Uses for Stale Bread

Here’s my miscellaneous collection of random slices of homemade bread!

Ever had extra crust or random pieces of bread lying around getting stale? I sure have! It hasn’t been till lately that I have been learning the value of not letting things go to waste, and to find a creative use for it! Here are a few uses that have been very successful for us! The cost…practically nothing, considering they would have been thrown out previously. When your bread starts getting stale, put in a Ziploc in the freezer until you have accumulated enough for the following recipes!

Revive Stale Bread

Here’s a tip if you have a whole loaf of stale bread to use!

Rub an ice cube (or drizzle water) across unsliced bread until the crust is damp, then bake at 370° F for 12 minutes.

Bread Crumbs

Great for Parmesan chicken or any recipe calling for bread crumbs! Make these in advance and store in an airtight container or Ziploc in freezer. I especially like this recipe because it works great with the crust ends of a loaf – which I am not a real fan of anyway!

Bread slices, broken in pieces
sprig of parsley
1 Tbls melted butter
any other seasonings you like – I add a little garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper

Crumble all ingredients in a food processor or blend. Pulse until crumbly. Store in freezer till ready to use. If you are in a rush and don’t have a supply in the freezer, you can also lay bread slices in the oven and toast until a bit firm and then do the same thing.


I was paying $2.99 for a tasty by minuscule bag of croutons at my local Trader Joes until I explored making my own. Simply delicious and easy to make. Regular slices of bread work best, although you can use the crust ends, if you like. These last awhile as well! Here are my homemade (and slighty burnt croutons, but still delicious, on a main dish salad we had this week!)

15 slices bread (or whatever quantity you have!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons garlic salt (optional)
Additional seasonings of your choice -Italian seasoning is great!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove crusts from stale bread slices (not necessary – I don’t waste them!). Brush bread on both sides with melted butter. Cut bread slices up into small cubes. Sprinkle with garlic salt (if desired) and any combination of other herbs (I like oregano). Arrange cubes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Keep an eye on them, and rotate them around, because the burn easily. Let cool. Store croutons in a covered container or plastic bag. Serve in soups or salads.

Bread Pudding

My mom made this growing up and I loved it! It is a real comfort food. Great when you have extra milk and bread!

10 slices bread, cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar (I would use rapadura, or honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F(190 degrees C)
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, melted margarine, raisins, and cinnamon; mix well, and transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
  3. Use the same bowl to beat the eggs. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and salt until sugar is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes, sprinkle with nutmeg, and set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Further Uses

- French Toast – I have heard people recommend using stale bread for french toast! I have yet to try this.

- Throw crumbled bread in a soup

- Bread Dumplingscame across this recipe from someone else! Will be trying it soon!

Warm 1/2 stick butter and 1 cup milk in microwave. Crumble 1 to 2 loaves day-old French bread or 1 bag of bread ends or similar into a large bowl. Pour the butter/milk mixture over the bread (if bread is very moist use less, or more if it’s dry). Let stand for one hour. Add 2 large or 3 medium eggs, kneading into bread mixture. Form into small, firm balls about the size of golf balls or slightly larger. Place in boiling water for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite cut of meat and gravy.

- If nothing else, take a family outing to feed it to the birds! Take it to a pond with your little ones and feed them, and you will have a family building experience! – a significant list of bread uses!

That’s my frugal tip of the day! Don’t let it go to waste!

How do you put to use this extra bread? Love to hear your ideas!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

16 Responses to Uses for Stale Bread

  1. Megan January 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I made the croutons tonight and can’t wait to have them with a spinach salad.

  2. Sara M. October 16, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    Could you get this to work for stuffing? I’m just wondering how one would go about making stuffing crumbs? Maybe the same approach as croutons except with a few more spices?

    • Lindsay October 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

      Indeed! You can find an array of recipes online for using stale bread to make stuffing. The combination with other wet ingredients would keep it moist.

