How many times a month do you reach for breadcrumbs? Like when you are making meatballs, a meatloaf, pasta dishes vegetable dishes, crab cakes, soups, etc. Today I want to share how to make and store homemade breadcrumbs.
Commercial varieties of breadcrumbs are good however homemade breadcrumbs are better (in my opinion).
Homemade breadcrumbs taste better, there are no added preservatives (unless the bread you are making them from has them), you can flavor them as you wish. You can also control the added sodium, which for some people is very important.
Homemade Bread crumbs are also more economical. In my opinion, making breadcrumbs yourself is an all-around win!
Do you make your own breadcrumbs?
Sure I like a charcuterie board from time to time, pork belly, cocktails, and cheesecakes however I am not one into crazy "gourmet" foods. I just like simple food that tastes good.
One of my resolutions for 2019 is less waste when it comes to cooking as well as more control over the ingredients I am using to feed myself and my family.
I want to consistently be a little bit heather. Knowing how to make and store homemade breadcrumbs is just one of the simple things I will be doing to accomplish that resolution.
Store your homemade breadcrumbs in the freezer in an airtight mason jar, freezer bag, or freezer-safe container.
When you have a need to use them, simply open up your storage jar/bag, measure out what you need and add it to the recipe. No need for thawing.
How long are homemade breadcrumbs good for?
Homemade Breadcrumbs keep very well in the freezer. They will be good for 3-4 months in an airtight mason jar, freezer bag, or freezer-safe container.
- When it comes to how to make and store homemade breadcrumbs, look for sales after holidays. My local farmers market and grocery stores often have a ton of day-old bread or bread cubes the day or two after a holiday marked down to almost free. I scoop them up and make a big batch of breadcrumbs, then into the freezer they go!
- No food processor?? No problem! Cut your bread into chunks, and then freeze it for an hour and then use your box grater and make the crumbs.
- If the bread is still kind of soft or too fresh, pop it into the oven at 200 degrees, to dry it out (you can do this with the crumbs too if you prefer a crisper breadcrumb).
- If your bread pieces are dried out, you can pop them in a plastic baggie, double bag it. Seal and use your rolling pin or rubber mallet to help make the crumbs.,
- If your bread is very fresh, after you pulse the bread cubes into crumbs, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 275 for 15minutes (tossing every 5) until they dry out a bit.
- If you want drier crumbs no matter what kind of bread you are using, do the same as above...up to 20-25 minutes, just keep an eye on them and toss often towards the end.
- When using a freezer bag, get most of the air out of the bag before you seal it (for this I do not use a vacuum sealer as I don't want to "smush" my fresh crumbs down. You can also use 2 bags to double the air-tight factor up if you like.
- Once completely cooled, store in the freezer.
- Breadcrumbs keep for 3-4 months in the freezer in proper containers. I personally leave mine NOT toasted...I like them "fresh" for most recipes, when I want crisp, I reach for Panko.
A few of the recipes I use my homemade breadcrumbs for are:
Cheesy Meatless Mushroom "Meatballs" You will not even realize these are not made of meat!
Salmon Cakes - A delicious alternative to traditional pan-seared or baked salmon.
I love using breadcrumbs for making a crunchy, cinnamon sugar topping for my Sweet Potato Bisque.
Spinach Balls - A hit with the kiddos too!
Mozzarella Zucchini Balls - One of my daughter's favorites...cheesy & delish!
Originally published February, 2019. Updates February 2021 with additional information.
How To Make (And Store) Homemade Breadcrumbs
- Choose Your Bread:
- Choose day-old or 2 day-old loaves of French bread or Italian bread or bags of bread already diced for stuffing. These are always leftover after holidays especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also like to keep tossing the ends of white bread/wheat bread or whatever I have weekly in a baggie in the freezer till I have enough to use to make breadcrumbs.
- Choose your add-in seasonings:
- Add in salt as little or as much as you enjoy...whichever variety you enjoy
- Black pepper
- After that you choose to leave it as is or customize it for your need or taste. I leave it as is and customize when I use then breadcrumbs.
- Additional add-in choices are red pepper flakes grated Parmesan cheese, dried oregano or Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder or onion powder.
- If bread is not already cubed, cut it into 1-inch chunks.
- Place bread in your food processor and pulse until the bread becomes breadcrumbs the size you enjoy.
- Season with your chosen seasonings or leave plain.
- Store in quart sized mason jars, freezer containers or gallon-sized freezer bags.
- Pull out when needed and toss breadcrumbs right in...no need to thaw them.
- See Notes