These small pieces or cubes of bread are sautéed, baked,
toasted or fried until crisp and golden. They make a crunchy
accompaniment for soups, salads and vegetables, and are often used as
a base for poultry stuffing.
Varieties and Buying Tips
At the supermarket you'll find packaged croutons in either plain or
seasoned varieties (such as onion
, cheese or herb
). They are also
available in sizes and shapes ranging from small, square cubes and
small, round wafers to restaurant-style croutons, which are larger and
are fresher and often better-tasting than store-bought, and they're quite simple to prepare.
Store homemade croutons in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature
for up to one week. They can also be frozen for up to six months. For
store-bought croutons, mind the date and storage instructions on the
• Homemade croutons can be made from any bread, but sourdough, Italian
and French loaves work best. Leave the crusts on, or cut off.
• Use canapé or cookie cutters to make croutons in decorative shapes.
• Float croutons on your favorite tomato
or chilled gazpacho
• Toss with all kinds of salads, from Caesar
• Make a savory casserole
or sweet bread pudding
• Make stuffing for your holiday turkey
or oven-roasted chicken
Try one of our favorite crouton recipes:
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Garlic & Black Pepper Crouton
Thyme Au Gratin Potatoes
Herbed Italian Cocktail Mix