These do need a warning attached to them: croutons from a box will never measure up again after you’ve made these. You can use them in salads, soups, or just serve them on their own with cocktails and pop them into your mouth. Seriously put out a bowl of these with drinks and everyone will think you are a genius.
Use good Parmesan for this, since there are so few ingredients that the quality of the bread, the cheese, and the olive oil are what are being showcased. Take the croutons out of the oven before they are totally dry, as they will harden up further as they cool, and it’s nice for them to be a bit chewy in the middle.
And they are really simple to make. Cut some bread into cubes (leave the crusts on if you lie—I always do—I hate to throw things out, and I like the chewy texture of the crusts.
How to Make Parmesan Croutons
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with a few glugs of olive oil.
Add some Parmesan, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Toss them with your hands—that’s just the best way to get the bread evenly coated with everything.
Spread the croutons on a baking sheet, leaving some space between them.
Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the outside in lightly browned and crisp. The middle should still be a bit soft. Remove them from the pan and cool.
How to Make Croutons in a Skillet
You can also sauté these croutons in a skillet—just spray it with nonstick spray first. They get a lovely caramelized exterior that way, but it takes a more vigilant eye—they will take about 8 minutes, and you’ll need to stir occasionally.
Also, try other cheeses in place of Parmesan, any kind of hard grating cheese you like. I also have made them with grated semi-hard cheeses, like Gruyere. It’s hard to mess these up.
These will keep in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Spread the croutons on the baking sheet, leaving some space between them. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the outside in lightly browned and crisp. The middle should still be a bit soft. Remove them from the pan and cool.
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