9 Excellent Replacements for Bread Crumbs

“Bread crumbs stand as an indispensable ingredient in the kitchen. Should you find yourself bereft of this culinary staple, continue reading to unearth the finest alternatives for bread crumbs.

Few things rival the pleasure of savoring chicken cutlets or pork chops enveloped in a crispy bread crumb coating on a leisurely Sunday afternoon with friends. Bread crumbs not only supply a delightful crunch to pasta dishes and vegetables but also act as a binding agent for meatballs, crab cakes, and meatloaf. They find their way into soups as thickeners, are used to craft stuffing, and create a delectably crisp topping on select dishes.

In the ensuing section, we delve into the reasons for seeking a bread crumb substitute.

Why Opt for a Bread Crumb Substitute

The inconvenience of running out of bread crumbs and needing them for your recipes is reason enough to explore alternatives. Another compelling factor to consider a substitute is gluten intolerance, prompting a preference for healthier meal options. Moreover, bread crumbs can be calorically dense, with a mere 3.5 ounces (100 grams) containing 395 calories and 72 grams of carbohydrates. This makes them unsuitable for low-carb diets like keto.

This article presents a comprehensive guide to the top 9 substitutes for bread crumbs. Read on to discover what you can employ in lieu of bread crumbs to whip up a scrumptious meal.

Let’s commence by examining the varieties of bread crumbs available.

Types of Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs fall into two primary categories: ‘soft’ and ‘dried.’

Starting with ‘soft’ bread crumbs:

Soft Bread Crumbs

Often referred to as ‘fresh crumbs,’ ‘soft bread crumbs’ are derived from fresh or lightly dried bread. These crumbs retain a modest amount of moisture and have a limited shelf life. Soft bread crumbs, resembling regular bread, stay viable for up to one week (for store-bought bread) or three to four days (for homemade bread).

To create soft bread crumbs at home: Remove the crust from a loaf of bread, cut the bread into small pieces, and finely chop them. Alternatively, transfer the bread pieces to a food processor and pulse until they achieve a coarse texture without forming tiny balls.

In the next section, we explore dried bread crumbs in detail.

Dried Bread Crumbs

Dried bread crumbs are fully dehydrated to prolong their shelf life. While room-temperature homemade bread lasts up to three to four days and store-bought bread lasts up to one week, dried bread crumbs maintain their quality for up to six months.

Dried bread crumbs may be finely or coarsely ground. Common variations include plain (finely ground with no additives), Italian (finely ground and blended with Italian seasoning), and panko.

Plain dried bread crumbs boast a fine texture with no added elements. In contrast, Italian dried bread crumbs are finely ground and infused with Italian seasoning for enhanced flavor.

Panko bread crumbs originate from crustless white bread, which is processed and dried. This type of dried bread crumb is characterized by its light, flaky, coarse, and dry nature, resulting in lower water or oil absorption.

Panko bread crumbs are traditionally used in Japanese dishes like chicken katsu and tonkatsu. They have gained popularity in American households due to their delicate texture and dryness.

To craft plain dried bread crumbs at home: Begin by creating soft bread crumbs, following the previous instructions. Then, place the soft bread crumbs on a baking tray, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F (125 degrees C), and bake the soft bread crumbs for 15-20 minutes until they attain crispiness.

To prepare Italian bread crumbs at home: Start with plain dried bread crumbs, following the instructions provided earlier in this section. Next, combine one cup of plain breadcrumbs with one tablespoon of Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt.

To make panko bread crumbs at home: Initiate the process by crafting soft bread crumbs, as explained in the preceding section. Subsequently, arrange the soft bread crumbs on a baking tray, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), and bake the soft bread crumbs for 5-7 minutes until they turn golden, without browning.

In the next section, we delve into the best bread crumb substitute ideas.

9 Best Bread Crumb Substitute Ideas

This section elucidates the top 9 substitutes for bread crumbs, encompassing breakfast cereal, crackers, chips, pretzels, nuts, ground almonds, seeds, cooked rice, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, and potato flour.

Let’s commence with breakfast cereal:

1. Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast cereal offers an excellent alternative to bread crumbs, whether you opt for rolled oats, cornflakes, Wheaties, or any other grain-based cereal.

Grain-based cereals serve as a superb replacement for panko bread crumbs. Notably, you can procure oats or granola that align with dietary preferences such as paleo, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.

