This easy homemade crouton recipe combines simple pantry ingredients into perfectly garlicky, crunchy, crispy and flavor-packed croutons in just 15 minutes! Use these croutons for caesar salads, soups, or ever crush them into breadcrumbs!

homemade croutons on parchment paper

Ever crave that restaurant-quality caesar salad from the comfort of your own home?

Same. Which is why quick homemade croutons are key.

Now, nothing against store-bought (I mean if our queen, Ina Garten, says “store bought is fine,” then you know it is!).

But homemade croutons taste just SO fresh, flavorful, and have the perfect crisp that store-bought croutons can really miss out on.

Vegan Caesar salad with croutons

With just a few simple pantry ingredients (and yes, they’re actually all dairy free!), you can transform any day-old bread into the most crisp, crunchy, and deliciously garlicky homemade croutons that you could easily devour on your own.

Trust me, I’ve been there. 

Simple Pantry Ingredients:

Okay, so let’s talk ingredients. Here’s what you need:

  • Bread loaf: Really, this can be any kind. I used a homemade sourdough loaf that I made from The Clever Carrot (I just adore Emilie). But you can also use sandwich bread, an artisan loaf, and even if you’re gluten free, check out my easy gluten-free sandwich bread! I make homemade gluten-free croutons for my husband all of the time with this recipe. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: ​​​​A high quality olive oil is key here because it adds so much flavor to the overall croutons. 
  • Garlic powder: You can also sub in onion powder, but I’m keeping it simple!
  • Dried parsley: You can also use Italian seasoning (which usually has a mix of oregano, basil, and more in there!), but I personally just prefer parsley!
  • Mustard powder: This is my “secret” ingredient, and I swear it makes these croutons that much more irresistible!
  • Black pepper & sea salt

Do I need day-old bread?

I’ve made croutons with fresh bread and with day-old “stale” bread. Honestly, you can do either. I recommend day-old bread because technically the olive oil rehydrates the bread a bit, so you may need to bake the croutons longer if you’re using fresh-bread. 

Overview: How to make and store homemade croutons:

This recipe is so so easy, and just a fantastic way to use up all bread, especially if you can’t go through a whole loaf! (Though if you need more ideas, check out my go-to French toast recipe- it’s irresistible and even my non-vegan family LOVES it!). 

Here’s what you’ll do:

Flavor variations:

  • Swap olive oil for vegan butter: this will give them a really rich, buttery flavor!
  • Make chipotle-flavored croutons: Add chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin for some extra flavor!
  • Toss on some za’atar seasoning: you can make your own with sesame, coriander, marjoram, and dried sumac, or use store bought!
  • Make “honey” mustard flavoring: Use a touch of agave or maple syrup with the olive oil and some extra mustard powder, and toss the croutons to evenly coat!
  • Go for a more wintery, cozy crouton: Toss in some dried thyme and dried rosemary, and the croutons will smell like Thanksgiving!
  • Cheesy croutons: Toss the croutons in some vegan parmesan cheese for crispy cheesy croutons!

Recipes to use these homemade croutons in:

Of course, my husband and I LOVE these croutons in a good homemade caesar salad (using my favorite 2 minute Vegan Caesar salad dressing!! Don’t worry- again, no funky ingredients, just pantry staples!).

But you can use croutons beyond just your homemade salads! Here are a few other ideas:

  • As a topping for soupTry these homemade croutons on my roasted tomato soup, Tuscan white bean soup, creamy mushroom soup, butternut squash soup, or sweet potato soup!
  • Crushed into breadcrumbs: These make a perfect breadcrumb coating for crispy tofu– a fantastic vegan “chicken” replacement on top of salads! Simply process in a food processor once baked!
  • As stuffing for Thanksgiving: I loveeee my homemade vegan stuffing. Using thicker, chunkier cubes of bread for the croutons would be perfect here!
  • As a topping for stuffed veggies: Think stuffed tomatoes, bell peppers, and even zucchini!
  • In vegan “chicken” caesar salad wraps! Grab a wrap and use my favorite Vegan Caesar salad with lemon pepper tofu. Wrap it all up, and you have a fantastic lunch!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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Quick 15 Minute Simple Homemade Croutons- Pantry Ingredients

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy homemade crouton recipe combines simple pantry ingredients into perfectly garlicky, crunchy, crispy and flavor-packed croutons in just 15 minutes! Use these croutons for caesar salads, soups, or ever crush them into breadcrumbs!


  • 1 loaf of bread (1216 ounces), day-old preferred, roughly chopped into 1-inch cubes*
  • 23 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (generous!)*
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss: Place the bread cubes onto the baking sheet, and sprinkle with the seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil, and using clean hands or a large spoon, toss to coat evenly. You want every surface to have some olive oil on it.
  3. Bake: Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.
  4. Use or store: Use once cooled in your recipe or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.


Gluten free: Use gluten-free bread in lieu of regular bread when needed.

Olive oil: Swap in vegan melted butter for another oil option.