Get a recipe for gluten-free croutons – perfect for salads, soups, and topping your favorite dishes! Dairy-free and egg-free too!
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If you love to enjoy salad for lunch or as a side dish at dinner time, you may have a love for crispy, crunchy croutons to help give that salad some major flavor and texture.
Adding croutons to a salad, soup, or as a topping for another dish can bring a whole new layer or crunchiness and loads of flavor to an otherwise flat dish.
But if you’re like me and need to avoid gluten in your diet due to health or other dietary needs, you may have wondered if you can still enjoy adding that crunchy bite to your salads anymore.
Can folks on a gluten-free diet still use croutons? If so, which brands? And if not, how can we make them ourselves so we don’t have to go without enjoying them?
In this post, we’re talking about what croutons are made of, if they’re generally gluten-free, and even going over a few brands you can find at the store that will work for you and your gluten-free diet.
We’ll also discuss how to make your own gluten-free croutons, including what ingredients you need, and a step-by-step walkthrough of how to make the best croutons that work for you and your gluten-free diet.
What are croutons made of?
Croutons are made of cubed bread, usually day old bread or bread that’s been drying out a bit. Bread slices are cut into cubes, then seasoned and toasted in the oven.
Croutons are usually crunchy and can be seasoned any way you like, with garlic, butter, and herbs being the most common seasonings.
You can find croutons at grocery stores or make them at home yourself using leftover bread.
Are croutons gluten-free?
Most croutons you buy at the store that are usually on shelves alongside salad dressings are not gluten-free. These croutons use wheat flour in the bread, making them not a good option for folks on a gluten-free diet.
That said, if you make your own croutons at home using the bread of your choice, you can easily have gluten-free croutons. Simply choose a gluten-free bread option to make your croutons and you’ll be able to enjoy them on your favorite salads or stuffing.
Gluten-free crouton brands
If you’re looking for a gluten-free crouton brand that you can buy at the store or online, check out some of these options.
I will say most of these are pretty expensive for what they are, so if you really can’t make your own, go for one of these choices, but otherwise you’re probably better off making your own for a fraction of the cost.
- Aleias Seasoned Croutons
- Carrington Farms Crounons
- Haddar Gluten Free Soup Croutons
- Heaven & Earth Veggie Croutons
- Kitchen & Love Plantain Crouton Bites
- Mom’s Place Gluten Free & Dairy-free Seasoned Croutons
- New Grains Gluten Free Bakery Parmesan Croutons
- Olivia’s Gluten Free Garlic Croutons
How to make croutons gluten-free
To make croutons gluten-free, you’ll want to choose a gluten-free bread. Look for a store-bought variety that contains no wheat flour or enriched flour, as these always contain gluten.
Find a brand of bread that has a gluten-free label since this indicates that less than 20 ppm of gluten is present in this product. Here’s a list of my top 7 picks for gluten-free bread (all picks are dairy-free too).
I used Schar Gluten-free Artisan Baked White Bread for this recipe.
Another option is to make your own gluten-free bread at home. This is easiest with a bread machine that has a gluten-free option in it. I own and love this bread machine.
I’ve had it for a little over a year and have enjoyed making my own gluten-free bread. I don’t know how it compares economically, considering the costs of gluten-free flours are pretty expensive.
But I started making my own bread because most gluten-free bread options contain eggs, which is another food that I react to and try to keep out of my diet.
For a long time, I’d buy whatever gluten-free bread was available at Costco and then kept reacting to it, so I decided to invest in this machine to help me stay true to what my body needed.
Ingredients you need for gluten-free croutons
Making gluten-free croutons is extremely easy, and once you realize that you’ve been living without croutons while being on a gluten-free diet, you’ll kick yourself for not doing this sooner.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make gluten-free croutons at home.
Choose a gluten-free bread option you already know and love. This is a great way to use up any leftover bread you have on hand, including the heels of bread that maybe you or your kids don’t love.
You can make or buy the gluten-free bread to use in this recipe. As long as it tastes good on its own, it will work well for your gluten-free croutons.
I used Schar Gluten-free Artisan Baked White Bread for this recipe.
Vegan butter or olive oil
You’ll want to coat your gluten-free croutons in vegan butter or olive oil to help the seasonings you add to your croutons stick. If you want a more buttery flavor, choose vegan butter like Earth Balance or Mykonos brands.
Or if you prefer the flavor of olive oil or you simply have that on hand, choose this option. Either work for this recipe.
