Homemade garlic croutons are so delicious and so easy to make! These are best made with stale bread. Turn you unused bread slices into a delicious salad topper.
Use your stale homemade bread
I always seem to have a few slices of bread leftover that just don’t get used. There are the ends from each loaf that are just too small to make into a sandwich. Fresh homemade bread doesn’t remain fresh for very long. After a couple of days, when it starts to get stale, I save any extra pieces for making croutons. I just throw all the pieces into a gallon freezer bag, put it in the freezer and just keep adding every time I have a piece or two.
When the bag is full, it’s time to make croutons! I use slices from my White Whole Wheat Bread that I make regularly. However, you can use any type of bread: White sandwich bread, left over focaccia, french bread, or an artisan style bread. I usually use the extra pieces, but you could use a fresh loaf just for making croutons. It’s all up to you!
What are croutons?
Croutons are dried cubes of bread that are flavored with herbs. Croutons are often eaten on a salad, sprinkled on a soup or crushed and used as a topping for a casserole.
These delicious salad toppers are very versatile. You can adjust the taste to fit your individual likes.
How to make homemade garlic croutons
If making from frozen slices, remove bag from freezer and let sit for 30 min. The pieces will have softened, but will still be slightly frozen. The bread is easier to cut in the partially frozen state. Cut into small cube pieces. It’s helpful to have the pieces be fairly even in size. My cubes are approximately one inch cubes. You can make slightly larger or smaller, depending on what you like.
Place the cubes in a roasting pan and place in the oven to dry. You do need to stir frequently so the ones on the top don’t get too dry. I checked them every 10 minutes. Once they are dry you pour the delicious buttery mixture over the cubes and then you dry some more. At this point the smell of garlic, butter, and bread will have your mouth watering. You will continue stirring every 10 minutes. I have a really hard time resisting sampling every time I have to stir the croutons….quality control is what I keep saying!
Can I use different herbs?
You bet! Instead of parsley, you could add dried basil, dried thyme or fresh chives. You could also use a mixture of herbs, if you’d prefer.
What type of salad is best for garlic croutons?
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- 8 - 12 Cups Bread Cubed
- 1 Cup Butter
- 5 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons Parsley Fresh or dried
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place bread cubes in a large roasting pan.
- Dry at a 350 oven. Stir bread every 10 minutes until almost completely dry.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Add garlic. Cook on very low heat for 3-5 minutes. You just want to warm the garlic and release the oils. You will be able to smell the garlic as it warms up. Set aside off heat.
- When bread is dry, pour butter mixture over dried bread.
- Add Parsley and salt and pepper.
- Stir and return to oven for 5 minutes.
- Stir again and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
This post was originally posted in March of 2015. The recipe, photos and post have been updated.