Once you’ve made these homemade croutons, you’ll never want to go back to buying them again. These easy air fryer croutons are ready in just 15 minutes, are deliciously seasoned, and deliver the perfect crispy crunch you crave in the classic salad topping.
While we’re no strangers to meat and potato centric meals, sometimes we crave something a little lighter.
Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, everyone in this house enjoys a good salad.
And there’s nothing more disappointing than assembling a gorgeous salad you can’t wait to dig into, only to look in the pantry and discover there aren’t any croutons.
Croutons are an essential element for us.
Luckily for me, and now for you too, homemade croutons are quick and easy to make in the air fryer.
These air fryer croutons also make use of leftover hot dog or hamburger buns, especially handy after Summer barbecues.
No more sitting around while the oven preheats.
No more heating up the whole house for something simple.
These easy air fryer croutons will become your new go to method for making the perfectly seasoned, classic crunchy salad topping.
This easy homemade crouton recipe only requires a handful of ingredients.
To make them you’ll need:
- Buns – You can use either hot dog or hamburger buns for this recipe. It’s ok if they’re a little stale too, but not too stale. The more stale the bun the harder your croutons will be, and you don’t want to make rocks.
- Oil – I use extra virgin olive oil for these, but regular olive oil will also work. If you don’t have olive oil you can sub canola oil- but olive oil will yield a better taste.
- Seasonings – These croutons are seasoned with a blend of oregano, onion & garlic powders, smoked paprika, seasoned salt, and dash of pepper. You can adjust the seasonings to your tastes, if preferred.
How To Make
From start to finish, these air fryer croutons take roughly 15 minutes to make.
Other than the actual cook time, the longest part is just chopping the buns.
Start by slicing the buns into 1/2″ cubes.
They don’t have to perfect by any means, but having them all roughly the same size is best to ensure even cooking.
Once your cubed the buns, add them to a mixing bowl.
Drizzle the olive oil evenly out over the bread, then gently toss until all the bread cubes are coated with oil.
Sprinkle the seasonings out over the oiled bread, and toss to coat until evenly combined.
Transfer the seasoned bread cubes to the basket of a large air fryer. We use a 7 quart one.
Spread them out into a mostly even single layer.
If you’re using a smaller air fryer, you may have to cook them in batches because a single layer is ensures even cooking at the temp and time recommended.
Cook them at 325F for 10-12 minutes, tossing them every 2 minutes.
Once golden brown and crunchy, the air fryer croutons are done.
If yours are still a teensy bit on the soft side, don’t cook them longer. I know that seems like the logical thing to do.
Spread them out on a sheet of parchment paper, again in an even layer to cool completely.
As the croutons cool they will continue to harden.
Once cooled completely, you can eat them as is or use them in any of your favorite recipes.
Completely cooled croutons can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature.
They can be safely stored this way for up to a week.
The Best Ways To Use Homemade Croutons
These easy air fryer croutons are the perfect topping for salads, but they’re also great in other dishes.
For example, they’re great as:
- Toppings for soups- they go great on both our sausage & lentil soup and also our chicken & gnocchi soup. Using croutons as a topping also eliminates the needs for a side of bread.
- Use them in place of bread crumbs as a crispy topping on pasta casseroles. Just add them to a ziplocking bag and use a rolling pin to break them up.
- A breading for fish- including these easy air fryer fish sticks.
- A simple snack- Yep, you read that right. Homemade croutons make a crunchy, pop-able snack that can take the place of chips and crackers.
- With eggs – if you have extra, or leftover, croutons- stir them into your scrambled eggs. They take the place of toast and are a surprisingly delicious addition.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Sprinkle the seasonings evenly out over the bread instead of just dumping it on. Dried seasonings like to stick to oil, and this will ensure they’re easier to evenly coat when you toss them.
- Don’t skip tossing the croutons every two minutes or so during the cooking process. This helps to promote even cooking, and will also prevent browning.
- Don’t worry if the croutons seem too soft when they’re done cooking. They continue to crisp up as the cool.
Recipes That Use Croutons
These easy air fryer croutons are simple to make, even at the last minute.
They’re the perfect addition to a simple side salad or even to use in recipes.
So good they’re even snackable!
Looking for other ways to use your homemade croutons?
Give one of these easy recipes a try:
If you’ve tried these EASY AIR FRYER CROUTONS, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Homemade Croutons In The Air Fryer
- 4-5 large hot dog buns
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil if using 5 buns, add an extra tbsp
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the buns into roughly 1/2" cubes. Add the bread cubes to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Pour the olive oil over the bread cubes, and toss to evenly coat.
- Sprinkle all the seasonings out over the bread cubes, and toss them again until evenly coated.
- Add the seasoned bread cubes to the basket of a large air fryer, and spread them out into a mostly even single layer.
- Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes, tossing every two minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
- Spread the air fryer croutons out in an even layer on a sheet of parchment paper and let them cool completely.
- Serve & enjoy!
- Sprinkle the seasonings evenly out over the bread instead of just dumping it on. Dried seasonings like to stick to oil, and this will ensure they're easier to evenly coat when you toss them.
- Don't skip tossing the croutons every two minutes or so during the cooking process. This helps to promote even cooking, and will also prevent browning.
- Don't worry if the croutons seem too soft when they're done cooking. They continue to crisp up as the cool.