Skip to main content

Once you’ve made homemade croutons, you’ll kick yourself for ever buying the grocery store version

It's so easy!

Croutons
Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

If we’re honest, croutons are the best part of a salad. The crispy, buttery, herby, carby crunch is, quite frankly, the only thing that can sometimes get us through an otherwise humdrum salad. And then, of course, there’s the magic spell croutons can cast over soups, taking a boring bisque to all new levels and adding a satisfying bite with that beloved crunchy texture. Yes, croutons are wonderful for the added character they provide to just about any “healthy” meal. They’re our tasty little life rafts in a boring sea of healthy foods, and we are grateful. And because these beautiful little cubes do so much for our dishes, both lackluster and magnificent, we owe it to them to treat them well. Not with the store-bought foil packets found next to the candied pecans on sad little grocery store displays, but with homemade love and care.

Homemade croutons are almost embarrassingly simple to make. Not only that, but they’re a great way to use up any extra bread you have lying around that may have gone a bit stale. Instead of throwing that loaf away, cut it up, toss it with a little oil and herbs, bake, and voila – homemade croutons. It really is that simple, and once you make these crunchy cuties at home, you’ll never go back to buying the packaged version.

Croutons
Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

Homemade croutons recipe

Ingredients:

  • loaf bakery Sourdough bread
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut the sourdough into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
  3. Over the sourdough pieces, pour oil, butter, and seasonings. Toss all of the ingredients together, being sure to coat each piece of bread thoroughly.
  4. Pour bread pieces onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading into a single layer.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes, tossing every 3-5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp all the way through.

Homemade croutons tips and tricks

  1. This sourdough crouton recipe is perfect for just about anything, but feel free to mix up your bread choices. French bread, Italian loaves, focaccia, and even leftover sandwich bread all make great croutons with varying textures. One of our favorites is cornbread.
  2. If you’re making croutons for a specific dish, such as a creamy soup, it’s a great idea to use complementary flavors in your crouton spices. Italian seasoning is pretty versatile, but any combination of herbs and spices you love will work well. It’s fun to add some heat with cayenne if you want to add a kick to your dish. You can even add warmth to fall or winter dishes with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Store-bought croutons are generally crunchy all the way through, and they’re delicious this way. But you can bake your homemade croutons a minute or two less if you like a little chew in the center. We like to cook them a little longer if they’re going into soup and a little bit less if they’ll be in a salad.
Topics
Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
Our Aperol spritz recipe is as close to perfect as you’ll find
The Aperol spritz: So simple, so delightful
Two glasses of Aperol spritz

When it comes to trending cocktails, it’s hard to beat the recent appeal of a refreshing, effervescent spritz. For those unaware, a spritz is an aperitif (before-dinner drink), consisting of sparkling wine, digestive bitters, and soda water. It's often referred to as an "Aperol spritz recipe 3-2-1" (3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 part soda water). It’s been a popular drink in Italy for more than 100 years with its genesis in Venice in 1920. The Aperol spritz is the most popular contemporary version of this drink (and one with flavors that seem to be heavily debated online).

This thirst-quenching, memorable cocktail consists of only four ingredients. They are Aperol (an Italian liqueur), prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine), club soda (or soda water), and an orange wheel for garnish. It’s simple, elegant, and perfect for a hot, hazy afternoon. But honestly, it works any time of year. Who wouldn’t want to imbibe a tasty cocktail before a meal all year long?

Read more
5 incredible tequila recipes you’ve definitely never heard of
Have you ever heard of these tequila drinks and applications?
Corralejo Tequila Tropical being mixed with.

Tequila has always been an incredibly popular drink, especially when it's mixed into a variety of cocktails. Better still, the agave spirit is a lot more versatile than you might think. Sure, we've all heard of and even mixed up a few margaritas or some tasty Palomas. But what of lesser-known applications, like cocktails kissed with bittersweet amari or salsas for dipping?

With several distinctive styles, from blanco to reposado, tequila's uses are many. The lightest versions can perfectly accent an unbelievably refreshing batch of ranch water. Darker, aged versions can be used to cook with or join unexpected ingredients in your cocktail shaker. Want some proof? Check out some great, lesser-known tequila recipes below.

Read more
This is the only quiche recipe you’ll ever need
Don't settle for soggy crust
A slice of quiche on a white plate

The first time I saw quiche on a menu, I was with my mom and best friend at a particularly posh restaurant in Carmel, California. At 11 years old, I’d never seen the word written down before, and I asked my mom what a “qweechy” was. I’m now nearly 40 and have yet to live that one down. As it turned out, qweechy would become one of my very favorite things to eat. I love how versatile it is, that it’s an acceptable meal any time of the day, how simple it is to make, and most importantly, how delicious it can be, served hot or cold.

This easy quiche recipe is hearty and rich and filling enough to be an entire meal by itself, but we love to serve it with a fresh mixed greens salad. It's also casual enough to serve on a regular Tuesday night, but special enough for holiday gatherings.

Read more