There is nothing better than a good crispy garlic-seasoned homemade crouton made in the air fryer. Enjoy them anytime with this recipe that is so easy. They toast up in the air fryer so quickly compared to when baking in the oven. You will never want to buy store-bought croutons ever again after you begin munching on these addicting little guys.
The bread cubes are lightly dressed in olive oil & a spice blend that is so savory & delicious. It only takes a bit of time and oil to get these crispy, and crunchy. These croutons are vegan and a healthier option than those made with butter so enjoy.
I was inspired to make this recipe after having a leftover baguette. We just enjoyed my Sweet & Spicy Butter Board and only used one of the baguettes in the Costco 2-pack. I hate to waste food, especially with the way things cost today. So making homemade croutons in the air fryer is the best way to use up extra bread, even if it is stale.
When making homemade croutons, you need good crusty bread. I find the best kinds of bread to make croutons with are those that are dense, crusty, and a bit stale. Today I am using a leftover baguette that is 2 days old. For other types of bread work, see the section below for more great choices when making croutons.
For this crouton recipe, you will also need olive oil and a combination of seasonings. These have an Italian spin to them so it calls for garlic & onion powders, salt, & pepper. The addition of parsley and paprika adds color and flavor.
- Cubed Bread - crusty ones work best like baguette, ciabatta, or sourdough.
- Olive Oil - I usually don't use olive oil in the air fryer but this is the best tasting for croutons.
- Garlic Powder - the classic flavor for yummy croutons.
- Onion Powder - added savory flavor.
- Parsley Flakes - color & herby flavor.
- Salt - croutons need a good amount of salt for fantastic flavor.
- Pepper - a bit of heat.
- Paprika - sweet paprika for some color or use spicy for heat.
- Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan Cheese - optional
See the recipe card for quantities.
Best Types of Bread for Making Croutons
The best bread to use for making croutons is one that is hearty & crusty. Some of the choices I find work best are baguettes, ciabatta, French bread, or sourdough. Any of these kinds are great for cutting into cubes and turning them into delicious croutons.
But when it comes down to it, almost any bread can be used. I always say, use your favorite bread and you will have your favorite croutons. My mother loves croutons made from brown bread and I love sourdough focaccia.
Here are the easy step-by-step instructions to make the crunchiest homemade garlic croutons. This is so much faster than baking them in the oven. You will love this quick & easy recipe so much you may just never buy store-bought croutons again.
Air Fryer Croutons Temperature
Begin by preheating the air fryer to 380°. Set the timer for 6 minutes. While it is preheating, prep the ingredients.
Cut & Season the Bread
Here is all you need to know about how to make croutons in the air fryer. These simple steps result in the best hot & crusty seasoned croutons.
Cut the bread into small bite-sized pieces. ½" square pieces are ideal. Make sure they are all the same size so they cook evenly.
In a mixing bowl add the cut bread pieces. Drizzle the olive oil over the pieces. Toss to coat.
In a small mixing bowl combine the seasonings, except nutritional yeast or parmesan.
Sprinkle the spice blend over the bread pieces. Toss to coat.
If your bread pieces are bigger or very dense bread, they may need more time to air fry. Depending on how crunchy and toasted you want your croutons, air fry them anywhere from 6-9 minutes.
How to Air Fry Bread to Make Croutons
Here is how to air fry bread to make croutons. Once the air fryer is preheated and ready - place seasoned bread in the air fryer. Spread out in a single layer in your air fryer tray or basket. The space between the pieces helps it to crisp up and brown on all sides.
Air fry for the 6 minutes set on your machine. When the timer goes off the cubes of bread should be golden brown on the edges, plus dry & crunchy. You can smell the warm spices of garlic and onion.
Using tongs, carefully remove the croutons from the air fryer to a serving bowl.
Hint: Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast or parmesan while the croutons are still warm. This will help it stick to the toasted bread. Stir or toss to coat.
Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy. Top soups, salads, & casseroles with these air-fried homemade croutons.
These homemade croutons can be made to fit special diets if needed. Here are some suggestions on how to make homemade gluten-free, keto, or Paleo croutons in your air fryer.
- Bread - use gluten-free bread to make this gluten-free.
- Keto - use keto-friendly bread such as Sola or Franz.
- Paleo - use Paleo-friendly almond or coconut flour pieces of bread.
This recipe is already vegan and dairy-free. If you add the optional nutritional yeast it remains vegan with "cheesy" flavor. Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian so use nutritional yeast instead.
