Learn how to make croutons from scratch then sprinkle them on your Caesar salad, soup, or eat warm as a snack!  These crunchy golden cubes are packed with flavor from butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese.  Whether they’re for a family dinner, a party, or just for an on the go snack, they will be a big hit!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Best Ever Easy Croutons: homemade croutons for Caesar salad, soup, or snacks! These crunchy golden brown cubes are flavored with butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese for an awesome taste. | www.savortheflavour.com #bread #croutons #garlic #caesarsalad #snacktime
Salad, Snacks

How to Make Croutons from Scratch

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This recipe was originally published on February 7, 2018.

Crunchy homemade croutons are a special treat, and they can disappear fast in our house.  I’ll give you a warning in advance: they are addictive, so make a double batch if you want any for the next day.

bowl of croutons with salad dressing, bacon, and cheese

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What kind of bread do you use for croutons?

You can use almost any kind of bread, but I choose white French bread.  Some other popular breads to use are:

  • sourdough
  • baguette
  • ciabatta
  • whole wheat

Can you make croutons with fresh bread?

It’s best to use bread that is one or two days old for making croutons.  That way, the outside will be crunchy and the inside will be chewy.

Should you cut or tear the bread?

The choice is yours.  If you are wanting a more polished look, definitely cut the bread with a bread knife.  If you want a more rustic, casual look, tear the bread with your hands.  The important thing is to make sure the bread cubes or chunks are uniform in size.

Do you cut off the crusts for croutons?

Cutting off the crusts is a personal choice.  For this recipe, I cut the crusts off and saved them for bread crumbs.  It does save time if you decide to keep the crusts on, but the texture of the croutons will be different. 

What type of fat should you use for croutons?

Besides starting with a really good bread, the other key ingredient to awesome croutons is using the right fat for your diet.  For this recipe, we used salted butter.  You can also drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil, vegan butter, or ghee.  Make sure you are using the right of fat.  If you have too little, the croutons will seem dry and lack flavor.  If too much butter is used, it’s won’t be as healthy.

person holding a spoonful of croutons

What temperature do you use to make croutons?

If you choose to bake the croutons in an oven, here are some guidelines for baking.

  • At 300 F for 10 minutes, stir then bake for another 10 minutes.  Increase temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes.
  • At 375 F for 8 minutes, stir then bake for another 8 minutes.

Can I make croutons ahead of time?

Sure!  Croutons taste best when eaten the same day, but they will keep well in an airtight container and stored on the kitchen counter.

How can I make croutons healthier?

  • Use just enough olive oil.
  • Use whole grain bread (with or without the crusts).
  • Omit the cheese.
  • Bake in the oven.

How do you make croutons on the stove top?

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the spices, then stir constantly for 30 seconds so spices bloom.
  • Add the cubed bread.  Stir until the butter and spices have nicely coated the bread cubes.
  • Continue to cook over medium to medium low heat while occasionally stirring until golden brown.

What spices should I use for croutons?

My last piece of advice to making croutons is to be creative with your spices.  For this recipe, I was making these croutons to go in a Caesar salad, so I was striving for more of an Italian garlic bread taste.  But if you are making croutons as a snack, the sky is the limit.

person holding a bowl of croutons

What can I do with croutons?

  • 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 bread stuffing for the holidays with your roasted turkey.
  • Stuffed Tomatoes: Use as a topping for stuffed beefsteak tomatoes.
  • Fondue: Dip the croutons into a cheese fondue.
  • Snack: Eat as an easy on the go snack.

How do you make croutons without an oven?

If you don’t have use of a traditional oven, get creative.  Why not try the following:

  • Air fryer
  • Toaster oven
  • Skillet
  • A deep fryer

How long do homemade croutons last?

If kept in an airtight container, croutons can last up to 3 days stored on the counter out of the sun.

Can you freeze croutons?

Yes, you can.  Wait until the freshly baked croutons are completely cooled.  Place in a freezer zip top bag and freezer for up to 1 month.  When ready to use, thaw then place on a baking tray until crisp at 250 F.

How to Make Croutons from Scratch

Gather all the ingredients.  Cut off the crusts and cube up the bread.  Grate the Parmesan cheese.  Measure out the salted butter and the dry spices.

ingredients for making croutons

Preheat the oven to 300 F.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the spices (garlic powder, oregano, dill, and sea salt).

person holding a tray of dried spices

Stir in the spices and cook them for 30 seconds over the medium heat to let the spices bloom.

person stirring melted butter and herbs

Add the bread cubes.

person dumping bread cubes into a skillet

Stir the bread cubes with a wooden spoon until they are well coated with the melted butter and spices.

stirring bread cubes with melted butter in a skillet

Remove the skillet from the heat, and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese.

sprinkling grated Parmesan on croutons in a skillet

Evenly spread the bread cubes onto a baking tray.

baked croutons on a cookie sheet

Bake for 10 minutes at 300 F.

halfway baked croutons on a cookie sheet

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 the croutons.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes more.

fully baked croutons on a cookie sheet

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.

Pro Tips

  • Butter. Use the right amount of butter for 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.
  • Want to customize?  Change the spices, cheese, and bread.
  • Need Gluten free?  Use gluten free bread.
  • Need this vegan?  Use vegan butter like Wayfare instead of butter.

Homemade croutons are super easy to make, so the next time you are craving something crunchy, head into the kitchen and make up a batch.

bowl of homemade croutons

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Serve your homemade croutons with this delicious recipe.

bottle of Caesar salad dressing with lemon slices

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Best Ever Easy Croutons: homemade croutons for Caesar salad, soup, or snacks! These crunchy golden brown cubes are flavored with butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese for an awesome taste. | www.savortheflavour.com #bread #croutons #garlic #caesarsalad #snacktime

How to Make Croutons from Scratch


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 3/4 cups 1x

Description

Learn how to make croutons from scratch then sprinkle them on your Caesar salad, soup, or eat warm as a snack!  These crunchy golden cubes are packed with flavor from butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese.  Whether they’re for a family dinner, a party, or just for an on the go snack, they will be a big hit!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups day-old French bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted (115g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (13g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. Cut the bread into 1/2-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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer over a 9×13-inch cookie sheet.
  5. 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.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes.  Watch carefully during the last two minutes as some croutons could brown faster than others.  The goal is to have crunchy, golden brown croutons.
  7. 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.

Notes

  • Make this recipe perfectly the first time.  Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this crouton recipe would be greatly appreciated.
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  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best homemade croutons, homemade croutons for caesar salad

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2 thoughts on “How to Make Croutons from Scratch

  1. Croutons are a lovely crunchy addition to salads. These ones are not too hard, which is a common downfall of store-bought croutons. These croutons are buttery and crispy, and the spices and Parm cheese make them absolutely delicious!

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