Looking for ways to use leftover bread? With three different cooking methods, plus a fool-proof sourdough crouton recipe with garlic, fresh herbs and zesty Parmesan cheese, your homemade croutons will be ready in under 30 minutes.
Homemade croutons are one of the easiest, most cost-effective sourdough recipes that utilize fresh or leftover sourdough bread. They can be made in advance, require zero planning, and can be customized to suit your taste (extras make great sourdough breadcrumbs!).
Here’s my take on it, featuring 3 different cooking methods, plus a fool-proof DIY crouton recipe with garlic, fresh herbs and zesty Parmesan cheese. I’ve adapted the recipe from my book, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple.
How to Make Sourdough Bread Croutons
To begin: cube bread into 1-inch pieces. Size is important. Don’t go too large; the croutons will be awkward and clunky to eat. For a more rustic-style crouton, tear up the bread with your hands.
Next, pick your cooking method below.
- Baked Sourdough Croutons
Toss bread cubes in olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and bake on a lined sheet pan @ 350 F (180 C) until golden and crisp, about 20-30 minutes. Turn occasionally.
For seasonings, try a dash of garlic powder, and shower with fresh herbs like dill and parsley. Parmesan and Pecorino cheese is nice, too (exact recipe to follow at the end of this post). The combination of flavors is excellent. The cheesy bits get all crunchy and delicious. Try it in tomato soup.
TIP: Choose this method for easy, hands-off cooking and to maximize oven time while baking something else.
- Fried Sourdough Croutons
Plunge bread cubes (I prefer hand-torn for this method) into a medium saucepan of shimmering hot olive oil; lower the heat and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt & pepper. The oil can be reused; cool and store in a glass bottle.
TIP: Choose this method to experience exceptionally light, crackly, and ultra crisp croutons- the texture is phenomenal. Great way to avoid using the oven in the hot summer months.
- Grilled Sourdough Croutons
Brush sliced bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for a few minutes on each side until lightly charred. After grilling, if the center is still slightly soft (like toast), leave out for a few hours or overnight to dry at room temperature. Cut into cubes.
TIP: Choose this method if you grill often and/or have leftover grilled bread from bbq’s. Works well in a salad of chopped grilled vegetables, fresh basil, scallions, and fresh mozzarella.
Best Bread for Croutons?
But keep in mind, you don’t have to use sourdough bread at all (although the tangy flavor will add extra depth)! Work with whatever you have and make it great.
HOw to store Croutons
Croutons can be stored at room temperature, in an air-tight container, for up to a week. They need to be completely cool before boxing up. Otherwise they will get soft.
You can also freeze croutons. Freeze them plain (uncooked) or already baked and store in a zip-top bag or container. I’ve had luck with the latter option, gently warming them in the oven before serving.
Recipes to try with Homemade Sourdough Croutons
- Warm Sourdough Panzanella Salad
- Must Try Sicilian Caponata
- Tuscan White Bean Soup, 2 Ways
- Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, for additional recipes
Ready in under 30 minutes, these baked homemade sourdough bread croutons with Parmesan, garlic & fresh herbs is an easy, no-waste recipe. Great in salads, soups and as a crunchy snack! Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple.
- 200–240 g (6 cups) 1-inch cubed bread
- 30–45 g olive oil (2–3 tbsp.)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 8 g (2 heaped tbsp.) chopped fresh dill, plus more to taste
- Ground Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, to taste
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Notes & Substitutions
The flavor of fresh dill does not over power in this dish. It’s delicious. Use chopped fresh parsley as a substitute or a combo of both.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Evenly arrange the bread cubes on a sheet pan in one single layer. Drizzle with some of the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with garlic powder, fresh dill, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss gently with your hands, adding more olive oil as needed (if it’s too dry), until the bread is nicely coated.
- Bake on the center rack for 20-30 minutes, checking at the 15-minute mark- give it a stir. The croutons are ready when they are crisp and golden brown; total bake time will vary based on size.
- Once completely cool, store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
TIP: Pulse any leftover croutons in a food processor for homemade breadcrumbs. Store at room temperature or freeze for up to 3-6 months.
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