Homemade croutons are the best but add bacon and Dijon mustard to create these Dijon Bacon Croutons and they become magical. Add crazy flavor and crunch to your favorite salad with these delicious little bread nuggets.
“AGAIN with the bacon Meg?” hopefully said no one ever. I really didn’t mean to go overboard on the bacon lately but when you try these croutons you definitely won’t hate me.
I think a salad without croutons is just a travesty. I mean, what’s the point really? All you health crazed people go ahead and scoff but I need some crunch on my salad that isn’t carrots, ok?
I love making my own croutons when I can because they are simple, taste so much better than store-bought and you can spice them up according to your salad that day. They get all crispy and delicious on the outside but still have a chewiness in the center. I hope I’ve sold you. If not, just wait.
I love the combination of smoky bacon and sharp Dijon mustard so why not toss it together with some bread cubes and that leftover bacon grease? Genius right? Apparently I have a lot of questions for you today.
So these croutons start with a leftover loaf of French bread (or sourdough or ciabatta or anything else of the artisan type you have lying around). I don’t usually have leftover loaves of bread, because carbs, so I plan ahead and buy a loaf to sit on my counter for a few days and I warn my family to stay away from it. Because mmmm carbs. I have made croutons with a fresh loaf of bread before and just baked them a little longer so that’s an option too.
While the bacon is cooking, cube the bread to small bite size chunks and put them in a heat proof bowl. Once bacon is cooked, dice it into small bits and set aside. And don’t throw out that bacon grease! All together you need 6 tablespoons of fat for the croutons so measure how much grease you have and add olive oil to reach the required amount. Whisk in some Dijon mustard and toss with the bread. Stir in those glorious bacon bits and pour onto a baking sheet. Crisp those babies up in the oven and welcome to salad heaven.
The sharpness of the Dijon mustard shines through along with the salty, smokiness of the bacon. I’ve tried them with a few different types of salads and dressings and my favorite by far has been a salad of mixed greens, bleu cheese, toasted walnuts, apples and maple vinaigrette. It totally screams fall and is filling enough to make a meal out of it. Maybe I’ll share that recipe with you guys later this month. Would you be interested? Let me know in the comments.
Use these croutons to dress up a simple salad or add even more pizazz (yes, I just said pizazz) to your favorite salad.
- 1 loaf french bread (a few days old), cubed
- 4 slices bacon
- 6 Tbsp. bacon grease + olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cubed bread into a large mixing bowl.
- Heat a skillet to medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp remove to a paper towel lined cutting board. Once cool enough to handle, remove the paper towel and chop the bacon into small "bacon bit" size pieces.
- Measure the bacon grease. If it doesn't not reach 6 tablespoons, add olive oil until you have that amount. Whisk together with the Dijon mustard chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the bread cubes and stir until evenly coated. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake croutons for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.