Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons

by Alli

Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons are a great way to add flavor and texture to soups, salads, and other dishes.

You probably have everything on hand to make these croutons.  All you need is bread, butter, and Italian seasonings. Once you make homemade croutons, you can customize them to your liking by adding your favorite seasonings. 

To make homemade croutons, start by cutting bread into small cubes and tossing them in butter or olive oil and Italian seasonings. Next, bake the croutons in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy. The result is a delicious and crunchy addition to any dish.

When you make your own croutons, you can ensure that they are fresh and free from any preservatives or additives. Plus, you can experiment with different breads and seasonings to create your own unique flavor combinations.

Whether you’re looking to add some crunch to your Caesar salad or to top your favorite soup, homemade Italian seasoned croutons are a simple and delicious solution.

Ingredients Required To Make Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons

Bread Selection

To make homemade Italian seasoned croutons, the bread selection is important. This is a great way to use up stale bread that is a few days old. Sourdough bread is my choice for this recipe. 

You can also use French bread or a baguette for a classic Italian taste. However, any bread with a firm texture will work.

Ingredients Needed For Homemade Croutons Recipe (Full Printable Recipe Card At End Of Post)

Ingredients:

  • 24-ounce Loaf of Sourdough Bread
  • Unsalted Butter (½ cup)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons

Items Needed:

  • 9×13 Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Microwave-Safe Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula (optional)

Preparation Process

Preparing the Bread 

To make homemade Italian seasoned croutons, the first step is to prepare the bread. Any type of bread can be used, but it is recommended to use stale bread as it will hold its shape better during the cooking process.

The bread should be cut into small cubes of about 3/4-1 inch in size. It is important to make sure that the bread cubes are all the same size to ensure even cooking.

Seasoning the Croutons

Now it’s time to add some flavor.  Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and the seasoning mixture should be poured over them. Toss the bread cubes to ensure that all the cubes are coated evenly with the seasoning mixture. 

Tips For Making Italian Seasoned Croutons

  • You can use the bread you prefer, but the sourdough bakes up really well with a scrumptious flavor. 
  • If you want an even more vibrant flavor for your croutons, you can use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
  • This recipe calls for butter, but you can use olive oil in place of butter. 
  • I suggest grabbing a rubber glove and stirring the croutons with your hand before baking. It’s truly the best way to ensure the bread doesn’t get beat up in the stirring process and gets more evenly covered.
  • The coating on your croutons isn’t going to be perfect. That’s perfectly fine and you won’t have any clue once they’re baked. They turn out delicious.
  • If you’re using salted butter, you will want to skip the salt altogether or reduce it by at least half.
  • One side of the croutons will turn out a bit darker than the other side. If you don’t want this (it doesn’t change the flavor), simply flip the croutons halfway through the baking process.

Steps For Making Homemade Croutons

Preheat the oven to 300º F. Cut the bread slices into 3/4 inch squares. 

bread being cut into one inch cubes to make croutons

Slice the stick of butter into 4 cubes (it melts more evenly this way) and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute or until the butter is fully melted. 

melted butter surrounded by cubed bread for homemade croutons

Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the melted butter and stir well.

seasoning added to melted butter in the process of making homemade Italian croutons

Place the bread chunks in a large mixing bowl and pour the melted butter mixture over the top. 

melted butter and seasonings being poured over cubed bread for homemade croutonsMake sure you don’t dump the melted butter/seasoning mixture in one place. Spread the love!

Italian seasonings mixed with bread cubesUsing your hand or a rubber spatula, gently fold the bread pieces until they’re coated with a bit of butter and seasoning.

a gloved hand mixing seasonings and bread cubes together before baking croutons

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the bread cubes in a single layer on the pan.

seasoned bread cubes spread on a baking sheet ready to bake

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

scooping golden brown baked Italian Seasoned Croutons from baking sheet

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons, there are many ways to enjoy them. Here are a few serving suggestions to get you started.

