Homemade Croutons Recipe (VIDEO)
These Homemade Croutons are crunchy and so easy to make. If you have some leftover bread, make croutons and toss them over Caesar Salad as a healthier and tastier alternative to store-bought croutons.
Check out our video tutorial below to learn how to make croutons that are quick, easy, and perfectly crispy.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Why Make Your Own Croutons?
Like my Homemade Ranch Dressing, inspiration for these homemade croutons came after I read the label on our favorite store-bought version. My son loves to munch on croutons, and the ingredients list on his beloved brand of garlic croutons wasn’t great. Enriched this, dehydrated that, mystery additives, you get my drift.
It turns out, it’s supremely easy to make your own garlic croutons at home. These homemade croutons offer a better alternative that already has my son’s stamp of approval (I know this because the bag I stored them in disappeared shortly thereafter). The best part is, this crouton recipe takes minutes to make in the oven and they keep well.
Easy Crouton Recipe Video
Watch Natasha make crunchy, flavorful homemade croutons in the oven with only a few basic ingredients. You’ll be skipping store-bought croutons from now on. Here’s why:
- Super Crunchy – These homemade croutons bake up irresistibly crisp and golden, with loads of flavor thanks to some garlic and seasonings.
- Less Waste – Save any stale bread laying around the pantry and easily transform it into flavorful, crunchy croutons to use on your favorite soups and salads.
- Healthier – Homemade croutons are a great way to satisfy a craving for crunch without all the additives, preservatives, and cheap oil that comes with store-bought croutons.
You only need 5 ingredients to make crispy and garlicky homemade croutons (find the full details in the recipe card below).
- Bread – The best bread for croutons is crusty bread with a spongy center such as Sourdough, Focaccia, Crusty French Bread, or even a Baguette. See our tip below.
- Olive Oil – Choose a good-quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Italian Seasoning – This is a popular seasoning blend found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. It combines dried Italian herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
- Garlic – We’ll use real garlic cloves if we have them, otherwise a teaspoon of garlic powder works perfectly.
- Salt and Pepper
Pro Tip: You want your bread to be at least a day old. It’ll be easier to cut and holds its shape better. You could use one of our homemade bread recipes, or try a day-old loaf of bread from your local bakery with great results.
How to Make Croutons
Making croutons from scratch couldn’t be easier. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep.
- Mix the Seasonings – First, in a small bowl, whisk together olive oil with Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Cube the Bread – You can do this using your hands for rustic croutons or use a bread knife to chop the bread into 3/4” cubes. We like to leave the crusts intact for extra texture and crunch.
- Toss to Coat – Drizzle the seasoned oil over your bread cubes, and toss to get the bread evenly coated.
- Bake – You’ll want to bake your croutons on a flat, rimmed baking sheet. Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer and place the pan into the oven at 375ºF for 15-25 minutes. About halfway through, flip the croutons for even browning.
Pro Tip: The exact baking times will vary depending on the kind of bread you’re using as well as the size of your bread chunks. The croutons should be fully dried out and crunchy when they come out of the oven. It’s the perfect excuse to do a taste test toward the end, to check if your croutons are done.
The key to crispy croutons is making sure that they’re fully dried out in the oven and crunchy all the way through. They should not be chewy when they come out of the oven. Bake croutons in a single layer on the baking sheet to crisp up the bread, rather than steaming it.
It could be that you stored your croutons before they were fully cooled. Warm croutons trap moisture, and the croutons can become soggy if they’re stored airtight too soon. This can also cause them to go stale too quickly.
Let your baked croutons cool completely, store them in a zip-top bag, and remove as much excess air from the bag as possible. See below for detailed storage instructions.
Ways to Use Homemade Croutons
Croutons are a classic garnish, and they’re equally delicious as a light snack. We recommend adding croutons to soups and salads just before serving, to prevent the crunchy croutons from getting soggy. Enjoy your homemade croutons as a topping with these easy meal ideas:
- Salad Topping – Garlic croutons on top of Caesar Salad is a classic combination. We also love croutons in our Classic Wedge Salad or Easy Garden Salad recipes.
- Panzanella – Use this crouton recipe as a base for a Panzanella Salad.
- Soups – Croutons make a crunchy, flavorful topping for a cozy bowl of soup. Try this Tomato Soup or Creamy Carrot Soup.
- Breadcrumbs – Need breadcrumbs for making Juicy Meatballs or breading Pork Schnitzel? Pulse your cooled croutons in a food processor or crush them with a rolling pin for easy homemade breadcrumbs.
Homemade croutons will keep fresh for weeks when properly stored, so they’re great for making ahead.
- To Store: Once the baked croutons have cooled completely to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container or large zip-top bag. Store them on the counter for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezing: You can also freeze croutons for longer-term storage. We recommend flash-freezing the croutons on a baking sheet until solid, then transferring the frozen croutons to an airtight freezer bag. Store them frozen for up to 1 month and thaw them in the fridge. You may wish to place your defrosted croutons into the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up again before serving.
Sprinkle these homemade croutons wherever you need a bit of crunch! Making croutons from scratch will elevate any salad that calls for them. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments.
More Cooking Basics Everyone Should Know
If you love making your favorite snacks and condiments from scratch, try these other easy recipes:
Homemade Croutons Recipe
- In a small dish, add oil and seasonings. Stir to combine then set aside and let the flavors infuse into the oil while you chop your bread.
- You can either tear your bread into rustic-shaped croutons or cut your bread with a serrated knife into 3/4" cubes. Keep the crusts on as they add variety and great crunch to these croutons. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the seasoned olive oil over your chopped bread and toss until bread crumbs have an even coating of oil.
- Spread the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp, stirring halfway for even browning. Bake time will vary depending on the size of your croutons and the type of bread used, so bake until crunchy and fully dried out.
- To store, cool to room temperature then transfer to a large zip-top bag or an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.