Top your favorite summer salad with these flavorful dairy free and gluten free croutons! These homemade croutons are perfect for salads, soups, or just for snacking. They’re also soy free, nut free, and vegan as well.
Since salad season is upon us, and everyone’s going to be munching on greens, I wanted to create an allergy friendly version of that universal favorite salad topper: croutons!
Last week, we had chicken salads for dinner twice in a row and I bought croutons for my husband (who so far doesn’t have food allergies), but couldn’t find any croutons that my kids and I could have.
So I decided to make some of our own allergy friendly croutons!
Our homemade croutons are easy to make and they’re gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free depending on the ingredients you choose for this recipe.
If you love just snacking on croutons, these are perfect, too. After we added these to our salad, we just snacked on the rest of them and they are so yummy.
Read on for how to make our allergy friendly croutons along with tips on how to make them the best!
How to make gluten free croutons
Our homemade gluten free croutons are so yummy, they’re just like the “real” thing!
We started off with some allergy friendly BFree white bread for our croutons. You can use their brown bread if you want or another brand of gluten free bread as well if you want, but I used this brand because it’s also dairy free, egg free, soy free, and nut free so everyone in my house can have it.
A load of the BFree allergy friendly bread is 14 ounces and it makes about 8 cups of cubed bread. We used the entire loaf in this crouton recipe, but you can do a half batch with half the loaf if you want. Although you might find you want more if you only make half!
Here are the steps to make this recipe (the full recipe card is at the end of the blog post):
- Preheat your oven.
- Cube the gluten free bread you’re using for this recipe into cubes about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size.
- Melt the dairy free butter or use olive oil, drizzle it in parts into the bread cubes, stirring after each addition, making sure not to break up or crumble the bread too much.
- Mix together the seasonings in a small cup, then add it in parts to the bread cubes, tossing after each addition to mix well.
- Bake for a total of 25 minutes, stopping to stir the croutons 2-3 times during the baking.
- Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
For the dairy free butter, we used the Country Crock plant butter sticks (the sticks don’t have soybean oil but the tubs do) which we love, but you can use any dairy free butter you like for this recipe.
Or if you can’t find a suitable dairy free butter, you can use olive oil. You won’t have to worry about the ingredients!
Getting the dairy free butter and seasonings mixed evenly
I discovered that adding the melted butter or olive oil in parts to the bread cubes helps to evenly distribute the butter into the bread.
We did this by drizzling 1/3 of the butter all over the bread, tossing, adding another 1/3, tossing, then adding the final third and tossing again. This keeps the butter/oil from being too heavy on a few cubes and not on others.
I also did the same thing with the seasoning as well. Once the bread cubes are evenly distributed with butter (or mostly anyway since it won’t be perfect), then I add the seasonings in thirds as well, stirring after each addition to evenly distribute everything.
Can I use a different bread for these croutons?
Yes! We used the BFree bread because it fits everyone’s allergies in our house, but you can use any bread you like for this recipe, even wheat bread if you can have it.
If you use another type of bread, watch baking times. The BFree bread is a bit drier and more dense, so a less dense bread may take less time to bake.
And a more moist bread may take a bit more time to bake, so check your croutons after each segment of 10 minutes to make sure that they are baking evenly.
Our gluten free croutons would go great with these recipes:
Gluten Free Croutons (Dairy Free)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cube your BFree bread (or other gluten free bread) into cubes about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size. You'll end up with about 8 cups of cubes from the entire loaf of BFree bread.
- Melt the dairy free butter or use olive oil, then drizzle 1/3 of it onto the bread cubes, toss to mix. Drizzle the other 1/3 of the butter or oil, and toss to mix, then add the rest of the butter/oil and mix again.
- Make sure to mix the bread cubes gently so they don't break up or crumble very much.
- Stir together the seasonings in a small cup, then add it in thirds to the bread cubes, tossing after each addition to mix well. Mixing the butter and seasonings this way into the bread cubes helps to keep things evenly distributed on the bread.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake another 10 minutes, then stir again. Bake for a final 5 minutes until they are nice and golden. You'll be baking these for a total of 25 minutes.
- Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist