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How To Make Homemade Croutons

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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.

Crispy buttery croutons in red container.

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.
Process shots for homemade croutons, L-R tossing bread cubes in melted butter, pouring onto baking sheet, crisping in oven and finished croutons.

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
To down shot of crispy buttery croutons in red bowl with some sprinkled outside of the bowl.

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.
Croutons in red ceramic bowl spilled onto wooden cutting board with pewter spoon.

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?
Pin for how to make your own croutons with variations. Crispy croutons spilled onto cutting board.

Try these croutons on any number of these soups & stews!

Like this recipe?
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Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

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.

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