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March 2, 2022

What Inspired the Recipe

When I drink red wine, I need dark chocolate or any chocolate really, except white. Yeah, except white chocolate. It’s a simple mathematical equation that can also be applied to Caesar salad and croutons. It’s nearly impossible to have one without the other. So, when I went to make a Caesar salad one night and realized we were totally out of the croutons I was struck with this dark and stormy feeling of despair. But wait, it couldn't be true. And after ransacking the pantry, to no avail, it was indeed true. In fact, the only thing remotely resembling a crouton was some half a loaf of day-old Italian bread staring back at me. It only took a half second longer to pay my respects to those once adored croutons before I was struck with an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful, awful idea…Yes, enter the Grinch, grinning at Max in the snow with his snow beard. And now imagine me, eyeing up that little loaf of bread. I felt so mischievous and amazing all at the same time. I was about to make my own croutons and I could not be stopped! Now let me tell you, these crunchy, garlicky, savory bites are the perfect salad topper on any salad although I prefer mine on Caesar!

Garlic + Thyme Croutons

The Inspired Dish, Food blog
Katie Rogers, RD, LDN creator behind The Inspired Dish
MEET Katie

I'm the creator, recipe developer, and photographer behind The Inspired Dish. As a Registered Dietitian and self-proclaimed foodie, I love (love, love) exploring the world of food and in turn, creating flavorful + swoon worthy recipes inspired from everyday life. When I'm not obsessing over food you can find me running, spending time with my husband, or trying a new restaurant in Raleigh!

All the details

What I’ve discovered, since the Great Crouton Fiasco of 2021, is that homemade croutons are likely one of the easiest things you could ever make, and they taste better than store bought croutons. You can even season them to your preferred liking. The cherry on top? You can use any loaf of bread to make croutons, whether it’s fresh or stale, it doesn’t matter!





To make homemade croutons you only need three ingredients - unless you have yourself a thyme *wink*wink and go crazy with the seasonings! You’ll need bread, olive oil (or melted butter), and seasonings. I typically use roasted garlic (Roasted Garlic Recipe Here!) and thyme with a pinch of sea salt.





Making Homemade Croutons

To start, prepare your bread. Using a serrated knife, gently slice the bread into cubes. This recipe calls for about 3 cups of cubed bread which equals about half a loaf of bread. Place the cubed bread in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside. In a blender, blend together oil, roasted garlic, thyme, and salt until well combined. Pour mixture over cubed bread and gently toss to coat all pieces. Pour bread onto a prepared baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil. Evenly distribute bread across the baking sheet in one layer.


Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy. It's important to note that baking time will vary depending on the type of bread used so make sure you keep an eye on them throughout. You can even give them a toss every so often to make sure they are baking evenly.




Homemade Croutons are SUPER Versatile

As mentioned above, I love croutons on my Caesar salad (Homemade Caesar Salad Recipe Here!!) - But they are truly a perfect texture addition to other dishes as well. Try these with soups, stews or even enjoy them as a snack on their own.


Still unsure what kind of bread to use? Aside from whatever’s hanging out in your pantry, try French bread, garlic bread, cornbread, sourdough bread or even generic sliced bread. Yes, you can even use … hot dog or hamburger buns! There is no right or wrong way to make a crouton so explore the endless possibilities. Don't forget to tag the inspired dish on social media as you give some of these recipes a try!

Food Photography from The Inspired Dish

Garlic + Thyme Croutons

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

25 minutes

Total Time:

40 minutes

Yields:

6 servings

Add texture to your dish with these homemade garlic + thyme croutons. The perfect accompaniment to soups, stew, salads, or even enjoy as a snack.

Ingredients

- 3 cups bread, cubed

- 1/3 cup olive oil

- 4-5 roasted garlic cloves (See Roasted Garlic Recipe)

- 1 Tablespoon Thyme

- Pinch salt


Instructions

- Preheat oven to 375°

- Using a serrated knife, gently slice bread into 3/4" cubes.

- Place cubed bread in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

- In a blender, add oil, roasted garlic, thyme, and salt. Blend until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.

- Pour mixture over cubed bread and gently toss. Make sure all bread is lightly covered in oil.

- Pour bread onto a prepared baking sheet in one even layer - can use parchment paper or foil.

- Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

- Let cool before adding to your favorite salads, soups, or stews!


Note: Baking time will vary depending on the type of bread used. Make sure you check bread every 5 or so minutes to avoid burning the croutons. You can also give the baking sheet a toss to ensure croutons are baking evenly.

 
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MEET Katie

I'm Katie Rogers, the creator, recipe developer, and photographer behind The Inspired Dish. I love spending time in the kitchen creating fun, flavorful, and easy recipes worth every bite.