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Don’t toss that leftover bread! This easy small batch breadcrumb recipe lets you transform stale bread into fresh, flavorful breadcrumbs in minutes. Perfect for topping casseroles, coating chicken parmesan, or adding crunch to any dish, this homemade bread crumbs recipe ensures you never waste bread again! It’s ready in just a few simple steps.

Consider using these homemade bread crumbs in a small batch of Jalapeño Poppers, Chicken Nuggets, or to top a Broccoli Casserole.

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Breadcrumbs Recipe

  • Ease: You need just a handful of basic ingredients for this homemade version and our recipe uses simple ingredients and a straightforward method
  • Adaptability: These breadcrumbs can be used in a myriad of dishes.
  • Customizability: You have complete control over the seasoning and texture.

How To Use Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from Chicken Divan to Spaghetti and Meatballs to Meatloaf. They can also be used to coat chicken like in our Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe or fish as in our Baked Stuffed Fish.

This recipe for small batch breadcrumbs is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It’s a great way to use up leftover bread, and it’s a healthier alternative to store-bought breadcrumbs.

What Are Homemade Bread Crumbs?

Homemade breadcrumbs are simply bread that has been torn or grated into small pieces. They can be made from any type of bread, but white bread is typically used because it produces a light and fluffy crumb.


  • Bread: Any bread type – whole wheat, white, gluten-free, or sourdough – can work here. Using herb or garlic bread gives extra flavor. If you are gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free bread.
  • Olive oil: If you don’t have olive oil, you can use another type of oil, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
  • Salt and herbs: Use your choice of herbs and spices.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

  1. Italian-Style Breadcrumbs: Add dried basil, oregano, and garlic powder to your breadcrumbs. Or add your favorite Italian seasoning. This variation pairs wonderfully with Italian dishes like Chicken Parmesan or Turkey Meatballs.
  2. Spicy Breadcrumbs: Mix in some chili flakes or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick. These breadcrumbs would be great for coating proteins like chicken or fish, giving a spicy twist to the dish.
  3. Herb-Infused Breadcrumbs: Incorporate a mix of dried rosemary, thyme, and parsley for an aromatic, herby breadcrumb. This version would be perfect as a casserole topping or mixed into veggie burgers.
  4. Sweet Breadcrumbs: For a sweet touch, add a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of sugar to your breadcrumbs. These could be used for a sweet-savory contrast on dishes like Sweet Potato Casserole, or even as a base for dessert tarts.
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How To Make Breadcrumbs

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make fresh breadcrumbs. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. I make bread crumbs and homemade croutons the same way. Cut or tear the bread into pieces, and toss with olive oil, salt, and herbs.

Pro Tip: You can use any bread. Remember that the bread’s flavor, such as rye, will affect the taste of the crumbs. I like to keep a bag in my freezer where I put slices and scraps of bread until I have enough to make breadcrumbs.

  1. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp.
  2. After the bits of bread have cooled, transfer them to a zippered bag and roll them flat with a rolling pin.

Pro Tip: If you want a finer texture to your crumbs, ground the pieces of bread more.

  1. Transfer to an airtight container or bag and store until you are ready to use.
Four steps showing how to make homemade breadcrumbs including baking the bread and crushing the baked pieces of bread.

Expert Tips

  • Texture: For finer breadcrumbs, crush them into finer crumbs or use a food processor. If using a food processor, put the toasted bread and other ingredients into the base and pulse until it is the consistency you like.
  • Storage: Preserve your homemade breadcrumbs in an airtight container for up to two months.
  • The Ideal Bread: Day-old bread yields the best results as it is drier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fresh bread to make breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use fresh bread for this recipe. However, the breadcrumbs will not be as dry and crumbly as breadcrumbs made from stale bread.

What are panko breadcrumbs?

