These homemade croutons are a thing of joy. They're perfectly crunchy and have all the cheesy garlic flavor you are hoping for in a crouton. While you can use these croutons and any of your favorite salads, they are incredibly delicious on Caesar Salad.
If you've never made croutons before, you've missed out on something so easy and delicious. Not only are croutons super easy to make, but making them at home saves a ton of money.
You only need a few simple ingredients to get started.
Why You'll Love This Croutons Recipe
- Easy. This crouton recipe is so easy to make at home. It's a great way to use up stale bread.
- The cheesy garlic flavor of these croutons is perfect for your favorite salad recipe.
What You'll Need
- Bread: While you can use any kind of bread, I recommend you opt for a hearty loaf of Italian or French bread. You can cut or tear the bread apart to make them bite-sized.
- Garlic oil: Quickly make this flavorful oil by mixing minced garlic into a little olive oil and then pressing it through a fine mesh sieve. Using garlic-infused oil instead of garlic on the croutons gives you a nicer flavor because you'll avoid over-browning the garlic.
- Parmesan cheese: Grated parmesan cheese adds a wonderfully cheesy, nutty flavor when it's toasted in the oven.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is used to balance the olive oil in the bread. You don't need a lot because the parmesan cheese is also salty. Season to taste.
How To Make Homemade Croutons
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- Make the garlic oil by steeping minced garlic in olive oil. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Strain the oil into a large bowl and then press the garlic against a fine mesh sieve with the back of a spoon to collect as much garlic oil as possible. Save the pressed garlic to use in salad dressing.
- Toss the bread cubes with the seasoned olive oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese.
- Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a heavy-rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, tossing once during cooking until the bread is toasted and a nice golden brown.
- Cool. Remove the croutons from the oven and allow them to cool completely before serving them with a salad.
Making Plain Dried Bread Cubes
Making unseasoned croutons is a great way to save stale bread. The dried-out cubes of bread will keep for months at room temperature, and you can use them as needed to make homemade bread crumbs or even Panzanella Salad.
Expert Tips & FAQs
Your croutons should stay fresh for about a week if they are stored in an airtight container. The drier and crispier your croutons are, to begin with, the longer they will keep.
If they get soggy, you can re-toast them in the oven again before using them.
Store them in a zip-top bag at room temperature to keep homemade croutons crispy. Squeeze as much air out as you can since the humidity in the air will cause them to get stale and soggy.
The best bread to use is a hearty Italian or French loaf.
What To Eat With Croutons
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- 3 cups hearty bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Make the garlic oil by mincing garlic and adding it to the olive oil. Stir for 30 seconds and. Allow the garlic to steep in the olive oil while you prepare the bread.3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic
- Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch pieces.3 cups hearty bread
- Strain the minced garlic through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the oil in a large bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press the garlic to release as much oil as possible. (reserve the garlic to use in salad dressing)½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add the bread to the garlic oil. Toss to coat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and the salt. Toss one more time and then dump out the bread onto a heavy baking sheet. Spread the bread evenly in one layer on the baking sheet.2 to 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes, until it is lightly brown and crispy all the way through. Toss the croutons halfway through the 20 minutes.
- Allow the croutons to cool before adding them to your salad.
Laura's Tips + Notes
- Store: Store in a zip-top bag with as much air pressed out as possible. They will keep for up to a week.
- Reheat: If these do get a little stale, you can re-toast them in a 375℉ oven for a few minutes before you need them.
- Unseasoned croutons: Making unseasoned croutons is a great way to save stale bread. The dried-out cubes of bread will keep for months at room temperature, and you can use them as needed to make homemade bread crumbs or even Panzanella Salad.