Best Leftover Sourdough Bread Recipes (and Uses)

These leftover sourdough bread recipes are simple to make and the perfect way to use up those leftover sourdough loaves.

leftover sourdough bread cut on a cutting board

Bread baking is such a wonderful skill to add to your kitchen. It is something that evolves. Starting with an easy loaf like my No-Knead Artisan Loaf is a great way to get into bread baking. Although I am not a beginner bread baker I do find myself without a fed starter wanting to bake bread at times. So that is a great one even if you are not necessarily a beginner.

No matter if you are a beginner or not, you will likely have half-eaten loaves sitting on your counter. It is just part of it, isn’t it?

It happens to us all. We bake a loaf and sometimes those loaves don’t get eaten right away. That day-old or sometimes several days old bread is still edible. Just sitting there needing to be used. The last thing we ought to do is toss it out for goodness sake. Especially when we went through the trouble of baking it in the first place.

I find having a few key recipes to ensure that we know just how to use them is the best way to deal with this issue. I am sure you would agree this may very well be essential for all bread bakers. These recipes I am sharing with you today are my very favorites when using up those leftover sourdough bread loaves. Whether you have an  entire loaf or random small pieces of leftover sourdough bread, there are some amazing ways to create tasty meals you will find useful. 

Why I Love These Leftover Recipes

When I first began this whole bread-baking journey. I would have half-eaten loaves laying on my countertop. As you know, baking a loaf of bread, especially sourdough takes time, energy, patience, and a lot of prep work. Having done all of that just to wind up tossing half the loaf to our chickens wasn’t something I wanted to continue doing.

I have learned many things in this whole simple living and homesteading sort of lifestyle. One of the greatest lessons learned was really how to utilize what we have and create a lot of something from nothing. These recipes have not only saved multiple half-eaten loaves from being chicken food but are indeed some of my favorite ways to use up stale bread. They work wonderfully for quick easy meals as well. Suddenly, having a half-eaten loaf of bread on the countertop is an asset.

Ham and Cheese Strata

An excellent way to use up not just leftover sourdough bread but also holiday ham or any sort of leftover ham you need to use. I love this ham and cheese strata mostly for the ease of making it and the fact that it can be made the night before. Talk about the perfect breakfast casserole to serve for a Sunday brunch or even Christmas morning.

Consisting of nothing more than an egg mixture, leftover bread, a few odds and ends, this breakfast strata is easily one of the best ways to reduce food waste as you can easily adapt this recipe to what you have on hand. 

leftover sourdough bread recipes

Sourdough French Toast Bake

A delicious way to start a weekend or even to make during the week for an easy meal. It is as easy as grabbing a baking dish, and mixing up sourdough bread cubes in a large bowl with egg batter, and spices then baking it till golden brown. This has to be one of the easiest ways to use up dry bread, or even sourdough sandwich bread that has gone past its prime. 

Did I also mention French toast bakes make a bread make ahead dish for brunches? So serve it up with fresh berries with cream, pure maple syrup or your favorite jam.

sourdough french toast skillet

No Fuss French Onion Soup

Perhaps one of the most creative ways to use slices of bread that are beginning to dry out is to make up a batch of French onion soup.  To add extra texture to a slice of sourdough bread, I toast it up with a little olive oil and this makes it perfect for this soup. Not only is this an easy way to use up random pieces of bread but you can mix up the soup for later use and toast the bread slices as needed.

no fuss french onion soup in a cocotte for a leftover sourdough bread recipe

Sourdough Croutons

One of the first ways I began using up our leftover sourdough loaves and probably one you might have tried as well. For me, homemade sourdough croutons are the only way to go. Those packaged ones in the salad aisle have no place on a salad. Like most homemade items, once you make them you don’t want the pre-packaged kind. 

Homemade croutons can be used to top soups, dinner salads, and are perfect for homemade Caesar salads. The great thing is, you can make them from any type of bread not just sourdough. Grab a sheet pan or cast-iron skillet and make up some delicious croutons with that old stale sourdough bread. 

sourdough croutons on a baking sheet

Sourdough Breadcrumbs

Ok, not exactly a recipe per se, but one of the simplest uses for leftover sourdough bread that is super versatile and a great way to save some money in the kitchen. These days that is definitely a benefit worth mentioning. Homemade sourdough breadcrumbs are outstanding to keep on hand as you can add these to many different dishes.

When making these you can decide to add extra seasoning to them that will add delicious flavor to your chicken cutlets or keep them plain for binding meatloaf. Making your own breadcrumbs is simple to do and a good way to use up any leftover bread you might. Transform that leftover bread into a kitchen staple that really takes about 10 minutes worth of hands on work as the oven does the bulk of it for you. 

a jar of homemade sourdough breadcrumbs

Sourdough Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of those desserts that can take you straight back to childhood. At least for me anyway. My grandmother made them on occasion and a few of my aunties served them as well. Each one different but somehow similar at the same time. Bread soaked in a sweet custard then baked. Many with raisins, cranberries and nuts.

This version is a gooey chocolatey variation that has a hint of orange essence. This is a delicious decadent dessert that in my opinion warrants a scoop of vanilla ice cream to fully enjoy. The best part about bread puddings is their versatility. And in this case, we have kept the sweet custard and leftover sourdough bread many of us are familiar with. But added in an unexpected addition of chocolate and fresh orange zest.

sourdough bread pudding in a bowl with ice cream

Why Sourdough?

The ancient Egyptians were among the first to discover the natural origin of sourdough; which is one of the oldest forms of leavened bread. Incorporating sourdough into a recipe is an excellent way to enhance the nutritional value of not only bread but also other baked goods.

Sourdough contains beneficial bacteria and phytic acid. This aids in the pre-digestion of the bread or baked goods that is being consumed. The natural process of sourdough preserves the original nutrients of the bread, which are typically lost during the processing of other types of bread.

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no cost to you).

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sourdough bread pudding in a bowl with ice cream

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