These 10-minute easy Air Fryer Croutons are deliciously crunchy and baked to golden brown perfection in an air fryer. It's a great way to give leftover bread new life.
Have you ever wondered for a simple recipe like croutons why store bought versions have a long list of questionable ingredients?
Besides the rancid seed oils that are used, croutons off the store shelves are often filled with modified corn starch and maltodextrin.
And yet croutons are one of the easiest things you'll make at home. In fact, I have been using this simple recipe for years and now that I have an air fryer - it comes together even quicker.
It's a great way to use up old bread before it goes bad and adds great texture to your favorite salads and soups.
❤Why you'll love these croutons
If you've been waiting for an easy air fryer croutons recipe - look no further. It literally comes together with only 1-minute prep time and 3 simple ingredients. I make a batch of homemade croutons at least a few times a week. And it is so easy!
No melted butter. No tossing and turning in a large bowl. No flipping half way through. It all comes together on the same sheet which means less clean up.
This is such a forgiving recipe because croutons are generally a topping to another bigger meal like Caesar Salad or a hearty soup - you really can't go wrong with these perfect croutons.
- Taste & texture: savory and salty cubed bread that is crunchy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. These are deliciously addicting.
- Level of difficulty: super easy and a great recipe for little hands
- Versatile: use whatever bread you have on hand with whatever seasonings your pantry holds
- Comes together fast: as in 60-second prep time is all you need. I don't even bother tossing all the bread cubes together with the oil and seasonings.
🍲Ingredients in Air Fryer Croutons
- any stale bread: sourdough is what I've been using lately but this method works with any type of bread: gluten-free bread, French bread, fancy bread or your favorite white sandwich bread
- good quality oil: for more milder croutons, stick with a neutral flavored oil like avocado oil and save the extra virgin olive oil for fancier croutons.
- seasonings: I usually use whatever is most convenient to grab but Italian seasoning, herbes de provence, and dried ranch seasoning are both great. As are a simple garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and dried parsley blend.
See recipe card for exact quantities but remember - you can't mess these up.
💭Pro tip: Using an oil spray like avocado oil spray covers more surface area on croutons without leaving excess oil on the baking sheet. And it's a lot easier because no tossing is needed.
📖Substitutions and Variations
- Tex Mex - season the bread cubes with taco seasoning for a taco salad
- Cheese & Garlic - add grated Parmesan cheese and minced garlic for a zesty and hearty texture (this would be amazing using dark bread like rye)
- Hot & Spicy - add a pinch of cayenne or two to really bring on the heat
- Sweet - toss the cubed bread with some cinnamon sugar for fruit salads
The best thing about making homemade croutons is that you can use your favorite bread and your favorite seasonings. That means gluten-free bread will work and give you the most delightful gluten-free croutons! Paleo bread is also a great option for healthy croutons.
Of course you may also use fresh bread as literally any kind of bread will work in making these croutons.
- 🕐Time Saving Tip: use oil spray and pre-made seasonings to shave time
- 💲 Money Saving Tip: this is a great money saving recipe as you are repurposing leftover stale bread and giving them new life!
- 🗓Make-Ahead Tip: these croutons are great up to a week in an airtight container
💭Make it Nutrient-Dense: Using good quality oil is paramount to a healthy kitchen. If using an oil spray, check the ingredient label to make sure it doesn't have anything else but oil.
👩🏽🍳How to Make Air Fryer Croutons
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
These air fryer recipe calls for these ingredients that you will need: stale bread, avocado oil (or oil spray), dried seasonings and sea salt.
Step 1. Cut & Season
Cut day-old bread into ½" cubes and spread them evenly in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Spray the cubed bread with oil and sprinkle seasonings over the bread. You may toss everything together with your hands or skip this step (I don't bother with this).
If using a basket-type air fryer, toss everything in a large bowl. And transfer to the air fryer basket.
Step 2. Bake
Bake the croutons for 8 minutes in a convection-type air fryer or until golden brown. Start checking at the 6 minute mark in the basket-type air fryers to make sure you don't over bake.
💭Did you know? Basket-type air fryers usually cook foods quicker than toaster-oven type fryers because the capacity is usually smaller and air circulates quicker.
Step 3: Cool & Serve
Remove croutons from air fryer and allow to completely cool before serving.
Serve over soups and salads or store in an airtight container.
🔪Helpful Tools & Links
Below are some links that may be helpful to you as you make this recipe. You can find some of these items cheaper at your local store but it helps to have a link so you know what you're looking for.
- Tools: chef knife, cutting board, large mixing bowl, extra-large air fryer,
- Ingredients: avocado oil spray, real salt, herbs de provence, Italian seasoning
These croutons are great on their own because they are that good. At least that's how my husband eats them. But of course, croutons are traditionally served as a topping on a green salad like Caesar Salad (our most favorite salad) or this Harvest Kale Salad.
To store: If your house is humid, store leftover homemade croutons in an airtight container for up to one week. They can be left uncovered if house is low in humidity.
Storage containers: these containers are amazing for their air-lock mechanism but any airtight storage container will work; I don't recommend silicone baggies as they are not airtight.
Homemade croutons are best the first two days. But depending on the humidity of your home, if stored properly in an airtight container, they can last up to one week at room temperature. Do not refrigerate as they will draw moisture.
Homemade croutons may soften if improperly stored and exposed to moisture (in the air or on surface). To crisp them up, just pop them back in the air fryer for a few minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and that should restore them to their glorious crispy croutons.
Yes, this recipe is originally made in a toaster-type air fryer using a small baking sheet but it can easily be modified to use a basket-type air fryer. Using the same temperature but reducing the time by a few minutes. Start checking on them at around the 7 minute mark.
Looking for more related how-to's? Here are some ideas:
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ recipe rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Easy Air Fryer Croutons
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut stale bread into ½" cubes and spread them out in single layer on a small baking sheet.
- Spray or drizzle oil generously over the bread cubes. Season with salt and and seasonings and toss gently. Spread evenly across the sheet in single layer.
- Air fry the croutons for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. When cooled, transfer to airtight container.
- Eight ounces of bread should make approximately 4 cups. Serving size is ¼ cup.
- Store croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- To sub Italian seasoning use any combination of rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, and dried parsley to make 2 teaspoons.
- For basket air fryers: toss bread with oil and seasonings in a bowl; you may need to air fry croutons in batches depending on the size of your fryer.
- To crisp up croutons: pop the croutons in the air fryer for a few minutes.