Bread Crumbs Substitutes

Fresh out of bread crumbs? We have a solution for you, whether you're in need of a panko substitute for an Asian stir-fry or desperate to find a bread crumb substitute for a crispy casserole topping.

The Many Possibilities for Bread Crumbs Substitutes

Finding a bread crumb substitute in your pantry is easier than you think! For 1/4 cup fine, dry bread crumbs, substitute any of these items:

  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 2/3 cup regular rolled oats

For a gluten-free bread crumb substitute, try pulsing gluten-free oats in your food processor or crushing your favorite gluten-free flax cereal.

If you need a substitute for bread crumbs in meatballs, try using crushed crackers or all-purpose flour. For a substitute for bread crumbs in meat loaf, we recommend using finely diced veggies (like cauliflower) or even uncooked rice.

No need to make an emergency supermarket run. Pin our handy Ingredient Substitutions Guide!

Healthy Bread Crumbs Substitutes

For 1 cup bread crumbs, consider substituting 1 cup regular rolled oats or 1 cup crushed bran cereal. Here's why:

  • Regular rolled oats have about 75 percent less calories, 30 percent less carbs, no sodium, and two times the amount of fiber than regular bread crumbs.
  • Bran cereal has about 75 percent less calories, 83 percent less fat, almost 70 percent less carbs, 75 percent less sodium, and up to twice the amount of fiber of regular bread crumbs. They're a great low-carb substitute for bread crumbs.

Don't stop there! Click for even more Test Kitchen-approved healthy ingredient swaps.

How to Make Bread Crumbs

Cracker, dry bread, and cookie crumbs can be made by processing them to a fine consistency in a blender or food processor. Now you have homemade bread crumbs that make a great panko substitute!

You can also place the ingredient in a heavy plastic bag and crush it to a fine consistency with a rolling pin. Leave one end of the bag open just a bit so air can escape during rolling.

If you need bread substitutes to make 1 cup of crumbs, you'll need about:

28 saltine crackers

14 graham cracker squares

22 vanilla wafers

19 chocolate wafer cookies

15 gingersnaps

24 rich round crackers

If you're not sure when to use soft or dry bread crumbs, remember that dry crumbs and cracker crumbs are usually used for breading fried foods. Use soft bread crumbs for topping casseroles and as filler in ground meat dishes like meatballs and meat loaf.

Learn more about how to make bread crumbs.

Recipes with Bread Crumbs

You don't need panko crumbs for these recipes. Try one of our bread crumbs alternatives above, or make your own bread crumbs as a crispy, crunchy topping!


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