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How to Make Homemade Croutons

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Homemade croutons have a crunch on the outside with a tender softness on the inside. There is a definite difference in a homemade crouton and a store bought pre-packaged crouton. While the pre-packed croutons are good, when you don’t have time to make your own, they are hard and dry; we like these better. These homemade croutons are so good on salads, or in soups.

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Croutons with Tomato Soup
Croutons with Tomato Soup

Customize your Homemade Croutons

Today, I provided the basic recipe for croutons. However, this is a recipe that you can easily customize with seasonings to create your very own taste.

Choose the bread you enjoy – Even gluten-free! Cut the bread into whatever size pieces you prefer. Add your oil or butter, seasonings and bake. it is that simple.

These little nuggets are so tasty. Just perfect for a toss on a quick salad or fresh bowl of tomato soup. Just the right amount of extra flavor and crispy crunch.

There is only one problem with using homemade croutons. Rather than just putting a few on my salads, I add a large handful.  Not so good for anyone watching their weight.

Crispy Homemade Croutons on a Sheet Pan
Crispy Homemade Croutons on a Sheet Pan

Hints to Cutting the Bread into Cubes Safely

When cutting the bread into cubes, I generally stack 3-4 slices of bread on top of each other. If I go taller, there is more of a chance of the bread cubes going all over the counter and the bread itself slipping when trying to cut. This can cause a person to accidentally cut themselves.

Also, I use a serrated knife to cut the bread like this one. I make 3 to 4 slices in one direction and turn the stack of bread and make another 3 to 4 slices. I also use a bowl large enough to mix the bread without having to worry about the mixture spilling out of the bowl. Here is a bowl like the one that I use.

Uses for Homemade Croutons

Croutons are great for adding to soups and salads. Add to scrambled eggs during the last minute or so. This will eliminate the need for toast and tastes wonderful with eggs. Crush the cubes and top casseroles and vegetables like stuffed peppers.

Be creative and see what you can add these little cubes of goodness to.
Croutons Arranged on a Spoon
Croutons Arranged on a Spoon

Options to the Crispy Homemade Croutons Recipe

While I like my croutons with just butter or olive oil, some people like a bit more flavor. Here are some options for you to add to your cubed bread before baking or frying.

¼ Cup of Grated Parmesan

¼ Tsp. of Garlic Powder

Taste before you add salt if you use salted butter.

¼ Tsp. Salt

¼ Tsp. Seasoned Salt

Fresh Herbs would be lovely too

¼ Tsp. of your favorite dried herb

Pepper to taste

Italian Seasoning

Use your favorite bread – day old is best. This is delicious with white bread, sourdough, rye, gluten-free, flaxseed, or even buns.

Rye Bread Croutons in a Basket
Rye Bread Croutons in a Basket

Making Your Own Croutons

This could not be easier. The hardest part is choosing the bread and dicing it.

Dice the bread in uniform sizes. Whether you choose to cut your bread or tear into pieces by hand, try and get the pieces close to the same size so they cook a bit more uniformly.

Mix with Oil or Butter or both. In a large bowl add the oil or butter (melted) and toss to coat the bread pieces.

Add your favorite seasonings. Croutons can be as simple as coating with oil and baking in the oven. However, you do have the option of creating any taste you want with a wide variety of seasonings. This recipe is totally customizable.

Spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. Once the seasonings and oil is added, just spread out on a baking sheet for even baking.

Bake until crispy. Make sure to stir croutons once halfway through for even baking on both sides.

Use right away or store in an airtight container for a few weeks.

Homemade Croutons 1
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How to Make Homemade Croutons

homemade croutons are so easy to make. Be frugal and use old bread again too. Great for salads and casserole toppings.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Bread, Salad, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, casserole, recipe, salad
Servings: 5 Cups
Calories: 589kcal

Ingredients

  • 20 Slices Stale or Fresh Bread Stale bread is easier to cut, and you should use any kind of bread that you like the taste of.
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Olive Oil or Melted Butter Your preference
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Instructions

Oven Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Some people like to cut off the crusts – some people do not cut off the crusts. I usually cut off the crusts before I cut the bread into cubes; place into a large bowl. (Some people like to tear the bread into pieces rather than cut the bread. I find that it is faster to cut the bread and it looks nicer).
  • Melt the butter or use olive oil and drizzle over the bread cubes. Mix to incorporate.
  • Arrange bread cubes on a cookie sheet that has not been greased or tin foil on the cookie sheet. I actually use two cookie sheets so that there is a single layer of croutons on the cookie sheet. This helps the bread cubes bake evenly.
    Arranging Homemade Croutons on Foil Lined Cookie Sheet
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes until browned. Stir approximately halfway through baking. Let cool and store in airtight container or plastic bag that seals. (cook to your desired level of crispiness and toasting on the bread cubes).
    Crispy Homemade Croutons on a Sheet Pan

Stove Top Method

  • Some people like to cut off the crusts – some people do not cut off the crusts. I usually cut off the crusts before I cut the bread into cubes; place into a large bowl. (Some people like to tear the bread into pieces rather than cut the bread. I find that it is faster to cut the bread and it looks nicer).
  • Melt the butter or use olive oil and drizzle over the bread cubes. Mix to incorporate.
  • Cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat until golden brown. Cook in small batches a little at a time (single layer of cubed bread) in a large sauté pan. Stir occasionally throughout.
  • Let cool and store in airtight container or plastic bag that seals.
    Homemade Croutons

Your Own Private Notes

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Notes

The nutritional value is for 1 cup of croutons. Therefore, if you use less than a cup, divide the numbers accordingly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 4mg

Environmental Information

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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.

Soup Recipes
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Salad Recipes

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