Do you know what happens everytime I make these Homemade Parmesan Croutons? My husband eats them all before I can get them on the salad! These parmesan croutons have such an irresistible aroma that my hubby and kids come running before I can finish them. Their effect is equal to that of an air horn in grabbing the attention of my family! Seriously, no need to call them for dinner…they’re all huddled around the skillet hoping one will magically jump out into their mouth. So if you want to serve a salad without any croutons whatsoever…wait, let me rephrase that. So if you want to serve a pre-dinner snack that will have your family swooning over your cooking and begging for another batch, try these out!
Start out with 6 pieces of your favorite bread. Any kind of bread will do. I used wheat because that’s what I had on hand, but white bread and sourdough are also fine. This is a good way to use extra bread before it expires.
Use a bread knife to cut the bread in slivers.
Then cut the slivers into squares. Throw them all into a large bowl and bring them over to your stove.
I find that the croutons taste best when made in the cast iron skillet! This may be because it has been seasoned repeatedly over the years, but I also think it gets the parmesan croutons crispier. I also like that it is deep enough so they don’t fall out when I am tossing them around. But if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, don’t be troubled! A large skillet or saute pan will be fine. However, I strongly suggest saving your pennies for a decent cast iron skillet. Between it and my dutch oven, I don’t want to use any other pan. Well, except my wok. I love him too. His name is Wally. Wally the wok. Am I the only one who names her cookware? Oh geez, I am digressing big time here.
Set out your olive oil, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium/high.
Drizzle in a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in the croutons. Mix them all around and drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil on top, making sure that all the croutons have oil on them. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of each, and let them cook about 2-3 minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
Continue to toss all of these together so that the seasonings can coat the bread as it heats up. Toss in 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning.
As the breadcrumbs heat, you will notice them drying out or even the bottom of the pan smoking a bit. Turn the heat down a bit and continue to add oil as it dries out. You may also want to add more parmesan as you go. The flavor of these parmesan croutons is up to you! I taste them as I go, checking for flavor and texture. The croutons taste best when they are crispy, or with about 10 minutes of cooking.
So alternate with your oil and stirring, tasting as you go and adding any more seasonings you think it needs. When the croutons have a bit of crunch and have turned a deep brown color, set them aside. They will continue to harden as they cool.
When you’re ready to serve your salad, pour the parmesan croutons on top and watch them disappear before you have time to reach for the dressing! I think they compliment a Chicken Caesar Salad best, especially with my 3 Ingredient Tangy Marinated Chicken, but they are lovely on top of anything! Serve this salad next to some spaghetti with Crockpot Bolognese Sauce and you’ll have the perfect Italian dinner! If, perchance, on the rare occasion that you have any of these left over, they keep well in a ziplock bag on the counter for a couple days. I suppose they could be frozen if you squeezed as much air out of the bag as possible so they didn’t get freezer burn or get mushy when thawed, but like I said, I never have any of these delicious morsels leftover so I’ve never gotten that far.
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- 6 pieces regular bread
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, add more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, add more to taste
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, add more to taste
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning, add more to taste
- Slice bread into cubes
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet and pour in bread
- Drizzle bread with another tablespoon of oil
- Add seasonings and cheese and toss until all bread is coated
- Alternate more oil, seasonings, and cheese to taste, stirring continuously
- Cook about 10 minutes or until croutons are browned and slightly crispy
- Let croutons cool before serving
- Serve on top of soups or salads or as a snack