Crunchy homemade croutons are such a special treat! My girls and I enjoy eating these in a fresh salad, as a garnish on top of soup, or just munching on them as a snack. Since these crunchy croutons use three ingredients we all love–bread, butter and fresh Parmesan–they can disappear fast in my home. I’ll give you an advanced warning: they are addictive, so make a double batch if you want any for the next day.
You can use almost any kind of savory bread, but I choose homemade Cuban bread as it is a breeze to slice and has a nice crumb structure. Cutting off the crusts is a personal choice. It does save time if you decide to keep them on, but the texture will be different. Besides starting with a really good bread, the other key ingredient to awesome croutons is using the right amount of butter. If you have too little, the croutons will seem dry and lack flavor, while if too much butter is used, it’s not as healthy.
My last piece of advice to making homemade croutons is to be creative with your spices. For this recipe, I was making these croutons to go in a Caesar salad, so I was striving for more of an Italian garlic bread feel. But if you are making croutons as a snack, the sky is the limit. Homemade croutons are super easy to make, so the next time you are craving something crunchy, head into the kitchen and make up a batch.Print
Best Ever Easy Croutons
Best ever easy croutons taste amazing in Caesar salad, soup, or just as a snack! These crunchy golden cubes are packed with flavor from butter, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Whether they’re for a family dinner, a party, or just for an on the go snack, they will be a big hit!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- 4 1/2 cups day-old bread, crusts removed and cubed
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
- sprinkle of sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Using a bread knife, cut the day old bread into 1/2-inch slices. Stack four pieces of bread on a cutting board, then cut off the crusts. Cube the bread into uniform pieces. Put the bread cubes in a medium sized bowl. Save the crusts for breadcrumbs or casseroles by placing them into a freezer bag.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter and stir in the seasonings, except the cheese. Dump in the bread cubes and toss to coat each piece with the butter and seasonings. If necessary, add more butter or seasonings. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Spread the bread cubes in a single layer over a large cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 300 F. Remove from oven and mix the bread cubes around to get an even golden brown color. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, then stir.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for 5 minutes. Watch carefully during the last two minutes as some croutons could brown faster than others. The goal is to have crunchy, golden brown croutons.
- Remove from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes. Use in a salad, as a garnish for soup or as a snack. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container on the counter away from the oven or fridge.
- Homemade croutons are best when you use butter, and when you have the right amount of it.
- Add variety by changing the type of bread, spices, and cheese used.
- Use day-old bread for best results.
- Make a double batch: use it for salads, garnish for soups or for an easy snack.