Crispy Garlic Parmesan Croutons

crispy croutons

Joff Lee / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 portions
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
294 Calories
17g Fat
27g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 294
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 594mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 111mg 9%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 86mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making your own croutons turns a good salad into a great salad. This crouton recipe is intended to garnish a caesar salad but will work on almost anything.

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced very fine

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 (8-ounce) loaf French baguette, or similar style bread

  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the garlic and olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Let sit out at room temperature for at least 4 hours to infuse.

  3. Preheat oven to 300 F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and add to a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese, dried herbs, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

  4. Strain the garlic oil over the bread cubes, pressing the garlic with the back of a spoon to get every drop of garlicky goodness. Toss with a spatula until the bread is evenly coated.

  5. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove, and stir the croutons, as the ones on the outside will cook faster than those in the center. Return to oven, and cook for 15 more minutes.

  6. Remove from oven, and sprinkle the last 1/4 of cheese over the croutons. Return to oven, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned and crunchy. Allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Tip

  • For best results, use day-old bread and "real" Parmesan cheese—sold as Parmigiano-Reggiano—rather than the powdery imitation variety.