Once you learn how to make croutons, you’ll never ever go back to buying store bought croutons! Homemade croutons are unbelievably easy to make and taste so much better than the dry kind you buy from the store.
My multi-grain, baked homemade croutons have been wildly popular so I thought I’d do a full tutorial on how to make croutons.
There are different ways to cube the bread, different ways to season the bread, and different ways to crisp them up. I’m going to cover a lot here and by the time we’re done, you’re going to be experts! You’ll be making the best homemade croutons in no time! Believe me, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them from the store!
The best thing about making homemade croutons is that they’re super forgiving and hard to screw up. You can handle this, easily.
Here’s the quick and dirty version of how to make croutons:
- Cut or tear bread into cubes.
- Toss with oil and seasonings.
- Bake until crispy.
- Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
That’s more or less it in a nutshell!
Now I’ll break it down a little more…
There are endless options here! Croutons are great for using up leftover bakery bread or scraps of whatever you may have left. Here are some great choices:
- French Bread
- Italian Bread – makes softer, crumbly croutons
- Garlic Bread
- Pumpernickel – for Ruby Tuesday Croutons!
- English Muffin Bread
How to Make the Bread Cubes
There are a couple different ways to make bread cubes, and they’ll yield slightly different texture and results.
- Tear bread into pieces. This gives the crouton a super rustic look and also leads to a slightly more crumbly crouton.
- Cut bread into pieces. They can be small or large, depending on your preferences. Small pieces will cook faster and will also get more crisp all the way through, whereas larger pieces will take a bit longer to bake and will remain slightly softer in the center. I love the crispy ones on salads and the slightly softer, larger ones on soup like this Italian Sausage and Bean Stew.
Nearly any type of fat or oil will work! Here are some great options:
- Olive Oil – This is what I use most often
- Butter – You can’t go wrong with butter, am I right? It’s what I use for my Ruby Tuesday Croutons.
- Other options would be avocado oil, coconut oil, or even bacon fat! You could also use a mix of more than one oil (sometimes I combine olive oil and butter).
Like with bread, there really are endless options available for seasoning croutons. Many combinations of herbs and spices would be great; they are really a blank slate. Here are some ideas:
- My favorite combination: Olive oil + salt + garlic powder
- Ranch Seasoning
- Taco Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Garlic Powder + Parmesan Cheese
- Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne for a little heat
How to Cook Croutons
There are two main ways to get that bread crispy! My preferred way is baking them because it yields a consistent result and is more hands-off. I’m always a fan of hands-off cooking!
- Making Croutons in the Oven – I bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes. Giving them a little toss halfway through helps to get them evenly browned and crispy. I’ve also made them in my toaster oven if I’m doing a small batch!
- Making Croutons in a Frying Pan — over medium-high heat, toss the bread cubes until they are golden brown and crispy. You’ll want to keep them moving in the pan and keep an eye on them to prevent them from burning.
What you’ll need to learn how to make croutons:
- 4 heaping cups cubed bread
- 1/3 cup oil, such as extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle olive oil over bread while stirring. Stir well until bread is coated by all ingredients and olive oil is absorbed.
- Spread the bread cubes into an even layer on a sheet pan. Don’t crowd the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. If you’re using super fresh bread, the croutons will take a little longer to become golden brown. If the bread is stale and dry, the croutons may brown faster, so keep an eye on them!
- See post notes for all the variations on these croutons!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.