15 Ways to Use Up Stale Bread

Don’t let that bread go to waste! Use it up! Turn leftover stale bread into homemade croutons, breadcrumbs or cubes then use them for sausage kale skillets, top creamy baked mac and cheese, toast and sprinkle over pasta or use them in a breakfast casserole!

Unlike their commercially made and mass produced counterparts which mold when their time is up, homemade bread or the crusty loaves from bakeries can dry out or get stale before you’ve used the whole loaf. Sadly, moldy bread is destined for the trash, but bread that’s dry or a little stale still has plenty of deliciousness to be had.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with a loaf of bread that has lost its luster, you’ve come to the right place. This has happened to me more times than I can count and the first thing that always comes to mind is to make croutons for our dinner salad or breadcrumbs to use on pastas, bread chicken or top casseroles.

I wanted to expand my horizons, so first I found salad recipes that used croutons and then ventured onto other dishes to give new life to homemade breadcrumbs (which store beautifully in the freezer).

You can also take the easy route and just cube or slice the bread and bake a breakfast casserole. Whatever your method, we have plenty of ways to use up that loaf!


Overnight Breakfast Casserole

This was once nicknamed “Open Fridge Breakfast Bake” because it uses up not only stale bread, but also anything you’ve got hanging out in your fridge.

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Make Ahead French Toast Casserole

Be sure to leave the crusts on your bread for this casserole because it’ll give it an extra crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the custardy middle! An added sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar to the top creates sweet crunch on the top that is irresistible.

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Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Prepare this casserole the night before so that the bread has a chance to absorb all the milk and eggs. When it’s baked the next morning, the end result is purely magical!

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Chocolate French Toast? Yep! And it’s drizzled with a chocolate maple syrup too. It’s the perfect cure for your sweet tooth woes.

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Salads and Sides

Horizontal overhead view of citrus salad on a white plate. Supremed orange and grapefruit, radicchio, croutons and feta cheese crumbles are visible.

Sunshine in a salad is what this should be called! It’s bright, cheery, and fresh thanks to the radicchio and citrus, yet the croutons bring in a sort of homey feel. It’s really the best of both worlds.

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Panzanella Bread Salad in a glass serving bowl

Stale bread was born to shine in this salad. It perfectly soaks up all the juices of the cucumbers and tomatoes as well as the olive oil dressing.

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Platter of golden air fried crispy cauliflower heaped on the right of the platter. A small bowl of creamy dip swirled with hot sauce is placed next to the cauliflower on the platter. The cauliflower is resting on a few leaves of lettuce.

Get some major crispy action going with a light coating of breadcrumbs! It is a fun and easy appetizer, but also complements dishes such as pan-seared chicken or pork chops!

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Kraft mac and cheese - a silver spoon is scooping homemade mac and cheese our of a white casserole dish

Satisfy those carb cravings with this creamy dreamboat. It’s loaded with gooey noodles and cheese, but the best part is the crunchy topping made from breadcrumbs. Crunch and gooey never looked so good!

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Baked Fish with Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Time to have some fun with this fish dish! It’s a little messy and unkempt, but comes together in under a half hour leaving plenty of time to enjoy those warm summer nights.

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Lemon artichoke pasta with spinach

This isn’t your ordinary breadcrumb topping! It’s mixed with chopped almonds and then toasted for a depth of flavor that can’t be beat.

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Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet Dinner - shrimp, breadcrumbs, vegetables, tomatoes and beans in skillet

Don’t skip the breadcrumbs on this dish. It’s what really brings all the flavors together. Bonus tip: Freeze leftover breadcrumbs in a Ziplock baggie for up to three months!

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Maryland Crabcakes wtih greens and lemon wedges on a white plate wtih mayo

These old-fashioned and simple crab cakes will always hit the spot. Serve over a bed of lettuce, on a bun, or enjoy them dipped in a spicy mayo.

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Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Saute

This one pan meal is enough to feed a hungry family and has added nutrition thanks to the kale. If there happens to be leftovers, make sure to reheat them on the stove so the bread will crisp up again!

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Slice of the best slow cooker banana bread pudding topped with a scoop of ice cream and drizzeld with caramel sauce on a gray plate. A jar of caramel sauce is off to the side.

If you’re craving something on the sweet side of things, this gooey bread pudding drizzled with a homemade caramel sauce topped with ice cream is just what the doctor ordered. Every spoonful is pure indulgent bliss!

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Best Bread Pudding served on a plate with bourbon sauce

Make this New Orleans classic right in the comfort of your own kitchen. The sauce uses plenty of bourbon, but we also have a non-alcoholic version too!

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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No Image15 Ways to Use Up Stale Bread

  1. Devi

    I love these ideas! I also don’t agree with just throwing food away. There are so many ways it can still be used if we just be creative.

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  2. Vicki

    I like this recipe collection using extra bread!
    We should use EVERYTHING we purchase, not just throw it away.

    This is a good variety of ideas also. Recipes are easy and affordable. Without paying me to say so, this is a good introduction to your website.

    Thanks for these ideas.

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  3. Agenora

    Thank you this article really helped me

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  4. Ron

    Where’s the crouton recipe?

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  5. Carol

    I blend mine up with some parsley,thyme and garlic powder to make bread crumbs, store in the freezer for when I need fresh breadcrumbs. Great for crumbing or on top of cauliflower au gratin.

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