Crunchy and flavorful air fryer croutons are the perfect topper for salads, soups, and more! Best of all, they’re super easy to prep and can be ready in less than 15 minutes.
Craving a little crunch on top of your soup or salad, but don’t want to run all the way to the grocery store?
If you have some stale bread lying around, you can whip up air fryer croutons in 15 minutes flat!
These tasty bites turn out super crunchy with irresistible golden-brown outsides. The air fryer is the perfect way to get them nice and crispy on the outside without burning the bread.
And you won’t believe how easy it is!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- The fool-proof way to make easy air fryer croutons in half the time it takes to make them in the oven
- What kind of bread works best for this recipe
- Tips for making crunchy, irresistible croutons every time
- Ideas for different seasoning variations
- Some of my favorite dishes to eat with croutons
If you ask me, every salad could be made better by throwing some crispy croutons on top.
But if your kids are anything like mine, be careful leaving your salad alone too long, or you might turn around to find they’ve all been stolen!
My advice: always make more croutons than you think you need.
I made this recipe using the 5.7 QT Instant Pot Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.
How to Make Croutons in the Air Fryer
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
STEP TWO: Cut the bread into ½” -¾” cubes, then transfer to a large bowl.
STEP THREE: Drizzle the bread cubes with melted butter, then sprinkle Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt on top.
STEP FOUR: Toss until all of the bread cubes are well-coated in butter and seasoning.
STEP FIVE: Place the bread in the air fryer basket. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the croutons are golden-brown on the outside.
What Kind of Bread Should You Use For Croutons?
Good news: you can use pretty much any kind of bread ever. I’ve never come across a type of bread that didn’t work for this recipe, including gluten-free and low-carb brands!
Personally, in terms of texture and flavor, sourdough is my favorite bread to use for homemade croutons.
I just can’t get enough of that signature tang! Other crusty loaves like French or Italian bread are also fantastic.
But really, any bread is going to turn out wonderfully just so long as it’s slightly stale.
In a pinch, fresh bread will work fine, but it might not get quite as crispy. Stale bread has lost some of its moisture, which is what allows it to get crunchier in the air fryer.
Tips for Making the Best Croutons in the Air Fryer
- Try to use stale bread instead of fresh. Even bread that’s a day or two old will be great!
- Lay the croutons in the air fryer basket in as close to an even layer as possible to ensure the hot air can properly circulate. You may also want to shake the basket halfway through.
- The croutons will taste amazing right out of the air fryer, but keep in mind that they’ll actually get a little crispier as they cool.
Can You Use Different Seasonings for Croutons?
You bet! For super flavorful air fryer garlic croutons, consider replacing the garlic powder with fresh garlic instead.
Mince one or two cloves, then mix them in with your melted butter before pouring over the bread.
Craving some hearty air fryer Italian croutons?
Start with Italian or focaccia bread and either increase the amount of Italian seasoning or switch to ⅓ teaspoon each of dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley.
It’s hard to go wrong with croutons, so feel free to add anything that sounds good to you. Onion powder, dried rosemary, marjoram, sage, or even chili powder are all great ways to dial up the flavor!
What to Eat with Air Fryer Croutons
- 4 Ingredient Potato Soup
- 5 Ingredient Squash Casserole
- Chicken Caesar Wrap
- Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup
- Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
How to Store Leftover Homemade Croutons
The key to making croutons last is to let them fully cool first. The less moisture there is in the container with them, the longer they’ll stay fresh.
You should be able to store them in an airtight container for at least a week.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Cheese Curds
- Air Fryer Garlic Knots
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer Plantains
- Air Fryer Blooming Onion
- Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
- ½ loaf stale bread (4 cups cubed bread) (sourdough works great!)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 F.
- Cut bread into ½” -¾” cubes and place into a large bowl.
- Drizzle bread with melted butter, then sprinkle italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt on top.
- Toss until all bread cubes are well coated.
- Place into your air fryer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until croutons are golden brown on the outside.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 530mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.