You went wild buying baguettes for a dinner party (or for yourself—we’re not judging), and now you’re stuck with loads of leftover loaves. As much as you’d like to buy some Brie and finish the job, you’re also ready for a break from bread—temporarily, at least. We say skip the trash and make the best of both worlds by opting for one of these seven healthy bread recipes.
1. Panzanella Salad
When you’re seriously craving veggies and not quite ready to part ways with crunchy, carby goodness, throw together a panzanella salad. Loaded with herbs, fresh produce, a sprinkle of seasoning, and sharp Parmesan cheese, it’s the perfect happy medium between healthy and satisfying. For the best flavor, let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
2. Banana Oat Baked French Toast
Part oatmeal, part bread pudding, part French toast, this recipe takes the starch to the next level. And the best part: The recipe is designed to make one serving—though you’ll be tempted to make seconds. Simply dice leftover bread (multigrain works best); let the cubes soak in a mixture of almond milk, nut butter, banana slices, and maple syrup; and bake. Good morning to you!
3. Kale, Mushroom, and Leek Savory Bread Pudding
Bread puddings don’t have to be sweet. This savory version uses kale, mushroom, leeks, and a combo of Parmesan and Gruyère cheese to create the ultimate brunch dish. Seasoned with warming spices like nutmeg and punched up with the likes of Dijon mustard, this recipe is full of surprises (and flavor). Use a sturdy sourdough, which holds up perfectly to the cream.
4. Herbed Gluten-Free Croutons
OK, we know croutons is an obvious one, but hear us out. While many crouton recipes stick to the basics (ain’t no shame in that) with olive oil, salt, and pepper—this one uses four herbs and two savory spices to give them max flavor. Toss on salads, sprinkle over your favorite fall soup, or snack on ’em like popcorn. Pro tip: To put the savor in savory, cover the croutons in Parmesan cheese before baking.
5. Lightened-Up Feta Tomato Spinach Strata
Strata are known for being all kinds of decadent. Made with oodles of cream, cheese, and fatty fillings (nom), they certainly don’t fall into the light breakfast category. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat them. This version uses yogurt for the creaminess (hello, protein) and goes heavy on veggie fillings to help you avoid that afternoon slump and post-brunch bloating. If serving to a team of meat lovers, add crumbles of chicken sausage.
6. Instant Pot French Onion Soup
French onion soup can be a beast to make. But the good news: Using an Instant Pot makes it way easier. Onions get golden and caramelized with the mere push of a button, and the rest of the brewing and simmering happens without any effort (just a splash and stir here and there). The last step is broiling soup batches with a slice of bread and cheese on top and waiting for them to bubble and brown. Who said French cooking isn’t easy?
7. Homemade Italian-Style Bread Crumbs
Another no-brainer when it comes to leftover bread: bread crumbs. Perfect for tossing on sautéed or roasted veggies, sprinkling in salads when you don’t want to go full crouton, topping on gratins, mixing into pasta, or coating on chicken or fish, there are few things you can’t do with these wonder crumbs. Another bonus: They’re freezer friendly, meaning you don’t have to worry about the bread getting (even more) stale.