In the subsequent section, we explore crackers, chips, and pretzels:

2. Crackers, Chips, and Pretzels

Your favored snacks can also come to the rescue when in need of an alternative to bread crumbs. Crackers, chips, and pretzels offer a salty, lightweight solution that requires minimal preparation—simply crush them by hand or employ a food processor.

These snacks inject a burst of flavor into your dishes, though it’s advisable to adjust the salt content given their inherent saltiness.

In the following section, we turn our attention to nuts:

3. Nuts

To introduce a satisfying crunch to your vegetables and soups, consider employing crushed nuts such as pecans, walnuts, and cashews in lieu of bread crumbs.

Finely ground nuts create a delectable crust on fish, chicken, and pork, in addition to packing a nutritional punch.

In the subsequent section, we explore ground almonds:

4. Ground Almonds

Almonds make for an exceptional bread crumb substitute, as they can be ground and employed either as a binding agent or a topcoat.

While nuts were discussed in the previous section, almonds possess a unique flavor and coarser texture compared to other nuts, warranting their individual mention.

In the subsequent section, we consider seeds:

5. Seeds

In terms of nutritional content, few contenders rival chia, sunflower, pumpkin, and other seeds.

You can dry these seeds and grind them using a food processor. Consequently, finely ground seeds can substitute bread crumbs to enhance the presentation of your vegetables or form a crispy topping for cutlets.

In the following section, we explore the use of cooked rice:

6. Cooked Rice

For binding ground beef in dishes like meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs, consider using cooked rice as a substitute for bread crumbs.

Cooked rice boasts a high level of stickiness, making it an excellent binding agent, especially in the context of gluten-free recipes. It possesses a neutral flavor, ensuring it harmonizes seamlessly with diverse culinary creations.

In the following section, we explore parmesan cheese:

7. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese contributes delectable flavor and creaminess to an array of dishes.

To employ parmesan cheese as a bread crumb substitute, simply place it in a blender or food processor and pulse for approximately one minute.

Feel free to incorporate parmesan cheese into soups, vegetable dishes, or as a coating for meats before grilling.

In the following section, we consider nutritional yeast:

8. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast stands as a splendid bread crumb substitute. It presents itself as deactivated yeast, available in the form of yellow powdery flakes.

Nutritional yeast imparts a nutty and subtly cheesy flavor, making it an ideal choice for coating fish and chicken with an egg wash. Furthermore, it serves as a reliable binding agent in various culinary applications.

In the subsequent section, we delve into cornstarch and potato flour:

9. Cornstarch and Potato Flour

Cornstarch and potato flour emerge as fantastic bread crumb substitutes for dishes that demand a golden, crispy texture, such as chicken, tofu, fish, or pork chops.

Additionally, cornstarch and potato flour excel at thickening soups and sauces, while also serving as binding agents for meatballs and falafel. Moreover, they readily blend with spices to enhance the flavor profile.

The key distinction between cornstarch and potato flour lies in their moisture-retention properties, with potato flour imparting moisture, making it an optimal choice for denser dishes.

The subsequent section addresses frequently asked questions about bread crumb substitutes.


This section provides concise answers to common queries regarding the replacement of bread crumbs in various culinary endeavors.

What is the best substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf?

The optimal substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf entails a mixture of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of potato or coconut flour, and 1 egg yolk.

What is the best substitute for bread crumbs in meatballs?

For keto meatballs, a binding agent is unnecessary. Wetting your hands during the ball-shaping process ensures they remain intact. However, if you still prefer a bread crumb substitute for

meatballs, consider using grated parmesan cheese or cooked quinoa. These alternatives provide a fluffy texture with nutty and creamy undertones.

What is the best substitute for bread crumbs in burgers?

The premier substitute for bread crumbs in burgers involves the use of cereals such as cornflakes and rice puffs, ground to a fine consistency. You can achieve this by employing a rolling pin or a food processor.

The final section offers a summary of the entire article on bread crumb substitute ideas.


As evidenced by this comprehensive list of bread crumb substitutes, the absence of bread crumbs need not be cause for despair in your culinary endeavors. By thinking creatively and harnessing the power of your food processor or rolling pin, you can discover a world of alternative options. Simply identify the bread crumb substitute that aligns with your recipe to unlock a world of culinary possibilities.”

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