How Many Carbs in Croutons
Traditional store-bought croutons tend to have about 22-25 net carbs per cup. The nutritional information for this recipe is listed in the recipe card below. If you want a low-carb version, try using keto-friendly bread as suggested in the Substitution section above.
This simple recipe for homemade croutons has classic herbs and spices. It is a great base recipe and if you want to jazz it up, go for it. It is so easy to add to this recipe to make air fryer croutons that are just how you like them.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes to the seasoning blend
- Garlic Herb - use 3 cloves of minced garlic instead of garlic powder & add fresh minced parsley & basil (½ Tablespoon of each)
- Buttery - use melted butter instead of olive oil for buttery croutons
To make these croutons you need an air fryer. This recipe works when using a basket style or tray style. I have the Breville air fryer/toaster oven combination and I love it. The entire batch of bread chunks fits in with plenty of room. A good serrated bread knife is important when making croutons.
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Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place. Croutons made in the air fryer will last 3 days. I recommend enjoying these while they are fresh.
I do not recommend freezing these after they have been toasted. The fresh ingredients do not hold up well when they defrost. They will not be crunchy but chewy after freezing.
Make as many croutons as you can enjoy in a few days. These are best when they are fresh & crunchy. Since they are so easy to make, there is no need to make a large batch to have around all the time.
What to Add These Croutons To
Croutons are great on salads. I think that is what we all think of when we buy them in the store. And yes these homemade air-fried croutons are perfect for your favorite salads, especially Caesar salad. They are the star of my Easy & Simple Spinach Salad.
However, these croutons are amazing for more than just a salad. I will be honest, they are snack-worthy. Just grab some and munch away. Sooooo good. But I love them also as a topper for casseroles instead of fried onions from the can.
These air-fried croutons are also outstanding on top of any soup. They were irresistible on my easy homemade cream of celery soup and delish on broccoli cheese soup.
This air fryer recipe is a great way to make croutons so much faster than an oven. But if you have an oven and don't mind the time it takes to make them.
Yes, you can make croutons in a regular oven or even a toaster oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 10 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Flip/toss the croutons and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden on all sides. They should be dry and crunchy now.
The beauty of making croutons is that it helps you not waste any leftover or stale bread. For that reason, use all of the bread - crusts included. I do not recommend removing the crusts from the bread when making croutons.
When making croutons, the most important thing about cutting the bread into cubes is that they are all the same size. You want them to all cook evenly at the same time. If some are small and some are big, you will have small overdone croutons and larger ones that are not crispy and ready.
So make sure your bread pieces all are of the same size. The size to aim for is bite-size but not too small that they fall apart. For the time and temperature in this crouton recipe, it is best to cut the bread into pieces that are ½" cubes.
This recipe is vegan and uses olive oil. Since it is made in an air fryer, olive oil holds up better than butter to the high heat that happens when air frying. Avocado oil is another good option if you do not want to use olive oil.
I love this idea. Croutons are not just a good way to use leftover bread, but leftover herbs too. Fresh parsley instead of dried is lovely.
You may also have fresh chives, rosemary, or basil that you can finely chop and add. Fresh herbs may burn when cooking in the air fryer. I suggest adding it at the end when they are still hot.
Air Fryer Homemade Croutons
- air fryer
- 4 cups cubed bread baguette, ciabatta, sourdough, french, white, etc
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°. Set the timer for 6 minutes.
- Cut the bread into small bite-sized pieces. ½" cubes are best for this time & temperature. Make sure they are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
- In a mixing bowl add the cut bread pieces. Drizzle the olive oil over the pieces. Toss to coat.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the seasonings, except nutritional yeast or parmesan. Sprinkle the spice blend over the bread pieces. Toss to coat.
- Once the air fryer is preheated and ready - place seasoned bread in the air fryer. Spread out in a single layer in your air fryer tray or basket. The space between the pieces helps it to crisp up and brown on all sides.
- Air fry for the 6 - 8 minutes set on your machine.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the croutons from the air fryer to a bowl. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast or parmesan at this time. Stir or toss to coat. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy. Top soups, salads, & casseroles with these air-fried homemade croutons.
- Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place. Air fryer croutons will last 3 days.
|Amount per serving
|% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 4.6g
|Saturated Fat 0.7g
|Total Carbohydrate 12.3g
|Dietary Fiber 0.6g
|Total Sugars 0.6g
|Vitamin D 0mcg
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.