Cooking Basics: Homemade Croutons

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Homemade Croutons. So easy. So delicious.

I’m not usually one to judge, but sometimes there are recipes SO EASY that people don’t even think to try. It drives me crazy! So today, I’m going to be a bit judgy. If you’ve never made your own croutons, and don’t do so regularly, well, I might think a little less of you. And if you don’t try them after I go ahead and show you step by step how easy they are to make and take practically NO TIME out of your normal dinner preparation time, well, then you’ll just make me sad. Nothing’s worse than a sad locavore, burying herself in pint after pint of local Blue Marble Ice Cream. You don’t want to be responsible for that, do you? So please, just try it once.

It takes about 2 minutes to cut the bread, add spices and stick it all in the oven. They toast beautifully while you finish preparing your main course, toss a salad or set the table. Plus, they’re WAY better than those packaged crouton things you can buy at the grocery. I won’t even start with the scary fillers, sodium and fillers that are in those things.

Homemade Croutons (enough for one large family style salad)

  • hunk of rustic bread (day old bread works great) cut into 1″ cubes, about 2 cups
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • spices of choice such as garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  • quart sized ziplock baggie
  • cookie sheet

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Dump bread cubes into ziplock baggie and drizzle over olive oil. Add spices. I like garlic A LOT so usually add about a tablespoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning, then a pinch of salt and few cranks of fresh ground pepper.

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Seal bag and shake, shake, SHAKE! until bread cubes are well coated with oil and spices. Dump bread cubes onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350°F until toasted but still soft.

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Let cool for a few minutes until easy to handle. Toss with your favorite salad. I recommend romaine with homemade Caesar dressing.

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