How to Make Croutons

How ToCrouton

Make your own homemade croutons, on the stovetop, toasted in butter. It's easy!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you make your own croutons? I’m convinced that the world of cooks is divided into those who do, and those who don’t, make their own croutons. I make my own, always have. I’ve never even bought a box of croutons, though I’ve certainly eaten them.

When I see a box on the shelf at a friend’s I wonder, “how could they? Homemade are so much better!” And when the same friend sees me make my homemade version, they ask, “how could you? The box is so much easier!”

If you do make your own croutons, then I’m preaching to the choir. If not, I implore you to try, just once. It’s really so so easy, and they are soooooo good. Especially if you start with a good quality Italian or French loaf bread, or a lovely baguette.

Looking around at other recipes I’ve noticed that many people make croutons in the oven. I’ve done that (and still do on occasion); but you do have to be careful if you cook them that way. In the oven it’s easy to overcook them, turning them solid brown all around, when what you want it just lightly toasted on the outside, crunchy, but still a little spring in the bread.

The way my mother makes croutons (once at year at least for her famed and fabulous turkey stuffing) is to toast them in a little melted butter in a wide shallow pan on the stove-top. It’s best to use day old French or Italian loaf bread, but you can dry out the cubed bread in a warm oven for a few minutes if you are working with fresh bread.

Butter is for the flavor. It can’t be beat. You don’t need anything else actually. Just butter. If you are working with butter and some good bread, the flavor is just perfect.

How to Make Croutons

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes


  • French or Italian loaf bread, or a French baguette, at least a day old
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp butter


1 Cut the bread into cubes: Cut the bread into even-sized cubes, about 3/4-inch to an inch wide. A loaf will yield about 8 cups of cubed bread (give or take a couple cups, depending on the size of the loaf).

2 Put cubed bread in a warm oven for 10 min: The bread should be a little dry, at least a day old if you are using French or Italian loaf or a baguette. If the bread isn't just a little dry, spread the cubes out on a baking sheet and put them in a warm oven (200°F or 90°C) for about 10 minutes.

You don't want them to be all dried out, just a little dry on the surface so that they brown better, and they hold up better when tossed in a salad or baked in a stuffing.

3 Brown croutons in butter in sauté pan: Melt butter on medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the croutons and mix them up in the butter so they get lightly coated. Spread the croutons out in a single layer in the pan.

Then don't stir them until they start to brown on one side. Once they start to brown, use a metal spatula to lift them up and turn them over, so more sides brown. When the croutons are at least a little toasted on a couple of sides, remove from heat.

If storing, let cool completely before putting in an airtight container. Otherwise the steam released from the warm croutons will take away their crunch.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.


Garlic Parmesan Croutons - video by Chef John of Food Wishes

Potato croutons - from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Homemade croutons - same technique but with olive oil and herbs, from Jane of This Week for Dinner

How to Make Croutons

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

17 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Make Croutons

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. George



  2. Pamela

    Fantastic. I made a whole loaf of bread crusts diced. I’d used the inner bread to make bread crumbs. Now what I want to know is can I freeze the croutons, which I added s and p and also Parmeson.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Becky Hunt

    You have created a convert! Attempted to make my own croutons for the very first time today and they are delicious. Thanks for providing this simple recipe


  4. kay ellen

    Hello~~~I made my first batch of homemade croutons tonight.
    I have no idea why after 27 plus years of marriage I had never tried it before? oh well never to late right? ha-ha

    Decided to googled you after I started my bread cutting…Now I am hooked! Wow so much better then store bought croutons!

    I did add a tiny bit of italian dressing to the butter…tickled they they tasted so yummy :))

    Kay Ellen

  5. Daisy

    I thought I would give it a try with actual pre-sliced bread – 2 slices for me is more than enough, Perhaps even too much!

    NOTE: Not a lot of the bread is needed.

View More
How to Make CroutonsHow to Make Croutons