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Homemade Croutons, laced with garlic and Italian seasoning, are SO easy to make! They pair perfectly with soups and salads, and can even go in homemade stuffing recipes. They are the perfect way to add a little crunch to your meal. These homemade garlic croutons are ready in 30 minutes or less, and can also be made gluten-free.
We love to add these Homemade Croutons to Caesar salad along with this Caesar Salad Dressing, or add them on top of this loaded Cheeseburger Soup with Bacon or Tomato Basil Soup for an addictive crunch.
Crunch. It’s one of the best sensations when you’re eating. Be it potato chips, the cookie base of a cheesecake, the crispy skin on a perfectly cooked salmon, or homemade croutons. The crunch is addictive!
This Homemade Croutons recipe is ridiculously easy to make. It’s one of those recipes that, once you make it you never go back to store-bought. You literally cut the bread, mix it with oil and seasoning, and bake it until they’re crispy. SO simple! These garlic croutons store really well at room temperature in an airtight container, so you don’t even need to make room in your fridge for them!
I also love the fact that you can use different kinds of breads! French, Italian, sourdough, or any of your favorite homemade bread recipes will work perfectly. I particularly like using homemade bread as the end results are amazing! They taste much better than store-bought.
You can also add different kinds of seasoning, depending on what you’re eating these croutons with. If I’m making these homemade croutons for Caesar salad, I’ll stick with this exact recipe, however, if I’m pairing them with a simple tomato soup or carrot soup, I’ll add some red pepper flakes for a little kick, and maybe even Za’atar seasoning, just for a change.
- Bread: Preferably unsliced bread so that you can cut it into ¾ inch chunks. My favorites to use are French, Italian, or Sourdough.
- Olive oil: This key ingredient helps the croutons to crisp up in the oven. The crisping up is important - we don’t want soft croutons!
- Garlic powder: It’s a classic crouton flavor! Garlic helps to make these crunchy bites absolutely irresistible, without being overpowering.
- Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning is made up of different herbs, usually basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, or coriander, adding a classic Italian flavor to any dish. Each store-bought brand has a slightly different version, and of course, you can also make your own to suit your personal taste preference.
- Salt & pepper: Much needed seasoning! The salt and pepper brings everything together and helps to highlight the Italian seasoning and garlic powder, making these homemade crouton flavors really sing.
- Parmesan cheese: This is optional, but I love the tangy kick that a hard cheese can add to croutons. It really elevates the recipe!
How to Make Homemade Croutons
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice the bread. I think ¾-inch cubes are the perfect size for croutons! You can go smaller or larger to your personal preference, but this size is just right so they are substantial but not the only thing you get in your mouth when you take a bite of salad.
4. Add oil and seasoning. In a mixing bowl or straight in the pan, drizzle the bread pieces with olive oil, and then toss them with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. You can also sprinkle some parmesan cheese, which is so good!
5. Spread and bake. Spread the bread out in one layer on a baking tray and bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on how dark you like your croutons. I found that around 16 minutes was perfect for me, but they could go a little darker or lighter depending on your preference.
How store homemade croutons
These croutons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Because they are very crispy, they don’t go stale or off easily.
Can I use different seasonings and oils?
Of course! I stuck to simple, familiar seasonings and olive oil for this homemade croutons recipe since they are such a staple ingredient for us, but here are a few more options if you’d like to branch out a little. Feel free to mix & match!
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Chili oil
- Garlic oil
- Dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary are all fantastic
- Herbs de Provence
- Italian seasoning
- Red pepper flakes
- Onion powder
- Za’atar seasoning
- Cajun or creole seasoning
- Taco seasoning (great for Mexican soups or salads)
Grated hard cheese:
- Grana Padano
- Pecorino Romano
What kind of bread is best to make Homemade Croutons?
Store bought loaves of bread work fine with this crouton recipe, especially artisan bread that is not pre-sliced. I particularly like French, Italian and Sourdough bread. You can also use homemade bread - this is a great way to use up bread that is going stale or near it’s best by date (if store-bought). Here are a few of my favorite homemade bread recipes that work GREAT for croutons:
- Homemade French Bread
- Sweet Molasses Brown Bread
- Easy Homemade Rye Bread
- Roasted Garlic & Rosemary No-Knead Artisan Bread (maybe skip the garlic when making the croutons…or not!)
Can I make this homemade croutons recipe gluten-free?
Of course! To make gluten-free homemade croutons, use your favorite gluten-free artisan loaf, preferably not pre-sliced, and follow the instructions as you would with gluten-containing bread. These baguettes from Schaer look like they would work very well!
More recipes you will love adding croutons to
- Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Easy Minestrone Soup
- Split Pea Soup
- Creamy Irish Leek and Potato Soup
- Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
- White Pear, Pomegranate & Swiss Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- Spinach, Bacon & Egg Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing
- 4 cups bread French, Italian, or sourdough, preferably
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the bread into ¾-inch cubes. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle and toss with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
- Spread out into an even layer and bake for 12-20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.