My New Salad Game Changer

grilled chicken salad and croutons recipe

To balance out my weekly indulgence in what I lovingly refer to as “Pizza Friday’s” (usually paired with wine and a side of Ted Lasso), I tend to eat several lunchtime salads throughout the week. They’re easy to make, no real cooking is involved, and it doesn’t create a lot of dishes. In short, it’s my lazy girl lunch. Lately, I’ve been making homemade croutons as a new addition to my salads, and whoa — has it been a game changer! I don’t think I will ever go back to buying them from the store again, and that is really saying something for me (because of the laziness!).

Homemade croutons are quick and easy to make, and the smell from the oven makes your home smell like you have been slaving away cooking something fantastic. I came across the recipe section for croutons in the Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat cookbook — which by the way is an incredible resource and a great reference for every skill level of cook. It’s easy to adapt it to your taste, and you can experiment with the flavors.

The cookbook gives a lot of suggestions, but I usually just use whatever spices I have on hand. I tend to make a big batch over the weekend or after a trip to the grocery store, and then store them in a Ziplock bag to use throughout the week. Lately I’ve been making them with sourdough bread, which just makes them taste extra delicious! They look so decadent and really elevate your salad to the next level, it looks like a salad from a nice restaurant!

How To Make Croutons

Method For Making Croutons

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Take as little or as much of a loaf of bread as you like, and either cut or tear into small pieces.
  3. Lay the torn bread on the parchment paper, and it’s okay if they are on top of each other — it doesn’t need to be a single layer.
  4. Drizzle with your favorite olive oil, sprinkle generously with seasoning, and then toss the pieces to make sure everything is coated.
  5. Bake on 400 for 18-25 minutes, keeping an eye on them and tossing them if needed (the fresher the bread, the longer it takes)
  6. Take them out of the oven and try not to eat too many before storing!

Enjoy!

how to make croutons

What would you add to your croutons? Share your ideas in the comment section below!

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