If you have some leftover or stale bread look no further. With this skillet croutons recipe, you will not consider store-bought ones ever again. These are so easy to make and taste so much better.
Why Making Homemade Croutons?
As you know, I am a defender of making homemade dishes of things that when they are store-bought have a long list of unnecessary weird ingredients (or components, cause some of the things in the list are not even food). Moreover, I feel a lot of pain when food is wasted – so many magical things can be done with leftovers and food that doesn’t look as pretty as on day 1. Last but not least, we all try to save money where we can (and makes sense) right?
These skillet croutons are an example that answers to all the questions above. Some stale or a few days old bread? Boom, you can make these and avoid throwing food away. What’s more, you can then process the croutons and make breadcrumbs (making the most of leftovers from leftovers, genius isn’t it?).
You also exactly know what goes in them, provided the bread is good. And actually, you can play with the herbs and flavourings at home to adjust them to your liking. They will, in any case, taste better than store-bought ones, I promise!
Last but not least, unless you have bought the most expensive bread in the world, I can guarantee you these will be cheaper than store-bought ones (bonus: more environmentally friendly too – no packaging involved). These only need the right amount of oil, no need to give the bread an oily bath to get a crunchy delicious result.
The Stovetop Advantage
I love oven-baked croutons, although sometimes making them on the stove is what we need. If we are short on time, making them on the stove is much faster (for starters, preheating the oven is not required). Also, if you are just one or 2 at home, making stovetop croutons means you can make small batches easily (turning the oven on for just a handful of croutons is a lot of energy – and money – wasted). Last but not least, when it’s hot outside, who wants to turn on the oven? For me, these are some key reasons why skillet croutons are necessary in our lives.
How to Make Stovetop Croutons with a Skillet
In Spain, it’s very common to accompany meals with bread or have a meal consisting of a great charcuterie and cheese board with some bread with tomato and olive oil. So… if serving a meal for a crowd one day or group of friends, and then it’s just the 2 of you on the next day, the chances to have leftover bread are high. Homemade croutons are the perfect solution to using it. Just slice up the bread and then cut it into small pieces.
Drizzle it with a good extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with herbs (I generally go for Mediterranean herbs) and salt. Toss to coat and massage if needed so the bread absorbs all the oily goodness.
Then heat a pan with a very thin layer of olive oil (again, we don’t need an oil bath for scrumptious results – we can save that for other uses and save money at the same time) and cook for 10min until golden brown. It’s important to toss every then and again so the bread pieces get crunchy on all sides.
Store in an airtight container and add to salads, soups or I just like to snack on them!
Important Notes for the Most Delicious Skillet Croutons Recipe
- I find that with slightly stale bread, the croutons get crunchier and last longer crunchy.
- You can use these croutons in salads, soups or creams. Depending on the dish you are using them in, you may want to leave the herbs out as they can affect the flavour. With a good olive oil and salt they are so good too (as long as they are golden brown all around).
- Feel free to add some chopped fresh garlic. I didn’t add it to make them a bit more versatile (if using them in a salad I would add the garlic in the dressing). If you use garlic I would either add it in the beginning, once the oil is hot, and remove it before adding the bread (so it doesn’t get burnt, as burnt garlic is very bitter), or halfway through.
- If you want to use them in a salad with bacon, Jennifer recommended I use the rendered fat to cook the bread. Can you imagine how tasty?
- If you have leftover croutons you can process them and make breadcrumbs. Leftovers of leftovers.
You can use croutons in salads, to top soups – either cold or warm -, in cheese boards… you name it! Just be careful cause they are addictive, I’ve warned you.
More Homemade Basics
If you make this Skillet Croutons recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
- 100 g bread - cubed.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil - plus extra for the skillet
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- In a bowl, mix the bread with the herbs, salt and olive oil.
- Heat some olive oil on a skillet over medium heat, enough so there's a thin film covering the whole surface. Toss in the bread and cook it for about 5-10min, until toasted all over and crunchy. Stir every now and then so the bread doesn't burn.
- Leave them to cool completely and store them in a jar or in an airtight container.
- With slightly stale bread, the croutons get crunchier and last longer crunchy.
- You can use these croutons in salads, soups or creams. Depending on the dish you are using them in you may want to leave the herbs out as they can affect the flavour.
- You can add some garlic half way through cooking the bread – without garlic it’s a bit more versatile, as you can use the croutons in recipes which already call for garlic.
- If you have leftover croutons you can process them and make breadcrumbs.