How to Make Cornbread Croutons


Croutons add a delightful crunch to salads and soups. Among them, cornbread croutons stand out. They have a sweet taste and a unique texture. In this guide, we’ll learn how to make them. Transforming cornbread into croutons is easy. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a newbie, you’ll love it. Let’s dive in!

Ingredients for Cornbread Croutons

Cornbread croutons, with their delightful texture and hint of sweetness, can elevate any dish. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  1. Cornbread:

    • 1 cup of cornmeal
    • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 4 tsp of baking powder
    • A pinch of salt
    • 2 tbsp of sugar (optional for sweetness)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup of milk
    • ¼ cup of melted butter or vegetable oil
  2. Seasonings (for croutons):

    • 2 tbsp of melted butter or olive oil (for brushing)
    • ½ tsp of garlic powder
    • ½ tsp of onion powder
    • ¼ tsp of dried oregano or thyme
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Gather these ingredients, and you’re all set to craft some delicious cornbread croutons!

Steps: How to Make Cornbread

Creating a delicious cornbread forms the base for our croutons. Let’s break down the process step by step:

  1. Preheat the Oven:Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Ensure you have a rack in the middle.
  2. Prepare the Baking Pan:Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients:In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk them together until well mixed.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients:In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Then add milk and melted butter or vegetable oil. Mix them well.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures:Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir gently until you get a smooth batter. Don’t overmix; a few lumps are okay.
  6. Pour and Bake:Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Spread it evenly. Place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cornbread should turn golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  7. Cool Down:Once baked, remove the cornbread from the oven. Let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes. After that, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully made a batch of delicious cornbread. Now you’re all set to transform this cornbread into flavorful croutons!

How to Make Cornbread Croutons

Once you’ve mastered the art of making cornbread, turning it into croutons is a cinch. Follow these steps to create crunchy, flavorful cornbread croutons:

  1. Prepare the Cornbread:
    Ensure your cornbread is completely cooled. This will make it easier to cut and will prevent it from crumbling excessively.
  2. Preheat the Oven:
    Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Position a rack in the middle.
  3. Cutting the Cornbread:
    With a sharp knife, cut the cornbread into cubes. Depending on your preference, these can be small (1/2-inch) or larger (1-inch).
  4. Season the Cornbread Cubes:
    In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter or olive oil with garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano or thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the cornbread cubes and gently toss them until they’re well coated with the seasoning mixture.
  5. Baking:
    Arrange the seasoned cornbread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Ensure they’re spread out, not touching, so they bake evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, turning them halfway, until they’re golden brown and crispy.
  6. Cooling:
    After baking, remove the croutons from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. They’ll continue to harden as they cool.
  7. Storage:
    Once completely cooled, store your cornbread croutons in an airtight container. They’ll remain fresh for up to a week. If you find they’ve lost some crunch, you can always re-toast them briefly in the oven.

And there you go! With these simple steps, you’ve transformed your homemade cornbread into delicious, crunchy croutons, perfect for soups, salads, or even snacking on their own!

Baking or Frying: Which is Better?

When it comes to preparing foods like cornbread croutons, the debate often arises: is it better to bake or to fry? Both methods have their unique advantages and drawbacks. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each to help you decide which suits your needs best.

1. Baking:


  • Healthier Option: Baking requires significantly less oil than frying. This reduces the fat content, making baked items a bit healthier.
  • Consistency:Baking provides a more even and consistent cooking, ensuring all sides of the crouton crisp up perfectly.
  • Less Mess: Without the splatter of hot oil, baking offers a cleaner, more hassle-free cooking experience.
  • Larger Batches: On a large baking sheet, you can prepare more croutons at once compared to the limited space in a frying pan.


  • Time Consuming: Baking usually takes longer than frying.
  • Texture:Some people believe that baked croutons can be a bit drier compared to their fried counterparts.

2. Frying:


  • Quicker:Frying can be faster than baking, especially for small batches.
  • Flavor: Frying in oil can add a unique taste and richness to the croutons.
  • Crispiness:Fried croutons often have a distinct crispy outer layer that many people adore.


  • Calorie Content:Fried foods generally contain more fats and calories due to the oil.
  • Messy:Frying can be messier because of oil splatters and requires more attentive monitoring.
  • Health Concerns:Regular consumption of fried foods can lead to health issues if done excessively.