Any dried herbs can be included in your gluten-free croutons. My favorite way to determine what to use in this recipe is to look at the packages at the store and see what my favorite ones contain.
Most store-bought croutons have dried basil, parsley, oregano, or thyme. Some might even have dill, rosemary, tarragon, chives, or cilantro.
If you have fresh herbs on hand, you can easily substitute these for dried herbs in this recipe. I’m choosing dried herbs, because they’re always guaranteed to be in my pantry and I don’t have to go out and get new ingredients to make these croutons.
Garlic powder is a great ingredient to add flavor to your gluten-free croutons. It gives these crunchy croutons some homemade flavor.
You can also opt to add onion powder if that’s something you think you’d like in your croutons as well.
Don’t skip this ingredient in your gluten-free croutons. It’s what makes most croutons the best part of a salad. Use whatever you have on hand for this recipe, no need for anything fancy.
How to make gluten-free croutons step-by-step
It’s super simple to make these gluten-free croutons. With all the ingredients at the ready, here’s how to make them step-by-step.
Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for quick cleanup.
Combine the topping ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the melted vegan butter or olive oil, dried herbs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir together.
Cut the gluten-free croutons
Cut the gluten-free bread into cubes. You can choose how big or small you want your croutons to be at this point – there’s no right or wrong way to cut them!
Combine the topping with the croutons
Place the bread cubes in the bowl along with your topping mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir the bread cubes into the mixture until they’re evenly coated.
Place croutons on a baking sheet
Place the gluten-free bread cubes in a single even layer on a rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Bake the croutons
Once the oven is preheated, transfer the baking sheet with the coated bread cubes to the oven and bake for about 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and give the croutons a stir, trying to flip them over to toast up the other side. Make sure they’re in an even layer again, then place back in the oven to cook for another 7 minutes.
Test the doneness of your croutons by determining if you’d like them more crispy or if they look ready. Place back in the oven if you want them more crispy.
Remove from the oven and cool
Once you’re satisfied with the crispiness of your croutons, remove them from the oven to cool.
Enjoy or store for later
Once cool to the touch, you can serve them right away or place them in a sealed container to enjoy later. They’ll keep for up to two weeks this way.
How to use gluten-free croutons in your favorite dishes
Gluten-free croutons can be used in the same way that any other crouton is used. Here are some ideas for enjoying your gluten-free croutons:
- Add to salads
- Add to soups
- Add to chili
- Use in a gluten-free stuffing
- Add to top casseroles for a crunchy bite
- Use in your favorite gluten-free meatloaf recipe
How long do these gluten-free croutons last?
After making this gluten-free crouton recipe, they’ll keep for about two weeks in a sealed container for best freshness and quality.
How should I store these gluten-free croutons?
If you don’t plan to use all the croutons you make at once, you can easily store them for up to two weeks. The best option is to store them in a sealed container, like in snapware (either plastic or glass), or in a gallon sized freezer bag.
You can keep them in your pantry or on your counter. There’s no need to refrigerate them.
- 1 loaf good quality gluten-free white bread (I used Schar brand)
- ¼ cup melted vegan butter or olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 to 2 tsp dried herbs, your choice
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted vegan butter or olive oil, dried herbs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir together.
- Cut the gluten-free bread into cubes. You can choose how big or small you want your croutons to be at this point - there's no right or wrong way to cut them!
- Place the bread cubes in the bowl along with your topping mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir the bread cubes into the mixture until they're evenly coated.
- Place the gluten-free bread cubes in a single even layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Once the oven is preheated, transfer the baking sheet with the coated bread cubes to the oven and bake for about 7 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and give the croutons a stir, trying to flip them over to toast up the other side. Make sure they're in an even layer again, then place back in the oven to cook for another 7 minutes.
- Test the doneness of your croutons by determining if you'd like them more crispy or if they look ready. Place back in oven if you'd like a more crispy crouton.
- Once you're satisfied with the crispiness of your croutons, remove them from the oven to cool.
- Once cool to the touch, you can serve them right away or place them in a sealed container to enjoy later. They'll keep for up to two weeks this way.
If you’ve been looking for a recipe for gluten-free croutons that you can add to soups or salads, I hope you give this recipe a try. They’re crispy, full of flavor, and can help you stick with your gluten-free diet!
Looking for more salad recipes and ideas? Check out one of these posts!