The crumbs featured in the pictures on this recipe post are thicker than traditional breadcrumbs and resemble panko breadcrumbs.
Panko breadcrumbs are a type of breadcrumb that originated in Japan. They are known for their light, airy, and crispy texture, which is quite different from traditional breadcrumbs.
Panko is made from bread without crusts, which is processed into flakes instead of crumbs. The flakes are then dried. The lack of crust and the size of the flakes are the primary factors that contribute to panko’s unique texture.

Can I freeze breadcrumbs?

Yes, keep them in an airtight container and use them within two months. Since bread crumbs that are made from scratch may contain a small amount of moisture, it’s best to store them in the freezer.
If stored in the pantry, the moisture can produce mold which can grow quickly. By storing them in an airtight container in the freezer, the breadcrumbs will stay fresh longer.
Frozen breadcrumbs thaw quickly because they are so small. There is very little time needed for them to defrost so just toss them into your recipes as needed.

A spoonful of homemade breadcrumbs from a small bowl on a wooden trivet.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

This recipe for small batch breadcrumbs is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It’s a great way to use up leftover bread, and it’s a healthier alternative to store-bought breadcrumbs.

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this homemade breadcrumbs recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!

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Because you’re worth it

Easy Small Batch Breadcrumbs

5 from 12 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Crush: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Make fresh homemade breadcrumbs in minutes with this easy small batch recipe! Perfect for topping casseroles, coating chicken, or adding to stuffing.



  • 2 cups cubed or torn bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon dried herbs (dried herbs (dried basil, rosemary, herbs de Provence, or garlic powder work well)


  • Heat oven to 400° F (200° C) Place the bread in a medium sized bowl. Pour olive oil over the bread and add the salt and dried herbs. Mix well and taste one to see if it is seasoned to your liking, adjust salt and herbs as necessary.
  • Spread the bread out on a small sheet pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  • Once the toasted bread has cooled, use a large rolling pin to smash them and roll out to a fine consistency. This can be a bit messy so I recommend placing the bread in a zip-topped bag, sealing the top and using the rolling pin to crush the bread. Alternatively, you could grind the bread in a food processor and pulse until the desired consistency is reached.


  • Texture: For finer breadcrumbs, crush them into finer crumbs or use a food processor. If using a food processor, put the toasted bread and other ingredients into the base and pulse until it is the consistency you like.
  • The Ideal Bread: Day-old bread yields the best results as it is drier.
  • Storage: Preserve your homemade breadcrumbs in an airtight container for up to a month.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 218mg, Potassium: 51mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Are you supposed to let the bread dry before toasting, or is the toasting the drying process?

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. I find this recipe very interesting. One other way I have found works very well. Take a slice of bread remove crust if desired (panco) Wad into a ball and drop into a blender. Quickly pulse until desired consistency. Spread evenly on baking tray to dry and or toast in the oven. If desired you can season with Italian seasoning before wadding into a ball an shredding into crumbs. Toss with or coat lightly with melted butter before using as a topping casseroles ect.

  3. To free up your oven or to stop it from burning in spots, just microwave the crumbs in a glass bowl for 30 seconds, toss/stir repeat until crispy!

    1. Store the bread crumbs in an airtight container. They should keep at room temperature for a few days and in the freezer for up to one month. If they need to be crisped up a little after freezing, just toss them into a hot skillet for 1-2 minutes until they crisp up.

  4. These went great in the meatballs I wanted to make, I used 1/8 tsp garlic powder as you recommended and they smelled so good even before I baked them.

  5. Great instructions for making something so easy instead of buying premade breadcrumbs. BTW, panko breadcrumbs don’t begin as “bread”. They are made to be breadcrumbs from the start. The Japanese have a special process that creates the larger, fluffier crumbs.

  6. From South Africa. The best small dish recipes ever. I am enjoying making each one you share with us. Thank you I have become a cook in my late years.
    I can eat we’ll living on my own. Thank you! Thankyou Eileen

  7. I can’t tell you how greatful I am that someone is showing us how to break down receipes into smaller portions why u are not on food network heaven only knows. Now that I’ve been following you my food but budget has gotten smaller and I’m not wasting food. Pancakes were awesome.