Rice croutons are a delicious, crunchy, and chewy homemade snack that has the same texture as the best part of rice — the crispy bottom of the pot. Seasoned with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and an Italian seasoning blend, they contain the flavor of classic croutons with a twist. Since they are made with rice, they're completely gluten free! Enjoy them by the handfuls or top them on salads and soups. Either way, one batch is never enough. This stuff goes quick!
Why You'll Love Rice Croutons
- Perfect crunchy texture. Frying these rice croutons is extremely satisfying to watch, and they’re even more satisfying when you bite into one. When you make crispy rice croutons, the crunchy texture is just perfect. They are basically just like the crispy rice bits that are stuck at the bottom of the pot — aka. the best part.
- Versatile seasoning. For these rice croutons, we use Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan—an incredibly versatile seasoning blend that works with nearly any salad and soup. But, you can also get creative with your seasonings. Try teriyaki rice croutons, everything bagel croutons, or buffalo croutons!
- Shape them any way you'd like. Rice croutons are so fun to make because you can shape them any way that you would like. We kept things traditional with small bite-size square croutons, but you can press them into silicone molds before freezing or use special mini cookie cutters after freezing to make unique shapes.
- Make ahead and freezer-friendly. These rice croutons freeze really well, so you can prep and make ahead a big batch or two and store them for months before frying or after frying. If storing before frying, just fry up fresh rice croutons whenever you want them.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make these easy rice croutons, you will need this following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- rice - I used long grain basmati rice, but any kind of white rice will work.
- vegetable oil - for frying.
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning - you can also substitute this with dried oregano.
- garlic powder
How to Customize
If Italian isn’t your style, substitute with whatever seasoning blend that you like. Try adding:
- teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds
- cilantro and lime
- buffalo sauce
- jerk chicken rub
- Korean BBQ
- cinnamon sugar
- lemon pepper
- chili or taco seasoning blend
- everything bagel seasoning
How to Make the Best Rice Croutons
- Prepare the rice. Cook the rice with water in a rice cooker or cooking pot as per package directions. Remove half of the hot cooked rice and place into a medium mixing bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree it into a smooth and sticky paste. You can also use a food processor to blend it. Stir in remaining rice and mix to combine.
- Freeze. Wrap the rice mixture in plastic cling wrap and smooth it out into an approximate 8-inch square. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm enough to slice.
- Shape. Unwrap the rice and cut it with a knife into small 1x1.5-inch rectangles.
- Cook. Add oil to a saucepan until it is about ½-inch thick. Heat oil over medium heat and fry the rice croutons in 3-4 batches until golden brown and crisp. Remove croutons with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Let it sit for a minute before tossing in seasoning.
- Season. In a medium mixing bowl, combine Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Toss in croutons while hot (after a minute of removing from the pan). Enjoy with salads, soups, as a side or as a snack on the go.
- How to store: Let rice croutons cool to room temperature. Then, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag. You want as little air as possible in the bag. Keep at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the fridge for 5-10 days. Croutons without perishable foods like cheese or butter will last longer at room temperature.
- How to freeze: Store cooled croutons in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
More Rice Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- One Pot Rice Pilaf with Carrots
- Coconut Rice
- Curry Chicken Fried Rice
- Vegetarian Fried Rice
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.