You’ll love how easy it is to make homemade croutons with just a few simple ingredients. They’re infinitely better than any you’ll find in the store!
Store bought croutons aren’t bad. But, friend, they aren’t great. And these Homemade Croutons are seriously great.
Serve them to guests and I promise you they will notice and they will rave. This is a proven fact. One year I made four lasagnas for our annual Christmas party and served each slice with an Italian side salad topped with these croutons. Ya’ll, do you know how much work went into that lasagna? A LOT. But my guests spent more time talking about the croutons.
The problem with the store bought ones is really that they’re just so very hard. Not these. These croutons are crunchy with just a little bit of chewiness. They’re so flavorful thanks to dried herbs, garlic powder, and salt. They are incredible but also incredibly simple!
I’m going to show you how to make perfect croutons yourself in about 15 minutes from start to finish. They really make any salad or soup just oh so much more impressive.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Olive oil
- Dried herbs
Add the cubed bread to a large ziplock bag or large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. If using a bag, squeeze out excess air, seal, and shake until bread pieces are coated. If using a bowl, stir and flip bread pieces until they’re coated.
Spread bread on a 12 x 17 baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until croutons are crispy.
What size sheet pan should you use?
I use a 12 x 17 baking sheet to accommodate all the croutons. They need to be spread in a single layer. Using a pan that’s too small will prevent your bread from cooking evenly.
Should you use parchment paper?
Whether to use parchment paper on your baking sheet for any recipe really depends on exactly what the ingredients are. If the ingredients tend to get sticky as they cook or if you’re not using an adequate amount of fat then parchment paper is a good idea. Parchment paper is not necessary with this particular recipe. The hearty dose of olive oil does a great job preventing sticking.
What bread is best for croutons?
I prefer a french baguette or sourdough bread for croutons. You can actually use any bread you like though. Even plain white sandwich bread or gluten free bread will work too!
Fresh bread vs stale bread
Older slightly stale bread will crisp up faster in the oven but fresh also works well. You can use whichever you have.
How to customize these croutons
You can adjust the seasonings on these croutons in so many ways! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Add 3 tbsp of grated parmesan or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
- Swap out the basil and oregano for dill, parsley, or thyme.
- Use fresh herbs instead of dried for brighter flavor. I recommend adding them after baking is done. Since dried herbs pack more of a flavor punch you’ll want to use 3 times as much in fresh as you would in dried. For these croutons you’d use one tablespoon of fresh basil and one tablespoon of fresh oregano.
How to store homemade croutons
Store these croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
How to serve these croutons
The obvious choice is of course to add these croutons to the top of any salad. They make every salad better! I always make my own croutons when I’m serving a salad to guests because they really wow even though they require so little work!
Croutons are also incredible on soup. I recommend adding croutons to the top of my 30 Minute Dairy Free Tomato Basil Soup, No Bean 30 Minute Chili, and Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili. There really isn’t a soup that wouldn’t be more delicious with a generous handful of croutons!
More recipes like this:
- 6 cups bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, 10 to 12 ounces, french baguette or sourdough work well
- 1/3 cup olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the cubed bread to a large ziplock bag or large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. If using a bag, squeeze out excess air, seal, and shake until bread pieces are coated. If using a bowl, stir and flip bread pieces until they're coated.
- Spread bread on a 12 x 17 baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until croutons are crispy. (Time can vary based on the thickness of your croutons so start with no more than 10 minutes. Then check and see if you need a few extra minutes.)
- Store croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.