Crunchy homemade croutons are a special treat, and they disappear fast in our house. Here's a warning: they're hard to stop eating, so make a double batch if you want leftovers.
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Our homemade croutons recipe takes pantry staples that are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Bread: We used day-old French bread with the crusts removed and then cubed.
- Dairy: We used melted salted butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Spices: We used garlic powder, oregano, dill, and sea salt.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our homemade croutons.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the spices (garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dill, and sea salt).
- Stir in the spices and cook them for 30 seconds over medium heat to let the spices bloom.
3. Add the bread cubes.
4. Stir the bread cubes with a wooden spoon until they are well coated with melted butter and spices.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat, and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese.
6. Evenly spread the bread cubes onto a baking tray.
7. Bake for 10 minutes at 300 F. Stir the bread cubes around to get an even golden color. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes at 300 F.
Take the tray out and stir. Increase the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes more.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before using. Use in salads, as a garnish for soup, or eat while still warm as a snack.
Our homemade crouton recipe is super easy to make, so the next time you are craving something crunchy, head into the kitchen and make up a batch.
Start with choosing the bread. You can use almost any kind, but we like to use white French bread. Some other popular breads to use are sourdough, baguette, ciabatta, and whole wheat. It's best to use bread that is one or two days old. That way, the outside will be crunchy and the inside will be chewy. After cutting into cubes, season them and bake until crispy.
If kept in an airtight container, they can last up to 3 days stored on the counter out of the sun.
Yes, they do. Wait until they are completely cooled. Place in a freezer zip-top bag and freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to use, thaw them out, place them on a baking tray, and bake in the oven until crisp at 250 F.
Use the same ingredients in the recipe. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spices, then stir constantly for 30 seconds so the spices bloom. Next, add the cubed bread. Stir until the butter and spices have nicely coated the cubes. Continue to cook over medium to medium-low heat while occasionally stirring until golden brown.
There are lots of different ways to use homemade croutons. Here are some of our favorites.
- Salads: Toss them in last so they stay crunchy on the outside. They taste fantastic in Caesar salad.
- Soups: Use as a garnish on tomato or mushroom soup.
- Stuffing: Use in stuffing for the holidays with your roasted turkey.
- Stuffed Tomatoes: Use as a topping for stuffed beefsteak tomatoes.
- Fondue: Homemade croutons are perfect for dipping into cheese fondue.
- Snack: Eat as an easy on the go snack.
- Want to customize? Change the spices, cheese, and bread.
- Need Gluten-free? Use gluten-free bread.
- Need this vegan? Use vegan butter instead of butter.
- Healthier? Use just enough olive oil, chose whole-grain bread, omit the cheese, and bake in the oven.
- Butter. Use the right amount of butter for the best results.
- Old bread. Use day-old bread.
- Cut in cubes. Cut the bread cubes to be uniform in size.
- Find these addictive? Make a double batch and freeze half.
Salads You'll Love to Add Homemade Croutons
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- 4 ½ cups day-old French bread, crusts removed and cubed
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Cut the bread into ½-inch slices with a serrated knife, then cut off the crusts. Cut the bread into uniform cubes. Save the crusts for breadcrumbs or casseroles by placing them into a freezer bag.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and stir in the seasonings, except the cheese. Dump in the bread cubes and toss to coat each piece with the butter and seasonings. If necessary, add more butter or seasonings. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Spread the bread cubes in a single layer over a 9x13-inch cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 300 F. Remove from oven and mix the bread cubes around to get an even golden brown color. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, then stir.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes. Watch carefully during the last two minutes as some could brown faster than others. The goal is to have them crunchy, golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes. Use in a salad, as a garnish for soup or as a snack. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container on the counter away from the oven or fridge.
- Use the right amount of salted butter for the best results.
- Use day old bread to get the right texture.
- Cut the bread cubes to be uniform in size this way they will bake evenly.
- Make a double batch and freeze half, so you'll have some for snacking on later.
Our homemade croutons recipe was originally published on February 7, 2018.