Skip the grocery store and use leftover bread to make your own homemade Italian breadcrumbs with simple pantry ingredients!

Homemade breadcrumbs are hands down the best way to use leftover bread!

Food waste is a shame and we have always tried to avoid it as much as possible.

But considering the current events, it’s even more important to make the most of whatever foods we have at home. 

Everybody seems to be giving homemade bread a try lately.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have found yeast and flour, you can surely make the most of leftover homemade bread with this breadcrumbs recipe.

If you don’t make bread at home, use any kind of artisanal bread you can get your hands on.

Italian ciabatta, French baguette, spelt or wholemeal bread, they all work wonderfully well, but try to avoid the seedy loaves of bread for best results.

homemade italian breadcrumbs in a bowl, ingredients in the background

Making breadcrumbs at home is quite popular in Italy, and every household has its own version. 

Most specifically, this is the recipe we use in Sicily to make chicken, beef or fish cutlets.

I’ve been making homemade Italian breadcrumbs since I was a little girl helping my mum in our Sicilian kitchen.

It’s actually the very first recipe my mum taught me all these years ago, and I’ve never tried a different version, because this is simply the best!

Italian Breadcrumbs Ingredients

No need to use weird or complicated ingredients for this easy recipe.

All you need is 4 simple pantry ingredients most probably you have already at home.

recipe ingredients: bread loaf, salt and pepper, parsley, garlic and parmesan cheese

Bread: use freshly made bread or leftover bread.

If your leftover bread is kind of dry and hard you can skip the oven step, and place it directly in the food processor.

This means you’ll get your own breadcrumbs in less than 5 minutes.

Parmigiano Reggiano: Parmesan cheese is what makes this breadcrumbs so special.

It gives so much flavour to any kind of breaded meat recipe you’ll use it for.

However, if you want to make vegetarian or vegan breadcrumbs, substitute with a vegan alternative, or skip the cheese altogether.

Seasonings: parsley, garlic are my go-to options.

If you’re not a fan, you can skip them altogether. I often make it without garlic for a kid-friendly option.

How do you make breadcrumbs from scratch?

This is the easiest recipe you will stumble upon, I promise.

Making breadcrumbs at home is super simple and takes about 5 minutes of active work for a big batch.

recipe step 1: sliced bread on a baking tray ready to be baked until dry and crunchy.

Start by cutting the bread into slices, then arrange them nicely on a baking tray.

Place in a preheated oven and let the slices toast for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the oven.

You want the bread to be crunchy but not too golden, so low oven temperature is the key.

Once the bread is nicely dry and crunchy, remove it from the oven, and let it cool.

In the meantime, finely chop the parsley, and finely grate the garlic and parmesan cheese.

Note: You could throw everything in the food processor together with the bread and pulse until combined. However, I find that doing the above step by hand preserves the quality of the ingredients best, so trust me on this.

recipe step 2-3: bread slices in a food processor in first image, breadcrumbs in food processor in the second image.

Once the bread slices have cooled down, place them in a food processor (or a powerful blender) and mix until crumbly, it should take about 2-3 minutes.

You can play with the texture of the breadcrumbs here, I prefer mine not too fine, as it adds a nice little crunch when breading cutlets, in a similar way panko breadcrumbs does.

recipe steps 3-4: bowl with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in the first image, all the ingredients mixed together in the second image.

Transfer the breadcrumbs in a bowl, and add the parsley, parmesan and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste and give it a nice mix.

There you go, your delicious Italian breadcrumbs mix is all ready!

breadcrumbs in a bowl

How long do homemade breadcrumbs last?

This Italian breadcrumbs mix will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To make the most of it, I recommend storing it in the freezer, where it will keep fresh for up to 2 months.

Because this mix contains cheese, it’s not recommended to store it in the pantry.

However, if you make plain breadcrumbs (just bread), you can store it at room temperature in the pantry for a few days, and up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Always store the prepared breadcrumbs in an airtight container.

What to use breadcrumbs for?

There are endless ways to use it. Make chicken or beef cutlets, or even fish cutlets (tuna, swordfish or cod fillets work amazingly well).

You can also use it as a base to make meatballs. Just add an extra egg or two, minced beef, a little milk and mix everything together, and your meatballs mixture is ready in a blink.

More Traditional Italian Recipes:

homemade italian rbeadcrumbs recipe image
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

Skip the grocery store and use leftover bread to make your own homemade Italian breadcrumbs with simple pantry ingredients!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how to, parmesan, quick
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 361kcal
Author: The Petite Cook

Ingredients

  • 250 g bread
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Set the oven rack to the center position, and preheat the oven to 300ºF (149ºC)
  • Cut the bread into thin slices, then arrange them nicely on a baking tray.
  • Place the tray in the oven and let the slices toast for about 20 minutes, depending on the oven. Once the bread is nicely dry and crunchy, remove it from the oven, and let it cool.
  • Place them in a food processor (or a powerful blender) and mix until crumbly, it should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the breadcrumbs in a bowl, and add the parsley, parmesan and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste and mix everything together.
  • Transfer the homemade breadcrumbs into an airtight container to store.

Notes

How to store:
This Italian breadcrumbs mix will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make the most of it, I recommend storing it in the freezer, where it will keep fresh for up to 2 months.
Because this mix contains cheese, it’s not recommended to store it in the pantry.
However, if you make plain breadcrumbs (just bread), you can store it at room temperature in the pantry for a few days, and up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Always store the prepared breadcrumbs in an airtight container.
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Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 237mg | Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.