How to Make Croutons (With Any Bread)
Your salads will never be boring again after you try this homemade croutons recipe! Here’s how to make croutons with any bread you might have leftover.
I make my own croutons multiple times each week as a way of sprucing up salads. And I think because these are so easy and commonplace to my day, I didn’t even think to share a recipe on the blog until now!
But these aren’t just any croutons. Set aside your preconceived notion of dry, flavorless croutons from a box. These are Sarah’s Famous Croutons. Well, that’s what I call them.
These homemade croutons can be made with any bread, are cooked quickly on the stove, and take your salad from 0 to 100 real quick. Let’s crouton!
Ingredients for Homemade Croutons
- Bread: You can use just about any leavened bread in this recipe (unleavened breads, like flatbreads, won’t do as well here).
- Oil: I love olive oil for this, but you can also use vegetable, sunflower, coconut, or any high-heat oil to make these croutons.
- Salt: A healthy pinch of salt takes these croutons to the next level.
What bread is best for croutons?
You can use just about any leavened bread to make croutons! Some of my favorites are sourdough, which has an amazing flavor when toasted, or soft buns, which have a light and delicate texture after sautéing. You can also use a loaf of Italian bread, ciabatta, brioche, a baguette, or the everyday kind of sandwich bread.
While homemade croutons are a great way of using stale, dried out bread, it’s not necessary for the bread to be stale. If you’re working with fresh bread, you’ll just need to cook them a little longer to get them nice and crispy!
How to Make Homemade Croutons
Making homemade croutons on the stove is so easy, and goes something like this (scroll to the bottom for full instructions):
- Cut off the crust or don’t: You can leave the crust on or cut it off, your preference.
- Cut or tear bread: Cutting into cubes gives you prettier croutons, while tearing the bread makes more surface area for flavorful oil and salt to cling to.
- Coat with oil: Add the croutons to a pan and drizzle with oil. Stir everything around so that most of the croutons are evenly coated.
- Sprinkle with salt: You can also add your favorite spices here, like pepper or spice blends.
- Cook the croutons: Until they’re golden brown and crispy!
How to Store Homemade Croutons
To store homemade croutons in the fridge, put them in an airtight container with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb moisture and keep them crispy! You can store croutons for 3 days in the fridge.
If you need to store them longer, you can freeze your croutons in a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to eat them again, throw them back in the pan to reheat.
How to make croutons with less oil
Adding a little oil is important in helping to develop that toasted flavor, but you can use less oil with this simple trick: spray it on!
Drizzling on oil means some parts of the bread are more saturated with oil than others, so you end up needing a bit more. If you want to make croutons with less oil, use a spray bottle (like cooking spray) to evenly coat the pieces.
Salads that are great with these croutons:
Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Grilled Broccoli Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Berry Salad with Lavender Lemon Vinaigrette
Chickpea Gyro Kale Salad
Everyday Kale Salad
How to Make Croutons
- 3 heaping cups cut or torn bread stale or fresh
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or any flavorless high-heat oil, 30 mL
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp salt
- Optional extras: ground black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, your favorite spice blends
- Cut: Cut or tear bread into bite-sized chunks. You can leave the crust on or tear it off, your preference!
- Coat: Add the bread to a large saute pan or cast iron skillet and drizzle with oil. Toss until most of the bread is coated in oil. Sprinkle with salt and any extra spices you'd like.
- Cook: Cook over medium/high heat, jostling the croutons occasionally to evenly cook. They are done when most sides are golden brown and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before serving, they're very hot!
- Breads good for croutons: a loaf of Italian bread, sourdough, ciabatta, brioche, a baguette, or the everyday kind of sandwich bread.
- If using fresh bread (as opposed to stale), you may need to cook them a little longer.
- Store croutons in the fridge in an airtight container with a paper towel. You can store croutons for 5 to 7 days (may need to be thrown back in the pan right before eating to become crispy again).
- To freeze, place croutons in a freezer-safe container. When ready to eat, throw them back in the pan to reheat for a few minutes.
- To make croutons with less oil, use a spray bottle to evenly coat the pieces.