These Homemade Croutons are ultra crunchy, super flavorful, and make the perfect addition to soups, salads, and more!
Homemade croutons > store bought croutons. There really is no comparison! They’re *almost* as easy to make as it is to rip open a bag, but the taste and texture are 1,000,000 times better. It’s definitely worth the extra effort!
You’re only 6 ingredients (that includes salt and pepper!) away from the best homemade croutons.
- Bread – this recipe uses a 1-2 day old baguette, but any bread such as sourdough or french bread will work. It’s best to use 1-2 day old bread, because the slightly dry bread crisps better in the oven, but fresh bread is also fine.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – promotes a golden brown color and crispy texture. Be sure you’re using an olive oil you enjoy, because you will taste it! You could also use melted butter if that flavor is preferred.
- Parmesan – gives the croutons a cheesy, nutty flavor. Use finely grated for the ideal texture and the best distribution.
- Salt and Pepper – a simple seasoning duo that makes these croutons extra tasty, yet very versatile.
- Minced Garlic – adds a subtle nutty kick of flavor. Make sure you add the garlic in the last 5 minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn.
How to make
These homemade croutons are so easy to make and much better than store-bought! 10 minutes to prep and you’re done!
- Place bread cubes into a large bowl and toss with oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
- Spread the cubes into an even layer onto a sheet pan.
- Bake at 375ºF for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisped to your liking. Stir in garlic with 5 minutes remaining, then cool and serve as desired.
What bread to use
This homemade croutons recipe uses a 1-2 day old baguette, but any bread such as sourdough or french bread will work. It’s best to use 1-2 day old bread, because the slightly dry bread crisps better in the oven, but fresh bread is also fine.
- Use leftover bread. Don’t let that day old bread go to waste, leftovers are perfect for making croutons.
- Cut or tear uniformly. Keep the bread cubes roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
- Spread in an even layer. Give the bread cubes room on the baking sheet so they get golden and crisp all the way around.
- Add the garlic later in the cook time. Wait to add the garlic until there’s just 5 minutes left to cook so it doesn’t burn.
- Season as desired. I love the versatility from the parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper but you can really season these how you like! Try dried herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, Italian seasoning, etc.
How to serve homemade croutons
- On salad. Serve them over any of your favorite salads! Try my pear, blue cheese, candied pecan salad, my warm bacon spinach salad, or with any of my salad dressing recipes!
- In soup. Add a crunchy bite to any cozy soup! Try my instant pot French onion soup, roasted tomato soup, butternut squash soup, you name it.
- As breadcrumbs. Crush them up and use them in place of the breadcrumbs for my crispy baked chicken tenders, my homemade healthy air fryer fish sticks, or any other recipes that use breadcrumbs.
- Over pasta. Crush them up and use them in baked mac and cheese or my chicken alfredo bake.
How to store
These homemade croutons will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks as well, but there’s really no need and they’ll likely get soggy.
To use from the freezer, bake at 300ºF until thawed and crisped.
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 (12 oz) baguette * cubed into 1/2 -1 inch cubes (about 4-6 cups cubed)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place bread cubes into a large bowl and toss with oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper until the bread is evenly coated.
- Spread the cubes into an even layer on an unlined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, stirring and tossing with the garlic with 5 minutes remaining.
- Cool and serve as desired!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.