Salad Pairings

Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons are a perfect addition to any salad. They add a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor that can take an ordinary salad to the next level.

green salad in a white salad bowl topped with homemade croutons

Here are some salad pairings that work particularly well with Homemade Italian-seasoned croutons:

  • Caesar Salad: The classic Caesar salad is a perfect match. The croutons add a nice crunch to the crisp romaine lettuce and the tangy Caesar dressing.
  • Caprese Salad: This simple salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil is a delicious way to showcase the croutons. The croutons add a nice contrast to the soft cheese and juicy tomatoes.
  • Spinach Salad: A spinach salad with Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons, bacon, and a warm bacon dressing is a hearty and satisfying meal.

Soup Pairings

Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons are also a great addition to soups. They can be used to add texture and flavor to a variety of soups. Here are some soup pairings you’ll love:

  • Tomato Basil Soup: This classic soup is a perfect match in heaven. I always love a good crunch to top off this smooth soup. The Italian seasoning complements the basil and tomato flavors.
  • Minestrone Soup: This hearty vegetable soup is a great way to showcase the croutons. The croutons add a nice crunch to the soup, and the Italian seasoning adds a burst of flavor.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup: Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons are a great addition to this classic soup. They add a nice crunch to the soft noodles and vegetables, and the Italian seasoning complements the chicken flavor.

How To Store Homemade Croutons 

Storing at Room Temperature

Cool croutons completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Store in a well-sealed container to prevent moisture from entering, which can cause the croutons to become stale or even moldy.

If the croutons begin to lose their crunch, you can refresh them in a low-temperature oven for a few minutes. Simply spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F for 5-10 minutes, or until they have regained their crispiness.

Freezing Option

Homemade Italian seasoned croutons can be frozen for up to three months. To freeze, allow the croutons to cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Be sure to label the container or bag with the date and contents.

When ready to use, thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before being added to soups, salads, or other dishes. I like to reheat them in the oven at 250°F for 5-10 minutes, or until they have regained their crunchiness.

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Yield: 6 cups

Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons

homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons on white baking dish

Homemade Italian Seasoned Croutons add the best flavor to soups and salads.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24-Ounce Loaf of Sourdough Bread
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (½ cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300º F. 
  2. Cut bread slices into large chunks, about ¾ of an inch in size.
  3. Slice butter into 4 cubes (it melts more evenly this way) and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute or until the butter is fully melted.
  4. Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the melted butter and stir well.
  5. Place the bread chunks in a large mixing bowl and pour the melted butter mixture over the top, being sure to not pour it all in one place. 
  6. Using your hand or a rubber spatula, gently fold the bread pieces until they’re coated with a bit of butter and seasoning.
  7. Cover a 9x13" baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the bread cubes evenly on the pan.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use the bread you prefer, but the sourdough bakes up really well with a scrumptious flavor. You can also use stale bread or older bread. It’s a great way to use it up so there’s no waste.
  • If you want an even more vibrant flavor for your croutons, use fresh herbs.
  • You can use oil in place of butter if preferred. It would be the same amount, whichever you choose.
  • I definitely suggest grabbing a rubber glove and gently stirring the croutons with your hand before baking. It’s truly the best way to ensure the bread doesn’t get beat up in the stirring process and gets more evenly covered.
  • The coating on your croutons isn’t going to be perfectly even. That’s OK, that’s normal and they will be delicious.
  • If you’re using salted butter, you may want to skip the salt altogether or reduce it by at least half.
  • One side of the croutons will turn out a bit darker than the other side. If you don’t want this (it doesn’t change the flavor), simply flip the croutons halfway through the baking process. 

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Nutrition Information

Yield

48

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 56Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 5mgSodium 130mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 2g

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2 comments

William Prince January 14, 2024 - 7:46 pm

I’m wondering now if dehydrating the bread before cutting/mixing (or even after cutting but before mixing) to remove all the moisture possible would help prolong their shelf life? I have pouches from store bought croutons that I can reuse (with the proper ‘italian seasoned’ labeling already in place). I have a Ninja Foodie. It comes with a dehydrator setting. I can get fairly stale bread at the discount grocery store. All varieties (sourdough, white, wheat, etc) and name brands inexpensively.

Reply
Alli January 15, 2024 - 7:42 am

I’ve never tried dehydrating the bread so I don’t know. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

Reply

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