Ah, croutons.  I grew up loading them on at salad bars and out of a box at home, on top of iceberg lettuce and lots of veggies with ranch dressing.  Then fruit, cheese and nuts entered my salad-toppers realm, and I moved over to vinaigrettes.  Croutons like creamy dressings, so when I started making pesto-ranch (mayo, buttermilk, pesto & lemon), I thought of  again of croutons.  So easy, use up ingredients, and there is nothing like freshly fried bread.  Give this a try on a salad of romaine, cucumbers, garden tomatoes and white onion, with the above mentioned ranch or your favorite, and you will never go back to salad bar ones out of a bag again.  Unless of course you are at a Friday fish fry, you have to go for the crunchy cubes or you might not recognize your salad.

Use any type of day-old bread here, but a crusty-chewy loaf is the best. Avoid using the end piece, as the crust can be a bit too hard after toasting.

Homemade Croutons

  • 4 slices bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Italian seasonings
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a shallow wide pan over medium high heat until melted and combined.
  2. Add bread cubes and toss to coat.  Turn heat down to med-low.
  3. Sprinkle seasonings over and continue to toss until toasted and brown on all sides.
  4. Try these hot out of the pan.  On other thought, do not or you will not have any left for the salad.  They are never as good as the first day, but you can keep some in a sealed bag or tupperware for a few days.