Recipe: Taco Croutons

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Whether you’re putting the finishing touches on the ultimate taco salad, or just trying to pretend your leafy green salad is a plate of tacos, these crispy, flavor-packed croutons will help get you there.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Stovetop Croutons Are Key

Any type of bread will work to make these seasoned croutons a reality. Once crisped and toasted on the stovetop (our new favorite way to make fresh croutons in a flash), the cubes of bread get tossed with a blend of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder — all the usual suspects you’d find in your tacos seasoning.

How to Use These Croutons

Along with a solid crunch, these lightly spiced croutons bring the essence of tacos to every dish they touch. They do their best work as salad or soup toppers, but they also pair well with anything that involves avocados.

Ways to Use Taco Croutons

Taco Croutons

Serves 6 to 8

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (no salt added)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups day-old bread cubes (about 1 inch)

Mix the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl; set aside. Cut the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the bread cubes, toss to coat with the oil, and arrange in a single layer. Toast, tossing every minute or so, until the cubes are golden-brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.

Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately sprinkle with the taco seasoning and toss to combine. Serve immediately or let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: Croutons can be made up to a few days in advance.
  • Storage: Store leftover croutons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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