Homemade croutons are not only incredibly easy to make, but it's also a great way to use up your leftover bread or stale bread into crispy, well seasoned croutons for soups, salads, or snacking! Plus, these croutons stores very well, making them perfect for making ahead of time for gatherings and holidays or so that you'll never have crouton shortage. Try these seasoned homemade croutons with some roasted tomato soup or caesar salad to get started!
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Homemade croutons ingredient notes
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Bread - Feel free to use any bread you'd like or have on hand. Do note that the type of bread used will determine the texture and flavor of your croutons. We prefer using those soft, dollar french bread from the grocery store because it yields light and crispy croutons. Heartier breads like sourdough and country loaves are also great for making croutons. However, they yield harder, crunchier croutons.
- Oil - We like to use olive oil for our croutons, but any neutral oil like avocado oil works perfectly too.
- Fine salt - We recommend using fine salt (like table salt) so that the salt gets evenly distributed.
- Onion powder, garlic powder, ground paprika, black pepper - These are our basic seasonings for our homemade croutons recipe. Feel free to use both onion powder or garlic powder, or one or the other if you only have one of them. The ground paprika adds a nice touch of smokiness to the croutons, along with some color.
How to make croutons
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
2. Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
3. Toss with oil and season. While gently tossing the bread, drizzle with olive oil. Following, sprinkle in the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Toss until evenly combined.
4. Bake. Pour the seasoned bread onto the prepared sheet pan. Spread out the bread into a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
📝 Note: If you prefer softer croutons, bake for 15 minutes instead. This will yield croutons that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
5. Cool. Once the croutons are crispy, remove them from the oven and let them cool before snacking or adding to soups and salads.
- Cut the bread into uniform size. It's important that the bread to cut the bread into similar sizes because smaller pieces take less time to crisp up while larger pieces take more time. Our bake time is based on 1 inch bread pieces, which takes about 20 minutes to bake.
- Spread the cubed bread into a single layer on the sheet pan. This is to promote even cooking. So if needed, bake the croutons in separate batches.
- Different breads will yield different texture and different flavor croutons. For example, soft breads like sandwich bread and those soft, dollar french loaf at grocery stores are great for making light and crispy croutons. On the other hand, heartier breads like sourdough will yield crunchier croutons. Leftover soft french bread is our favorite for making homemade croutons.
Homemade croutons store really well, which makes them perfect for making ahead of time or in large batches! All you have to do is let the croutons cool completely then transfer them into an airtight container. Keep the croutons out at room temperature and they'll stay crispy for 2 to 3 weeks.
If you're using a food vacuum, make sure to NOT suck out all out air. You'll want to leave enough air in the bag where the croutons can still shake around. Vacuuming out all the air will extra the oil from the croutons, making them soggy and greasy instead.
Croutons are made of cubed fresh or stale bread, some oil, and seasonings. It's a great way to use up leftover bread.
If your croutons are not crispy, they either need to be baked longer or it was because they were crowded on the sheet pan. Make sure that the oven is at the right temperature by using an oven thermometer and keep the croutons in a single layer. Also, avoid using tall pans. The tall sides can trap steam and moisture, which can take the croutons longer to crisp up.
Homemade croutons can stay crispy for up to 2 to 3 weeks if stored properly in an airtight container. Make sure to let the croutons cool completely before storing.
Yes! Homemade croutons can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months. Simply freeze the croutons in airtight container. Do note that frozen frozen tends to taste a bit stale. So to refreshen up and make the croutons crispy again, spread them out on a sheet pan and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix the cubed bread while drizzling in the olive oil. Add the salt, onion, powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Toss until evenly seasoned.
- Pour the seasoned bread onto the prepared sheet pan. Spread the bread out evenly and try to keep them all in a single layer.
- Once the oven is hot, bake the bread for about 20 minutes or until they're golden and completely crispy. For softer croutons, bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the croutons from the oven and allow them to cool before using. Leftovers can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Bread - Feel free to use any bread you have to make croutons, but note that the type of bread use will affect the texture and even flavor of your croutons. We usually use those soft french breads because it yields a light and crispy texture. For breads like sourdough, they will yield a crunchier texture.