Homemade Garlic Croutons
When I first got into college and living on my own back in the late 90s, I started my journey to healthier eating. That began with a bag of Fresh Express Salad (you know the one with the iceberg lettuce, a few sorry looking carrot strips, and the cabbage that would survive the test of time), a bottle of $1 Fred Meyer Italian Salad Dressing and prepackaged croutons. I thought I had arrived. I was healthy. Well, it was definitely true that I was eating healthier than I had been growing up, since my only real vegetable back then was canned cream corn (if you could call that a vegetable-and it certainly didn’t resemble fresh). We had the occasional sandwich with sliced tomatoes and iceberg lettuce (again), no crust back then, thank you very much! We just didn’t have salads growing up. Probably because we were allowed to be so picky. Anyway, through the years my pallet has slowly changes, praise the Lord! But very incremental changes over time appear quite large when comparing to now, almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through the crouton phrase, and then gave up on them for years in place of walnuts, or pecans, cashews and almonds (which all make fabulous crouton substitutions by the way).
So for my Ellie-girl’s 10th birthday she wanted a Caesar Salad. You can even see in my picture of our creamy Caesar Salad here that I didn’t put any croutons on it, just walnuts. And she wanted croutons on her birthday Caesar Salad. And she didn’t want a creamy Caesar salad dressing, she wanted one like the Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing. By the way, Ellie is not a picky girl, so it was easy to want to please her and honor her for her birthday with something she really wanted to eat. Being the DIY girl that I am, I didn’t want to buy croutons. I wanted to make them. I had made them several years ago, so I knew how easy it really was. A side note: I TRIED to make a homemade non-creamy Caesar dressing, and my first attempt was pretty much awful! Way too much anchovy fillets, and I used the Pioneer Woman’s Recipe minus 2 fillets. She’s got a strong pallet. I am still working on a non-creamy Caesar so I don’t have to buy it.
This Homemade Garlic Croutons Recipe is so easy to make and comes together quickly. You can use any kind of bread, really, which is nice, especially if you need a bread of the gluten-free variety. Hardy breads do work the best, though. I love to use the Sprouted Bread from Costco. And the drier the bread, the better, so it’s a great way to use older bread (along with this recipe for French Toast Bake:). I like to use an empty bread bag to prepare the croutons and really get a good mix. Those bags are so sturdy. This recipe makes the house smell heavenly. There will surely be garlic in heaven when we are feasting…and bread don’t you think?!
Homemade Garlic Croutons
- 4 cups bread, cubed (use bread of choice, gluten-free if needed)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl or bread bag, and mix or massage the contents until evenly coated.
- Bake on a lipped baking sheet for 7 minutes, stir them around, and bake another 4-7 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Enjoy on your favorite salads, and store the leftovers in an airtight container.
Need other recipes with dry bread? Try this French Toast Bake with a Crumble. So good!