DIY Garlic Croutons {Vegan}

by alexandra

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Let’s talk salad for a second. There’s a billion and one ways to make a salad, so the tastiness of it really depends on what you decide to put in it. Usually I prefer a really loaded salad, meaning I like to add all sorts of vegetables, seeds, and tasty “dressings” like salsa to make my salad flavorful but still healthy. Sometimes though, salad just gets boring to me, and I feel like I need something new to make it exciting again. Enter these croutons.

Why did it never occur to me before to make my own croutons? It took a batch of miserably-failed bread to trigger the idea in my head, and once I made them the first time I seriously couldn’t believe I’d never done it before. Not only are these homemade croutons way better than some you might buy at the store, but they’re also not the kind of croutons that will turn a healthy salad into an unhealthy one. Of course, you should probably make sure your salad is still primarily made of vegetables, but luckily the¬†croutons¬†are so bursting with flavor that just a few will make a big impact! The other thing is, making croutons is pretty much the simplest thing to do ever. The hardest part is cutting up a loaf of bread into cubes. That’s it.

So basically, there’s no good excuse for buying croutons, because when you make your own, it’s tastier, it’s healthier, it’s easy, and you use up a bunch of leftover bread, giving yourself an excuse to make a fresh loaf. Done! :)

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DIY Garlic Croutons


  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cups croutons*

Description

Crunchy and flavorful Garlic Croutons are a snap to make at home with some leftover bread and a few other kitchen staples.


Ingredients

  • 9 cups cubed baguette bread, or any other bread with a similar texture**
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced chives***

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil to evenly coat. Toss in the sea salt, pepper, garlic and chives, dispersing evenly throughout the mixture.
  3. Divide the mixture between the two prepared baking sheets, spreading the bread cubes out to a single layer on each sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking cycle and tossing the bread cubes every 5 minutes or so to promote even cooking and prevent burning. Cool on baking sheets and store in an airtight container.

Notes

*You can easily scale this recipe to make more or less croutons.

** Preferably day-old bread (or older!)

*** Dried minced onion or shallots would work as well.

P.S. Whatever you do, DON”T try to pop a crouton in your mouth when it’s fresh out of the oven. I speak from experience when I say it can burn you!

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Kare @ Kitchen Treaty September 14, 2012

I loooove homemade croutons! I freeze leftover scraps of bread and then make a big ol’ batch every now and then. They’re sooo addicting though. Too addicting. :)
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brighteyedbaker September 15, 2012

That’s a great idea! I’ve never thought of that. Makes things even easier. :)

Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 14, 2012

Perfect salad topper, I love the garlic!
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brighteyedbaker September 15, 2012

Thanks:) Garlic is so good!

Julia September 15, 2012

I know, it never occurred to me to make my own croutons either. :). Beautiful presentation!

brighteyedbaker September 16, 2012

Thanks! And I guess we learn something new every day, right?

Riley September 16, 2012

Croutons are the best part of any salad! These look wonderful!

Jen @ Savory Simple September 17, 2012

Homemade croutons are always so much better!
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brighteyedbaker September 17, 2012

So I’ve learned! :)

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