23 Good Breadcrumb Substitutes
There’s no way you’ll give up making your signature meatballs or your crispy fried chicken just because you ran out of breadcrumbs, right? So how about you find a suitable breadcrumbs substitute? How about you choose from more than 20 of them?
Things to Consider
Breadcrumbs are used to absorb water and moisture from certain ingredients (we’re looking at your ground beef), as a binding agent (aka to hold things together), and to create crispy, crunchy, delicious, finger-licking crusts.
We have collected together a range of options to choose from. Just keep in mind you’ll likely need to think about taste and flavor. Some options will change the taste of the meal, not in a bad way, just in a different way.
So you may want to think of that when choosing your breadcrumbs replacement. Also, take into consideration that some alternatives burn faster and you may want to reduce the crisp or bake time. Just read all the fine print in our suggestions and you’ll be fine even if you use an alternative.
Pick your favorite breadcrumb substitute!
Whether you don’t have them around or you can’t eat them due to allergies, here is 23 suggestions for substitutes for breadcrumbs.
1. Rolled Oats
Quite healthy and quite surprising. Rich in fiber but rather bland, rolled oats can replace breadcrumbs. Just blend them in your food processor and mix them with your fav spices. Bam!
2. Crushed Potato Chips
How about you crush some chips into smithereens? It’s even better if you have flavored ones. Extra tip: Make sure not to cook them for too long since potato chips are already fried so there’s a risk of burning the crust.
3. Crushed Cornflakes
We’re pretty sure everyone has this breadcrumb replacement at hand. Cornflakes (any type of unsweetened breakfast cereal for that matter) make a good crispy, delicious crust. Pulverize them and leave some bigger for an extra bite. Yum!
4. Pretzels & Crackers
Pretzels and crackers are great to add some crunch, a little bite, and some earthy, nutty tones. Not to mention some saltiness. Crush them or finely process them and use them to create a binding mixture. Delish!
5. Chopped Nuts
A gluten-free, healthier version, carb-free, keto-friendly panko substitute is any variety of nuts. Extra tip: Walnuts will be extra nutty and earthy. Hazelnuts will be rich, sweet, and aromatic, and they are ideal for desserts. Peanuts will provide a rich, unctuous texture and taste.
Just crush them and create a fabulous, delicious crunchy coating for your schnitzel or chicken fingers. In fact, every once in a while, just play with your crispy fried foods and add nuts to their crust. Go nuts, why don’t you?!
Chia seeds, flax seed, sesame seed, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, you name it! A great way to cut some carbs and still get that crispy texture on your fried goodies.
7. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Well, in fact, any type of cheese will do for a keto-friendly breadcrumb substitute. Crunchy and rich in flavor, unctuous, and totally yum!
8. Coconut Flakes
How about you coat your fish sticks with some coconut flakes? This is a great option, home chefs! It’s sweeter, more flavorsome, and it will create a fabulous, sweet, aromatic crust.
9. Cooked Rice
If you don’t have breadcrumbs at hand, some cooked rice will do just fine. Think of arancini! Arancini are basically balls mozzarella cheese coated with rice.
So while cooked rice is not ideal for creating crusts, it is a great binding agent and it makes the perfect substitute for breadcrumbs in meatloaf.
10. Bread (Croutons)
If you don’t have the crumbs around, make them yourself. You can make your own breadcrumbs from bread or croutons. Toast some bread or use croutons, pulverize them in the blender, and ta-da, you’ve got breadcrumbs!
11. Almond Flour and Ground Almonds
What to use instead of breadcrumbs for a 100% keto diet? Almond flour has a coarse texture and a nutty taste that will replace breadcrumbs successfully and add some extra flavor to your dish.
Extra trick: Almond flour and ground almonds are great binding agents for any sauce, thick soup, stew, curry, meatballs, even.
Yes, quinoa is a great choice to replace breadcrumbs in a healthy way. Filled with protein and fiber, with significantly fewer carbs than bread, quinoa is ideal as a binding agent in meatballs or meatloaf, as well as a crust-making goodie. Just make sure to boil the quinoa first.
FYI: It’s gluten-free too and it’s ideal to mix with any spice and condiment of choice since it is rather bland on its own.
13. Nutritional Yeast
Are you looking for the ultimate healthy alternative to breadcrumbs? Here it is! It’s vegan, it’s delicious, and it can work perfectly as a binding agent. Nutritional yeast will stick to egg wash as well.
14. Corn Starch
A good substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs, falafel, and meatloaf, but a good option especially for crispy crusts! Corn scratch is perfect for a crispy batch of tofu. It will create a nice, thick, sticky, chewy crust; it’s gluten-free, and it sticks to everything.
15. Potato Flour
Just like corn starch, potato flour is also a perfect binding agent and a great crust-maker. It’s lighter than regular flour and it maintains a certain lightness and moisture-giving effect on crusts.
16. Crushed Tortilla Chips
Could you imagine something better than a baked casserole of mac and cheese with breadcrumbs on top? Well, yes, one with a buttery, crunchy, crispy topping made out of tortilla chips! In fact, let’s forget about breadcrumbs altogether when it comes to this recipe! Not just this one, either.
Tortilla chips work as a binding agent for any dish and create a fabulous crispy crust. Maybe keep this in mind for a certain je-ne-sais-quoi in your foods.
17. Dried Stuffing Mix
Stuffing is made with bread, herbs, and spices. So drying it is a good idea for a seasoned (doh!) breadcrumb substitute. It works in meatballs but also as a topping for veggie casseroles.
18. Chickpea Crumbs
This is a good grain-free alternative to breadcrumbs. You can prepare it at home and enjoy a healthy boost in protein, for that matter. Drain some chickpeas and pulse them into your food processor until you get a chunky, textured mixture.
Roast that mixture at 350 °F for about 10-15 minutes and after that pulse some more. In the end, roast the resulting mix for another 15 minutes and coat your favorite fried foods with it. It will absorb and hold together egg wash and it will create a fabulous crust.
Panko is a great breadcrumb alternative. The Japanese-style breadcrumbs are lighter and airier because they are made from bread without the crusts. Panko also absorbs less grease and remains crispy in texture for longer. So if you have it and are planning to make your favorite crispy food, go for it.
20. Puffed Rice
Another gluten-free breadcrumb substitute: raid your snack drawer and if puffed rice cookies are there, use them! Crushed puffed rice will create an airy, light, crunchy, crispy crust.
Saltines for savory dishes and sweet biscuits for desserts. Any biscuit will be a good sub for breadcrumbs. And while salty biscuits can enhance sweet recipes, make sure not to swap them since sweet biscuits will destroy your meatball or meatloaf, for instance.
When used properly they can replace breadcrumbs and even enhance the recipe.
Cooked couscous is perfect to hold together ingredients and create a rich, thick, crispy crust. It’s similar to rice and quinoa for that matter. Make sure to boil it and let it cool down and then add it to your dish.
23. Cooked Pasta
Do you have pasta in your cupboard? Then you have a perfectly fine breadcrumb alternative. Cook the pasta as you would normally, then drain it, let it cool down, and then smash it or pulverize it in the food processor. You can even bake the resulting mixture a little for some extra crunchiness.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a thickening, binding solution for various dishes, or you want to create a rich, decadent crust for your fried or baked goodies; if you are out of breadcrumbs, fear not! You can choose a perfectly suitable breadcrumb substitute for the recipe you’re cooking.