Storing Cornbread Croutons

Cornbread croutons, with their unique flavor and texture, are a delightful addition to many dishes. To ensure they remain crispy and fresh, proper storage is key. Here’s a guide on how to store cornbread croutons effectively:

1. Cooling Before Storing:

Before you even think about storage, ensure your croutons are completely cooled. Storing them while still warm can trap moisture, leading to sogginess.

2. Airtight Containers:

The best way to store croutons is in an airtight container. This keeps out moisture and prevents the croutons from getting stale. Plastic containers with tight-fitting lids or zip-lock bags work wonders.

3. Avoiding Humid Areas:

Always store your croutons in a cool, dry place. Avoid areas with high humidity like above the stove or dishwasher, as moisture is the enemy of crispiness.

4. Shelf Life:

When stored properly, cornbread croutons can last up to a week. However, always do a quick check before use. If they’ve lost some crunch, you can always pop them in the oven for a few minutes to rejuvenate them.

5. Freezing for Longer Storage:

If you’ve made a large batch and want to store them for a more extended period, consider freezing them. Place the cooled croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. They can last up to three months in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven to bring back their crunch.

6. Avoid Storing with Pungent Foods:

Croutons can absorb the smell of strong foods, like onions or garlic. It’s best to store them away from such items to maintain their original flavor.

7. Check Before Use:

Always inspect croutons for signs of mold or any off smell before using them, especially if they’ve been stored for a while.

Serving Suggestions

Cornbread croutons are incredibly versatile and can elevate a variety of dishes with their unique flavor and delightful crunch. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

1. Soups and Stews:

Cornbread croutons are the perfect companion to rich and hearty soups or stews. Their slightly sweet undertones pair exceptionally well with spicy chili, creamy tomato soup, or a robust vegetable stew.

2. Salads:

Sprinkle these croutons over a fresh salad to add a crunch and contrast. They go particularly well with Caesar salads, Cobb salads, and salads with tangy dressings.

3. Eggs and Breakfast Dishes:

For a southern twist, toss cornbread croutons into scrambled eggs, omelets, or breakfast casseroles. Their texture and flavor can transform an ordinary breakfast into a delightful treat.

4. Mac and Cheese Topping:

Give your classic mac and cheese a crunchy topping by sprinkling crushed cornbread croutons on top before baking. It adds an unexpected layer of texture and taste that’s hard to resist.

5. Vegetable Dishes:

Mix them into roasted or steamed vegetables. Their savory-sweet profile complements greens like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or green beans.

6. Poultry Stuffing:

Use cornbread croutons as a base for your Thanksgiving turkey or chicken stuffing. Their dense texture holds up well to the moisture and adds a southern flair to your festive meal.

7. Garnish for Casseroles:

Instead of the usual bread crumb topping, try cornbread croutons for your next casserole. Whether it’s a vegetable bake or a cheesy pasta dish, these croutons can make a delightful crust.

8. Snacking:

Enjoy them on their own! With a hint of seasoning, cornbread croutons can be a satisfying snack. You might even toss them with some herbs and spices for an extra kick.

9. Desserts:
It may sound unconventional, but try cornbread croutons with sweet dishes. Toss them with cinnamon and sugar, then sprinkle over ice cream or creamy puddings. The juxtaposition of sweet, creamy, and crunchy is truly delightful.

10. Sandwiches and Wraps:

Add some crunch to your sandwiches or wraps by including a handful of these croutons. They pair especially well with creamy fillings like tuna or chicken salad.

Benefits of Cornbread Croutons

Cornbread croutons are more than just crunchy cubes of baked cornmeal. They carry a legacy of Southern cuisine and come packed with a range of benefits, both nutritionally and gastronomically. Let’s delve into the various advantages of integrating cornbread croutons into your culinary repertoire:

1. Nutritional Value:

  • Whole Grains: If made from whole grain cornmeal, cornbread croutons can be a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.
  • Essential Minerals:Cornmeal is rich in essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, which are vital for bone health, energy production, and immunity.

2. Dietary Restrictions:

  • Gluten-Free:

Those with gluten sensitivities can opt for cornbread croutons made without wheat flour, making them a safe choice for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

3. Versatility in Cooking:

As we’ve previously discussed, cornbread croutons can be added to a myriad of dishes, from salads to soups to desserts, showcasing their culinary flexibility.

4. Texture and Flavor:

  • Unique Flavor Profile: The slightly sweet and nutty flavor of cornbread offers a distinct taste, setting these croutons apart from regular bread croutons.
  • Crunch Factor: Their crispy texture can enhance the mouthfeel of various dishes, adding a delightful contrast.