  3. Janie June 10, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    Hi there! Came across your blog and I love it! I am linking you, hope that’s ok! thanks!
    In Him,

  4. Sarah April 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    I DVR the FoodNetwork show “Jamie at Home” and just randomly watched one of his show from a few weeks ago that had another Italian bread soup! Here’s the link . . . it looked awesome!,1977,FOOD_9936_131346,00.html

    It is his Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup”


  5. Ann at mommysecrets April 7, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Like you, I keep stale bread or the end pieces of the loaf in a freezer bag on the bottom shelf of the freezer (so I know where it is). I use them for bread crumbs in recipes, but usually I use them to make breakfast casserole.

    If you’re looking for a good breakfast casserole, I have one posted on my blog – just search for “breakfast casserole” in the search bar.

  6. Tia April 7, 2008 at 4:14 pm #

    Lindsay, the bread pudding doesn’t mention it, but do you tempur the eggs, so they don’t curdle from the hot milk?

    I only had bread pudding once in my life, and I never liked it, but my dh loves it.

    • Lindsay April 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

      Tia, I am not sure what you mean by tempur the eggs. I have never heard of curdling being a problem. I guess you would just have to try and see. Sorry to not be of much help here.

    • Tia April 8, 2008 at 2:00 am #

      Oh ok,

      I’ll tell you what tempuring is, in the event you have to do it in the future.

      Basically you take some of the hot mixture, and add it to the eggs a little at a time, until the eggs are about the same temperature as the hot mixture.

  7. Sarah April 7, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Great ideas! I also keep a bag of frozen ends, pieces, insides (if I’m making bread bowls for dip or soup), leftover buns, etc. and when it gets full, I pulse it up for bread crumbs. I use the breadcrumbs in everything from meatloaf to baked chicken tenders.

    Another idea (that was previously mentioned) is using stale pieces in a breakfast casserole (which also makes a tasty dinner) and there are several Italian soups that utilize stale bread as well – Pappa al Pomodoro – basically a tomato soup that is thickened through the use of old bread. We made it for Lent and it was tasty!

    Have a great week!


  8. Jenny R April 5, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    This is so funny that you mentioned french toast! When I was in France, I learned about the origins of french toast. Over there, everyone gets their bread from the boulangerie daily, as fresh loaves are made many times a day, and they explained to me there that it is illegal for them to use preservatives in their bread. Naturally the bread is hard as a rock the next day, and the only way to use up the leftover bread from dinner the night before is to dip it in egg, milk, etc. and cook it up in a pan….as french toast.

    If you’ve never tried it before, you should try it! The french bread that I kept mentioning, of course, is a baguette. Bon appetit!

  9. Kate April 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    These are great tips. We usually have lots of leftover bread in our freezer so I’m always looking for new uses for it. Another one to add to your list…strata or baked french toast. Yummy for breakfast or dinner. That bread pudding recipe sounds delicious and I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks!

  10. Mrs. Pear April 4, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    How fun! I posted about the same thing this week here:

    Just in case you needed more ideas.

    Like you I bake all our bread, so it is really disappointing when it is not very fresh anymore!

    Thanks for more ideas!

  11. Mrs. U April 4, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    Wonderful ideas, Lindsay!! Thank you for sharing-especially the bread pudding! It looks SO yummy!

    Mrs. U

  12. Mary Ann April 4, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    I keep my leftover bread slices in a freezer bag, too. I do many of the same things with them as you mentioned. In addition to croutons and bread crumbs, I like to make an egg/breakfast casserole or homemade Stove top stuffing mix.I used to find these leftovers annoying but now I look forward to what I can do with them!

    I’ve been lurking here since around Christmas; this is my first time leaving a comment! I love your blog, especially the tender heart you seem to have for the Lord and your focus on good nutrition and natural living as that is something I continue to make baby steps towards.

  13. Candace April 4, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    I love making all of these things too!