15 Stale Bread Recipes to Use It Up (2024)

These stale bread recipes will change your opinion about using day-old bread forever!

Stale bread is not at all appetizing, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve thrown it out a time or two.

But with these amazing recipes, I’m making a point to never let it go to waste again!

You’ll be surprised at the number of different dishes you can make using stale bread.

15 Stale Bread Recipes to Use It Up (1)


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There’s enough variety on this list that you shouldn’t ever have to trash your bread again, even if it is hard enough to break glass.

Okay, if you can break glass with it, maybe it’s time to throw it out, but catch it before it gets that hard and use it to make these delightful dishes instead.

1. Leftover Bread Croutons

Croutons are the one thing everyone knows you can make with stale bread, so let’s go ahead and get them out of the way.

You’ll have a little leeway on how you season these croutons, but I prefer to follow the recipe on this one and go all the way – garlic, thyme, oregano, seasoning salt, basil, salt, and pepper.

Bake them in olive oil for 15 minutes, then enjoy them in your favorite soup or salad.

2. Italian Breadcrumbs

If you’re looking for something a little smaller than croutons, stale bread is also perfect for making Italian breadcrumbs.

All you’ll need are the right seasonings and a food processor; you’ll be done in 5 minutes.

Store them in the fridge if you’ll be using them soon, or pop them in the freezer for several months.

3. Italian Sweet Bread Pudding

Full of brown and white sugar, whipped cream, whole milk, cinnamon, and butter, this bread pudding is basically a baking dish full of warm, sweet, sticky goodness.

It takes about 15 minutes to pull together and a little less than an hour to bake. You can also prep parts of it ahead of time.

4. Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

As a total carb junkie, the phrase “bread salad” is like angels singing.

I genuinely believe anything called “salad” is healthy, including ambrosia salad, macaroni salad, and strawberry pretzel salad.

This salad is full of cubed, hardened bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Truthfully, aside from the carby bread, it actually is pretty healthy. I say enjoy it guilt-free.

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5. French Onion Soup

I don’t really know how to describe this amazing dish other than to say it’s kind of like a reverse bread bowl from Panera. It features caramelized onions and cheese in a base of beef broth.

The top is a fluffy yet slightly crispy crown of toasted bread.

Toss some scallions on top for an extra kick, and you’ll have a warm, filling, feel-good dinner that’s both soup and bread in one.

6. French Bread French Toast

Stale bread has never tasted so good as it does in this French toast recipe.

It’s a unique twist on the classic French toast recipe that uses French bread and throws in a “generous dollop of rum.”

And yes, it’s as deliciously decadent as it sounds.

7. Italian Bread Soup Recipe (Pappa al Pomodoro)

This recipe is perfect for those of us who can’t enjoy a hot bowl of soup unless we fill it with saltines, oyster crackers, or croutons first.

With Italian bread soup, the bread’s already been taken care of for you.

If you like onions, herbs, and bread in your soup, this is 100% the soup for you. It’s tomatoey, herby, garlicky, and yummy.

8. Ribollita

This white bean soup has a lot going on, and you can add even more to it if you like.

Be sure you season and toast your bread; getting that part right is key to making this soup perfect.

After that, it’s just a matter of adding in all your herbs and veggies, and there are plenty of herbs and veggies, including onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, beans, kale, red pepper, oregano, and more.

Add in some white wine, Parmesan, salt, cloves, and a kitchen sink or two.

Seriously though, the ingredients list seems long, but they’re all easy to find, and most of them are healthy and good for you.

Soup doesn’t get much heartier than this.

9. Baked French Toast Casserole

The only thing better than French toast for breakfast is French toast casserole for breakfast. The inside of the casserole stays warm, gooey, and soft.

The outside crisps up, thanks to the caramelized cinnamon-sugar topping.

Drizzle it with extra maple syrup or even a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries for an extra-special, dessert-like breakfast.

10. Bread Pudding Muffins with Cinnamon Custard

Have a bunch of leftover croissants going stale on the counter?

Mix them with some milk, cinnamon, dried cranberries, brandy, and a few other things to make these spectacular bread pudding muffins.

One batch makes a dozen muffins, and they’re ready in less than an hour. They work well as desserts or as a sweet way to start the day.

11. Stuffing Muffins

I feel like someone missed an opportunity here by not dropping the ‘g’ and calling these stuffin’ muffins, but that’s neither here nor there.

What’s important is that these are scrumptious, and they make it possible for you to enjoy stuffing on the go.

The recipe calls for bread cubes, red onions, celery, garlic, sage, and parsley, but you can also add apples, cranberries, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, or anything else you like.

Trust me; you’ll love these.

