What Can You Do With Stale Bread? 10 Recipe Ideas
Whether you’re burnt out on sandwiches or that farmers market loaf is getting rigor mortis on your counter, there’s a lot you can still do with stale bread.
The EPA estimates that the U.S. wasted 66 million tons of wasted food in the food retail, food service, and residential sectors, and most of this waste (about 60%) was sent to landfills. About 40% of it came from households, and bread is one of the biggest categories.
Rather than send bread to landfill or compost, here are 10 ways to use every loaf to the last crumb.
- Homemade Croutons: Cube the stale bread and toss it with olive oil, herbs, and spices. Bake until crispy and use as toppings for soups and salads.
- French Toast: Make a delicious breakfast by soaking slices of stale bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and spices, then frying until golden brown.
- Bread Pudding: Create a sweet dessert by mixing stale bread with sugar, eggs, milk, and your favorite flavors like cinnamon and vanilla.
- Panzanella Salad: Combine stale bread cubes with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and vinaigrette for a refreshing Italian salad.
- Breaded Chicken or Fish: Crush the stale bread into breadcrumbs and use them to coat chicken breasts or fish fillets before frying.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers or Mushrooms: Mix stale bread crumbs with ground meat, herbs, and spices to create a flavorful stuffing for bell peppers. (This one also makes a great plant-based holiday side-dish.)
- Bread Soup: Simmer stale bread in a broth with vegetables and seasonings for a hearty and comforting soup.
- Breaded Vegetable Fritters: Combine grated vegetables with stale bread crumbs and egg, then fry them into crispy fritters.
- Bruschetta: Toast stale bread slices and top them with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil for a simple and tasty appetizer.
- Bread and Butter Pudding: Layer slices of stale bread with butter, sugar, and raisins, then pour.