Guys! I have the secret to next level salads right here! Homemade croutons. Seriously so good and so easy. These are the answer to the leftover bread you don’t want to throw away but have no other use for!
I’m going to be real with you, salads aren’t really my thing. Too many vegetables for my child-like palette. So if I’m going to eat one, I’m going to make sure it’s the best dang salad that’s ever lived and these croutons are going to be on it!
I’ve included five different flavors in this recipe for you but the sky is the limit. You could experiment with all sorts of your favorite flavors! How about bacon? You could make a bacon crouton! Or you could just put chunks of bacon on your salad. Whatever floats your boat. I’d probably stick to the chunks of bacon if you ask me. But I digress.
Homemade croutons have the most amazing bite to them, crunchy on the outside but still have some give in the middle. And holy moly do they soak up flavor!
These would be perfect for a flavorful panzanella, crumbled up on top of a baked pasta, thrown in a great french onion soup or on top of your everyday salad!
For this recipe I created Ranch, Parmesan Garlic, Sriracha Thyme, Lemon Pepper and BBQ flavored croutons. Each flavor will begin with the basic crouton recipe and then be altered to fit your preference of flavor. Personally my favorite is the Parmesan garlic but that’s because cheese is involved and cheese is my #1.
Homemade Flavored Croutons
- 1 loaf french bread (not super fresh)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the bread into small to medium sized squares. Add them to a lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle the bread with the olive oil and butter and then season with salt and pepper.
- Using your hands or a pair of tongs, toss the croutons and make sure they are coated with your mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
*For ranch flavored croutons sprinkle 2 tbsp ranch seasoning (from a packet) on the croutons during step 3
*For parmesan garlic croutons sprinkle 1 tbsp garlic powder and 3 tbsp grated parmesan on the croutons during step 3
*For Sriracha thyme croutons mix 2 tsp sriracha into the melted butter before drizzling on the bread. Sprinkle 1 tbsp thyme on the croutons during step 3
*For lemon pepper croutons stir 1 tbsp lemon juice into melted butter before drizzling on the bread. When seasoning with pepper during step 3 use approximately 1 tbsp of fresh cracked black pepper.
*For BBQ flavored croutons sprinkle 2 tbsp mesquite BBQ seasoning on the croutons during step 3
You can adjust the flavorings based on your own preferences if you want to make the flavor more or less intense. This is one of those great recipes that you can easily adjust to your own palette!