Homemade Croutons

This post was updated on June 17, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

Homemade Croutons

**Warning:** after reading this post and trying out this recipe, you will likely never go back to buying store-bought croutons again.  In fact, you will probably find it hard to believe you ever spent money on store-bought croutons in the first place.

Homemade Croutons

Inevitably, if I have guests over and I make a salad, I get the ‘proverbial eye-rolling’ when they notice my tasty homemade croutons and ask if I made them.  I then, of course, get on my soap box about how easy it is to make homemade croutons, though it usually falls on deaf ears.  “Sure, Lacey, they are so easy to make” they say as they secretly (actually, it’s pretty much outwardly) hate me for making my own croutons.  But, people, it’s so easy….it really is.  Please don’t hate me.  Please….?

Homemade Croutons

Not only does making homemade croutons allow you to utilize the ends of the loaves of bread you weren’t going to eat anyway, but it also allows you to make delicious, fresh croutons to add to your salads and soups.  You will never again experience that disappointing moment when you suddenly realize you forgot to buy croutons at the store and that the salad is now ruined.  Sound familiar?

Homemade Croutons

To make croutons, all you need is some bread, oil and seasoning.  What bread, oil and seasoning (and any combination) you choose will determine how your croutons taste.  My personal favorite is to use a day-old french bread.  I also save the ends of the regular sliced loaves of bread until I have a decent amount (about 4-6 slices and/or heels is plenty).  Otherwise, you can use as many pieces of bread as you’d like.  If the bread is too hard to cut but is still good, just pop it in the microwave, wrapped in a damp cloth,  for about 20 seconds to loosen it up.

Homemade Croutons

If you don’t have the time to bake the croutons in the oven, you can also fry them in a skillet on medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes until really golden brown.  This method will leave your croutons a bit more chewy than if you baked them…which is equally as tasty, but don’t store as well.

Homemade Croutons

Toss a few croutons on some Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup from my post earlier this week for a great combination.

Watch this quick video to see the easy steps:

Homemade Croutons

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Homemade Croutons
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Making croutons at home is both easy and super duper delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Ingredients
  • day-old French bread (approximately ½ loaf)
  • olive oil (approximately ¼ cup oil per ½ loaf)
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese, dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary), garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a bread knife, cut the bread into ½ inch by ½ inch cubes. If you prefer larger or smaller croutons, make your cuts accordingly--just be sure to make your cuts as similarly as possible to help them bake evenly. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Add kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste and any seasonings you prefer. Once cubes are evenly and lightly coated, pour bread onto a baking pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).
  3. Bake bread in oven for 20-30 minutes until bread is golden and very crunchy. Toss cubes several times during baking.
  4. Homemade croutons, stored in a plastic container or a plastic bag, last up to two weeks unrefrigerated.

Comments

  1. Jillian says

    Lacey, I adore your website and recipes! I had some leftover homemade focaccia and used your ideas to make the croutons. Yummy! One quick suggestion: When the bread is super hard, it helps to use an electric knife to slice right through. That way, too, the bread won’t get crushed during slicing. Happy eating!

  2. Helen says

    I needed something to go with my pumpkin pie soup. Your crouton recipe was awesome. Instead of savory herbs/garlic, I used cinnamon, allspice and sugar to toss the croutons with. Yummy!

  3. Sandy says

    These are wonderful!! I’m making them to go with my homemade French Onion Soup so I used leftover roasted garlic italian bread, s/p, olive oil, minced garlic and parmesan cheese. YUMMY! I keep ‘testing’ them while I’m making the soup. Hope there are enough left for dinner!!

  4. Amy says

    This is great! I just recently started making my own bread (got so tired of all the junk that is in the store bought bread…and it is so much less expensive)! Anyway, because of the shape of the artisan loaves I always have two big pieces left from both ends. After going through the trouble of making bread from scratch there was NO WAY I was throwing it out. So, this recipe is PERFECT!

    My 2 year old is fairly obsessed with croutons and just like with the bread the are full of all sorts of preservative! I am going to feel so good feeding him homemade croutons made with homemade bread!
    (Oh, did you hear that clicking sound? Yep, that is me book-marking your blog! I love everything you make)! :-)

  5. Carol says

    Hi Lacey~I made these croutons and they came out perfectly! I used 2 slices of bread each from 3 different loafs of bread for variety. I used olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and fresh grated parmesean cheese. Everyone loved them! Not greasy at all. Thanks very much. I can see how adding whatever seasoning I’m in the mood for could be used. I might add garlic and parsley next time. Many thanks!

  6. JCS says

    Thanks so much for this, now the only croutons I have are the ones I make. Much less expensive, and was a great for impressing the girlfriend :)

  7. Elaine says

    OMG these croutons are incredible. If I ever were to buy store croutons again, I think my husband would shoot me. HA!!

    Not sure where I saw this but I crumble some croutons (crumbs) and mix with melted butter and rub on boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs and they are amazing. Tender, juicy, they are the best!!!

