The ease of making Gluten Free Croutons will have you cursing at yourself for not doing it sooner.
Seriously, all you have to do is cube up some fresh or stale gluten-free bread, toss it with oil/butter and seasonings, then bake it for about 20 minutes. It's so dang easy and mouth-wateringly delicious.
One of the best parts? You can easily switch up the seasonings to flavor these croutons however the heck you want. Making them go overtop of a tomato soup? Flavor them with all things Italian, such as garlic, parmesan, or asiago cheese, Italian seasonings, and oregano. Making them for a cobb salad? Flavor with a homemade ranch seasoning using chives, onion powder, and garlic powder. Making them in preparation for Thanksgiving stuffing? Keep it simple and use basic herbs such as sage, thyme, and rosemary.
I think you get the point.Jump to Recipe
Looking For Another Salad Topper?
Looking For a Salad to Pair With These Croutons?
Chef Salad with Creamy French Dressing – Gluten Free Croutons - (My ultimate favorite pairing.)
Italian Sub Salad with Cold Cuts (cheap, easy meal prep lunch) - This one makes a really good combo.
Heck, I think these croutons would even be good in my Burger Bowls with Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions + Easy Burger Sauce since the croutons would act as a bun replacement for the burger.
What Makes Gluten Free Croutons So Good?
Good quality Gluten-Free Bread is crucial, for obvious reasons. Pictured is Canyon Bakehouse's Honey Oat Bread. I chose this one because it sounded good, honestly. But most importantly, it is free of both corn starch and corn syrup, unlike many GF bread. (It seems I have developed a sensitivity to corn since becoming gluten-free. I have conspiracies, but let's leave it at that.)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO, as some hip folks call it these days... or lazy, however you want to look at it). EVOO is what binds our seasonings to the bread & assists with the browning process. You may also use melted butter if you'd like, or a combination of the two.
Italian Seasonings are the main flavoring we are using in this recipe because of their incredible versatility and savory flavor.
Minced Garlic for a touch of bold flavor.
Onion Powder for an even more savory, homemade flavoring. Highly recommend.
Parmesan Cheese. Leave out if making for stuffing or a recipe that it wouldn't quite go with. Leave it in for pairing with tomato soup!
How to Make:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Use a nonstick baking sheet or line a regular baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cube bread into small, even squares. Aim for about 1" thick (think of a crouton you would see on a salad). You don't want to cut the squares too small or they will crisp up and become too brittle. You also don't want to cut them too big or else they may be chewy. (Hey, if chewy is your thing, then go for it. It could work.)
Add bread to a large mixing bowl & drizzle with olive oil or melted butter. Sprinkle over the seasonings, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper. Toss to coat or use a silicone spatula and gently fold together, being careful not to smash or break apart the bread.
Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, then flip each crouton onto its other side. Cook another 8-10 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
Tip: Frequently check on your croutons (leaving the oven door closed) to make sure they do not burn. While flipping each crouton over can be a pain, I highly recommend it so that some croutons aren't overdone on one side and underdone on another.
Let cool on the pan until completely cool. Whatever you do, do NOT put the croutons away until they are completely cool. Otherwise, the steam will build up within the container or bag. Having nowhere else to go, the steam will soften the croutons.
Once cool, store in an air-tight container and use within one week.
Notes on Gluten Free Croutons:
To make more croutons: Double or triple this recipe. I find that using half a loaf of bread is enough for 6 hefty servings of topping a salad (1 serving is pictured to the left for reference).
Bread recommendations: I prefer to use Canyon Bakehouse's loaves of GF bread due to it being corn syrup and corn starch free. Pictured is their Honey Oat loaf. I've even used their Hawaiian bread to make croutons when it was all I could find and they still turned out great. (While that bread has a strong pineapple smell, I found it went away after baking as seasoned croutons and I didn't notice any extra sweetness.) At this time, I do not recommend using store-bought hamburger buns to make croutons. I made a batch using hamburger buns and while they looked beautiful, the next day they became very chewy.
Of course, you can always bake your own bread and then turn that into croutons as well. I currently do not have a go-to homemade baked bread that would work for this recipe. Please note, if you baked bread that has a soft crumb, it may or may not work with this recipe. I would recommend letting it air-dry out overnight and turn stale before using.
Gluten Free Croutons
- half a loaf of high-quality gluten free bread (All GF loaves differ. I used Canyon Bakehouse's Honey Oat, about 7-8 slices)
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter (you may need to add an extra tbsp. if your bread is particularly dry. However, do not saturate. Mixture should be dry. The goal is just to coat the seasonings evenly onto the bread.)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I prefer the tamed-down jarred kind, if using fresh start with ½ tsp)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- dash of seasoned salt (I use Season-All)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Use a nonstick baking sheet or line a regular baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cube bread into small, even squares about 1 inch in size (think of a crouton you would see on a salad). Don't cut too small or they will become overly crunchy and brittle and don't cut too big or they will become chewy.
- Add cubed bread to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, melted butter, or a combination of the two. Sprinkle over the seasonings, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper. Toss to coat or use a silicone spatula and gently fold together, being careful not to smash or break apart the bread.
- Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes (keeping a close eye), then flip every single crouton over. While tedious, this is the best method to prevent any croutons from over-browning on one side and under-cooking on another. Bake another 8-10 minutes until golden brown on both sides and hard to the touch.
- Let cool in pan. Do not store until completely cooled or else the steam will make the croutons soft again. Once cool, store in an airtight container and use within one week.
- Servings are based on topping 6 salads. Topping soups would be closer to 8 servings. Triple or quadruple the recipe for stuffing. *The next time I make this recipe, I will add how many cups the finished recipe makes so stuffing estimations are streamlined.
- If using frozen bread, thaw it out completely first.
- Try pairing these croutons with my Chef Salad with Creamy French Dressing – Gluten Free Croutons