Easy Homemade Breadcrumbs

Making breadcrumbs at home is easy, and you can spice them up any way you like. Learn how to make breadcrumbs from scratch for your favorite dishes, like meatballs, meatloaf, breaded chicken, and so much more!

Homemade breadcrumbs

While you can easily find breadcrumbs at the grocery store, I’ve recently discovered the joy of making my own. You can use almost any bread you have lying around. Better yet, stale bread or the harder end of a bread loaf are ideal for making them.

Another benefit is that you have complete control over the texture. You can make them as fine or coarse as you like. I prefer finer breadcrumbs in our recipes for meatballs and meatloaf, but I like them coarser when using them as a crunchy salad topping. I’m kind of in love!

Homemade Breadcrumbs

How to Make Breadcrumbs

I love using my food processor or blender to make breadcrumbs (for smaller batches you can also use a spice grinder). Slice or cube your bread into small pieces, and then pulse until the bread breaks down into your desired size. Depending on how much bread you have and how powerful your food processor or blender is, you might need to do this in batches.

How to make breadcrumbs using a food processor

Depending on what you plan to do with them, you can make fresh breadcrumbs or toast them in a skillet until golden and crisp.

To toast my breadcrumbs, I stir them with olive oil or butter and seasonings over medium heat until they are golden and crisp (I’ve included tips for Italian breadcrumbs below the recipe).

How to Make Breadcrumbs: Toasting breadcrumbs in a skillet with spices.

I love the oil (or butter) and spices, but you can skip them and toast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan for plain breadcrumbs.

Another option is to make homemade croutons and smash them into bits to use as breadcrumbs in your favorite recipes calling for breadcrumbs. Some of my favorites include this turkey meatloaf, our easy chicken parmesan, and my favorite cheese stuffed mushrooms. On a side note, is it “bread crumbs” or “breadcrumbs”!? I’m getting mixed responses (haha!).

Easy Homemade Breadcrumbs

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Breadcrumbs are easy to make at home and can be spiced up any way you like. Remember that you can control how fine or coarse the crumbs are. When making them for meatballs, we want them a bit finer. If we make breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping, we keep them more rustic and coarse. For Italian breadcrumbs, use Italian seasoning when toasting the breadcrumbs.

Makes 1 cup

You Will Need

2 to 3 cups cubed bread (about 2 ounces)

2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 to 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning or dried herbs, optional

Directions

    1Cut the bread into small pieces. (The smaller the pieces, the easier for your device to break them down.)

    2Add the bread pieces to your food processor or blender and pulse until they break down into your desired size of breadcrumbs.

    3For toasted breadcrumbs, add breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to a wide skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until they are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.

    4Alternatively, heat the oven to 300°F. Toss the breadcrumbs with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Add the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes, stir, and then bake another 3 to 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Storing: Cool and store the breadcrumbs in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature for a few days or in the freezer for up to a month. If they soften a little, throw them into a hot skillet for a few minutes to crisp them up.
  • Fresh vs. toasted: Depending on what you plan to do with them, you can leave bread crumbs fresh (an excellent option for meatballs or meatloaf) or toast them in a skillet or bake in the oven until golden and crisp.
  • Do you need to cut off the crust? This is up to you, but we never cut off the crusts when making bread crumbs. I love the different colors and textures you achieve when using the middle and the bread crusts.
  • No food processor or blender: If your bread is hard and stale, add it to a bag and beat it into submission with something heavy like a rolling pin, heavy pan, or mallet. This method doesn’t work well for softer, fresh bread, so if that’s all you have, consider baking the bread to dry it out, just like we do when making homemade croutons.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/4 cup / Calories 137 / Total Fat 8 g / Saturated Fat 1.2g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 287.4mg / Carbohydrate 14.3g / Dietary Fiber 0.8g / Total Sugars 1.6g / Protein 2.6g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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