  8. Brenda says

    my house is just smelling absolutely tasty!!! i just sneaked a taste and oh my why do people buy store bought and so easy too… i just used for this first try cosher salt, ground black pepper, and italian seasoning blend! it’s wonderful, can’t wait for my salad tonight!!! thank you

  9. says

    OMG! I just made these and they are amazing! Ive had this page book marked and have been meaning to do it. So glad I did. I will be eating a lot of salads this week!
    Thanks for the great recipe and easy instructions!

  10. Vickie says

    I used an Italian Loaf I made yesterday to make the croutons. I put chili powder on mine to kick up the flavor. Even before cooking they tasted great! Another time saver and better than purchased is making your own bread crumbs. Makes it so easy to stuffing quickly.

  11. Stacy says

    Thanks for putting this recipe out there! Its hard for me to find croutons that will work for our family, with both of my kids being either dairy allergic or intolerant. So many commercial croutons have milk or cheese in the ingredients. My 4 year old helped make them (he added spices to the oil, and stirred), and he was very impressed with the final product. Easy to make, and even easier to eat!

  12. Renee says

    I used to make loads of homemade croutons for a conference center I worked at. Had not made them in years, BUT after again being in the states where croutons were at every salad bar and at all stores. I decided to make them again, here in Israel where I live as they are not so easily available, YUMMY recipe, Loved the EASY part of it

  13. Danita says

    Found your website while searching for a homemade crouton recipe. I used the remainder of a meyer lemon bread loaf I bought at the Farmer’s market last week. The croutons turned out wonderful. I live in Austin too, so it’s nice to find a local cooking blog. thanks.

  14. Miki Rhode says

    After going to the trouble to make homemade french onion soup for dinner tonight, I began to panic when I didn’t have any croutons. Found your recipe and they are in the oven. The kitchen smells incredible! I used the parma, italian seasoning, sea salt, fresh pepper, and evoo! Forgot the garlic powder, but will try that next time. Oh, I put a cooling rack on the cookie sheet and placed the croutons on it in a single layer – no need to stir! Thank you.

  15. Kathy says

    Just made the croutons with left over Focaccia bread. turned out great! Since the bread is already “flavored”, I just added the olive oil, salt and pepper. Another idea, look for specialty breads in your grocery day old bread shelf!!

  16. Michelle says

    My son is gluten sensitive, so I used gluten free bread that I make. I couldn’t believe how well these turned out. I always feel guilty for throwing away the ends of the bread, now I have a good use for them now.

    Michelle

  17. Carolyn says

    Fantastic! I love it when I can “wow” the husband. Next up, the tomato soup. Keep those recipes coming! Big thanks!

  18. tsierra says

    I just made some with salt, garlic, pepper and parmesan…OMGNESS!!! I will NEVER buy croutons again…thank you..thank you..thank you!!

  19. Cory says

    Like every other commenter here, I made these and I will never go back to store-bought! I used extra-virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, crushed black pepper and parmesan cheese. The perfect addition to my tossed salad with dinner. Thanks for the recipe, Lacey!

  20. Steph says

    I made these tonight and they are FABULOUS! So crunchy and the taste is beautiful! The French bread was on sale for $1 and I had the rest of the ingredients onhand.

    I will never buy crutons again!

    Thanks so much.

    =)

  21. Kathleen says

    Hi Lacey,
    I just made these homemade croutons – talk about fabulous! I will never go back to store bought again. You are correct in that they were so easy and I love the customization option…I used three day old sourdough bread, olive oil, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic seasoning, parmesan cheese and kosher salt and pepper. So tasty!! Love your site – thanks K

  22. says

    Hey there!
    I am doing some research for a post that I’m doing on making homemade croutons… this was the second post I came across on google, and I’m in love with your site.
    Thanks so much!!

  23. Lindsey says

    I think I am going to try these to put in my Thanksgiving stuffing. But I need to make them sage & onion. I’ll make them now and freeze them for Thanksgiving. I’m trying to be more ingredient conscious and need to create a replacement for the Brownberry Sage & Onion I usually use. I’m thinking of seasoning with celery seed, parsley, dried minced onion, and sage. Maybe minced garlic and poultry seasoning too. Lots of decisions :)

    • says

      Hi Lindsey! I think that is a great idea. Your stuffing sounds like it will be delicious! I don’t use these croutons in my stuffing, but I will be posting my stuffing recipe in the weeks to come as well in case you’re interested. Thanks for sharing!

  24. says

    I cant wait to try these tonight!!! I am going to use Italian seasoning I think… but I might also add some butter. I am totally insane, I know.

    Great job!!!

  25. christina says

    I like to throw the “heals” of bread in the fridge to keep them softer before I have enough to make a batch of croutons. Also, something I do is I like to infuse my butter or olive oil with real garlic. Crush it and just heat it over a low temp on the stovetop. Ohhhh my biscuits does this turn out extra ‘licious!!!! Thanks for getting the word out about how EASY this is!!!! I’m a sucker, no store bought croutons for me!!!

    • says

      Hi Christina! Thanks for sharing that tip for your garlic-infused butter or olive oil…I will have to try that soon for my croutons. I have made rosemary-infused olive oil before, but your garlic idea sounds super tasty on croutons. Thanks for visiting! :)

  26. gianna says

    It’s a great idea to make your own croutons. The bread was too hard the last time i was gonna make these, i will get to it this week. I’m gonna check out the rest of your blog.

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