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5 Great Crouton Substitutes: Jazz Up Recipes

Forget boring salads. We’re here to talk about ways to jazz them up with alternatives to croutons.

Tired of the same old crunch? We know we are. How many times have you stood in your kitchen thinking, “There has to be a better way”?

We’ve tried everything from nuts to crispy chickpeas, and they all bring something unique to the table. Keep reading, and we’ll share our top five picks.

Your salads will never be the same again. This isn’t just about adding crunch; it’s about enhancing every bite. Who knew salad could be this exciting?

5 Easy Substitutes for Croutons

For those times when you want to switch things up, here are five great crouton substitutes that will take your salads to the next level:

SubstituteTasteTextureRatioSuitable Dish
BreadcrumbsNeutralCrumbly1:1Salads, Soups
Crushed CrackersMildCrunchy1:1Salads, Soups
Toasted NutsNuttyCrunchy1:2Salads, Snacks
SeedsEarthyCrunchy1:2Salads, Snacks
Grated CheeseRichMelty1:2Pizzas, Sandwiches

1 – Breadcrumbs

First, let’s talk breadcrumbs. They’re straightforward and super versatile. Breadcrumbs add a nice texture to our salads. They’re like croutons but in smaller pieces.

We love using them because they soak up dressing well. It’s great for those of us who like a bit more flavor in our bite. Switching is easy—just replace croutons with breadcrumbs in equal amounts.

For more creative ways to use breadcrumbs, check out this breadcrumb substitutes guide. It’s a game-changer for any salad lover. Keep your salads crispy and exciting!

2 – Crushed Crackers

Next up, crushed crackers. These are a fun and easy crouton substitute. Crackers are made for crunching, making them perfect for salads. They give you a great snap in every bite.

We often crush up a sleeve of our favorite savory crackers. It’s like a crunch explosion in your salad. Loading your greens with these feels a bit naughty, but in a good way.

The best part? Use them in a 1:1 ratio for croutons—so simple. Just grab whatever you have, crush them up, and sprinkle them on.

3 – Toasted Nuts

For those who want a crunch that’s more than just, well, crunchy, let’s talk toasted nuts. They’re the perfect snack that sneaks into your salad. We love them for their crunch and the extra layer of flavor they add.

Toasting nuts brings out their natural oils and flavors. Just a handful makes a difference. We usually use almonds or walnuts, but any nut will do.

Replace croutons with an 1:2 ratio of toasted nuts. We’ve found they hold up well, even with dressing. Toasting is simple: just toss in a hot pan for a few minutes.

4 – Seeds

The next crunch booster? Seeds! Toss some sunflower or pumpkin seeds on your salad. They’re tiny, but they pack a serious crunch.

Sunflower seeds add a nutty, earthy bite, perfect for greens. Pumpkin seeds bring a bit more flavor. We love them toasted for extra oomph.

Just swap in seeds at a 1:2 ratio for croutons. Great crunch plus added texture. They pair well with most dressings. Our go-to salad has a mix of seeds for that perfect crunch combo.

5 – Grated Cheese

Last but not least, grated cheese. Hear us out on this one. Yes, we know it’s not as healthy as most of our other options. But sometimes you just need some extra indulgence in your salad.

We love using a hard, aged cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. They give you that same satisfying crunch as croutons, with an added layer of savory flavor.

Use double the amount of grated cheese compared to croutons. You’ll get a melty crunch that elevates the simplest salads.