Learn how to make the best homemade croutons – irresistibly crunchy outside, delightfully chewy inside. Elevate your salads and soups with this simple, easy-to-make recipe!

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delicious homemade croutons in a blue bowl

Why You’ll Love Homemade Croutons

Croutons have a super power of turning cringeworthy stale bread into beautifully crisp and flavorful salad and soup toppers. 

  • Flavor Explosion: Homemade croutons offer a burst of flavor, as you can customize the seasonings to suit your taste.
  • Texture Delight: Achieve the perfect texture – crispy on the outside, with a tender bite on the inside, elevating any salad or soup.
  • No Preservatives: Enjoy the assurance of fresh, preservative-free croutons without the additives found in store-bought versions.
  • Bread Variety: Experiment with different bread types, from whole grain to artisanal, for a diverse and personalized crouton experience.
  • Reduced Food Waste: Utilize leftover or stale bread, reducing food waste while creating a delicious and economical pantry staple.
hearty bread cut into cubes with an electric knife

Best Bread For Homemade Croutons

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what type of bread you can use to make homemade croutons. I typically stick to using leftover bakery bread, but you can even use stale everyday sliced bread to make croutons. 

Here are a few of my favorite types of bread to use: 

  • Slender baguette or a loaf of Italian
  • Sourdough
  • French bread
  • Garlic bread (not garlic cheese bread)
  • Multigrain bread 
homemade croutons on a pan

How To Make Homemade Croutons

I LOVE making homemade croutons so I can put stale bread to good use. This recipe for homemade croutons is so simple, you can’t mess it up even if you tried. 

With a little oil and the perfect combination of seasoning, you’ll end up with croutons so good, you’ll wonder why you ever opted for the store-bought bags.

What You Need To Make The Best Croutons

When you are making these homemade croutons, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  • 1-2 day old bakery bread 
  •  extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
  • Parmesan cheese
  •  garlic powder
  •  Italian seasoning
  •  kosher salt
  •  cracked black pepper

You can always adjust the recipe to your liking with different bread or seasoning, but you should definitely give this recipe a try first! 


(full printable directions at the end of this post)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut bread into cubes, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with cheese and seasonings.
  2. Toss and spread on a baking sheet and bake until crispy. Cool and use use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
easy homemade croutons in a bowl

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Tips For Making The Best Homemade Croutons

  • You’ll want to use a bread knife to cut your bread for croutons, and it’s even quicker if you use an electric knife.
  • The crouton recipe is written for a full loaf or about 4 cups of bread cubes, but it can easily be cut down into smaller batches. Often I will just cut up however much bread we have and I will eyeball the rest.
  • The more stale the bread is, the quicker it will toast/brown, so be sure to check on the bread occasionally to avoid burning 
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can just broil the bread in the oven for about 1-2 minutes until toasty – but watch the homemade croutons closely if they are under the broiler, they will burn quickly.
Roasted Tomato Soup in a black bowl

Homemade Croutons FAQs

Can I use any type of bread for making croutons?

Yes, you can use various types of bread, such as baguette, sourdough, or whole-grain, depending on your preference. Stale or day-old bread works well for croutons.

How do I store homemade croutons, and how long do they stay fresh?

Store croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer shelf life, you can freeze them for several months.

Can I make croutons without an oven?

Yes, you can make croutons on the stovetop. Toast bread cubes in a skillet with a bit of oil, tossing until they reach your desired level of crispiness.

What’s the best way to prevent croutons from becoming too hard?

Monitor the baking time closely, and avoid overcooking. If you prefer a softer inside, reduce the baking time slightly.

homemade croutons in a salad

Ways To Use Homemade Croutons

Experiment with different seasonings and herbs to customize the flavor to suit the dish.

  • Salads: Sprinkle croutons on top of your favorite salads, like my simple Italian salad, for added crunch and texture.
  • Soups: Float croutons on soups like Tomato Soup or French Onion Soup for a satisfying bite.
  • Pasta Dishes: Use croutons as a topping for pasta dishes, providing a delightful contrast in texture.
  • Casseroles: Add croutons to casseroles, like Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole to create a crispy, golden-brown crust.
  • Snacking: Enjoy them as a standalone snack for a quick and crunchy bite.
  • Stuffing: Use croutons as a base for making delicious homemade stuffing for poultry or vegetarian dishes.
  • Vegetable Dips: Pair croutons with vegetable dips like Spinach Dip for a unique twist on traditional snacking.
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Check Out More Easy Bread Recipes

No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread – An easy way to make artisan-style crusty bread at home! The best part is, very little effort is needed and it’s foolproof! Anyone can make it.  Just 5 minutes of mixing in the morning and you can have delicious homemade bread with soup by dinner! 

Homemade Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes – I’ve found a way to make delicious homemade Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  It’s so easy, this bread almost makes itself! 

Cheese Stuffed Chicken and Spinach Pizza Bread – Bread dough sprinkled with seasoned chicken, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and stuffed with Mozzarella and provolone cheese. Served warm dipped in Alfredo sauce.

Hard Apple Cider Bread – It’s super simple to make. The buttery top crust is thick and crunchy, making it the perfect companion to soups, chili, dips, honey butter and more! 

Homemade Cinnamon Cinnamon – A simple quick bread recipe with a thick cinnamon and sugar crust and a swirl inside. Sweet, and incredibly moist loaf that will bring warmth even to your coldest of days.

Like This Recipe?

I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a review below and let me know how you liked the recipe!

easy homemade croutons in a bowl

Homemade Croutons

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Perfectly seasoned and customizable, homemade crouton will take your soup or salad to the next level! 15 minutes is all you need.


  • 1 slender baguette or a loaf of Italian or sourdough bread (about 4 cups), 1-2 day old bread is best
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
    2. Cut the bread into cubes, about 3/4-inch, and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with cheese and seasonings. Toss until bread is well coated.
    3. Place bread cubes in an even layer on prepared pan and bake for about 10-15 minutes tossing halfway through. If you're in a hurry, you can just broil them in the oven for about 1-2 minutes until toasty - but watch them closely if they are under the broiler, they will burn quickly.
    4. Cool and use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  • NOTE: the more stale the bread is, the quicker it will toast/brown.
  • this recipe can easily be cut in half or even more. Often I will just cut up however much bread we have and I will eyeball the rest. You really can't mess this recipe up.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

Did you make this recipe?

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Originally posted in January 2020. UPDATED January 2024. We spiffed up this post with more information. No changes were made to the recipe.

homemade croutons photo collage