Croutons often get a bad rap. They're often more processed than the typical salad bar component; but when it comes down to the amount of energy in a crouton as to a walnut — the latter is essentially the same, if not higher, in caloric value. Part of the reason why croutons have been portrayed as "unhealthy" in the media is due to the high amount of sodium found in certain name brands at the supermarket. Not to mention, their crunchy, salty quality makes them satisfying and easy to munch on. After all, croutons are to salad as M&M's are to trail mix

However this is not the end-all of croutons, simply make your own. Not only will you gain some cooking skills in the process, you'll be a force in the pursuit to reducing overconsumption in Westernized civilization.

Add croutons to any salad, or make an authentic caesar salad for a fine dining experience.

Garlic Croutons with Parsley and Thyme

  • Prep Time:5 secs
  • Cook Time:15 secs
  • Total Time:20 secs
  • Servings:8
  • Medium


  • 4 cups roughly chopped bread
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup packed parsley
  • 1/4 cup pack thyme
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
chicken, meat, lettuce, vegetable, salad
Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350° while you prep the herbs — strip the small leaves from the thyme stems, and roughly chop the parsley.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 2

    Lay the pieces of bread flat on a baking sheet, drizzle oil and toss with herbs, pepper and garlic.

    cheese, meat, toast, seafood, bread, vegetable, parsley, fish
    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 3

    Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing half way through baking.

    meat, vegetable, sweet
    Ellen Gibbs

The good news is, you don't have to buy croutons anymore. With a stale loaf of bread and a few simple ingredients, you'll end up with croutons less processed and less expensive than store bought. 

I used fresh herbs for this recipe, but during the off-season will substitute for dried.