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Such simplicity, yet such complexity. Today you will learn how to make homemade croutons, they are a favorite in our house! Crunchy outsides with the right amount of chewy inside. Four simple ingredients and you are ready to dress up a soup, add crunch to a salad, or nibble on during the day.
What are Croutons Made of
Croutons are a simple mixture of cubed bread (typically stale bread works best), coated in an oil (butter in this case) and seasonings, then baked until crispy.
How Do you Make Croutons
- Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut french bread into rough 1 inch squares, set aside (stale bread works best, but fresh still works)
- Melt butter in a large pot, stir in sea salt and garlic, stirring for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Remove pot from heat, add bread cubes and toss until seasoned butter is soaked into bread evenly.
- Spread croutons on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until evenly browned, using a spatula, toss once or twice during baking time so all sides are toasted.
How Long do Homemade Croutons Last
- Store cooled garlic croutons in a ziplock bag or an airtight storage container.
- Croutons will remain fresh on the counter for up to 3 days stored as stated above, or
- up to a week in the refrigerator (you may need to toss them for a few minutes in a hot pan to crisp them up again) or
- up to 3 months in the freezer
What Can you Make with Leftover Croutons
- Leftover croutons?! LOL! My sons and husband eat them like candy.
- However; if you find yourself with leftover croutons, freeze them for a later use in salads or soups.
- Sprinkle a handful on your favorite soup, try Tomato, Creamy Potato Leek or Cauliflower soup!
- Toss them in scrambled eggs! No need for toast!
- Make breadcrumbs! Whir crispy croutons in a blender, or place in baggie and crush with a rolling pin. Use in Chicken Parmesan in place of breadcrumbs or in a meatloaf.
Crouton Variations and Add-Ins
- Sprinkle ¼ cup fine grated parmesan cheese over the tops of croutons before baking
- Add other herbs and spices, try 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, basil or thyme (or all three), toss with butter.
- Don’t want to use all butter; use equal amounts of olive oil or avocado oil; or half butter, half olive oil.
- Don’t have fresh garlic? Add a teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
Do I Have to Use French Bread
Absolutely! I have used any and all of the below, preparing the same way, no need to limit yourself!
- Italian Bread (white or whole wheat)
- Stale Challah or Brioche bread
- Rye bread (yum!)
- Pumpernickel bread (double yum!!)
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Gluten Free bread (yup, and they are delicious)
- White Sandwich Bread
- What bread did you use?
Try these croutons on any number of these soups & stews!
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About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.