Learn how to make EASY homemade breadcrumbs! Store up to 3 months in the freezer and use for homemade meatballs, meatloaf, chicken, stuffing, casserole toppings, and more!
I realize that time is usually not on our side, especially when it comes to getting dinner on the table. But there are a few things that go a long way when made from scratch. The first is homemade chicken stock. They take any soup and sauce to the next level.
The next are these homemade breadcrumbs. (And croutons on occasion.) And I’ll tell you why.
Why Make Breadcrumbs From Scratch?
Why would anyone want to go through the trouble of making your own breadcrumbs when you can buy them at the grocery store?! I’ll tell you why.
1.) Flavor & Texture. I don’t know about you, but super fine, store-bought Italian breadcrumbs don’t do it for me. There is no comparing the flavor and the crunch that you get from making them at home. (And you can control the texture, size, and seasoning.)
2.) Hidden Ingredients (Dairy!): You wouldn’t think it, but most packaged Italian breadcrumbs contain dairy. As noted here from The Spruce Eats:
“prepared breadcrumbs more often than not contain some form of dairy—be it butterfat, casein, dry milk powder, whey, or some combination”
Myth: Stale Bread is Best
Quite the contrary actually. Fresh bread is best for breadcrumbs because it has more flavor to it. And we’re going to be baking the bread to firm it up, which is the only advantage that stale bread has.
Are breadcrumbs are a convenient way to make use of stale bread? -Absolutely.
How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs
1.) Bread: You can use virtually any kind of bread here, although I recommend using white bread as it’s versatile for using in different recipes.
Fresh Italian loaves are my favorite, but you can use anything, even extra hamburger buns you might have lying around!
2.) Slice into cubes: 4 cups of cubed bread will yield 2 cups of breadcrumbs.
3.) Grind it up: A Food Processor is ideal in this situation, though some have success with a blender.
If you don’t have a food processor:
Option 1: Bake the cubed bread until it’s firm, let it cool, and place it in a Ziploc freezer bag. Run a rolling pin over it or use the back of a large spoon to crush it up into small bits.
Option 2: Freeze the bread whole and run along a cheese grater once it’s frozen to create small pieces.
4.) Bake it. A 300° oven is an ideal temperature. Bake for 10 minutes, toss the breadcrumbs around, bake for 5 more minutes.
5.) Grind it again (Optional): If you prefer, you can give the breadcrumbs one final spin around the food processor, although you may choose to keep them more like panko-sized breadcrumbs until you know how you’re using them. You can always grind them up finer later.
6.) Season it: My favorite seasonings for Italian breadcrumbs are Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, and Italian Seasoning. I like to add a little extra oregano as well.
I use 3 teaspoons of seasoning for every 2 cups of breadcrumbs:
1 tsp kosher salt , 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
Recipes with Breadcrumbs
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Chicken Parmesan Sliders
- Copycat Longhorn Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Bobby Flay’s Meatball Recipe
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Chicken Milanese
Other ideas include homemade mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, and more.
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- 4 cups bread, cut into cubes
Italian Seasoning (Optional)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes to create 4 cups.
- Place in a food processor and grind into finer crumbs. (See notes for food processor alternatives)
- Arrange in a single, even layer on 1-2 baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes, toss, bake for 5 more minutes.
- If desired, place back in the food process and grind it into finer crumbs.
- Add Italian seasonings after baking if desired, 1.5 teaspoons of seasoning for every cup. See notes for seasoning recipe.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Option 1: Bake the cubed bread until it's firm, let it cool, and place it in a Ziploc freezer bag. Run a rolling pin over it or use the back of a large spoon to crush it up into small bits.
- Option 2: Freeze the bread whole and run along a cheese grater once it's frozen to create small pieces.