How to make croutons with leftover bread

Today, we’re sharing a recipe for how to make croutons with leftover bread. 

Why should you make croutons with leftover bread?

We try to have little to no food waste in our home.  Therefore, we try to make use of every part of the different foods we eat. From using bones to make your own stock or soup, to using vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock, to using leftover bread including the heels and ends to make croutons or breadcrumbs. We also freeze or preserve foods that we aren’t going to finish for consumption or use at a later date.  

Instead of throwing out those undesirable pieces of bread, you can turn them into croutons.  That way there will be zero waste with your bread and you can have a yummy topping for your salads.  You can use any type of bread that is a flavor, you wouldn’t mind your croutons tasting like.  This means you can also use leftover buns, rolls, french bread, artisan bread, sandwich bread or any other bread you see fit.  It’s really quite easy and you can have homemade croutons within about 25 minutes from start to finish. 

DIY Croutons

Learn how to make your own croutons using leftover bread.

Author Sunup to Sundown


  • Bread, any variety Ideally at least a day or two old
  • Olive Oil or Melted Butter
  • Seasonings, your choice Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper, or Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat; set aside.

  2. Dice your bread: Choose the size of cubes you prefer, either cut with a knife or tear small chunks by hand. Cubes should be somewhat uniform in size so they will bake evenly.

  3. Toss with oil and seasonings: In a large bowl, evenly drizzle the olive oil over the bread chunks. Then evenly sprinkle the seasonings over the bread. Toss gently until thoroughly combined.

  4. Spread out on a baking sheet: Turn the croutons out onto a parchment-covered or silpat lined baking sheet, and spread out in a single layer.

  5. Bake until crispy: Flip the croutons once halfway through baking. Then bake until the croutons reach your desired level of crispiness. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your bread cubes, so watch them to be sure they do not burn. (Ours generally take 15-20 minutes.)

  6. Remove from oven: Let them cool completely. Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container for up to one week.

How to make breadcrumbs

To turn your leftover bread into breadcrumbs you can either crumble, rip or cut up fresh bread. You can also add a handful of croutons to your food processor and pulse to your desired consistency.     

We’d love to hear what you think about this recipe.  We’d also love to hear about your ideas for leftover bread.  Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown!  We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.  Please subscribe, like or share this post with others who could benefit from it.

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