Adding homemade croutons to your soups and salads is an easy way to take simple dishes to new heights. They’re crispy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and baked until golden and amazing!
One of my favorite soups is a tomato bisque, which has immense bold flavors and is incredibly velvety. These sourdough croutons add the right amount of texture and subtle flavor to such a creamy soup. Once you try this combination you won’t be able to imagine one without the other!
What are croutons?
Croutons are bite-sized pieces of bread, usually cut into small cubes, that have been seasoned, baked until golden and crispy, and are used on top of dishes for added crunch and subtle flavor. They’re a signature feature of a Ceasar salad not to mention a delicious topping to soups and a staple addition to any stuffing!
Making croutons yourself rather than buying homemade is a simple trick but a major game-changer. They’re much healthier without all kinds of ingredients you can’t pronounce and way too easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and very little time. It’s also very cost-effective and a great way to reduce waste and use bread that may be on the verge of becoming stale.
This easy-to-follow homemade croutons recipe uses sourdough (because it’s awesome and delicious) but can be substituted with any bread you’d like. Using sourdough does give it special flavor whether you’ve been baking up a storm or you’re buying a loaf from the store. The combination of parmesan, garlic salt, and parsley is light and flavorful but can really be swapped with any of your favorite seasonings.
These little bites of heaven are way too easy not to give it a try yourself. They’re slightly irresistible so don’t be surprised if you find yourself sneaking a couple off the tray right out of the oven!
Other Meals to go with Sourdough Croutons:
- Sourdough bread – The fresher the bread, the longer it takes to bake until golden brown. If you want, you can remove bread from the package and slice a couple of hours ahead of time. Homemade sourdough bread is delicious, but storebought works too.
- Olive oil – Used with the butter to add flavor, crispness and to help avoid sticking.
- Salted butter – Melted
- Garlic salt – A subtle hint of garlic and a bit of salt.
- Dried parsley – A great pairing with garlic and parmesan.
- Parmesan cheese – If you can great your own fresh parmesan you’ll notice a difference in flavor!
How to Make Homemade Croutons:
Step 1: Combine bread cubes and sprinkle dry ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine.
Step 2: Drizzle butter and oil over top and lightly toss with salad tongs or your hands. Careful not to squish or overwork the bread otherwise you may not have the signature crouton shape anymore.
Step 3: Spread soon to be croutons in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven to bake until golden brown. Depending on the size of your cubes and how fresh your bread was, you may need to leave them in a little longer.
Step 4: Stir croutons often throughout baking. They are ready when they are browned uniformly and crispy. Be careful not to burn them!
And there you have it. The quickest and easiest way to adding a simple homemade finishing touch to your favorite dishes. Added crunch never tasted so good!
Now that you know how easy they are, next time switch up your seasonings. Try anything from dill, thyme, or oregano. If you like a little heat, add a bit of smoked paprika, cayenne, chipotle or Cajun spice.
It’s a wonder more people don’t snack on these by the handful!
Cooled croutons will stay fresh in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. You can actually freeze them too! They keep for about a month and when you’re ready to crisp them back up again, just pop them in the oven.
You can swap the sourdough bread for whatever you have on hand. Whatever you do use, day old is best. French or Italian loaves, regular white sandwich bread, whole wheat, or gluten-free. Anything really!
- 10 slices sourdough bread remove from package and slice a couple hours beforehand, optional
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup salted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. I like to use pre-sliced sourdough for convenience, but cutting up a fresh loaf of homemade or bakery sourdough bread is even more delicious.
- Place bread cubes into a large bowl. Sprinkle dry ingredients over the bread cubes and toss.
- Drizzle butter and oil over the bread cubes and stir gently with your fingers or salad spoons to combine everything.
- Spread seasoned bread cubes in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (baking time will vary with the size of your bread cubes).
- Stir croutons often throughout baking and monitor closely for doneness. Croutons are ready when they are browned uniformly and crispy. Be careful not to burn them!
- Cooled croutons will stay fresh in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.