This easy recipe for bread crust croutons transforms the ends of the loaf that no one eats into crispy crunchy golden cubes of bread that everyone loves.
Why we love this recipe
- This easy 3 ingredient recipe is so useful for turning those leftover bread crusts that often get thrown away in to something that everyone loves to eat.
- These homemade croutons can be made in 15 minutes, and can also be made ahead and sprinkled over your soups or salads over the next few days.
- Whilst I love baked croutons, this simple recipe is made in a pan, meaning you don’t have to put the oven on to make them, saving on the electricity bill.
- This recipe for croutons is so versatile – you can use cubes of leftover baguette, or a variety of bread. You can use slices of bread instead of the crusts (even better if its slightly stale bread – that makes them very crunchy!)
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Bread crusts – white bread, wholemeal bread, sourdough – they all work in this recipe.
- Olive oil – I like to use olive oil as I prefer the flavour it adds, but you can use vegetable oil or rapeseed oil if you prefer. The different oils will add slightly different flavours.
- Salt – sea salt.
- Flavourings – see below for ideas for different flavours.
How to make croutons from scratch
For full video on making tomato pasta, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chop the bread crusts in to 1cm-1.5cm (½ inch) squares with a sharp knife.
- Place the squares of bread in a frying pan and drizzle with the oil. Mix well to coat all the bread in the oil.
- Fry over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the croutons are light-medium golden all over and crisp. Thats it – now you see why this is the easiest crouton recipe 🙂
As long as your bread is suitable for vegans, these are vegan croutons as they are made with oil rather than butter.
Yes you can. If you have the oven on for another recipe, then baking them in the oven is a great way to cook them.
Make sure you leave the croutons to go cold before you store them, otherwise they can steam in the container and become soggy.
My recipe tips
- Cut the bread into equal size pieces.
- Shake the pan or stir the cubes of bread often as they cook to prevent them from burning.
- A lower heat is better than a higher heat. They will take longer to cook but will become crispier and a lovely tasty golden brown.
- Stale or day old bread will crisp up better than fresh or soft bread.
- Croutons are a delicious addition to soups, of course. Try sprinkled over pumpkin carrot soup, roast pumpkin soup or carrot and lentil soup.
- Sprinkle them over a salad – these would be especially delicious over a Caesar salad.
- Top stews and casseroles for a tasty crunch.
- Sprinkle over pasta dishes such as this tomato pasta or zucchini / courgette pasta for crunch – and to help the dishes go a little further.
You can keep the cooled cooked croutons at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. Cool completely before adding to your airtight container otherwise they will go soggy.
- Gluten free croutons – use gluten free bread.
- Flavourings – this recipe is for basic croutons, feel free to add your favourite flavours:
- Garlic croutons – either chop a garlic clove in half and fry with the cubes of bread, or rub the cut side of a clove of garlic over the bread before cutting. If you use crushed garlic it has a tendency to burn.
- Herb croutons – you can use dried herbs or fresh herbs. If using dried herbs, toss with the bread once starting to go golden to prevent the herbs from burning. If using fresh herbs, take off the heat and toss the warm croutons in the chopped herbs
- Chilli croutons – some dried chilli flakes sprinkled over the cubes of bread just before turning the heat off would add a tasty kick.
- You can also make chunky croutons by cutting the bread crusts in to large cubes or small ones by cutting into ½ cm cubes.
Easy Bread Crust Croutons
- 2 bread crusts white, whole meal or sourdough.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil olive oil, vegetable oil or rapeseed oil.
- Cut the bread crusts into 1cm – 1.5cm (½ inch) squares.
- Place the cubes of bread in a large frying pan over a medium heat with the oil and salt, stirring to make sure the croutons are evenly covered in oil.
- Fry, stirring every so often, until all sides of the croutons are light to medium golden brown – around 10 minutes.