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!
Easy 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.
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.
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!
Chocolate Raspberry French Toast
Chocolate French Toast? Yep! And it’s drizzled with a chocolate maple syrup too. It’s the perfect cure for your sweet tooth woes.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
Radicchio Salad with Citrus
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.
Panzanella Bread Salad
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.
Air Fryer Crispy Cauliflower
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!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
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!Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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.
Pasta with Spinach, Artichokes and Ricotta
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.
White Bean, Tomato, and Shrimp Skillet Dinner
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!
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.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté from Smitten Kitchen Every Day
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!
Slow Cooker Banana Bread Pudding
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 the ticket. Every spoonful is pure indulgent bliss!
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!