Skip store-bought and make perfectly crispy air fryer croutons at home. Ready in just a few minutes and packed with flavor, they are a delicious and affordable option to prepackaged. Add them to a variety of dishes, including this Italian Sub Salad, for an amazing crunchy add-in.
I love scouring the day-old bread cart at my local grocery store. You can find leftover bread loaves that are dramatically marked down and they are perfect for things like bread pudding or homemade croutons! I love making my own in the air fryer because they cook up so fast, require minimal oil and I can adjust the seasonings very easily. Once you start making these crunchy croutons, you may never use store-bought croutons again! They are the perfect topping to my super easy Instant Pot soup recipe, or an Italian Sub Salad.
And if you don’t have an air fryer, oven directions are included below.
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy to make. These are ready in under 15 minutes from prep to finish, and require just 3 simple ingredients (bread, oil, seasoning)
- Perfectly crispy texture. Ever buy croutons and they’re *too* crunchy? These air-fried croutons have the perfect texture; crunchy on the outside, just a little bit soft on the inside.
- Great way to use stale bread. No need to trash that leftover baguette; use it to make croutons instead. These homemade air fryer croutons are a great way to cut down on food waste.
- Highly customizable with different flavor profiles. Use Italian seasoning to add to a Caesar salad, or make garlic croutons for topping your favorite soups with.
To make a batch of homemade croutons in the air fryer, you just need a couple of items!
- Small loaf of your favorite type of bread. French bread, Italian bread, or sourdough bread are all a great choice. My favorite kind of bread to use is the loaf I can get on sale! I have made croutons with all the ones listed, all with great results. I prefer a heartier, crusty bread, so have never used white bread or super fresh bread. You want about 3-4 cups of bread cubes, so depending on the size of your loaf, you may use the whole thing or just half. I use a small 8 ounce loaf and it makes the perfect amount.
- Cooking oil of choice. You can use olive oil, avocado oil or even a spray oil.
- Favorite seasonings of choice. In a hurry, I keep it simple and use a premade seasoning mix like an Italian or garlic blend. But you can play around and try any combo of your favorites. Onion powder, parmesan cheese and garlic powder would be great. Or curry seasoning would make interesting, flavorful croutons.
Easy directions for crispy croutons
Begin my cutting up bread into 1 inch cubes and adding them to a large bowl. Add oil and seasonings of choice and toss well with a spoon or hands.
Spread out cubed bread in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Air fry at 350 degrees f for 8-10 minutes, tossing or shaking basket half way through cooking.
Let cool for a couple of minutes and then add toss in your favorite salad or top on a warm cozy bowl of tomato soup.
These are seriously the best croutons and you will want to eat them just on their own haha!
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They may lose a bit of their crunchy texture after a couple of days. To regain the crunch, just reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
No air fryer? No problem
I know not everyone has an air fryer, so here’s how easy it is to make this simple recipe in the oven. Lay out cubed bread on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Add seasonings and toss well. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes.
You can add these yummy croutons to a number of favorite dishes. From soups, chilis, salad or even tossed in things like stuffing and casseroles, these are a great little item to know have in your recipe arsenal. I hope you enjoy them and if you do, please consider leaving a 5 star rating on the recipe card below!
Homemade Air Fryer Croutons
- Air Fryer
- 8 ounce Loaf of bread sourdough, French or Italian
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Begin my cutting up bread into 1 inch cubes and adding them to a large bowl. Add oil and seasonings of choice and toss well with a spoon or hands.8 ounce Loaf of bread, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp Kosher salt or sea salt, 3 tbsp olive oil
- Spread out cubed bread in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Air fry at 350 degrees f for 8-10 minutes, tossing or shaking basket half way through cooking.
- Let cool for a couple of minutes and then add toss in your favorite salad or top on a warm cozy bowl of tomato soup.