This simple yet delicious recipe creates the perfect Vegan Salad Croutons for taking your salad bowls to the next level! The croutons are crunchy, flavorful, and easy to make with just a few ingredients - and it’s a tasty way to use up some leftover bread at home.
The recipe is easy to make with just a few steps and you can easily customize the seasoning for the croutons to cater to your personal preference. My personal favorite flavor combination is garlic and herb, so I'm showing you how to make Vegan Garlic and Herb Croutons in this blog post.
This recipe is:
- 100% vegan, egg-free, and dairy-free
- It is a great way to use up stale bread, reducing food waste in your household.
- The croutons are super crunchy and flavorful, adding the perfect texture to any salad or soup.
- The recipe is easy to make with just a few ingredients, making it perfect for beginners in the kitchen.
- You can customize the spices and herbs to your liking, making it a versatile recipe that can suit everyone's tastebuds.
- The croutons can be made on the stovetop or in an air fryer or oven, giving you options for cooking methods.
- The croutons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, making them a great make-ahead option.
- You can also freeze the croutons for longer-term storage, ensuring that you always have a supply on hand.
- The croutons can be used not only as a salad topping, but also as a garnish for soups or as a snack on their own.
I love a good crunch in my salad bowls! After all, I'm a sucker for a mixture of textures, so a crunchy addition to the salad is definitely a must for me.
For a long time, I used store-bought croutons, until I realized how easy they are actually to make - and now there's no going back! A recipe like this is simply perfect to use up some stale bread, to know exactly what's going into the croutons, and to make them exactly how I like them the most.
Ingredients & Notes
- sliced bread or leftover focaccia - perfect for making salad croutons and a great way to use up some stale bread! You can also use leftover burger buns or hot dog buns.
- olive oil - or melted vegan butter to drizzle
- spices - garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika powder
- herbs - dried basil and dried sage
Extra tip: For best results, use stale bread when making vegan garlic and herb croutons. This will ensure that the croutons hold their shape better after being cubed and will also allow them to absorb the flavors better. Experiment with different spices and herbs to find your favorite combination. Some popular options include garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, and paprika.
How to make vegan croutons
Here are the easy steps for making vegan croutons at home:
- Melt vegan butter or heat up oil in a frying pan.
- Add spices and herbs, and stir.
- Toss crouton chunks to evenly coat with oil and spices/herbs.
- Fry in the pan for about 3-4 minutes until golden.
- Transfer to a baking tray and bake them on low heat until fully crispy (but not burnt) if you like them to be crunchier!
If you want to make the croutons in the oven, preheat to 360°F (180°C) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
How to make vegan croutons in the air fryer
You can easily make croutons in your air fryer as well! Here's how:
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
- Cut the bread into small cubes and toss with all the seasonings
- Transfer the bread cubes to the air fryer basket and cook for 5-7 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally, until the croutons are golden brown and crispy all around.
- Serve the croutons on your salad right away or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
This method of making vegan garlic and herb croutons is perfect for those who want to skip the frying pan and make a healthier version of this classic salad topping, as the croutons become golden and crunchy with only a tiny bit of oil. The air fryer makes the croutons crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - perfect for your favorite salads!
Did you know that croutons are great to serve with a variety of dishes - not just salads?
Here are some tasty ideas you should try:
- Spicy Swede Soup
- Roasted Cabbage Salad
- Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Stuffed Lettuce Tacos
- Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup
These homemade Garlic and Herb Croutons are especially delicious served with cubes of vegan macadamia feta and a tangy salad dressing. If you're looking for a health option, try this oil-free salad dressing - it's simply divine with a variety of salads!
And let's be honest, these crunchy croutons are so delicious, they are also a perfect snack on their own!
How to store croutons
To keep your homemade salad croutons fresh and crispy, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For best results, store your salad croutons separate from your salad and dressing.
You can also freeze them for longer-term storage. Simply place the croutons in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to use them, let them thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before adding them to your favorite salad.
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Garlic and Herb Croutons
- 1 non-stick frying pan
- 1 lined baking tray
- 3 slices bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika powder
- Start by melting the butter or heating the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the spices/herbs.
- Cut up the bread into your desired crouton slices, then toss them into the pan with the oil and spices/herbs until your croutons are coated. Cook them for 3-4 minutes or until golden.
- Transfer the croutons to a baking tray and bake them in your oven on 160C until crisp - this depends on the size of your croutons!
- You use either vegan butter or oil for the spice/herb mixture, just make sure your oil is suitable for frying.
- You can use sliced bread or leftover focaccia to make the croutons.
- It's best to use stale bread for the croutons to hold their shape better and absorb the flavors.
- Customize the spices and herbs to your liking.
- The croutons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or frozen for up to 2-3 months.
If you're in need of some delicious salad inspiration, how about these yummy vegan salads!
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