Learn how to make Caesar croutons in the air fryer. Cubed white bread tossed in olive oil with Parmesan cheese seasoning and then air fried until crispy. An easy and delicious way to garnish your salads and soups.
I used to buy croutons until one day there were only 2 left in a bag, right when I needed them for my Blackened chicken Caesar salad. So I decided to make some from leftover bread using the air fryer. And it was the best decision ever.
These Parmesan croutons came out so good, that I not only used them to garnish my salad but also ate quite a few as a snack.
As for a single serve salad, it is recommended to add about 8 croutons. But lets be honest, you will want add more when the croutons are homemade.
Quick and easy homemade croutons in an air fryer are not only delicious but can be a great way to use your leftover bread that is about to get stale.
The croutons come out super crunchy, with a hint of garlic, herbs, and cheese. Ready in about 3 minutes to go on top of your salads or soups.
I promise, once your try making your own croutons, you will never want to buy them at the store.
Grated Parmesan is optional, but it adds extra sharp flavor making them perfect for your Caesar salad. Caesar is one of a few salads, where croutons are a must ingredient.
You can also try our easy homemade Caesar dressing.
If you are interested in making the original version of the salad, I have the classic Caesar salad that is as close as it possibly could be to the original one you can make at home.
What type of bread is the best for Caesar croutons
You can use any type of bread to make croutons. Caesar croutons are usually made of white bread. I like to use sliced white bread or french baguette.
But you can make them with whole wheat, sourdough, or even rye bread.
I usually use any type of bread we have at home that is about to get stale. Turning the bread into croutons will keep it fresh longer and will be less likely to go to waste.
You can also make croutons from frozen sliced bread. Just add 1-2 minutes of cooking time following the rest of the instructions.
Next time, when you have any bread that is about to go stale, cube it and toss it in the freezer to make fresh croutons when needed.
Please, look for the ingredients quantities in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Bread: white or whole wheat bread. You can use fresh or stale bread.
- Extra virgin Olive oil: olive oil will add a nice flavor and make the croutons crispy.
- Parmesan cheese (grated): it is optional, but always recommended if you are making the croutons for Caesar salad.
- Salt: bread and Parmesan already have sodium, so I add only a few pinches of salt to my croutons.
- Herbs and spices: dried garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, and black pepper. You can also use an Italian herb seasoning mix.
Step 1. Slice the bread into cubes. You can make them smaller or bigger.
Step 2. In a medium bowl, add olive oil, grated Parmesan, salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, and basil. Stir to combine.
Step 3. Add the croutons and toss them gently to coat. If the bread is too fresh, it is easier to drizzle them with olive oil and cheese mixture on top and mix.
Step 4. Preheat the air fryer if required. I usually do not preheat mine for this recipe. Add the croutons to your air fryer basket. They do not need to be in a single layer and can be on top of each other or overlap. Just do not overload the basket, meaning do not add more than 2 cups of cubed bread at a time.
Step 5. Set the air fryer cooking temperature to 375°F. Air fry them for 2 minutes. Take out the basket and give it a shake. The dry bread might be already browned and crispy. The fresh bread may need 1 more minute of cooking. You can make them as browned and crispy as you like. Just make sure to shake the croutons in 2 minutes and check on them often, as they will burn fast.
- If your bread is dry, the croutons will brown much faster. Make sure to check on them after 1-2 minutes of air frying.
- Experiment with different herbs and seasonings.
- The ideal air fryer temperature to make croutons is between 370-400°F
- For this recipe, I used a Ninja air fryer. Your air fryer may cook differently and you may need to adjust the cooking time.
How to store homemade Parmesan croutons
Room temperature: Store them at room temperature in an airtight container or a bag (remove as much air as possible) for about 2-3 days.
Freeze: you can easily freeze prepared croutons for up to 3 months. Once ready to use, warm them up in the oven or air fryer until crispy.
How to use croutons
- Salads: you can add them to any salad. I recommend trying our easy tuna Caesar salad.
- Soups: the bowl of tomato soup is complete with the home made croutons.
- Snack: fresh homemade croutons are great for snacking. You can add them to you cheese and meat platter.
Frequently asked questions
Any fresh or stale (the best) type of bread can be used to make croutons.
When the croutons cool down, keep them at room temperature in an air-tight container or a food storage bag. Remove as much air as possible to keep them crispy longer.
If you do not have an air fryer, you can bake these croutons in the oven for about 10 minutes at 400°F or fry them in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy.
How to Make Caesar Croutons in Air Fryer
- measuring spoons
- air fryer I used Ninja XL
- 4-5 slices bread (any type) about 2 cups cubed
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 pinches salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or less
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Slice bread into cubes. In a medium bowl add 3 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, salt, dried oregano, dried basil and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add cubed bread to the bowl with olive oil mix. Toss gently to coat the bread cubes.
- Add the seasoned bread cubes to the air fryer basket. They may overlap and do not need to be in a single layer.
- Set air fryer temperature to 375°F. Cook for 2 minutes, remove the basket and give it a shake. Place in back in to the unit and cook for another minute or until browned and crispy.
- Add fresh Caesar croutons to your salad or soup.
- The dryer the bread, the less time it may need to cook.
- Check the croutons in 2 minutes, as they may burn fast once browned.
- Store them in an air tight container or a bag at room temperature for about 3 days.