Ever wonder how to make your own homemade croutons? It’s so easy! Just grab some bread – whole wheat, whole grain, white, rosemary, brioche… any will do – cube it up, toss with oil and seasonings, and bake. These homemade croutons come out crispy crunchy every time and last for days!
OK guys making your own croutons is officially the easiest thing ever. Plus, they’re made with three ingredients you very likely have in your house right now at this very moment. It’s such a great way to use up any leftover bread you have.
Plus, they’re tastier and MUCH cheaper than store-bought!
Another great thing about these is you can make homemade whole wheat croutons by using whole wheat bread, which is a great way to add a little more nutrition into your life.
And you can make this with fresh bread OR hard, stale bread.
Ingredients for Homemade Croutons
- Cubed Bread
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Optional: Other seasonings of choice, like garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, etc.
How to make Homemade Croutons
- Cut some bread into cubes. Alternatively, you can tear the bread into pieces (this works well for bread with lots of holes like focaccia).
- Coat the cubes in olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other spices you want. Spread on a baking sheet (no need to line the sheet – these croutons don’t stick).
- Bake the croutons for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow them to sit in the oven for an additional 10-20 minutes, until completely dried out (this will help make them crispy crunchy, rather than chewy, and they will last for a long time).
These will last for at least a week at room temperature in an airtight bag or container.
Yes! Keep in mind different breads have different flavors – so a sweeter bread would yield a sweeter crouton. And different breads will have different moisture, so you may need to adjust baking times.
Sure! You may need to keep an eye on them as they bake and adjust the timing as necessary.
What to use croutons for
I’ll admit – when I make a batch of homemade croutons, you’ll often find me eating them straight up as a snack! Promise “croutons as a snack” is not as pathetic as it sounds lol. My kids also love to munch on them.
But there are a few more ways to enjoy croutons rather than just throwing them on any old salad.
Panzanella is an Italian salad recipe that uses old bread for homemade croutons – delicious!
Use them in a Ribollita recipe, an Italian soup made with day-old stale bread. You can use the croutons in place of the bread. (from The Mediterranean Dish)
Throw them in the food processor to make homemade seasoned bread crumbs!
How do you like to use croutons? Tell me in the comments below!
Other homemade pantry ingredient recipes
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Homemade Croutons (from whole wheat, white, or any leftover bread)
- 4-6 cups cubed bread about ½-inch cubes, fresh or stale (see notes)
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste (see notes)
- other spices to taste like crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, etc. (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spread cubed bread onto a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle on the seasonings, and toss to coat well. It should be very well coated in oil – you may need more than you think.
- Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until toasted. Turn off the heat and allow the croutons to sit in the oven for 10-20 more minutes – this will dry them out completely so they are very crispy.
- I usually like to specify how much salt and pepper to use in my recipes, but this will depend on the bread you are using to begin with and how much seasoning it has. You can always add more later, so don’t overthink it. I probably added a teaspoon of kosher salt to my croutons – I like them pretty salty.
- To store, place in an airtight container or bag and keep in your pantry for approximately one week, maybe longer.
- Baking times may very depending on the kind of bread you use, or how stale it is, since different kinds have different moisture contents. Keep an eye on it. You may want to leave it in the oven for shorter or longer than 10 minutes after you turn off the heat.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
This post originally appeared on Bowl of Delicious on May 31, 2014. It has been republished with new photos, improved recipe instructions, and more pertinent information.