Soft and squishy with a chewy crust, nothing tastes better than a fresh loaf of French bread. But if you’re cooking for two, trying to eat a whole loaf before it goes bad is nearly impossible.
I mean there is a limit to how many toaster oven grilled cheese sandwiches you can eat in a week.
Making a quick batch of these Toaster Oven Baked Croutons is my favorite way to use up bread. They’re crunchy, flavorful, and easy to customize with your favorite seasonings and spices.
Plus you can scale the recipe up or down depending on how much bread you’re dealing with.
Want to make a batch? Here’s what you’ll need for these tasty homemade croutons:
- Bread. French bread, pretzel rolls, leftover bagels, Ciabatta, basically any kind of bread you want. If crunchy crusts aren’t your thing, slice off the crusts before you start cubing the bread.
- Oil. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is our go-to but melted butter or another oil (like avocado or grapeseed) will work. Just make sure it’s something you like the flavor of.
- Seasonings. Classics like garlic powder and Italian seasoning are good choices. But you can get creative and play around with the herbs and spices in your pantry, it’s hard to go wrong.
- Cheese. Recently, I bought a container of that powdery grated parmesan cheese to test for our Toaster Oven Parmesan Crisps. While it doesn’t make good crisps it is DELICIOUS on croutons. If you’re looking for a vegan option, swap the parmesan for nutritional yeast or just omit it entirely.
How to Make Croutons in a Toaster Oven
Start by preheating your toaster oven to 350°F on the BAKE setting. We tried 400°F and 375°F but the croutons were almost burned outside while still chewy inside. 350°F was the sweet spot for our toaster oven.
If you’ve got a convection toaster oven, this is the perfect recipe for it. Just make sure to reduce the temperature to 325°F.
While your oven preheats, cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes. To get one cup of cubes, I usually need about one and a half slices of bread (depending on how tall/wide the loaf is).
Next, add your bread cubes to a large bowl, drizzle with oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle the cubes with the Italian seasoning, salt, and half of the parmesan (or nutritional yeast).
Don’t be shy here, you want to make sure each piece is evenly coated. So roll up your sleeves and use your hands to toss the cubes around in the oil and seasonings.
Now, spread the cubes in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet. For this batch, I used my new favorite toaster oven sheet pan made by Cuisinart. It fits in most medium-sized ovens.
Add the croutons to your preheated toaster oven. After 10 minutes of cooking give the pan a stir. Then, keep baking the croutons until they are golden and crunchy, about 5 minutes more.
To make sure the croutons are crisped to your liking grab one and let it cool for a minute or two. Then pop it in your mouth. Not crunchy enough? Put the pan back in the toaster oven for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then check again.
Once they’re ready and still warm from the oven, coat the croutons in a final dusting of the remaining parmesan cheese. Hello, deliciousness!
How Should You Store Homemade Croutons?
Fridge for the win on this one. The mason jars we stored on the counter got chewy after just one day. But the jars kept in the fridge stayed crisp for almost a week.
Got Chewy Croutons?
Don’t toss them out! You can find directions in the recipe notes for quickly re-crisping them using your toaster oven.
Toaster Oven Baked Croutons Recipe
- 1 French Bread cut into 3/4″ cubes (1 ounce, about 1 cup, cubed)
- 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 0.25 Italian Seasoning
- 0.0625 Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Grated Parmesan Cheese divided
- Adjust the cooking rack to the bottom position and preheat your toaster oven to 350°F on the BAKE setting.
- Add bread cubes to a large bowl, drizzle with oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and half the parmesan cheese. Toss again making sure each piece is well coated.
- Spread bread cubes in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Stir the croutons and continue baking until golden and crunchy, about another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the toaster oven, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Leave croutons on the pan to cool completely before adding to your favorite salad or soup.
- Store leftover croutons in a well-sealed container, refrigerated, for up to one week.