This easy homemade croutons recipe is a tasty way to use leftover bread! You’ll also find some great tips for reducing waste and saving money on bread!
Homemade Croutons Recipe and Bread Tips
Here’s a yummy homemade croutons recipe from Dining on a Dime!
Homemade Croutons Recipe
3 cups bread cubes (any thick pieces of leftover bread will work)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder (or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Put bread cubes into a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, onion powder and Italian seasoning, if desired.
Pour oil mixture over bread crumbs and toss. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake, tossing once, until golden brown about (15-20 minutes). Store the homemade croutons in an airtight container.
These homemade croutons taste best if they are allowed to sit for one day before using.
Buy bulk packages of corn tortillas.
If you have a small family that doesn’t use tortillas quickly repackage them in Ziploc bags containing six tortillas each. Then put the Ziploc bags back in the original tortilla bag and store in the freezer. This keeps them neat but lets you use just the amount you need without having to defrost the entire package of tortillas.
Save the crusts from kids sandwiches
I know it’s wasteful for them not to eat it but I also know that most kids won’t eat it at one point in their life!. Also save hamburger buns, hot dog buns, ends of French bread and bread heels. Use them to make croutons. If you butter toast with soft butter while the toast is still warm you use less butter than if the toast or the butter is cold.
Make several batches of bread dough.
After the first rising, punch down, shape into balls, put onto a cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen transfer the dough balls into a freezer bag. When you want fresh, homemade rolls, simply pull out a few, let them thaw and bake as usual.
From A Reader:
I received a tip on heating rolls several years ago from a Deli restaurant that served cinnamon rolls, etc. Her rolls were never tough – so I asked her the secret. If a roll is frozen – place it in the microwave for anywhere from 35 seconds to 1 minute on Auto Defrost. This way the heat goes on and off and does not make the roll tough, but comes out nice and warm.
You can use your own judgment (through trial and error as to the time needed – depending on the size of the roll). You can also heat hot dogs this way and they come out nice and hot, but don’t explode. I also have learned that you can re-heat such foods as shrimp alfredo, etc (foods that do not do well heated normally on high). You might have to go through the process with this type of dish more than once to get it heated up to your taste. The food will come out just like it is freshly cooked. -Maxine in Washington
For more easy recipes like this homemade croutons recipe and tips for making your food budget go further, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.
I’m really enjoying the great photos on your new site! Great work!
Oh Wendy, thank you, thank you, thank you for noticing the photos. I never knew all the work that goes on behind the scenes for things until I had my own business. We sometimes look at a couple of hundred pictures just to get the right one and we do it for each article which is a lot of pictures and time so for you to notice them and appreciate made my day. Jill
one tip for reviving rolls, donuts when they are day or older is to
put them into a paper bag. Roll it down so it is kind of sealed and wet it
quite well. Then put it in the oven at 350 until the bag dries.
They come out nice and soft and warm.
When I was a child the baker in town would call mom to come and pick up her treat at the end of the week. He had a huge box of day old donuts of all sorts and he told her how to do it.
My dad had worked for him for a few years and with 5 kids he knew mom would like to have them. Mom did not bake often as she was busy working.
Honey dipped donuts were our favourites. The honey pockets would remelt and were nice and sticky and drippy.
I agree the pictures add to the content. I do know the work that it takes to get a few good pics. My husband and I do a couple of web pages for two organizations and the pictures are the hardest to get right.
something I do with left over sliced bread or buns, I tear them up into bite size or a little larger pieces into a loaf pan or small baking dish and mix it with some “french toast” mix… eggs a little milk, a little vanilla. Mix it up real good so it’s all coated. Then I add some raisins and sliced apples and bake. It’s great for breakfast with some syrup.
Your website does get me thinking, thanks.
A way to keep bread before it risks going mouldy is to bake it on a tray at 125’C until it is perfectly dry.
Test by touching with a knife and if it does’t bounce back or have any give it is dry through. It could be cut into croutons before.
Cool and store in a jar until needed. Zweibeck – twice baked.
I’ve just done it with a nice health shop barley bread which I didn’t want to waste.
