Easy Garlic and Herb Croutons

Posted by on September 24, 2011 | 8 Comments

Quick Note: Congrast to Casi Leigh! Winner of the Rudi’s Giveaway this week. Another giveaway coming up soon!

Since I have so many wonderful gluten-free friends, I frequently hear the sorrow of croutons arriving on a prepared salad when dining out. But what many may not realize, is that strict dairy-free people must also be on guard when it comes to croutons. Most are made with butter, margarine of unknown origin, and/or parmesan cheese. Not to mention whey powder, lactose, and other strange “flavoring” ingredients if the croutons were mass produced. Croutons aren’t a luxury that I indulge in often … well, until now.

Seriously, why is it that we forget how insanely easy some things are to make?

In college, my good friend and roomate Annette worked at Casa de Fruta. In addition to loads of delicious dried fruit, she would bring home day old bread at least once a week. Almost immediately upon walking in the door, she would chop up the bread, put it back in the paper bag it came in, drizzle in oil, sprinkle in some seasonings, give it a shake, and bake them for a few minutes. We had freshly made croutons available ALL. THE. TIME. Dang I miss her.

Yesterday, when staring down a half loaf of stale bread that I knew shouldn’t go to waste, I thought of that friend, and realized it was time for me to make croutons! And make croutons I did …

Dairy-Free Garlic & Herb Croutons with Gluten-Free Option

Recipe: Garlic & Herb Croutons

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups 1/2-inch Bread Cubes, cut from stale bread (I leave the crusts on, but you can cut them off if desired)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley, Basil, or Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • Generous Dash Black Pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, and drizzle on the olive oil, stirring as you drizzle. I like to keep it moving so that just a few of the bread cubes don’t soak up all of the oil!
  3. In a small dish, combine the seasonings, salt, and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the bread cubes and stir to coat.
  5. Bake the croutons for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they have crisped up to your liking.

Quick notes

You can use whatever bread you like, including gluten-free! As a matter of fact, most gluten-free bread improves in texture when toasted, making this a perfect recipe for using up leftovers. I stuck with wheat-based bread, using a combination of white-wheat and 100% whole wheat breads for an appealing light-darl mix of croutons.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet tags: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Sugar free

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

 

Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Comments (8)

 

  1. We love homemade croutons here too! Sometimes we do them as a side dish instead of potatoes, pasta or rice. I do a quick version in a skillet. Tony and the boys love them cooked in real butter, but I’m a Smart Balance light kind of gal. These sound delicious!

  2. I love homemade croutons. I think I’ll go make some now!

  3. Katie says:

    You know, I never have liked croutons. Even when I was growing up. I think it was the oil factor. I was the weird kid who hated when things tasted like oil. Except, of course, french fries and cheese curds. 😉

    • alisa says:

      You are definitely weird with that oil aversion, but fortunately, I think you’re awesome anyway 🙂 You can always make these croutons with dairy-free margarine instead!

  4. I love homemade croutons!!! I make them with a broccoli soup usually. Never ever liked then in salads out always nixed the croutons. Your recipe looks so simple yet so delicious!!!!

  5. Thanks for thinking of your gluten-free peeps!!! I love home-made croutons. We make them often – now time to try your version! It looks wonderful!! 😉

  6. Marianne says:

    So true about croutons! They are insanely easy to make, and such a great way to avoid throwing out part of a loaf of bread. I just realized this in the summer, when I would have the ends of loaves of bread from the farmer’s market that I hated to see go to waste. Makes a simple salad so much better as well 🙂

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