Homemade croutons may come from humble beginnings, but they can make your salad or soup shine with crunch and texture. Find out the easy way to make them yourself.
They are equally delicious on this Quick and Easy Caesar Salad as they are atop a soup, such as Creamy Dairy-Free Asparagus Soup. Whether you make them with a fresh loaf of bread or one that is about to go stale, this crouton recipe will add a little crunch to your life.
Have you ever made homemade croutons? They are so worth the ten minutes that it takes to prep them. They add crunch and texture to soups and salads. And homemade tastes so much better than the box!
This croutons recipe takes all the guess work out of making them yourself.
Why Make This
You’ll avoid food waste. Homemade croutons are best made with bread that’s too dry for eating in a sandwich or serving in a bread basket. My local grocery stores regularly sell marked down “day-old” bread for cheap. I snatch these up to make French toast, homemade bread crumbs, or homemade croutons.
They take just minutes to make. The other night it took me just a few minutes to chop bread and toss it with some olive oil and herbs. I slid a small pan into the toaster oven while I prepared the rest of the meal. Easy peasy!
They taste so much better than boxed croutons. Your Caesar Salad will be sooooo much better topped with homemade croutons instead of the boxed kind.
Here’s what you need for making this croutons recipe:
bread cubes – Day old bread or maybe some homemade bread that didn’t quite turn out OK are perfect for homemade croutons! Any variety will do. Just cut the bread cubes in the size you prefer.
You can use a fresh loaf, but why do that when you can use one that might be going a bit stale. You can give it new life and save the fresh loaf for sandwiches and other recipes where it matters.
olive oil – Olive oil adds great flavor to your croutons, but you could also use melted butter or your favorite kind of cooking oil.
To jazz things up, you can sprinkle on garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning mix onto the bread croutons prior to baking.
Making croutons homemade is SO easy! Just two simple steps…
1. In a large bowl combine the bread cubes and olive oil. Toss and stir well to coat the cubes in oil.
2. Pour the bread cubes onto a large, lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to prevent burning.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container or ziptop bag.
They can last up to 2 weeks. Just allow them to cool and then store in an airtight container at store at room temperature. For longer storage, pop them in the freezer.
Making homemade croutons is a great way to use bread that’s no longer great for fresh eating. Or if a loaf of homebaked bread doesn’t turn out as light and fluffy as you’d hoped, morph it into croutons! Waste not, want not.
Crouton comes from the French for croute, or crust. It can also refer to the ends of the baguette, or basically hard pieces of bread. Culinarily, croutons are small pieces of bread that have been browned through sautéing or baking, used to garnish salads and soups.
Like chips or pretzels, croutons are a crunchy, salty snack. While commercial croutons may have far too much sodium and preservatives, homemade croutons can serve as a fun and economical snack.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- bread cubes – $1.00
- olive oil – $0.80
While your recipe cost may vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay about $1.80 for 10 cups of homemade croutons, about 18 cents/cup.
More Great Ways to Top a Salad
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- bread knife
- 10 cup bread cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl combine bread and olive oil. Toss well to coat.
- Pour bread cubes onto large baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to prevent burning.
- Cool completely before storing in an airtight container or ziptop bag.
This post was originally published on July 23, 2009. It has been updated for content and clarity.