3 Tasty Make-Your-Own Crouton Recipes

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
crouton recipes

Eating lots of non-starchy vegetables, such as lettuce, carrots and cucumbers, is one of the keys to losing excess pounds and maintaining a healthy weight. They’re loaded with nutrients to keep you energized and they’re high in fiber, so they help you feel full long after you finish your meal. That’s why Nutrisystem recommends that you have at least four servings of non-starchy vegetables each day. But don’t feel like you have to stop at four! Non-starchy veggies are an unlimited food, so you can eat as much of them as you want. So you don’t get bored of eating the same veggies over and over again, we’ve created a few crouton recipes you can add to some fresh veggies to make the ultimate salad.

Salads are a simple, convenient way to enjoy a variety of fresh veggies, ensuring you get one or more servings in a single bowlful. You can make up salads in the morning or before you go to bed at night, and take them along wherever your day takes you—no need to worry about keeping them chilled or heating them up when you’re ready to eat. And you can customize salads to your tastes, including the veggies you like best.

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You can also toss in a few other ingredients that add delicious flavors and different textures to the mix—enter our crouton recipes! Croutons bump up the pleasure of eating salads, adding satisfying crunch and a spark of flavor. While the croutons sold in supermarkets can be high in fat and lacking in essential fiber, we have three easy crouton recipes you can use to make better versions yourself. They’re easy to prepare and ready in less time than it takes to chop up the vegetables.

Try one or all of these crouton recipes and see how they transform an ordinary salad into a dish you’ll look forward to eating.  Once you’ve tasted them, you’ll want to make extra because they’re not just delicious in salads, they make a bowl of vegetable-based soup more fun to eat, too.

Here are three delicious crouton recipes you need to try:

1. 3-Ingredient Ranch Croutons >


If you love the zesty taste of Ranch dressing, these croutons turn up the flavor of your salad a notch or two. You need just three ingredients and 20 minutes to whip up four servings you can share with your family or enjoy throughout the week. These croutons start with fiber-rich whole grain bread, so they count as just one SmartCarb on your Nutrisystem plan. And you get just 85 calories per serving.

To make them, cut the bread into one-inch cubes and spritz them with nonstick cooking spray. After placing the cubes in a large resealable bag, sprinkle in a packet of the seasoning mix used to prepare homemade Ranch salad dressing, close the bag, and shake it well to make sure the cubes are all coated. Spread the bread cubes across a baking sheet and heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the croutons until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Flip them over halfway through to make sure they come out crispy on both sides. Store any extras in an airtight container.

2. Chili Garlic Croutons >


The flavors of chili and garlic wake up your taste buds, turning a bowl of everyday veggies into a spicy sensation. And because these golden-brown croutons are baked in the oven with just a little nonstick cooking spray, you get a lot of crunch and none of the grease that comes with store-bought versions. These croutons also add extra zing to tomato soup or you can mix them into scrambled eggs and skip the side of toast.

Start by cutting a loaf of whole grain bread into one-inch cubes. The bread is high in fiber, which is why a serving of these flavorful croutons counts as one SmartCarb. After misting the cubes with the cooking spray and pouring them into a resealable plastic bag, you add four tasty seasonings: Chili-garlic sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Shake well, so all the cubes are well-coated, then spread the cubes onto a cooking sheet and heat in a 325-degree F oven until brown and crisp, about 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes to ensure they all cook evenly. One crunchy, munchy serving clocks in at just 97 calories.

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3. Healthier Italian Croutons >

crouton recipes

Whether you’re enjoying salad as a main dish or a healthy side to a Nutrisystem entrée, the tastes of Italian food perk up your bowl of fresh veggies. Our Healthy Italian Croutons are sparked by oregano, thyme and garlic powder, so you get to enjoy the flavors of your favorite restaurant’s Caesar salad along with the satisfying crunch. These croutons are made with whole grain bread, which has lots of fiber, they’re fat-free, and they have just 96 calories per serving.

Making a batch is quick and easy. As your oven heats up to 325 degrees F, you cut the bread into one-inch cubes and coat them with nonstick cooking spray. Add the bread and the flavorings to a resealable plastic bag and shake well to season all of the cubes thoroughly. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway, until all of them become crisp and golden brown.

Whichever of these croutons you try, remember to log them in your NuMi app as one SmartCarb. Keep track of your veggie consumption, too, and you’ll see how easy it is to get four servings when you add delicious ingredients like homemade croutons!