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Cornbread Croutons

Cornbread Croutons- Transforming boxed cornbread mix into crispy, crunchy bites sure to elevate any salad.

March 16, 2023 by Nicole Collins

Fun fact about me…

I’ll throw pretty much anything in a salad, but I rarely add croutons.

Part two of the fun fact though is that I buy croutons pretty frequently. I just tend to eat them as a crunchy snack as opposed to a salad topping.

It’s not that I don’t love croutons. They’re obviously the best part of a salad. But, when I started 21 Day Fix years ago, I got out of the habit of adding them to salads, and it just kind of stuck.

Then when I started buying them again, they would never actually make it to the salad because I’d be munching away on them like they were potato chips. You guys know I love my crunchy/savory snacks, and croutons are just the perfect little poppable bite.

In truth, the only time I really add croutons to a salad anymore is when I make them myself. Because, who doesn’t love a homemade crouton?

So, can you guess what we’re making today?

Today, we’re making Cornbread Croutons!

This recipe started as a Tiktok that helped me use up some leftovers. But it was such a hit, I just had to make it blog official!

And, they’re so easy to make too. We’ll simply start with a boxed cornbread mix. Chop it into cubes. Bake. And, voila. Croutons!

Let’s talk cornbread. I totally cheated and used a boxed mix for these croutons, and I’m not going to apologize for it. I love the honey butter cornbread mix from Zatarains, so that’s what I used. You could absolutely use your favorite cornbread recipe though.

Here’s the trick to baking the cornbread. We’re going to mix up the batter according to the package directions. But, we’re going to bake it in a bigger pan for less time than called for on the box. In order to get the perfect sized croutons, we don’t want them to be baked in a pan that will make them too thick. And since the pan is bigger, the batter will be more spread out, which means the cook time will be shorter. The other thing we’re going to do that the box doesn’t call for is line our pan with parchment paper before spritzing it with oil so the cornbread is super easy to get out of the pan.

After the cornbread is baked and cooled, we’re going to toss it in the fridge to chill completely. I prefer to let it sit overnight, but it needs at least 4 hours to chill. Resting the cornbread in the fridge serves two purposes. For one, it helps to dry out the cornbread a little bit which is what we want to happen when making croutons. And for two, chilling the bread makes it a little less crumbly which helps when it’s time to cube the bread and toss it around in oil.

Once the cornbread is chilled, we’re going to chop it up into roughly 1 inch cubes. To simplify it, we’ll cut 8 rows of 8; and that’s the perfect size for our croutons. Then, we’ll transfer them to a foil lined baking sheet (for easy clean up) that’s been spritzed with a little olive oil cooking spray. And, we’ll toss the bread cubes in some olive oil with a pinch of salt to help them crisp up.

Then, to the oven they go for about 20ish minutes to get nice and golden. But when they come out of the oven, they’ll still feel a little spongy in the center. Don’t panic! We’ll let them rest for at least 10 minutes to finish drying out. And, it’s time to enjoy.

These croutons are all the best parts of savory with a touch of sweet. They’re perfectly crunchy. And, they’re really versatile as far as what kind of salad they can pair with. I love to indulge and have these on a salad with southern style vibes: breaded chicken nuggets, corn, tomatoes, onion, old bay ranch. But, I honestly don’t even need a salad to enjoy these. Sit me down with a bag of them, and let me go to town with my new favorite crunchy bite.

Okie dokes! I can’t wait to hear how you decide to use these cornbread croutons. I know you’re going to love them no matter what you do with them.

I hope you guys enjoy. And, let’s eat!


Cornbread Croutons

Serves: about 3 cups Print


  • 1 box honey butter cornbread mix, plus egg, milk, and butter called for on the box (I used Zatarains)

  • 2 ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • Olive oil cooking spray


  1. Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper, and spritz with cooking spray.

  2. Prepare cornbread batter according to package directions. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-22 mins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cornbread is lightly golden. Allow to cool completely. Remove from pan, and let cornbread chill in the fridge for 4 hours to up to overnight.

  3. Make the croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spritz with cooking spray.

  4. Cut chilled cornbread into roughly 1 inch cubes. (You should have 8 rows of 8.) Transfer cornbread cubes to prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Use your hands to gently toss the cubes to coat in oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer making sure cubes don’t touch. Bake for 18-20 mins, tossing once halfway through. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before enjoying.

  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe notes:

*Take note that we are baking the cornbread in a bigger pan for a shorter amount of time than what the boxed mix calls for. This gives us the perfect size/depth for our croutons.

*Chilling the cornbread before making the croutons does two things. One, it helps to dry out the cornbread a little bit. And two, it makes it a little less crumbly and easier to cut/toss around. Don’t skip this step!

*The croutons will still feel slightly spongy in the center when they come out of the oven. Don’t panic! Letting them sit for at least 10 minutes gives them a chance to finish drying out, and they’ll firm up perfectly.


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