Crouton Alternatives: 5 Ingredients to Give Your Salad a New Twist

Have you ever been stumped about what to do with croutons?

The crunchy bread cubes become commonplace in salads, but there is so much more to them.

Learning how to use and cook with them, as well as the different substitutes available, can make croutons a versatile option for any meal.

Whether you are looking for a simple snack or craving a tasty salad topping, croutons can be a great addition to your recipes.

With the five best substitutes for croutons, diners can also explore other flavors and textures that can elevate meals.

What is Crouton?

Croutons can be tantalizing and perplexing all at the same time – they’re a unique accompaniment to virtually any meal.

The crunchy morsels can be made with an array of bread, ranging from French baguettes to country-style white bread.

Of course, don’t forget that favorite Panko-butter combination which is simply delicious and insanely crunchy.

Light with a creamy interior and savory exterior, croutons work wonders when topped with soups, salads, or casseroles.

Then you have those tubular types that are perfect for dipping sauces and expanding the palate beyond traditional starters.

With creative seasonings such as jalapeno peppers and garlic versions, you’ll find flavors bursting in your mouth like never before.

5 BEST Croutons Substitutes in Salads

If you think salads are boring, why not give them a crunchy and delicious makeover? Croutons are an ideal way to add texture, flavor, and nutrition to a salad.

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But what if you don’t have any croutons around or want something healthier and more flavorful? Here are five of the best croutons substitutes that will do the trick.

1 – Toasted Nuts or Seeds

Toasted nuts or seeds are a burst of flavor, perplexing the taste buds in the most delightful way.

Roast any nut or seed at a moderate temperature for a few minutes, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the crunchy and robust taste.

The texture of toasted nuts or seeds is also quite enjoyable, an excellent contrast to raw ones.

In salads, they can be used as a delightful substitution for croutons.

However, they provide greater health benefits due to their higher nutrition intensity.

So, why not opt for a bowl of salad with toasted nuts instead of croutons?

2 – Cubed Veggies

Who knew that cubed veggies could be transformed into such an interesting and nutritious side dish? For those looking for a substitute for the crunchy croutons in salads, cubed veggies are just the thing.

Intrigued? Let me tell you more about these delicious morsels.

These cubes can be made from any vegetable you want; potato, sweet potato, onion, or bell peppers – the choice is yours.

They’re usually cut into small cubes and then dried in the oven until they become slightly crispy.

The taste and texture are surprisingly delightful – it’s like a crunchy variation of roasted vegetables.

You can even season it with some herbs or spices.

And when you put them on your salad, they give off a unique burstiness that adds flavor to all the greens.

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3 – Polenta

Polenta is a food that often perplexes people, as it feels like one of those hard-to-find ingredients you can’t quite wrap your head around.

Essentially, it’s just boiled ground cornmeal, but the different varieties and textures of polenta make it more special than your everyday run-of-the-mill corn product.

Plus, the earthy taste isn’t something everyone appreciates at first bite; however, when cooked with the right flavors and spices, polenta can burst with satisfaction in each dish.

If you’re looking for an interesting alternative to croutons in salads, consider using crumbled polenta instead – its texture is lighter and nuttier than croutons.

Who would have thought that a strange ingredient like polenta could contribute so much flavor to a mix?

4 – Crispy Chickpeas

Crispy chickpeas are all the rage in recent restaurants and cafeterias.

They’re a perfect alternative to croutons when it comes to making salads more interesting.

Their crunchiness and delightful taste can be attributed to the method of boiling, drying, and oil-frying the chickpeas.

Although they won’t give you the same crispy feel as croutons, these roasted morsels of goodness have a slightly earthy taste that will surely leave your taste buds bamboozled.

An easy way to add crispy chickpea toppings to your salads is by using a traditional oven or air fryer.

The best part is that since they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, they make for a healthier substitute than croutons.

So why not switch things up this time around and go for a zesty crunch with crispy chickpeas?

5 – Kale Chips

Kale chips – have you tried them or heard of them yet? They’re an interesting mix of burstiness and perplexity, with a unique taste and texture you may have never experienced before.

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Made from kale leaves that are baked or fried until they’re crunchy, these chips are the perfect way to get more vegetables into your diet while still indulging in a tasty snack.

Their flavor is described as “nutty,” but it varies based on what oil and spices you use.

Plus, since they come in lots of different flavors – including cheese, garlic, honey, sea salt, and barbecue seasoning – there really is something for everyone.

Not to mention their texture can easily act as a crouton substitute in salads.

If you’re looking for a delicious snack without all the unhealthy stuff (like sugar or processed ingredients), then look no further than kale chips.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for alternatives to croutons in salads, there are plenty of tasty options available.

You can try toasted nuts, diced veggies, polenta, crispy chickpeas, or kale chips.

Each of these ingredients will bring a unique flavor and texture to your salads, leaving you feeling satisfied and healthy at the same time.

So next time you’re in the kitchen preparing a healthy meal for yourself, don’t forget to try out one of these.

5 BEST Croutons Substitutes in Salads

5 BEST Croutons Substitutes in Salads

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 – Toasted Nuts or Seeds
  • 2 – Cubed Veggies
  • 3 – Polenta
  • 4 – Crispy Chickpeas
  • 5 – Kale Chips


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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