Basil Pesto Croutons
This Basil Pesto Croutons recipe is the perfect way to make use of leftover bread and pesto! Make a large batch of this recipe for Basil Pesto Croutons in advance so you can enjoy them throughout the week with your favorite soups and salads! Making croutons in super easy and they come together in a pinch!
Most weeks you’ll find my refrigerator stocked with pesto. The first time I drizzled pesto in chicken soup, I was hooked; it makes pretty much everything taste better. That’s why when I discovered this little trick of drizzling pesto over stale bread to make croutons, it all made sense! Now I can’t think of eating regular croutons when I can have Basil Pesto Croutons!
This recipe is an easy one to pull together! You simply cut or tear some day-old bread into 1-inch cubes, toss them in pesto, and bake them! Then eat them by the fistfuls or add them to your favorite soups and salads.
Recipe For Basil Pesto Croutons
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this Recipe for Basil Pesto Croutons; it makes the best croutons!
- Bread – We use a half of a day old baguette.
- Pesto – We use Homemade Basil Pesto for this recipe, but you could use store-bought if you like.
- Parmesan cheese – We use Parmesan cheese for this recipe, but you could use Parmesan-Reggiano if you like.
For full recipe instructions, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Basil Pesto Croutons
Making croutons couldn’t be easier, especially if you already have the basil pesto on hand!
- Cut or tear bread – Cut or tear the day-old baguette into 1-inch pieces.
- Make Pesto – Add the basil pesto ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you reach a desired consistency. Pour into a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Toss bread cubes with peasto – Add the bread cubes to the bowl. Using a silicon spatula, gently toss the cubes to coat evenly. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake – Bake for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are golden brown and crispy, turning them at the 5 minute mark.
- Add Parmesan cheese (optional) – About 5 minutes into baking the croutons, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the croutons. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven to continue baking for another 5 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy. This makes them extra cheesy good, but again, totally optional.
- Cut each cube of bread into roughly the same sized pieces to ensure that all croutons cook evenly.
- Coat each piece fairly evenly with pesto so each crouton will be flavorful.
What Is The Best Bread To Make Croutons With
While you can make Basil Pesto Croutons using almost any type of bread, it’s best to use a French baguette or boule. Using a baguette or boule is ideal because you can easily cut the pieces into 1-inch cubes; nothing worse than small croutons!
Additionally, bread that is a day or two old is best; that’s because it’s easier to cut and it doesn’t become overly soggy when tossed in pesto and olive oil. We use day old bread to make these Herbed Croutons and Parmesan Croutons as well.
These crispy nuggets are completely addictive on their own, but they’re really best tossed in salads or used as a garnish for soups.
- Soups: Add them to soups like my Red Lentil Soup, Italian Lentil Soup, French Potage or White Bean Soup with Kale.
- Salads: Salads are always better with crunchy croutons tossed in the mix. Try them in my Everyday Mediterranean Salad, Italian Salad, Romaine Salad, Chef Salad and Broccoli Salad.
- Breadcrumbs: If you need delicious breadcrumbs to add to a chicken recipe or an Italian dish, these Basil Pesto Croutons also make the perfect and flavorful breadcrumbs! Just toss them by the handfuls into a food processor and pulse until you reach your desired texture.
How To Store Croutons
Basil Pesto Croutons, like any bread or cracker product, must be sealed in an airtight plastic bag, container or even a mason jar, where they’ll keep for up to a week. Just make sure you let them cool before storing them.
Can Croutons Be Frozen
Yes, Basil Pesto Croutons can be kept in the freezer. Simply place the croutons onto a baking sheet and place them in the freezer; once they’re frozen you can then place them in an air-tight freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Looking For More Pesto Recipes
- How to Freeze Pesto
- Arugula Pesto
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Basil Pesto Chicken Salad
- Basil Pesto Broccoli
- Pesto Cauliflower Rice
- Basil Mashed Potatoes
- 1/2 day-old French baguette or boule, torn or cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300
- Prepare the basil pesto
- Place 1/2 cup basil pesto in a large bowl
- Add bread cubes to large bowl and toss with pesto
- Spread on cookie sheet in a single layer
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy; turn croutons 5 minutes into baking.
- After baking for 5 minutes, remove from oven and turn croutons. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and return to the oven to bake another 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 549mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations. See full disclaimer on About page.