Learn how to make breadcrumbs at home! Crispy, crunchy, and tossed with flavorful seasonings, they're a delicious topping for pasta, salads, and more.
Wait! Don’t toss that stale bread on your counter. Use it to make homemade breadcrumbs instead!
Up until recently, Jack and I rarely had stale bread hanging around the house. We just weren’t bread people. Every so often, we’d get a good crusty loaf to enjoy with a pot of soup, or Jack would make his own bread for a fun weekend project. But regular old sandwich bread? Nope, we never had it on hand.
But over the last year or so, Jack has started making sandwiches for lunch instead of going out or ordering in like he used to. As a result, we always have a loaf of bread in the kitchen…and I’ve fallen in love with homemade breadcrumbs. They’re crispy, crunchy, toasty, and rich, and you can season them up however you’d like. Toss them with a little lemon zest and grated pecorino cheese, and you have a tasty topping for almost anything. Pastas, salads, grain bowls… The store-bought kind is nowhere near as good.
Homemade Breadcrumbs Recipe Ingredients
This recipe starts with 3 basic ingredients:
- Bread, of course! I like to use sourdough for its tangy flavor, but really, any type of bread will do. Stale bread works especially well, but because we’ll be toasting these breadcrumbs in the oven, fresh bread is fine too. It’ll just take a little longer to crisp up.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It deepens the breadcrumbs’ flavor and helps them get toasty and golden in the oven.
- And salt – To make the toasty, bread-y flavors pop!
If you want to make basic homemade breadcrumbs, that’s all you’ll need! But if you’re planning to use the breadcrumbs as a crispy topping for a pasta, a salad, or a casserole, I highly recommend seasoning them more. I like to toss mine with lemon zest and savory pecorino cheese. Vegan Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and/or red pepper flakes would be great choices too.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Breadcrumbs
My method for how to make breadcrumbs is super simple! Here’s how it goes:
First, pulse the bread. Tear the bread slices into small pieces. Then, place the pieces of bread in a food processor and pulse to achieve your desired texture. For really fine breadcrumbs, remove the crust from the bread before you pulse it.
Next, toast the breadcrumbs. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and toss them with the olive oil and salt. Spread them in an even layer, and bake at 350°F for 10-18 minutes, tossing halfway. They’re ready when they’re golden brown and crisp.
Then, season the breadcrumbs. This step is totally optional, but highly recommended. While the breadcrumbs are still warm, transfer them to a bowl and toss them with your desired seasonings. After you toss everything together, adjust the seasoning to taste.
That’s it! Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over anything that could use a crispy, crunchy topping. I love them on this cauliflower pasta, and they’re also a good sub for the croutons in this Caesar salad.
If you have a favorite way to use homemade breadcrumbs, let me know in the comments!
More Easy Cooking Basics
If you loved learning how to make breadcrumbs, try making one of these kitchen basics next:
- Homemade Croutons
- Vegetable Stock
- Almond Flour
- Oat Flour
- Almond Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Chili Powder
- 4 ounces stale sourdough bread, torn into small pieces (2-3 cups)*
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese or Vegan Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
optional additional seasonings:
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pulse the bread pieces in the food processor until crumbly. For fine breadcrumbs, pulse more, for coarse breadcrumbs, pulse less.
- Spread the crumbs on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and bake 10 to 18 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden brown and toasted.
- Combine the lemon zest and cheese at the bottom of a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs as they come out of the oven and toss. Taste and add any additional seasonings you like.