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Allow me to introduce my favorite 20 minute crouton recipe! This will be your new favorite way to use up leftover bread! In this recipe we'll transform whatever stale bread you've got lying around it into the most delicious accompaniment for your Kale Caesar Pasta Salad!
How to make these easy croutons:
You'll start by lining a sheet pan with parchment paper. This will make for easy clean up at the end. Cut your stale bread into bite size squares and lay in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Drizzle with a moderate amount of olive oil and sprinkle with dried herbs, salt and pepper.
Toss to coat them evenly and spread them in a single layer again.
Then bake for 15 minutes, stirring the croutons every 5 minutes or so, allowing them to get nice and golden brown on all sides.
While your croutons are baking, you can get started on making my super easy Kale Caesar Pasta Salad!
Why you're going to love these croutons:
- They are perfectly crispy and crunchy with minimal effort from you.
- They are free of preservatives and ingredients you can't pronounce like the store bought croutons.
- They're super easy to make and great way to use up any leftover bread you've got lying around.
What kind of bread works best for croutons?
Whatever kind of bread you have! I love to use a crusty French baguette or a hearty sour dough loaf, but honestly sliced wheat bread works great too. You're going to add loads of flavor with olive oil and spices, so the specific kind of bread doesn't matter as much.
What can I serve these simple croutons with?
I'm glad you asked, because I've got a few ideas! Obviously my Kale Caesar Pasta Salad is the number one way to serve these croutons in my opinion. If you're opposed the classic mayo-laden macaroni pasta salads you'll usually find at your family barbecue, you are GOING TO LOVE this Kale Caesar Pasta Salad. It's loaded with lemony massaged kale, freshly shaved Parmesan, your favorite noodles and a healthy yogurt-based and (spoiler alert) store bought dressing!
Tips for making the very best croutons:
- Wonder bread will not work wonders in this recipe. I have nothing against white bread... Okay actually, I'm just going to go ahead and say it - I hate white bread. It offers no nutritional value and tastes like eating a cardboard sponge. French baguette, multi-grain, sourdough, focaccia or even ciabatta bread work perfect in this recipe. Leave the Wonder bread on the shelf and try something hearty and flavorful when you're making these croutons!
- Olive oil = dark golden brown and crispy. The more evenly your olive oil is distributed the more crispy every inch of your croutons will be! Be sure to drizzle the olive oil AND toss the croutons to coat them evenly. You will not be disappointed.
- Note: These homemade croutons do not get as soggy as their store brought friends. The olive oil does a great job protecting these bad boys from soaking up to much moisture, which means they'll stay crunchy longer!
Other perfect salad pairings for these quick and easy croutons:
- Salmon Caesar Salad
- Harvest Kale Salad
- Fried Goat Cheese Salad
- Sun Dried Tomato Herb Salad
- Simple Dijon Salad
This post was originally published in July of 2018. It was updated in March of 2019 to include process shots and tips for making the best homemade croutons every single time.