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How To Make Easy Homemade Croutons with Stale Bread

This easy homemade croutons recipe is perfect for soups and crispy salads! This simple recipe is the best way to make a batch of homemade croutons.

homemade croutons in a blue bowl

There is no need to buy store-bought croutons anymore. Nope.

Sorry, crouton companies, but the best croutons are so easy to make that you should make them yourself.

I may say that because I’ve become the girl who pickles things – hello, pickled jalapeños and pickled blueberries. But I’m okay with that; it’s become something I’m proud of.

I love buying pretzel buns and breadsticks at the store and turning them into my own homemade croutons.

They are an easy way to add great flavor to soups and salads. And these croutons are so good I have eaten them on their own.

But enough about that – let’s talk about making them.

cubes of stale bread ready to be made into easy homemade croutons

Homemade Croutons Recipe

If this is the first time you are making food from scratch, making your own croutons is a great way to start. 

I usually start with stale bread, but you can use fresh bread if you want to get started NOW; any kind of bread will work.

I mainly use soft breads, but for extra crunchy homemade croutons, I use a crusty loaf of bread. 

The croutons in the photos were made with pretzel breadsticks, but you can use these great options:

  • sourdough bread
  • sandwich bread
  • whole wheat bread
  • ​gluten-free bread
  • ​challah bread
  • your favorite bread (mine is pretzel)
cubes of pretzel bread tossed with olive oil and spices in a metal mixing bowl

Crunchy Croutons Variations

Any of these variations will result in flavorful homemade croutons.

Garlic Croutons: To infuse your croutons with a robust garlic flavor, consider using fresh garlic or garlic salt.

For fresh garlic, finely mince a clove or two and add it to the bread cubes when you include the dry ingredients. The oven’s heat will mellow the garlic’s pungency while imparting a delightful aroma.

If you prefer garlic salt, sprinkle it lightly over the bread cubes before baking. The result will be crispy, baked croutons with a subtle, savory garlic kick.

Parmesan Croutons: Elevate your croutons with the rich, nutty taste of Parmesan cheese.

After tossing the bread cubes with olive oil and your choice of seasonings, generously sprinkle grated Parmesan over them.

As the croutons bake, the cheese will melt and become crispy, creating Parmesan croutons with a delightful cheesy crunch.

Onion Croutons: For an onion-infused twist, reach for onion powder.

Sprinkle a moderate amount of onion powder over the bread cubes before baking, ensuring even distribution.

The result will be croutons with a mild, savory onion flavor that pairs beautifully with salads, soups, and more.

Herbed Croutons: Finely chop a blend of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, or basil.

Toss the bread cubes with the herbs, olive oil, and seasonings.

As they bake, the herbs will infuse the croutons with their aromatic essence, resulting in herbed croutons that are a fragrant and flavorful addition to your dishes.

golden brown croutons in a blue bowl

How to Make This Homemade Crouton Recipe

Start with leftover bread. Take a serrated knife and slice bread into pieces around the same size. If you are short on time, torn bread will work well too. 

I recommend cutting the stale bread into pieces that are 1-inch cubes.

Add the bread to a large bowl and pour in the olive oil. Mix the oil, making sure the olive oil soaks all of the bread chunks. 

Then, throw in the dry ingredients, mixing everything together.

Spread the coated bread pieces in a single layer on a foil or parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the croutons are golden brown.

That’s it. So. Darn. Easy.

Who doesn’t want to top soup with croutons? Or a Caesar salad?

Storing Leftover Croutons

Store your croutons in an airtight container, and they should stay fresh for a few weeks at room temperature.

You’ll eat them so often I doubt they will last that long. And then you’ll have an excuse to make croutons again!

a bowl of thick soup topped with homemade croutons

Using Homemade Croutons

Green Salads: Toss homemade croutons into your green salads to add a satisfying crunch.

They are the perfect way to add textural contrast to the leafy greens and other salad ingredients.

Whether it’s a classic Caesar salad, a garden salad, or a caprese salad, croutons can elevate your salad game.

Tomato Soup: Float a handful of homemade croutons on top of a bowl of hot tomato soup.

They’ll absorb some of the soup’s flavors and soften slightly, combining textures and tastes.

Tomato soup with croutons is a classic and comforting duo. Try them with my roasted garlic tomato soup or this sweet corn yellow tomato soup.

Panzanella Salad: Panzanella is an Italian salad with stale bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.

Homemade croutons are perfect for this dish. They soak up the juices from the ripe tomatoes and the vinaigrette, making every bite flavorful.

closeup image of crunchy homemade croutons for pinterest. Overlayed is text captioned "homemade croutons"

Caesar Salad: A Caesar salad is only complete with croutons. They add a bit of crunch to creamy Caesar dressing.

Casseroles: Croutons can serve as a crunchy topping for various casseroles, such as macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, or baked pasta dishes.

They add contrast to the creamy or cheesy interior of the dish.

Vegetable Sides: Sprinkle homemade croutons over roasted or steamed vegetables to give them an extra layer of texture and flavor.

The croutons can absorb the natural juices and seasoning from the vegetables, enhancing their taste.

Breakfast Dishes: Don’t limit croutons to savory dishes. Try using them as a topping for breakfast casseroles, quiches, or scrambled eggs.

They can provide a unique crunch and flavor to your morning meal.

Snacking: Crispy homemade croutons can also be enjoyed as a standalone snack. 

Charcuterie and Cheese Boards: A good crouton can be the best part of charcuterie and cheese boards.

They offer a crunchy element that pairs well with various kinds of cheese, cured meats, and spreads.

golden brown croutons in a blue bowl

Easy Homemade Croutons

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy homemade croutons recipe is perfect for soups and crispy salads! This simple recipe is the best way to make a batch of homemade croutons.


  • 2 cups of cubed bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
    2. Put the bread cubes in a medium bowl and add olive oil.
    3. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and toss well until the bread is evenly coated.
    4. Pour the bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
    5. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not be correct.

Did you make this recipe?

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Annie | MontgomeryFest

Thursday 25th of September 2014

this looks delicious - bookmarking!

Nuresha Perera

Monday 22nd of September 2014

looks delicious

Jenn E

Sunday 21st of September 2014

Perfect! I am actually going to make my own croutons now!

Jenny B

Monday 22nd of September 2014

Thanks Jenn! They're surprisingly easy to make!


Thursday 18th of September 2014

OOOH I love pretzel bread and made into croutons sounds just lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Jenny B

Thursday 18th of September 2014

You're welcome Shannon!

Christine L

Wednesday 17th of September 2014

I love soup, croutons just make everything better.

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