Tossed in a salad or on top of a warm bowl of tomato soup, Homemade Croutons are a simple and delicious way to elevate so many dishes! Toss out that stale store-bought bag and instead, make these easy-peasy pieces of crunchy bread that will quickly become your favorite part of whatever you serve them with.
Listen, I’m not a poet. But if I were to write a sonnet, it would probably be about these homemade croutons. I may (definitely) sound dramatic, but they’re SO crazy good!
Baked to perfection, these croutons are crunchy, but not stale like the store-bought ones. Plus, the level of crunchiness is customizable! They can be more or less crunchy, it all just depends on how long you leave them in the oven.
On top of having the most amazing crunch, these croutons are also wonderfully flavored with simple, yet mouthwatering ingredients like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
While you can dress yours up with even more seasonings if you’d prefer, I like to keep things minimalistic a bit with these croutons! That’s because they should compliment and take on the flavor of the dish they’re being served with, not totally take over.
Speaking of dishes to serve these homemade croutons with, there are so many delicious options out there! Some of my favorites include Easy Tomato Basil Bisque and caesar salad. Now that we’re in the fall season, though, I’ve been tossing a lot of my salads with my favorite Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette. The croutons pair so perfectly with that dressing and leafy greens!
How to Make It
Prep. Preheat your oven to 400˚F.
Cut. Cut the bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
Whisk. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Coat. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat.
Arrange. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Season. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake. Bake the bread cubes for 10 minutes. Toss the cubes and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden and crisp.
Enjoy! Cool to room temperature and serve or store, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Homemade Croutons
- Use a good quality olive oil. I prefer using a rich, dark extra virgin olive oil so that the taste is not only noticeable, but downright delicious! You can use truffle oil if you’d like as well to add extra flavor. However, if you want to skip the oil altogether, you can just use salted or unsalted butter.
- The best bread to use is old bread. Not expired bread, but not freshly baked bread, either! It should be about a day old, that way it holds its shape and gets the desired crunch when baked. Good breads to use include a sturdy country loaf, ciabatta, Brioche or French bread – they all work very well.
- These homemade croutons hold up for about 5 days when kept in an airtight container at room temperature. They’re a great make-ahead recipe for those times when you know you’ll need them in advance!
- Make these homemade croutons cheesy with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Just sprinkle some on when you toss the croutons with the other ingredients, that way the cheese bakes into the croutons.
- Don’t forget to toss the cubes halfway through baking! This helps ensure that they bake evenly and reach the desired amount of crispiness on all sides.
Now that you’re making your own homemade croutons, you should make your own salad dressings, too! Here are just a few of my favorite flavorful salad dressings to accompany these croutons with.
Get the Recipe: Homemade Croutons
- 1-2 pounds day old bread, a sturdy country loaf, ciabatta or French bread work well
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Cut the bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Drizzle the bread with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat.
- Arrange the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the bread cubes for 10 minutes. Toss the cubes and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Cool to room temperature and serve.