AC Milan forward Giroud scored twice in Benzema's absence in friendlies against Ivory Coast and South Africa in March to move within three goals of Thierry Henry's all-time France record of 51.
Other noticeable omissions is Manchester United midfielder Pogba, and in-form Dembele among others while Bundesliga player of the year Nkunku made the cut.
France will take on Croatia home and away, travel to Austria and host Denmark next month in the Nations League, which they won last year.
Olympique de Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara has been called up for the first time.
France Squad List:
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan (AC Milan).
Defenders: Jonathan Clauss (RC Lens), Lucas Digne (Aston Villa), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Olympique de Marseille), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Olympique de Marseille), Boubacar Kamara (Olympique de Marseille), NGolo Kante (Chelsea), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouaméni (Monaco).
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).