Making your own breadcrumbs couldn’t be easier! And how amazing to know that you’ve not only made them quickly from scratch but also that you didn’t have to resign yourself from tossing that half a loaf of stale bread into the trash. It’s a great way to use up your leftover bread and make it into something way more useful. A double dose of satisfaction. I actually made these breadcrumbs on the “Today Show” — fancy!
Then you can use them in everything from Pasta with Sautéed Kale and Toasted Breadcrumbs to Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Toasted Breadcrumbs to Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks.
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How to Make Breadcrumbs: Making homemade breadcrumbs — plain or Italian — is ridiculously easy. Here’s how!Tweet This
How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs
- Make sure your bread is fairly dry/stale but not rock hard. If you want to hurry the drying process along (which is kind of funny; usually, we are trying to keep things fresher longer), you can put the pieces of bread on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 20 minutes until they dry out. If your bread is very hard and dry, you can still make breadcrumbs, but they will resemble the more finely processed dry breadcrumbs you buy pre-packaged at the store.
- Tear the bread into pieces. They don’t have to be tiny, but two-inch pieces will let them chop up somewhat evenly.
- Place the bread into a food processor. Use the metal blade for this, and don’t fill it more than about ⅔ of the way.
- Pulse the bread. You want to pulse the food processor in short bursts so that you keep control over how finely the bread gets chopped.
- Keep going until the breadcrumbs are the size you want — either coarse, fine, or a combination. The drier the bread, the more fine the crumb will probably end up.
Any type of bread can be used to make breadcrumbs. Any leftover bread you have will work, but make sure it is a little stale and dry before using.
The only thing I might stay away from is bread with nuts or seeds in it, as they can add moisture when blended up and prevent the breadcrumbs from getting crunchy. Also, if your bread is really stale (and tastes stale), toss it.
No, there is no need to remove the crust before making breadcrumbs out of your dry bread. The crust will probably turn out to be the best part! It adds a great toasty flavor and crunchy texture to the breadcrumbs. If you have a super crusty bread, just make sure to tear it into small pieces before adding it to the food processor to make sure the processor can handle it.
It’s still possible to make breadcrumbs without a food processor. A blender will do the same job! Or, if your bread is super dry and brittle, just place the slices into a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. If your bread has any moisture at all, though, this strategy won’t work. Dry out your bread even further in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes and try again.
Variation: Italian Breadcrumbs
Making classic Italian seasoned breadcrumbs is just as easy. After blending the breadcrumbs, add:
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (or a mixture of dried parsley, sage, basil, oregano, and marjoram)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
Make sure the mixture is well combined; give it a little shake or stir every time you use it so that the herbs are well distributed.
Place the breadcrumbs in a sealed container, and keep them at room temp for 10 to 14 days. In the fridge, they should last for about 1 month. If you are using bread that has seeds or oils in it, it might not last quite as long, but this is a good timing estimation for plain bread, whether white or whole wheat.
If you want to freeze breadcrumbs, place them in a freezer-proof zipper top bag and press out any excess air. Label the bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Make sure to put the date on the bag. You can also freeze breadcrumbs in a freezer-proof container.
How to Use Breadcrumbs
You might even toss these breadcrumbs with a little garlic, fresh herbs, and citrus zest first for a wonderful pop of both flavor and texture. This is what is known as a Gremolata in Italy. It’s a great way to perk up so many dishes, from crostini toppings to green beans.
Recipes That Use Homemade Breadcrumbs
Replace Panko with homemade breadcrumbs where appropriate.
- Pork Schnitzel with Quick Pickley Cucumber Salad
- Spicy Chicken Milanese
- Chicken Parmigiana
- Vegetable Studded Turkey Meatloaf
- Crispy Chicken Strips with Apricot Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Chicken Katsu
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How to Make Breadcrumbs
- ½ pound stale good white bread approximately (cut into large cubes or torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces; about 8 cups total)
For Italian Breadcrumbs (optional):
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Place the bread into a blender or a food processor. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt, if desired. Pulse or let the machine run until the breadcrumbs are as fine or coarse as you like them.
- Transfer them to a sealed container and keep at room temperature for up to a week.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.