homemade croutons before, you are really in for a treat. These little bread cubes are tossed in rich olive oil and seasonings, then baked to create the perfect crispy yet slightly chewy texture.
A must-have crunchy topper for Caesar Salad or Tomato Soup, I make these often at home. Use leftover bakery bread to make your own.
Want to make croutons in the Air Fryer? Find my Air Fryer Crouton Recipe here!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy. There’s nothing complicated about this crouton recipe that uses a maximum of 4 ingredients and takes just 15 minutes to bake.
- Customizable. I’m suggesting some seasonings for you to use, but the flavor of your croutons is up to you. Stale bread is a blank canvas, just waiting for someone to make it taste better.
- Less Waste. Instead of tossing out that bread that isn’t quite fresh, make homemade croutons with it!
Ingredients in Homemade Croutons
- Bread. Use a bakery style bread or rolls, rather than sliced sandwich bread. Sourdough and ciabatta are my favorites to use. French baguette or crusty Italian bread would be delicious too. I sometimes make a loaf of no-knead artisan bread just to turn it into these tasty croutons! Cut the bread into ¾ inch / 2cm cubes, and try to cut it into similar sized pieces for even baking.
- Olive Oil. This is what makes the bread tasty again, adding moisture and allowing it to crisp up. Make sure that the bread cubes are well coated in oil to help them crisp up evenly.
- Seasonings. Salt is a must, along with garlic powder and oregano. Homemade Italian Seasoning works perfectly too.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Make Homemade Croutons
Just two steps in this simple recipe!
- Bake: Toss the bread cubes with olive oil, salt, and seasonings. Then spread onto a baking sheet and bake as directed in the recipe below, turning once halfway through, until they are crispy and brown.
- Cool: Remove the croutons from the baking sheet and allow them to cool completely before enjoying.
You can mix and match seasonings and oils to create different types of croutons, or find the perfect flavor that you love.
- Swap the Oil: Use all butter or half and half butter and olive oil to change the flavor. Try chili oil or other infused oils too.
- Add Cheese: Grated parmesan cheese adds a nutty, salty flavor.
- More Spices: Try onion powder, or dried herbs like parsley, rosemary, chives, or dill.
What to Eat With Homemade Croutons
Caesar Salad: Try Caesar Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, or these delicious Chicken Caesar Wraps. I love caesar salad so much, I even turned it into a Caesar Pasta Salad!
Other Salads: Don’t stop there. Burrata Salad is made extra special with some crunchy croutons on top. Add them to a simple tossed green salad too. Panzanella Salad and this Copycat Olive Garden Salad also use these croutons.
Soups: Just like crackers are delicious in soups, so are seasoned croutons. Try topping Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, or Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup with these crispy bits.
You can make croutons with either stale or fresh bread. Fresh bread croutons will be a bit more chewy in the center, which I often really like.
You can use a variety of different breads to make croutons, but the best type is going to be, sturdy, hearty loaf of bread. A dense crumb bread will be more likely to stay a bit soft in the middle, while bread with an airy crumb will get extra crispy. You can experiment to find your favorite.
I like to use sourdough, Italian, or French bread to make homemade croutons.
Maybe your bread has gotten a little too stale and it’s hard to even slice? No worries, we can probably save it! Dampen the bread slightly by running it under water for a moment, just long enough to get it wet on the outside. Then place the loaf into a 300°F/150°C degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Toss the bread with the oil and seasonings, and place in the air fryer. Air Fry at 400°F/200°C for 5-7 minutes, stirring halfway though, and keeping a close eye on them. Remember that all air fryers are a bit different, so pay attention to your croutons to keep them from burning.
Keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Yes! Homemade croutons freeze very well. Just place them in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in the oven at 250°F/120°C just to warm them up and help them crisp up again.
Master this simple recipe for homemade croutons and you’ll be a culinary star every time you serve a salad!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 1 loaf of bread cut or torn into ¾ inch cubes – about 12oz or 4 cups in total, preferably 1-2 days old bread – I used a rustic sourdough loaf but ciabatta is also great
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Toss pieces of bread with some olive oil, garlic powder, and salt, then spread on a quarter baking sheet, bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes turning once halfway through or until they’re crispy and golden brown. You don’t want the croutons to be completely dry, but to have a little bit of moisture and chew to them but also crunchy at the same time.
- Remove the croutons from the baking sheet, and allow them to cool completely.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen
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