Homemade Garlic Croutons

Learn how to make delicious homemade garlic croutons perfect for any soup or salad. It's so simple, you'll never want to buy the store-bought kind again.

Every one of us has the problem of “not enough time”, and there are plenty of store-bought solutions for that malady. Pre-cut fruit, pre-sliced veggies, breakfast yogurt/cereal combo packs, kids’ lunchbox staples, and pre-bagged croutons are just a few of the ways we can shave a few minutes off our daily food prep. Those time-savings can be great, but if we do have the time and the resources to make something fresh, it’s often well worth the effort.

The humble crouton is often a last-minute thought in putting together a salad, and so a bag of the pre-made variety has a lot of appeal. But as the old saying goes, give me a loaf of bread and half an hour, and I’ll show you a tray of freshly-baked garlic croutons.

If you’ve read homemade garlic crouton recipes where you simply shake a 1/4 teaspoon of old garlic powder near some old bread, please go and scrub your eyeballs until that horrible vision is erased. We’re sorry you had to see that. To really imbue a garlic flavor into the croutons, we infuse a mix of butter and olive oil with fresh garlic and toast the coated bread cubes until they crisp up. You could add some herbs to the mix if you like, either fresh or dried will work, but a generous seasoning with salt and pepper is a must.

And as for those “cubes” – cut them evenly if you prefer, but in fact we think they’re better torn up informally so you get plenty of jagged edges.

tips for making the best garlic croutons

Honestly, there’s not much to say here. This is a super easy recipe but the devil is in the (just a few) details.

First, add the minced or grated garlic, along with the butter and olive oil to a cold, small saucepan. As the oil/butter heats, it has time to infuse all that delicious flavor before the garlic has a chance to burn and turn bitter. Don’t let the garlic get too dark. A little light brown toastiness is fine, anything darker than that and it’s best to start over.

Use (at least semi) fresh bread. Yes, croutons are a great way to use up old bread but stale bread tastes…stale. If we know we want to make croutons, we buy bread especially for it, or use the bits and pieces of bread we’ve frozen in the past. You can use up stale bread, but it won’t be quite as good.

And lastly, don’t over-crowd the sheet pans If your croutons don’t fit in a single layer with a little breathing room, its best to use 2 sheet pans and spread them out. If they’re bunched together, the moisture will make it take a lot longer for the bread to crisp. It will happen, but it could take quite a bit longer.

five uses for croutons beyond salad

This is our go-to homemade garlic crouton recipe whenever we make a fresh salad and we used this recipe to go with our Ranch-Marinated Grilled Chicken. But there are so many ways to use these crispy, buttery garlicky croutons:

Crisp, golden brown Garlic Butter Croutons
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

Homemade Garlic Croutons

Learn how to make delicious homemade garlic croutons perfect for any soup or salad. It's so simple, you'll never want to buy the store-bought kind again.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread, Easy, garlic, homemade
Servings: 20 servings


  • 1 pound loaf day-old country or sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or chives (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oven to 350ºF and set a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Cut or tear the bread into roughly 1-inch chunks and place on the baking sheet.
  • Add the butter, oil and garlic to a small (cold) skillet. Turn the heat on to medium and stir until the garlic begins to sizzle. Once it sizzles, stir for 30 seconds longer. Pour the garlic butter over the bread cubes, sprinkle over the herbs (if using) and toss to coat the bread as evenly as possible with the garlic butter. Season the bread with the salt and pepper and toss again. Spread the bread out as much as possible on the tray. Use two trays if necessary.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once half way through, until the bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.


Croutons will stay crispy in an airtight container for about a week. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.