What to do with Bread Ends – 9 awesome ways to use bread ends

Have you ever wondered what to do with bread ends in your loaf of bread?  You can stop throwing out those bread heels – there are actual uses for them.  And I don’t mean forcing yourself to eat them in a sandwich.  I’m going to tell you what to do with bread crusts so you can avoid wasting them!

ways to use bread ends

Guys, I have a confession to make. More often then not we have thrown out those bread ends. You know the ones I am talking about. The unloved bread ends. The forgotten heels of the loaf.  I just don’t know what to do with the ends of bread sometimes.

Side note: Why do we call the bread ends heels? These are the questions that keep me up at night….

I don’t know what it is about them, but for reasons we can’t explain many of us skip over the first piece of bread in the loaf and move right on to the next one as if the first one doesn’t exist.  And then we go on to ignore the very last piece of bread in the loaf as well.

It really makes no sense.

And I’m a little embarrassed to confess I am one of those people who ignores the heel of the bread loaf because, well, that isn’t very frugal, isn’t it?  If anyone should be using those bread heels, it’s the frugal wife.  Yes, I am shaking my head at myself in disappointment.  And there really isn’t a better time than now to use those bread heels, you know, with inflation and all.

Thankfully I do have one child who is ALL ABOUT THE BREAD HEEL. He loves them. He asks for them. That’s prevented me from wasting ALL of them.

But, I still have been known to skip over them and leave them in the bag. To make matters worse we’ve had those ends sit on the counter in the bread bag as if we were going to use them one day even though, who are we kidding – we’re totally going to ignore them until they start to turn a shade of green that makes the bread inedible for absolutely anyone, even the kid who likes them.

At that point I finally throw them out. (I do have at least a little bit of common sense.)

I’m going to get letters about that last point, aren’t I?

Please, tell me I’m not the only one who has this weird relationship with the ends of the bread loaf?

Anyways, now that I’ve just publicly shared another weird quirk of mine to be read by absolutely anyone (it’s probably no surprise to anyone who knows me in real life. Quirky is pretty much my middle name) I also want to share that there’s a solution to this weird disdain many of us have with the bread heel.

The bread end doesn’t need to be rejected. It can join the ranks of the other pieces of bread and feel loved again. And it can help you make another frugal choice in your day – eating the bread ends instead of throwing them out like they were never there in the first place.


Well, I’d have to say it seems no one can agree on whether the heel of the bread is healthier or not.  There have been studies done back in 2002 saying that yes, it is more nutritious.  However, in recent years there have been studies saying that it is actually LESS nutritious due to the higher exposure to heat temperature.  So, no one seems to really know.

Check out some ways you can show the love to those bread heels.



Make bread pudding

When you have eaten the rest of your bread and only have those bread ends left, keep them in the bag and toss them in the freezer (this is pretty effective in avoiding the moldy bread I was encountering :). Whenever you have more bread heels toss them in the bag. When you have enough, make some bread pudding. Check out this recipe for bread pudding.

Make bread crumbs

Leave them out to go stale and harden, and then run them through a food processor. Keep the bread crumbs in a sealed container.

Make grilled cheese

When I used to work in the kitchen at summer camp we used to hide the bread ends in the grilled cheese by putting the crust side of the heel inwards so that from the outside of the grilled cheese it looked like a heel-less sandwich. I do that for my kids now as well.

Make a french toast casserole

Do the same thing with the bread heels as you would for the bread pudding. Collect them in your freezer until you have enough to make a casserole. Try this recipe that is specifically for bread heels!

Soften brown sugar

If your brown sugar is hard as a rock (who of us hasn’t experienced the disappointment of reaching for our brown sugar only to find it’s hardened) add a piece of bread into the container with the sugar. The bread absorbs the moisture in the brown sugar that’s caused it to harden and your brown sugar will soften again.

Make Croutons

Make your own croutons with the bread ends. Chop the ends into cubes of whatever size you want. Toss them in a bit of olive oil and spread them out on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle the croutons with whatever seasonings you want (garlic, salt, and pepper are a favorite in this house) and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for around 7 minutes or so, depending on the size of your cubes.

Just watch them closely and make sure they don’t burn. You can store them in a sealed container for the next time you are making a delicious ceasar salad!

Toast it and make it delicious

Here’s the thing – no one wants to eat the bread heels in a meat and cheese sandwich, but toast it and put something like cinnamon sugar, Nutella, or banana and honey on it and all of a sudden your kids will be fighting over it.

Make Stuffing

Collect your extra bread pieces in a bag and toss it in the freezer, and when you have enough make a batch of stuffing. This is a perfect way to save money leading up to the holidays because you can collect enough bread ends for a whole crowd and make a large amount of stuffing to feed everyone.  Try this recipe for stuffing.

Make pizza “buns”

Put some pizza sauce on them, grated cheese, and whatever other toppings you like. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the cheese is nice and melty and the bread is toasty. Kids LOVE this. Okay, adults don’t mind this quick lunch too. You can use any of the bread from the loaf for this, but it’s a great way to get those ends eaten up too because, well, no one refuses pizza.


So many of the options up above will make good use of the bread crusts sitting on your counter, or in your bread box.  Do people still use bread boxes still?  I mean, I know I do, but I don’t ever see bread boxes at other people’s houses anymore.  

Regardless, wherever you store your bread, make use of the whole loaf instead of just the middle part. Don’t skip over that first piece and don’t leave the last one anymore.



So, as you can see, those bread heels can be very useful and throwing them out really is a shame. So, we are turning a new leaf over in our house and will no longer throw out bread ends.

Not when it is SO easy to toss them in the freezer for later use especially for a few of these dishes. I’m all about the French toast casserole to feed my hungry kids in the morning.

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