The best recipes with croutons

The best recipes with croutons

Golden, crispy croutons can elevate any dish with their delightful crunch and rich flavour. Use them on top of a bowl of steaming soup or toss on a vibrant salad, adding crunch and buttery flavour notes however you use them. Explore various ways to use croutons as we delve into the best recipes where croutons not only complement but also enhance the dish.

Croutons and soup

The combination of creamy soup and crunchy croutons is comforting and satisfying. Whether it is the way butter-toasted croutons soak up the rich, creamy goodness of a soup without losing their crunch or how garlic-infused croutons bring a burst of flavour to a simple, subtle soup, this pairing creates a harmony of textures, and buttery croutons suit most soup recipes.

Cheese soup with croutons

Explore how cheese and soup come together in this cheese soup with croutons. It is creamy, and the homemade butter-toasted croutons add a bit of crunch and buttery goodness. Fresh leeks provide a subtle onion flavour that complements the creamy, cheesy soup and infuses it with a delightful depth that goes perfectly with buttery croutons.

Tomato and lentil soup with croutons

Turn rich tomato and soft lentils into a delicious soup with crunchy croutons on top. Our tomato and lentil soup with crispy garlic croutons is a perfect example of how croutons can take a simple soup to the next level. The rich tomato base paired with red lentils and the mild spiciness of sweet chilli sauce make for a harmonious blend of flavours, and the pungent garlic croutons add a pleasant crunch. Serve with Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche for a cooling finish and a tangy kick.

Tomato and lentil soup

Tomato and lentil soup

Salads with croutons

Croutons, delightfully crisp and golden toasted bread cubes, can transform any salad from ordinary to extraordinary. They introduce a satisfying crunch to each bite and add a rich, toasted flavour that complements both the freshness of vegetables and the complexity of dressings or vinaigrettes. They bring an irresistible textural contrast and flavour enhancement to a variety of salads, whether you are using legumes, fresh seasonal vegetables, cheese, fruit, or seeds and grains.

Lentil salad with croutons

This lentil salad with croutons is a perfect example of how croutons can add a satisfying crunch and rich, toasted flavour to a salad with simple, fresh ingredients. The lentils provide a colourful base for the fresh vegetables and the creamy honey and lemon dressing with crème fraiche. This salad can be served as a refreshing, light dinner or as an easy-to-pack lunch for picnics, and the croutons make it immensely satisfying in all its simplicity.

Asparagus and tomato salad with garlic croutons

This asparagus and tomato salad with homemade garlic croutons perfectly balances tender-crisp green asparagus, juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp red onion, and firm yet tender beluga lentils. Crispy garlic croutons add the perfect crunch to the salad and complement the sour elderflower cream dressing.

Green salad with salad cheese and croutons

A green salad with salad cheese is a great way to use homemade croutons. These croutons are made with sourdough bread and add a delightful crunch and slight tanginess to the salad. The warm salad cheese, seared with lemon zest, complements the crisp freshness of the greens, while the tangy mustard dressing adds a burst of flavour.

Green salad with salad cheese and croutons

Green salad with salad cheese and croutons

Quinoa salad with chicken and croutons

This quinoa salad with chicken and croutons is perfect for a luxurious lunch, light dinner, or delicious side dish. The salad is filled with sweet fruits, crisp vegetables, and fresh herbs, and the crispy croutons meet tender chicken to create delicious nuances in both flavour and texture. As the ideal backdrop to the garlic croutons, the salad also has a simple honey and lemon dressing to brighten the flavours.

Rye bread croutons and chips

Delve into the rustic charm and distinctive crunch of rye bread croutons, a versatile and flavourful addition to a myriad of dishes. These croutons have a robust flavour and a satisfyingly crispy texture, characterised by the slight tanginess and dense texture of rye bread. Whether tossed into a fresh salad or floated atop a rich soup, rye bread croutons introduce an earthy depth that complements both subtle and bold meals.

Rye bread chips

Crispy and crunchy rye bread chips are a tasty alternative to traditional chips from earthy potatoes or sweet root vegetables. Made from coarse rye bread, these snacks offer a deep, earthy flavour and are perfect for a quick snack, served with a starter, or as an accompaniment to a cheese platter.

Rye bread chips

Rye bread chips

Avocado mousse with rye bread chips

In this avocado mousse with rye bread chips recipe, the crispy rye bread pairs perfectly with the creamy avocado mousse. Coriander, tomato, and onion ensure a rich flavour, and when you use the crispy rye bread chips to scoop up the avocado mousse, you get to enjoy all flavour nuances in each bite.

Parsley soup

Serve a bright green parsley soup with toasted rye bread or rye bread croutons. The soup is rich in flavour, thanks to the blend of fresh parsley and celery roots and the generous amount of added cream cheese. The crispy rye bread adds an irresistible textural contrast to the creamy, airy soup, as well as a flavourful contrast to its mellow earthiness.

A delicious way to use stale and leftover bread

Stale or leftover bread is the secret to creating the perfect croutons. The slightly dried-out texture makes it crisp up so well that it gets an irresistible crunch on the outside while preserving a tender chewiness inside. This delightful textural contrast is something that fresh bread struggles to replicate; it often ends up a bit soft or mushy even when you bake or fry it.

It is a clever way to revitalise those bread leftovers you do not want to butter for breakfast or serve on the side for dinner. They easily transform into something new, so do not throw it away the next time you have stale bread. You can try our classic recipe for croutons to see how easy and straightforward it is to use your leftovers to create a delightfully crunchy new addition to any dish. You can also use stale bread for one of our delicious toast recipes or put stale bread to use as breadcrumbs. Find inspiration in our top 3 recipes with breadcrumbs. If you want more ideas on how to use leftover bread, check out our most popular leftover bread recipes.

Use different bread types for different results

Any type of bread will do for croutons, although some bread types are better than others. The best types are typically dense and sturdy, as they hold up well when toasted and tossed in soups or salads with dressings − but use whatever you have at home. You can even mix different types to create a cornucopia of colours, flavours, and textures. With its tangy flavour and chewy texture, sourdough adds a nice flavour complexity and has a slightly firm bite. French baguettes have a crispy crust and a soft interior that becomes wonderfully crunchy when made into croutons, while Italian ciabatta, known for its rustic texture, is excellent for croutons with a bit of chewiness.

Wholemeal bread introduces a nuttier flavour to croutons and a firmer texture. Rye bread, with its distinctive flavours ranging from slightly sour to deeply earthy, combined with its dense texture, introduces an intriguing flavour and a chewy dimension. Different types of flatbreads, such as naan, paratha, and pitta, result in thinner and crisper croutons, giving them a more pronounced crunch. White bread creates lighter, airier croutons, and its mild flavour and soft texture provide a subtle contrast to the crisp exterior of the toasted croutons.

Add flavour with herbs and spices

To take your croutons to another level of deliciousness, add herbs, spices, or other flavourful ingredients. Experiment with the croutons to discover your ideal flavour combination, creating a versatile and irresistible topping for soups, salads, and more. For example, garlic can provide a warm, earthy base, while various cheeses like Parmesan, mature cheddar, or gouda add a creamy, savoury dimension as well as a golden crust. Fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley introduce a garden-fresh vibrancy, with basil bringing a sweet, peppery flavour, rosemary a woodsy aroma, thyme an earthy sweetness, and parsley a fresh finish. For a spicy kick, a dash of chilli powder can make your croutons pop with fiery zest.