Lemon Pepper Croutons Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Bread: 1/2 loaf of slightly stale bread (sourdough, French, Italian, or any crusty bread works well). Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Olive Oil: 1/4 cup
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning: 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic Powder: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon (optional, adjust based on your lemon pepper seasoning)
  • Fresh Lemon: 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Cut bread: Cut the bread into approximately 1-inch cubes.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder (if using), and salt (if using).
  • Coat bread: Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss to coat them evenly with the oil and seasoning mixture.
  • Bake: Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or ungreased). Squeeze a couple of the lemon wedges over the croutons for extra lemony goodness.
    Bake until golden brown: Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Be sure to toss them halfway for even cooking.
  • Cool: Allow the croutons to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Tips:

  • Stale bread is best: Using slightly stale bread helps it get even crispier.
  • Customize flavor: Add other dried herbs like thyme or oregano for variations.
  • Zest it up: Include a teaspoon of lemon zest to the seasoning mix for an extra pop of lemon flavor.
  • Store properly: Store cooled croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Serving suggestions:

  • Salads: Top your salads with these croutons for added flavor and crunch.
  • Soups: Perfect for garnishing creamy soups, especially tomato or potato soups.
  • Enjoy as is: Make a delicious and healthy snack on their own!

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