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Leftover Hamburger Bun Croutons

Using leftover hamburger buns to make homemade croutons is a great way to use up leftovers and save you money.  These crunchy croutons are easy to make and can be made with any leftover bread or rolls you have on hand.  Add your favorite seasoning and toss them in the oven.  They are the perfect way to add flavor and crunch to your favorite salad or creamy soup. 

A bowl of croutons and a bottles of oil and vinegar salad dressing.

The absolute best part of a salad is the crunchy croutons.

These homemade croutons are great for stale bread, leftover hot dog buns, or hamburger buns.  We love adding them to cheesy soups or Caesar salad.  You will never throw out stale buns again.

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​If you’ve never made croutons, you are in for a treat.  These crunchy morsels are incredibly easy to make and the perfect way to use leftover buns or bread.  

Making your croutons lets you choose the best flavors for the salad or soup you want to use them in, and the great thing about making your own is that the croutons are crunchy but not rock hard like store-bought croutons often are.   The best croutons have some crunch without breaking your teeth to bite through them.

Hamburger bun croutons can be made with any burger bun you have on hand. Buttery brioche buns make delicious croutons, but you can also use hoagie-style rolls, sesame-studded burger buns, and even hot dog buns.

And if you don’t have any rolls, you can use stale bread instead.

We like to add our croutons to comforting soups, such as loaded cheeseburger soup, potato dill soup, or even hamburger stew.  And, of course, they are a delicious way to add a textural component to your favorite salad.

This recipe is easy to size up or down, so you can make exactly enough croutons for the meal you need or store for later.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Hamburger buns – You can use any hamburger bun you like, but the recipe works best with buns that are a few days old or a bit stale.  If you don’t have hamburger buns, try hot dog buns, Kaiser rolls, or even dinner rolls. If you don’t have rolls, you can use bread ends or slices of stale sourdough, french bread, brioche bread, or anything else you have on hand. 

Olive oil – Olive oil will make the seasonings stick, help toast the bread, and make the croutons golden and crunchy.  Extra virgin olive oil is best, but you can use more neutral flavors like light olive or avocado oil.  Plan for about one tablespoon of oil per hamburger bun.

Seasonings – This is where you can really customize your croutons with different flavors.  This recipe uses a mixture of onion powder, granulated garlic, dried parsley, oregano, and a sprinkle of salt.  But the flavor options are endless; add some dried dill, smoked paprika, seasoning salt, ranch seasoning, or parmesan cheese.

Ingredients for hamburger bun croutons.

Step by Step Instructions

Start by slicing the buns into bite-sized pieces.  You want cubes that are between half and one inch in size.

Dump the hamburger bun cubes into a large bowl, then drizzle half of olive oil over the cubes.  Toss to combine, then add the remaining oil and toss again.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the olive oil-soaked bread cubes and toss.

Hamburger buns on a cutting board cut into cubes with a serrated knife.
Bread cubes in a mixing bowl tossed with seasoning.

Spread the seasoned bread cubes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and they feel dry.  

The total time will depend on how big the cubes are and how stale or fresh the rolls are. 

Baked croutons on a baking sheet with a wooden spoon.

Remove from the oven and spread the baked croutons on a wire rack to cool.

Once fully cooled, move them to an airtight container for storage.  They should keep for about two weeks. 

Pro Tip – Cooling on a wire rack will prevent the bottoms from becoming soft, ensuring you have perfectly crisp croutons

A plate of croutons.

Air Fryer Hamburger Bun Croutons

​It is super easy to convert this recipe to the air fryer.

Follow the directions for cutting and seasoning the cubes, then place the croutons in the air fryer basket.  Try to keep a single layer, though some overlap is ok.  

Set the air fryer to 350°F and set the time for five minutes.  Shake the basket halfway through. After five minutes, check the croutons; they should be lightly crisp and golden.

If they are still soft, add one-minute intervals until they are the correct texture, then move them to a wire rack to cool.

Serving Suggestions

Use these croutons in your favorite salads or soups.

Creamy, comforting soups such as Roasted Cauliflower Cheese Soup or Potato Dill Soup often benefit from a crunchy element like croutons.

And, of course, a Caesar Salad is never complete without a good handful of crunchy croutons.

Top tips & FAQS

  • Use hamburger or hot dog buns that are a few days old and a bit stale for best results.
  • Make sure the croutons are thoroughly cooled before storing them, or the steam will cause them to soften.

Recipe

A bowl of croutons and a bottles of oil and vinegar salad dressing.

Leftover Hamburger Bun Croutons

These crunchy croutons are easy to make and can be made with any leftover bread or rolls you have on hand.  Add your favorite seasoning and toss them in the oven.  They are the perfect way to add flavor and crunch to your favorite salad or creamy soup.
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Course: Salad, Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Cups
Calories: 41kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 4 hamburger buns day old or slightly stale
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Start by slicing the buns into bite-sized pieces.  You want cubes that are between half and one inch in size. You should end up with about 2 cups of cubes per bun.
  • Dump the hamburger bun cubes into a large bowl, then drizzle half of olive oil over the cubes. Toss to combine, then add the remaining oil and toss again.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning over the olive oil-soaked bread cubes and toss to coat.
  • Spread the seasoned bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and they feel dry.  
    The total time will depend on how big the cubes are and how stale or fresh the rolls are.
  • Remove from the oven and spread the baked croutons on a wire rack to cool.
  • Once fully cooled, move them to an airtight container for storage.  They should keep for about two weeks.

Notes

Depending on how many croutons you want, you can easily scale this recipe up or down.  Plan for about one tablespoon of olive oil per 2 cups of bread cubes.
If you don’t have hamburger buns, you can use hot dog buns, dinner rolls, sliced sourdough or french bread, or any other bread you have on hand. 

Nutrition

Estimated Nutrition Facts
Leftover Hamburger Bun Croutons
Amount per Serving
Calories
41
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.4
g
3
%
Sodium
 
60
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Food Safety & Storage

These croutons can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Make sure they are fully cooled before storing.

They should keep for about two weeks.

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