5. Shelf Stability:

When stored properly, cornbread croutons have a decent shelf life, ensuring you always have a crunchy addition ready for your dishes.

6. Economical and Sustainable:

Making croutons out of leftover cornbread reduces food waste and offers an economical way to repurpose an otherwise stale dish.

7. Cultural and Culinary Heritage:

Cornbread is deeply rooted in Southern American cuisine, and incorporating its croutons into dishes can be a nod to this rich culinary tradition.

8. Dietary Fiber:

Cornmeal, especially when whole grain, provides dietary fiber. This aids in digestion, helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels, and can assist in lowering cholesterol.

9. Easy to Customize:

One of the beauties of cornbread croutons is their adaptability. They can be seasoned in countless ways, catering to a broad spectrum of flavor preferences.

10. An Innovative Twist:

For those looking to experiment and elevate traditional dishes, cornbread croutons offer a unique twist, ensuring your meals stand out.

Common Mistakes and Solutions When Making Cornbread Croutons

Making cornbread croutons might seem straightforward, but there are pitfalls that can affect the end result. Let’s explore some common mistakes and their solutions to ensure you achieve perfect cornbread croutons every time:

1. Using Fresh Cornbread:

  • Mistake:Using freshly baked cornbread can result in soggy croutons that don’t crisp up well.
  • Solution:It’s better to use day-old or slightly stale cornbread. The drier texture ensures the croutons bake or fry to a crisp finish.

2. Over-seasoning:

  • Mistake:Overloading with seasonings can overpower the natural flavor of the cornbread.
  • Solution:Start with a light hand and taste as you go. Remember, you can always add more seasoning later, but you can’t take it away.

3. Inconsistent Size:

  • Mistake:Cutting uneven chunks can lead to uneven cooking, with some croutons burning while others remain soft.
  • Solution: Take the time to cut uniform-sized croutons. This ensures even baking or frying.

4. Overcrowding the Pan or Baking Sheet:

  • Mistake:Placing the croutons too close together can trap moisture, preventing them from crisping up.
  • Solution:Spread the croutons in a single layer with some space in between. This allows for even heat distribution and crispiness.

5. Cooking on High Heat:

  • Mistake:High heat can cause the exterior to brown quickly while leaving the inside soft.
  • Solution:Opt for medium heat when frying and a moderate oven temperature when baking. This ensures the croutons are crispy inside and out.

6. Not Stirring or Flipping:

  • Mistake:Neglecting to stir or flip the croutons can result in uneven browning.
  • Solution:Periodically turn the croutons to ensure all sides get evenly browned and crispy.

7. Skipping the Cooling Step:

  • Mistake:Storing or serving croutons immediately after cooking can make them lose their crunch.
  • Solution:Allow the croutons to cool on a wire rack, ensuring air circulation all around, which helps retain their crispness.

8. Storing in a Damp Environment:

  • Mistake:Storing croutons in a humid or damp environment can make them soggy.
  • Solution:Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Ensure they’re completely cooled before storing.

9. Using Low-Quality Cornbread:

  • Mistake:Starting with a subpar cornbread can affect the taste and texture of your croutons.
  • Solution:Always use high-quality, flavorful cornbread. If you wouldn’t enjoy eating the cornbread on its own, it won’t make great croutons either.

10. Overlooking Add-ins:

  • Mistake:Missing out on additional ingredients like grated cheese, herbs, or spices.
  • Solution:Enhance the flavor profile by experimenting with various add-ins. A sprinkle of parmesan or some rosemary can elevate your croutons to the next level.


  • Why choose cornbread over regular bread for croutons?
    Cornbread offers a unique flavor and texture that regular bread can’t match.
  • How to add more flavors to my cornbread croutons?
    Consider herbs like rosemary or thyme, or spices like paprika.
  • Can I make a gluten-free version?
    Absolutely! Just ensure you’re using gluten-free cornmeal and other ingredients.
  • Are cornbread croutons suitable for vegans?
    Yes, by using dairy alternatives and ensuring other ingredients align with vegan standards.
  • How to get uniform crouton sizes?
    Use a ruler or pre-mark your cornbread before cutting.
  • Any secret tips for the best croutons ever?
    It’s all in the seasoning! Find a blend that resonates with your taste.


Cornbread croutons are truly transformative. Whether it’s the gentle crunch in your salad or the flavorful bite in your soup, knowing how to make cornbread croutons can elevate your culinary game. And as we’ve seen, making them is as simple as pie. Or should we say, as simple as cornbread?

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