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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.
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What kind of bread do you use?
You can use almost any kind, but I choose white French bread. Some other popular breads to use are:
- whole wheat
Can you make croutons with fresh bread?
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.
Should you cut or tear the bread?
The choice is yours. If you are wanting a more polished look, definitely cut it with a knife. If you want a more rustic, casual look, tear it with your hands. The important thing is to make sure the cubes or chunks are uniform in size.
Do you cut off the crusts?
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 will be different.
What type of fat should you use?
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 croutons with olive oil, vegan butter, or ghee. Make sure you are using the right amount of fat. If you have too little, they will seem dry and lack flavor. If too much butter is used, it's won't be as healthy.
What temperature do you use?
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 this ahead of time?
Sure! This recipe tastes 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 (with or without the crusts).
- Omit the cheese.
- Bake in the oven.
How do you make this recipe 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 cubes.
- Continue to cook over medium to medium low heat while occasionally stirring until golden brown.
What spices should I use?
My last piece of advice to making croutons is to be creative with your spices. For this recipe, I was making these to go in a Caesar salad, so I was striving for more of an Italian garlic bread taste. But if you are making them for a snack, the sky is the limit.
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 stuffing for the holidays with your roasted turkey.
- Stuffed Tomatoes: Use as a topping for stuffed beefsteak tomatoes.
- Fondue: Dip them 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
How long do homemade ones last?
If kept in an airtight container, they can last up to 3 days stored on the counter out of the sun.
Can you freeze croutons?
Yes, you can. Wait until the they 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
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.
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).
Stir in the spices and cook them for 30 seconds over the medium heat to let the spices bloom.
Add the bread cubes.
Stir the bread cubes with a wooden spoon until they are well coated with the melted butter and spices.
Remove the skillet from the heat, and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese.
Evenly spread the bread cubes onto a baking tray.
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.
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.
This recipe is super easy to make, so the next time you are craving something crunchy, head into the kitchen and make up a batch.
- 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.
- 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.
- 4-Cup Measuring Cup: this sturdy glass measuring cup has a convenient spout.
- Emeril Lagasse Skillet: this heavy-bottomed skillet is easy clean and versatile.
- Box Grater: this sharp grater will shred cheese and veggies quickly.
- Metal Spatula: a metal spatula like this is great for cooking and flipping.
- Wilton 9x13 Cookie Sheet: this sturdy rimmed cookie sheet is our favorite kind.
Serve your homemade croutons with this delicious recipe.
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.Print
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!
- 4 ½ cups day-old French bread, crusts removed and cubed
- ½ cup salted butter, melted (115g)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (13g)
- 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.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: best homemade croutons, homemade croutons for caesar salad