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5 EASY Substitute for Bread Crumbs

5 EASY Substitute for Bread Crumbs

Looking for a substitute for bread crumbs in your favorite recipe? Bread crumbs add that essential crunch to dishes like fried chicken and fish. 

If you’ve run out, don’t worry. We’ve got a list of fantastic alternatives that deliver the same delightful texture. Dive in to discover the best bread crumb replacements for your culinary creations.

We go into details about how to use each bread crumb substitute below and when you should use each one, but here’s a quick snapshot of our tested and recommended substitutes. 

Key: c = cup

Bread Crumb SubstituteRatio to Replace 1 Cup of Bread Crumbs
Oats¾ c
Crushed Chips1:1
Nuts (Ground)¾ c
Best estimates and ratios based on recent kitchen testing by us.


When it comes to making meatballs and meatloaf, oats act as the perfect bread crumb substitute. Oats don’t give a crispy coating, but they help bind eggs, meat, and seasonings. Just make sure to season the oats the same way that you’d season the bread crumbs. 

Substitute oats for bread crumbs in a 1:1 ratio.


Crushed potato chips and tortillas are both gluten-free and can replace bread crumbs. They are great for coating fish and chicken because they give a crunchy texture like bread crumbs. However, if you use salted chips, then make sure to adjust the salt in your seasoning as they will boost the salt in your dish. If you use less salt, the crushed chips will balance the taste and make the dish perfect.

Substitute crushed chips for bread crumbs in a 1:1 ratio.


Crushed nuts are a healthy and flavorful alternative to bread crumbs that you can use to make your dish. Crushed pecans, almonds, cashews, or walnuts will create an appetizing crust for your chicken, fish, or pork dish.

Nuts can coat cutlets too. Nuts add a unique flavor, so adjust your dish to match.

Substitute crushed nuts for bread crumbs in a 3/4:1 ratio.

Pretzels or Crackers

Pretzels and crackers can also act as the perfect substitute for bread crumbs. Take some crackers or pretzels and place them in a plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush them nicely to create your breadcrumb substitute. 

You can season them just as you would season bread crumbs. They will act as the perfect coating for proteins, and you can even sprinkle them on top of refreshing or creamy salads for an added layer of crunch and flavor. 

Choose pretzels with less salt to avoid adjusting the seasoning a lot.

Substitute crackers for bread crumbs in a 1:1 ratio.


You can also use cereal as a bread crumbs replacement. Pick a mild cereal like bran or cornflakes, so it doesn’t overpower your dish’s taste. Use a food processor to crush the cereal and then use it in place of bread crumbs in your dishes.

Substitute cereal for bread crumbs in a 1:1 ratio.

What Are Bread Crumbs?

Bread crumbs come from toasted and crushed bread. They act as a key ingredient in many dishes. Bread crumbs bind meatballs and meatloaf. They also make a tasty crust for fried foods like chicken and fish. Mix bread crumbs with seasoning and sprinkle on pasta, casseroles, or salads.

Here are 5 amazing substitutes for bread crumbs that you can use in your dishes:

Tips and Tricks

Keep these tips in mind when using bread crumb substitutes:

  • Using salted pretzels or chips? Reduce the salt in your seasoning to avoid over-salting your dish.
  • For cereals, pick unsweetened and mild ones. This keeps your dish’s flavor unchanged.
  • Frying fish, chicken, or meat? Use chips or crackers for a crunchy coat instead of bread crumbs.