This recipe for Simple Homemade Croutons is a basic technique for making fresh delicious and healthy croutons from scratch using bread and a few simple pantry staples. They are easy to make and are wonderful in a variety of salads or on top of soup.
I originally shared this recipe on May 22, 2015. I have updated some of the images and added additional information to share it with you again today.
Why We Love This Recipe
This recipe is one of those back-pocket recipes, that is so simple, it almost is too easy to call a recipe. Once you have made them a couple times, you will be able to make them without the recipe!
They have garlic and Italian Seasoning so they pair well with a variety of salads (hello how about Caesar Salad!) And we also love to add them on top of our Corn Chowder or Seafood Chowder. They also can be made ahead and enjoyed through the week for a way of jazzing up basic weeknight salads of lettuce, veggies and salad dressing.
The recipe works with pretty much any type of bread (as long as you can slice it into cubes, it can be made into croutons!) And the seasonings can be adjusted to your preference!
Ingredients For This Recipe
- Bread: To make this healthy, you can use whole-grain bread, or buy your favorite load of rustic bread. You can also make your own Whole-Wheat Bread and turn it into croutons. The key is to use bread that is not pre-sliced so that you can cut it into nice crouton-sized cubes.
- Seasonings: My go-to seasoning blend is a combination of garlic powder (or sometimes called granulated garlic), dried Italian seasoning and salt. This gives them a classic “seasoned” flavor that pairs well with a variety of recipes.
- Oil: You can use olive oil or you can use organic canola oil, avocado oil or another high heat cooking oil with neutral flavors. I use less oil (and skip the butter all together) to make these healthy.
How to Make Croutons in the Oven
These homemade croutons are really easy to make and require just a handful of ingredients. The only major prep work you’ll have to do is cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. But besides that, you just mix everything together and bake! Here’s how I made this easy crouton recipe!
Step 1: Prep the pan and oven
Start out by preheating the oven. You will also want to coat your baking sheet with cooking spray.
Step 2: Cut the bread into cubes
Cut the bread into slices about 1-inch thick. Then cut the slices into cubes.
If you are using pre-sliced bread, cut them into cubes, but make sure to watch your timing as they will be done more quickly than the larger 1-inch croutons.
Step 3: Coat the bread in the seasonings
Toss the bread cubes with oil, herbs, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl until the herbs are evenly distributed.
Step 4: Spread out on the pan and bake
Spread the bread cubes out onto the prepared baking sheet, then bake until the croutons are crispy on the outside and starting to brown.
Make sure to stir the croutons once halfway through to ensure they cook evenly and don’t become too brown on one side.
Obviously, croutons are wonderful on salads. These homemade croutons would be especially great paired with this Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad, Garden salad, overnight kale caesar or even on this French bistro brunch salad.
But did you know that croutons also pair perfectly with a variety of soups? Sprinkle a few croutons on top of a steaming bowl of carrot ginger soup, creamy cauliflower soup, or slow cooker kielbasa, cabbage, and potato soup.
The options are pretty much endless!
Make Ahead Tips
You need to let these homemade croutons cool completely before serving them. This will give the croutons time to crisp up fully.
Once they are cool, transfer them to a plastic bag or resealable container and store at room temperature for three days. If they become less crispy, you can quickly toast them in the toaster oven or oven for 5 minutes at 325 degrees F.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes you can, but note that it is easy to overcook these in the air fryer. Start with 3 minutes, and toss the basket to “stir” the croutons. Continue air-frying in short 2 minute intervals, making sure to check on them regularly as timing varies by manufacturer. If you have an Omni Air Fryer from Instant, you can use the bake function instead of airfrying and bake them for 14 to 16 minutes
Yes you can, some or all of the oil can be swapped out for butter. Note that this is a lower fat recipe so they will not be completely coated with the butter/oil mixture.
To cook these on the stove top, do not toss the seasoning and bread as directed. Instead heat two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and cook, stirring often until they are browned and crispy. Sprinkle on the seasoning, and toss to coat. Cool completely before serving.
These work well for both! They are seasoned with both garlic and Italian seasoning which makes them great for recipes that call for
Though making croutons is a great way to use up stale bread, this recipe works perfectly well with fresh bread. Stale bread will bake slightly faster than fresh, so just check to make sure that they are crispy.
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter or follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie
Making this homemade crouton recipe is so easy and healthy! All you need is whole-grain bread, olive oil and seasoning. Bonus: it takes 5 minutes of prep!
- ½ pound rustic whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings or Herbes de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Toss bread, oil, herbs, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl until evenly moist and the herbs are evenly distributed. Spread the bread cubes out onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once until the croutons are crispy on the outside and starting to brown, 16 to 18 minutes total. Cool before serving.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 121
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 224 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g