Who's on board to sign our petition to give croutons their own place on the food pyramid?! After you try these easy homemade croutons, we bet you will be!

homemade croutons fresh from the oven, from Shelf Cooking

Tell us how much you love croutons without telling us you love croutons. We'll go first! We get the side salad instead of fries. Because, ya know, #croutons.

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And since we're SUCH big crouton fans, we figured it was high time to write about 'em. So today, we're sharing one of the world's simplest recipes! Let's make easy homemade croutons together, you guys.


close up of croutons in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

In a nutshell, croutons are just pieces of fried or baked bread. A dense bread with crust tends to make the best croutons, but other than that, there aren't many rules! Which type of bread you use is up to you, but we have a few suggestions:

We bet you've got leftovers from at least one of those types of bread! If not, you can try our rustic bread recipe. The leftovers make a mean batch of croutons.


No one likes a soggy, stale crouton, so before you start cooking, make sure you know how to keep your homemade croutons crisp and fresh. Here are a few quick pointers:

  • Resealable Bag – One of the fastest, cheapest, and easiest ways to store your croutons is in a Ziplock bag. Make sure to let out all the air before you seal. Keep the croutons in a cool, dark place, and they should last for around one week.
  • Tupperware Container – If you'd rather not use a plastic bag, airtight glass or Tupperware containers work just as well! Again, keep them in a dark spot, away from moisture, and plan to use them within a week or so.

Need to refresh a batch of stale croutons? Just place them in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes at 400°F. Now, what can you do to make sure none of those yummy, easy homemade croutons go to waste? We have tons of fun ideas, so keep on reading!


stuffing made from homemade croutons, from Shelf Cooking

Aside from topping your favorite salad with a generous handful of croutons, what can you do with that repurposed bread? Well, we highly suggest snacking on croutons (just sayin'), but here are a few more ideas:

  • Make Stuffing – Turn your croutons into a Thanksgiving feast! Well, into the stuffing, at least. To be honest, we'll use any holiday as an excuse to serve up some homemade stuffing.
  • Top Casseroles – Toss a handful of your croutons in the food processor, and then use them to top your favorite casseroles. We think green bean casserole and broccoli casserole are both amazing with crouton crumbs on top!
  • Bread Crumbs – Speaking of crumbs, use them as a substitute for bread crumbs in other recipes!
  • Garnish French Onion Chicken – You guys have heard us rave about this French onion chicken before, but with croutons on top? Holy moly. Try it!
  • Serve on Soup – Croutons and soup go together like peanut butter and jelly. Need a new soup recipe to try? We bet you'll love this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup!
  • Stuffed Peppers – Skip the rice! Fill your pepper with meat, cheese, veggies, and croutons. You'll love the added crunch.
  • Scrambled Eggs – Try this and see what you think. Instead of toasting bread to serve on the side, toss some croutons into your egg scramble.

We could keep going, but we're anxious to share that recipe, so what do you say? Are you ready for crouton time?!


Get ready to bring your stale bread back to life in the best way possible! Click the print button or bookmark this page because we know you'll want to come back to these easy homemade croutons again and again!

homemade croutons fresh from the oven, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Homemade Croutons

You'll never need to waste another dime on store-bought croutons. These are super easy and so much better!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 4 cups bread, torn or cubed
  • cup oil or melted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Slice or tear bread into cubes.
  • Toss bread cubes, oil, and seasonings in a bowl and mix until bread is coated.
  • Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a large, lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and golden browned. Serve and enjoy!


No Italian seasoning? Skip it, or use your own blend of fresh herbs! Want to know the easiest way ever to slice your bread cubes? Break out the pizza cutter! You'll have those croutons in the oven in record time. 
Keyword homemade croutons

We're suddenly craving a big salad now! If you bribe your kids to eat their greens by serving them with a huge handful of these, we won't judge. Whatever works, right?!

We hope you love these homemade croutons as much as we do! Buh-bye grocery store markup. These bad boys are shelf cooking gold.

What's your favorite way to eat croutons: on soup or salad? Let us know in the comments!

Homemade croutons on a baking sheet, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for a few more super simple recipes to try?

Time to break bread!