5 Easy homemade croutons that will make your salad the best part of dinner

Sep 28, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Salads never tasted so good as they do when topped with flavored croutons (and they're also not bad as a crunchy snack).

Homemade croutons can be whipped up in no time, and they're a great way to use up old bread. I like to change up the shapes a bit just for fun, and depending on the other flavors you're using, olive oil, coconut oil or melted butter can be used.

Italian-croutons-on-plate
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

In these Italian roasted garlic croutons, I used olive oil, which seemed like a good match for the seasonings and Parmesan cheese used.

oregano-basil-croutons-on-plate
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

For these, I left the crusts on the bread, but if preferred, the crust can be cut off.

bite-of-italian-croutons
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Italian roasted garlic croutons recipe

Yields 4 cups

Prep time: 5 minutes | Bake time: 55 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 drizzles olive oil (for the roasted garlic)
  • 8 slices Italian loaf bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, crust left on
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for the croutons)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 dashes salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a small piece of foil, lay the bulb of garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top, lift all edges of the foil, and seal to form a "tent."
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  4. Use a spoon to squeeze out the garlic from each clove. Dice the garlic, and set aside.
  5. Lower the heat of the oven to 300 F.
  6. To a large bowl, add the bread, olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder and salt. Toss the croutons lightly with your hands, or gently stir with a large spoon until the bread is coated with the ingredients.
  7. On a large cookie sheet, lay the bread out flat. Sprinkle the roasted garlic on top.
  8. Top with Parmesan cheese, and bake for about 30 minutes or until the croutons turn a golden color.
  9. Serve on top of salads, or enjoy as a snack.

Next: Buffalo wing crust croutons recipe

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