12. Herb Stuffing

I’m a huge fan of Stove Top stuffing, but this recipe for homemade herb stuffing is too incredible to pass up. The edges are super crispy, and it turns a beautiful golden brown.

The seasoning is just right, and the whole thing is buttery and herby. It’s a truly unbeatable stuffing recipe.

13. Apple Brown Betty

This dessert is sweet, slightly spicy, and will put you in mind of an apple crisp, apple crumble, or apple cobbler.

The difference is in the bread. Whereas other desserts use biscuit dough or streusel, this one uses day-old bread cubes.

The result is a fantastic dessert with apple cobbler’s sweet taste and bread pudding’s hearty consistency.

14. Breakfast Savory Bread Pudding (Strata)

I love traditional bread pudding for its perfect texture and sweetness, but savory bread pudding is just as good if you’re looking for something that’s a little more breakfast than dessert.

This recipe calls for ham, sun-dried tomatoes, various cheeses, onion, and a few other things, but you can tweak and change it however you’d like.

There are even a few additional suggestions on ways to tailor it to your tastes, such as with bacon and leeks, ham and spinach, or mushrooms, green onions, and dill.

15. Ham and Cheese Savory Bread Pudding

This is another recipe for a savory bread pudding featuring ham, cheese, shallots, thyme, and lots of spices.

It’s herby and cheesy, and it’s a great way to start the morning on a filling, hearty note.

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15 Stale Bread Recipes to Use It Up (2024)


What can you use stale bread for? ›

  • BREADCRUMBS. A KitchenAid® Food Grinder Attachment1 with a stand mixer can turn hardened leftover bread into breadcrumbs. ...
  • CROUTONS. ...
  • STRATA. ...
  • CASSEROLE. ...
  • CROSTINI. ...

Does stale bread go bad? ›

When bread goes stale, it's undergoing a chemical reaction. Technically, staleness is the first sign that bread is going bad or rotten. Though slightly stale bread is safe to eat, you can't sell it at the grocery store.

Should I throw stale bread? ›

Any bread not affected by mold, but is simply getting dry or stale, can be eaten in any of a number of ways. You can make it into crumbs, which can be used as breading for fried food or binding for meat loaf. The crumbs can be completely dried and stored until needed.

Can you eat expired bread if there is no mold? ›

Bread is perfectly safe to eat unless there is mould on it. This is unlikely to happen until several days after the expiry date, although in moist and hot conditions, it might even happen before the expiry date. Mind you, some mould can look exactly like flour unless you look closely, so do check.

What is the longest shelf life of bread? ›

Information. Commercially baked breads and rolls can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 4 days or 7 to 14 days in the refrigerator. Bread products retain their quality when stored in the freezer for 3 months. Any breads containing meat or hard cooked eggs must be refrigerated within 2 hours.

What does adding milk instead of water do bread? ›

It adds nutritional value to baked goods. Mainly protein, calcium, and vitamin B12 which are all necessary for a heathy diet. But we don't only look for the nutritional benefits when using milk in our bread dough. The fat and lactose in milk help with tenderizing the crumb of the bread making it softer and sweeter.

What is cheat bread? ›

cheat, chete) also cheat-bread, cheat-loaf) Bread made from the second quality of flour, inferior to Manchet. (OED).

How do you reuse a stale baguette? ›

Simply drench your rock-hard baguette in cold water then tightly wrap it in aluminum foil. Next, place the wrapped baguette in the oven (not preheated), then set the temperature to 300°F and let is heat for 12 to 15 minutes.

What do French people do with baguettes? ›

The baguette is one of France's most-loved loaves and is eaten throughout the day. Baguettes can be eaten as early as breakfast time—often toasted, buttered, and dunked in coffee. It's a source of carbohydrates and the fiber necessary to start the day off right! Fruit jam can also be added for an extra treat.

What are skinny baguettes called? ›

Ficelle. Ficelle means “string” in French, and it refers to the extra-skinny look of this bread. It's basically a skinny baguette, and it boasts the same chewy texture and firm crust. Use it in any recipe that calls for a regular baguette.

How long can you leave bread out to stale? ›

Commercially baked breads and rolls can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 4 days or 7 to 14 days in the refrigerator. Bread products retain their quality when stored in the freezer for 3 months. Any breads containing meat or hard cooked eggs must be refrigerated within 2 hours.

Does microwaving stale bread help? ›

All you need to do is place your bread inside a damp paper towel, and microwave it on a plate for 10 seconds. The water will revive the starch molecules in the bread's flour, the reaction between the two will occur again, and you'll have your soft bread back.

Does stale bread taste different? ›

This results in stale bread's leathery, hard texture. Additionally, pleasant “fresh” flavor is lost to the air, and often unpleasant flavor is absorbed from it as well, especially in a confined space with other food such as when in a refrigerator.

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