To add : lay out as slices on the cookie sheets.
grizzly bear mom
I keep my bread in the freezer or fridge until I eat it. It gets a bit wet so I toast it. Better than it going moldy.
I love reading blogs that have recipes people used during WWII. One woman has lost a lot of weight eating this diet. I watched a TV show that said Americans and Brits were in very good shape and very healthy while they ate this way. Anyway, it’s fun to read about how they used leftover bread, one recipe was called Wheaties, and it was dried bread cubed and eaten like breakfast cereal. They say it tasted like shredded wheat. The government insisted on waste not want not! I admire that generation so much!
Ooooops! Forgot to tell you how much I love your cookbook, my family loves all the recipes! Thank you.
I have been making my own bread cubes for years but I keep the seasoning seperate. The cubes can also be used for turkey stuffing. If I have bread that is getting just a little moldy, it goes out for the birds (especially whole grain), they love it.
What can you do with leftover Hamburger and hotdog buns? Only my husband likes them and there are only the 2 of us. When I freeze them, they get ice crystals and when I thaw them, they are soggy and I usually end up pitching. Anybody else have this problem?
Bonnie I love leftover buns and always hope I have a few. They are so good buttered and put under the broiler until brown then eaten with honey or jam for breakfast or a snack with coffee. You might even like them this way because it changes the flavor a little and are so yummy. Also you aren’t limited to using them just for hot dogs and hamburgers. You can make any kind of sandwich with them; chicken salad, lunch meats, tuna or what every you like.
You can put a little pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, hamburger, sausage or what ever on them, place under the broiler and make mini pizzas with them.
They are also great with butter, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese and put under the broiler and served with spaghetti.
If you still have a couple left over place them in the freezer. Even if they aren’t in tip top shape they would be great torn up for stuffing in which they really taste good in. Even if they are a little soggy you can lay them out to dry which and let them get as dry as you want for stuffing.
I had a lot of hotdog buns after the 4th of July, so I tried this recipe. Soooo yummy! I did read the recipe all the way through, *wink* but I had to double everything because I ended up with 10 cups of cubed bread. (I also added a dash of Mrs. Dash.) I don’t think we will be buying any store bought ones ever again.
Grizzly Bear Mom
Bonnie-I’m a European bread kind of gal. If it doesn’t hurt when it drops on your foot, I don’t want to eat it. When I do come across the occasional hotdog or hamburger bun that’s been frozen and gotten wet, I toast them and use them for sandwiches. This also works for bread that is softer than the kind you prefer eating. Waste not, want not!
I love hamburger and hot dog buns toasted with butter and jelly for breakfast and a hot cup of coffee to dunk them in.
I like to use hamburger/hot dog/hard rolls for garlic bread with an Italian meal. I melt butter in the microwave, add some minced garlic, let it firm up again, spread and toast in the oven. no rolls in the trash for us!
These sound delicious! How should they be stored?
Just in an air tight container. You don’t need to refrigerate or anything
This is one of my favorite recipes from DOAD and I’ve been making it for many years. The taste is far superior to any store bought croutons! I often freeze heels and bread that is drying out until I have enough to triple this.
Put any old bread – soggy bread, heels & crusts, hot & ham buns that have been frozen too long work well – into the oven at 200° – 250° for about 20 – 30 mins. Turn off the heat, keep the door shut and leave them about an hour, until crispy dry. Pulverize in a blender or food processor, or pound into crumbs with a rolling pin. Freeze crumbs.
Use as a filler for meatloaf, or as a breading for fish, chicken, okra, etc.
To make breading, add 1 Tblsp flour to 1/2 cup crumbs (approx) and seasonings (like garlic powder or Italian spices). Dip or marinate food in any thick liquid, then roll in the coating. Place on an oiled cookie sheet, spray food lightly with oil & bake.
(A “thick liquid” is buttermilk, milk soured with lemon juice, yogurt or sour cream thinned with milk, beaten eggs, or salad dressings.) The “thick liquid” makes the crumbs stick better.
I fill a small spray bottle with veg oil instead of using Pam.