Don’t let leftover bread go to waste, make breadcrumbs with this easy homemade breadcrumb recipe. Perfect for mixing into meatballs, coating chicken and topping casseroles.
I am often asked for suggestions and ways to use up leftover bread. If you’re cooking for yourself or live in a small household, bread is something that tends to go to waste the most. Instead of tossing the last few slices of bread or the crusty ends of loaves, use them to make breadcrumbs.
Homemade breadcrumbs are so easy to make and it’s a great item to keep on hand. There are three main reasons to use breadcrumbs; for coating, binding, and topping.
Breadcrumbs can be made from just about any type of bread. In fact, I like to keep a bag in my freezer where I put scraps of bread until I have enough to make a small batch.
What Are Panko Breadcrumbs?
The crumbs featured in the pictures here are thicker breadcrumbs, similar to panko breadcrumbs. This type of crumb is good for topping casseroles and for coating.
Panko is a type of breadcrumb and what sets it apart from other types is the fact that it’s made with white bread. The bread used in these photos is French bread.
How To Make Breadcrumbs
You can use any type of bread to make breadcrumbs. Keep in mind that the flavor of the bread, such as rye will affect the taste of the breadcrumbs.
If you want a finer texture to your crumbs, ground the pieces of bread more.
I make breadcrumbs and croutons the same way.
Cut or tear the bread into pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and herbs.
Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp.
After the bits of bread have cooled, transfer to a zippered bag and roll flat with a rolling pin.
Transfer to an airtight container or bag and store until you are ready to use.
How To Store Homemade Breadcrumbs
Since breadcrumbs that are made from scratch may contain a small amount of moisture, it is best to store the them in the freezer.
If stored in the pantry, the moisture in the breadcrumbs 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.
Breadcrumbs will keep well in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Making Breadcrumbs In A Food Processor
Since this breadcrumbs recipe is a small batch recipe, I find it easier to just use a rolling pin to crush the toasted bread.
If using a food processor, put the toasted bread and other ingredients into the base of the processor and pulse until it is the consistency you like.
How To Make Italian Breadcrumbs
Italian breadcrumbs are one of my favorite types and one of the most popular.
You will need:
- 2 cups chopped or torn pieces of bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place bread in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to make sure all pieces of bread are well coated with the ingredients.
- Transfer to a baking pan and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven (200 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
- When the bread has cooled, crush to a fine consistency.
Best Bread To Use For Breadcrumbs
- French bread
- Italian bread
- Leftover croissants or buns
- Thick sliced sandwich bread
Tips For Making Breadcrumbs
- Make sure your bread is dry but not rock hard.
- You can make gluten free breadcrumbs by using gluten free bread.
- Experiment with different herbs, fresh or dried.
Ways To Use Breadcrumbs
- Sprinkle over pasta
- Use them as a salad topping
- Mix them into turkey meatballs, meatloaf, or one giant meatball
- Add them to macaroni and cheese
- Coat slices of eggplant for eggplant parmesan
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- 2 cups cubed or torn bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon dried herbs (dried herbs (dried basil, rosemary, herbs de Provence, or garlic powder work well)
- 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.
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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