Ditch Your Basic Croutons For Flaky Air-Fried Croissants

Without a doubt, croutons can be an important part of a salad or soup, providing flavor and textual contrast. However, sometimes store-bought, straight-out-of-the-bag croutons can be a little lackluster, so you might consider making your own. But where to start?

As it turns out, you can easily make flaky croutons with a couple of croissants, either fresh or stale. All you need to do is cut the croissant into cubes (about an inch wide, though you can also go a bit smaller or larger) and toss the cubed croissants with a light coating of butter or oil and seasonings of your choice. For example, you could use garlic, dried herbs, or even parmesan cheese

Last but not least, bake the cubes in your air fryer at 300 F until golden and crispy. Unlike the usual crouton, these will be delightfully light and flaky. You certainly won't be chipping a tooth on one of these air-fried croissant croutons, and that's all any of us could ask for.

Repurpose stale biscuits into flavorful croutons

Another creative alternative to store-bought croutons is repurposing extra or stale biscuits. You can use any kind of biscuit, be it from a bacon-cheddar drop biscuit recipe or a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe passed down through generations. Of course, the biscuits don't even have to be homemade. Rather, they could be leftover biscuits from Red Lobster, KFC, or any other restaurant.

Like the aforementioned hack for croissant croutons, preparation begins with cutting the biscuits into bite-sized cubes. Depending on the biscuit type and personal preference, you may choose to toss the cubes in additional seasonings, or move straight ahead to baking. You can use either an air fryer or your regular oven, again baking until the cubes are a rich golden color and crispy in texture. Be sure to keep a close eye on your croutons as they bake because they can easily burn.

You should note that biscuit croutons will be more dense than croissant ones, but they will still offer a lighter texture than bagged croutons and impart rich flavor to any salad. Sounds perfect for a Cobb salad, if you ask us.

Take salads up a notch with cornbread croutons

Even find yourself wondering what to do with leftover cornbread? Wonder no more: You can turn that cornbread into croutons just as easily as any other kind of bread. That said, if you're using fresh cornbread, you should allow it time to dry out a bit.

As you might guess, making cornbread croutons again starts with cutting the bread into cubes. You can toss the cubes in any seasonings of your choosing, though we highly recommend keeping it simple with olive oil and sea salt to let the cornbread's flavors shine. Regardless, you should be gentle with the cubes, since cornbread can be delicate. Once coated and seasoned, bake the cubes until crispy.

With a hint of sweetness, cornbread croutons can pair well with any number of salads featuring vegetables or seafood, and can also complement ingredients with sweet notes. We may be a bit biased, but this feels like one of the best ways to upgrade boxed cornbread.