Air fryer croutons always win from the store-bought kind. With just melted butter, parsley, and garlic salt these simple croutons come out perfect every time.
Croutons are a brilliant way to use up any leftover bread, especially the end slices that no one seems to want to eat. But you don’t have to wait until you have stale bread to make this recipe. For a fancier feel, use diced focaccia or French baguette like I did.
There are so many ways you can go with a basic crouton recipe. Once you have learned how to air fry croutons, you’ll never bake them in the oven again.
How to Make Croutons in Air Fryer
Making these croutons could not be easier! They are ready to transform any dish in less than 10 minutes.
To get maximum flavor, I douse the diced bread in melted herb butter before cooking in the air fryer. Besides a slight greasing of the air fryer basket, no extra oil or fats are needed.
Because of the way hot air circulates in an air fryer, the croutons come out crispy on all sides. Personally, I think this method is superior to oven-baked croutons since those tend to dry out a bit too much.
A little toss halfway through is all you need to get an even crunch on the croutons. Trust me, this is the best way.
Best Bread for Croutons
My favorite breads for croutons are focaccia and baguettes.
Traditional focaccia bread is made with olive oil which adds an extra depth of flavor to the bread. Not to mention all the delicious herbs and aromatics already tucked into the dough. This is about at luxurious as croutons come.
The advantage of baguettes is that they have a nice crispy layer on the outside. And I’m sure you have noticed that French baguettes have a tendency of turning hard the very next day. With this crouton recipe, you don’t have the be in a rush to finish the baguette.
Best Herbs for Croutons
Truly, almost anything under the sun will taste good added to croutons.
I wanted to show you the basics of making croutons with this recipe which is why I limited the number of ingredients. They taste amazing just like this but feel free to add any other herbs you want.
Make French-style croutons with rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and parsley. Paprika and cayenne pepper is great for adding a bit of heat. Other great herbs for croutons include marjoram, cumin, oregano, basil, and dill.
Butter vs Olive Oil
Are you team butter or team olive oil?
I think both have their place in the kitchen and in the case of croutons, both could work. Replace the butter with olive oil to make dairy-free croutons, for example. Olive oil also a good way to cut out some of the calories.
On a keto diet, however, butter is your friend. I also like how the creaminess of butter makes these croutons just that tad bit richer in flavor. Also, it has a milder flavor compared to olive oil so the herbs stand out more with butter.
How to Make Gluten-Free Low-Carb Croutons
It sounds nearly impossible but with so many people with gluten sensitivities, low carb gluten-free croutons are not so hard to make anymore. You don’t even have to bake your own bread.
Head over to specialty stores and grab yourself a fresh loaf of gluten-free bread or low-carb bread. My air fryer croutons recipe works for almost any type of bread.
You can also make more keto-friendly croutons but loading on healthy fats. In this case, lots and lots of butter cheese. Parmesan works best for croutons.
Uses for Croutons
A salad topping and soup croutons is not the only way to use croutons. Here are a few recipe ideas using croutons.
- French Onion Chicken Bake: A baked pasta dish inspired by the flavors of French onion soup.
- Garlic Bread Stuffing: Stuffing from croutons is an unmissable Thanksgiving side dish but also delicious with a Sunday roast.
- Breadcrumb Caesar Salad: Can replace the breadcrumbs or learn how to make breadcrumbs out of croutons.
- Garlic Bread Soup: All the flavors of garlic bread in one bowl ready for slurping on a cold day. Homemade croutons can be used to blend in this soup in place of the French bread or they can be used to top the soup off in a bowl.
How to Make Breadcrumbs from Croutons
Got a little too much bread or croutons leftover? Don’t worry, nothing need go to waste; turn the croutons into breadcrumbs! This is how.
- Lay out a kitchen towel on the kitchen counter, folded fully open.
- Put croutons inside a zip-lock bag and close the bag.
- Place the crouton bag on one half of the kitchen towel and cover it up with the other half.
- Take a rolling pin and start whacking the croutons into a crumble.
This is a great way to get rid of any pent-up frustrations you may have but there is a (somewhat) quieter option. Just throw the croutons in a food processor. You can add a little bit of olive oil if your food processor is struggling with the hardness.
How to Store Homemade Croutons
Homemade croutons can be kept inside the fridge for about a week, without losing their crunch. After complete cooling, put the croutons inside an airtight container lined with a paper towel.
Can you freeze croutons? Yes, just like most bread, croutons can be stored in the freezer for about a month.
Croutons left in the fridge can be taken out a few hours before use. Frozen croutons may have to be defrosted overnight, outside of the refrigerator. You can also put frozen croutons in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
I hope I have convinced you of making croutons in an air fryer. This is the only method that I use nowadays. I am very curious to see how you get creative with this crouton recipe. Show me your favorite herbs, aromatics, and cheeses that you add to your batch of croutons.
Air Fryer Croutons
- 3 ounces Diced Focaccia or French Baguette Bread, About 3 cups
- 3 tablespoon Melted Butter
- ¼-½ teaspoon Garlic Salt
- ½ teaspoon Parsley
- Dice bread into small ½" cubes and add to a bowl.
- In a small dish, melt butter in the microwave and add garlic salt. Stir to combine, then drizzle over bread cubes. Stir bread cubes until evenly coated. Add parsley and stir again.
- Spray cook oil in the air fryer basket. Add bread cubes to the basket and set the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer to 4 minutes. Once the timer goes off, stir, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until bread cubes are no longer soft and lightly browned.
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