21 Ways to Use Stale Bread

From bread pudding to souffle, the options are endless. (Photo: gashgeron/Shutterstock).

Don’t toss stale bread to the birds. Use your stale bread in one of these recipes. Taking this step will help you be more creative in the kitchen and probably save you a little money, too.

  1. Sweet Bread Pudding – There are thousands of bread pudding recipes, which provide a perfect use for stale bread. This particular recipe is for blueberry bread pudding, perfect for this time of year.
  2. Savory Bread Pudding – Not all bread puddings are desserts. Savory bread puddings are side dishes or light main dishes served with a crisp salad.
  3. Panzanella – This bread salad is an old Italian way of using stale bread. The recipe linked here uses sourdough bread, but with a quick Web search, you can find panzanella recipes using a variety of breads.
  4. Tomato Bread Soup – Two cups of stale bread go into this simple soup. Think of how delicious this will be with ripe summer tomatoes and basil.
  5. Overnight Christmas French Toast – It doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy this casserole. Stale bread soaks up an egg and milk mixture overnight and is ready to pop in the oven in the morning.
  6. Papas a la Huancaina (Peruvian Potatoes with Cheese Sauce) – A rib-sticking potato dish with a creamy, chile-spiked sauce.
  7. Stuffing – Turn your stale bread into stuffing at Thanksgiving or any time of year.
  8. Breadcrumbs – Make them yourself and save money.
  9. Crispy Salt and Pepper French Toast – Of course you can use stale bread to make traditional French toast, but this recipe is savory and goes well with eggs.
  10. Romesco Sauce – This roasted red pepper and almond spread uses a slice of bread in its recipe. Stale bread works fine since the bread needs to be toasted anyway.
  11. Ribollita (Stale Bread Soup) – This frugal, traditional Tuscan soup uses your stale bread and a leftover Parmesan rind.
  12. Homemade Croutons – When you think about it, it’s silly to spend money on croutons if you frequently have stale bread that you throw out.
  13. Chester Cake – This is basically stale bread pie baked in loaf pans. The stale bread is soaked with brown sugar, spices and rum-soaked fruits to place in between flaky pie crusts.
  14. Souffle – Mix stale bread with cheese and onions and you have a fancy French dish.
  15. Bruschetta – A day-old baguette is perfect for toasting and topping with tomato and basil.
  16. Semmelknoedel (Bread Dumplings) – Think gnocchi that uses bread instead of potatoes for this Bavarian dish and you’ll kind of have the idea of what it is.
  17. Stewed Tomatoes – A sweet version of this side dish.
  18. Strata – If you have a lot of stale bread, a strata will use it up.
  19. Italian Style Nachos – Thinly sliced stale baguette instead of tortilla chips form the base of these non-traditional Nachos.
  20. Bread Crumb Cookies – Use up stale bread or the bread ends that no one wants to eat.
  21. Bread and Cheese “Meatballs” – An Italian peasant meatball – it contains no meat.

Do you have any additional ways to give new life to stale bread?