These homemade vegan croutons turn out great, whether you're using a rustic sourdough or gluten-free sandwich bread. The recipe is oil-free and still creates crispy, golden-brown croutons. Plus, making them is as easy as toasting bread!
I love making these croutons for any salad. For an easy caesar salad, add them to romaine dressed with my 5-minute Nut-Free Vegan Caesar Dressing.
You only need three ingredients for this recipe.
Bread: Use any bread you'd like, whether it's a baguette, boulé, or sandwich bread. If you'd like to keep it vegan, make sure the bread does not contain any animal products such as dairy-based milk or butter, whey, or eggs. I prefer a rustic sourdough, which is a low-gluten bread and good for the gut.
If you are gluten-sensitive or allergic, no worries - gluten-free bread can work well for this recipe.
Garlic: Just one clove is all you need, preferably on the larger side. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of garlic granules or powder.
Salt: Use any salt. Garlic salt is especially nice.
See recipe card for quantities.
Here are a few ideas for changing up these croutons:
Spicy - add chili pepper flakes with the salt
Flavored pepper/salt: Lemon pepper, seasoning salt - try whatever sounds good to you.
Salt-free: Try a sprinkling of lemon juice and salt-free seasoning after the croutons are toasted.
Herb - add any dried herbs you'd like, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, and/or parsley with the salt. If you'd prefer to use fresh herbs, toss the freshly-toasted croutons in chopped herbs and use the croutons the same day.
Large or small - create large croutons or small, depending on how big you choose to cut the bread pieces. Cook time may vary (longer for large, shorter for small). Slicing the bread thick or thin will also create variations.
Olive oil - if you'd like to use oil, drizzle with a little olive oil before rubbing with the garlic for added flavor and texture.
You'll need the following to make this recipe:
A cutting board and bread knife to slice the bread and garlic.
A toaster oven or oven and baking tray.
Below are the simple steps required for making these croutons.
Slice your garlic clove in half and rub the cut side onto the surface of a slice of bread.
Sprinkle the surface with salt immediately after. The dampness of the cut garlic can help it stick.
Cut the garlicky salted bread into bite-sized pieces, then place them evenly on a baking sheet.
Toast/bake in the oven or toaster oven until golden.
Note: Toaster ovens are better at toasting bread, so they're ideal for making these croutons. If you don't have one, an oven is a good alternative, though will likely require a longer bake.
These croutons can be stored in a sealed container for up to a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Note: If using fresh herbs (mentioned in Variations above), consume within the same day.
Yes! Any vegan bread, including gluten-free, can be used to make these croutons. Note: The cook time will vary.
Bread that does not contain any animal-based products (such as dairy-based milk or butter, whey, eggs, etc.), with salt and plant-based additions like garlic and herbs.
Here are a few easy dressing recipes to help you make delicious salads with these croutons:
Vegan Croutons Recipe
- knife and cutting board bread knife if using unsliced bread
- toaster oven or oven
- baking sheet parchment, if desired
- 2 slices bread sourdough, gluten-free, etc. Any thickness
- 1 clove garlic sliced in half
- pinch garlic salt or other salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice fresh
- pinch salt-free seasoning mix optional
- pinch crushed red pepper
- pinch black pepper or pepper blends like lemon pepper
- pinch dried herbs any (rosemary, basil, mix)
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin
- Use sliced or unsliced bread. If unsliced: With a serrated bread knife, slice your bread as thick as you'd like your croutons, or use a sliced bread.
- Slice your garlic clove in half lengthwise. Rub the cut side of the garlic all over the sliced bread, then immediately sprinkle the salt and any other seasonings (other than lemon juice or fresh herbs) over it.
- Chop the bread slices into bite-sized pieces at least ½-inch in size. Place the pieces evenly on a baking sheet (covered in parchment, if desired).
- Toaster oven: Toast on a medium-high setting for two pieces of bread.Oven: Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.If needed, add additional time until golden. Note: Larger, thicker bread pieces will require more time than small.
- Optional: Toss in lemon juice and/or fresh herbs, if using.
- Let cool and use immediately on salads. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator (especially if using lemon juice) or at room temperature for up to a few days.
general food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands and ingredients well before using
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove