12 Types Of Breadcrumbs And How To Use Them

You may think that breadcrumbs are one of those foods which are easy to find and don't do much for the taste of a dish. Although many people know that there are several types of breadcrumbs, they may not place much importance on the differences and use them interchangeably. The best proof of this is that, generally, recipes require generic "breadcrumbs" rather than a specific variety.

However, breadcrumbs varieties have different features in terms of flavor and texture. For instance, the difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs is that panko is crunchier and absorbs less fat. Thus, it's better suited for baked and fried foods, whereas regular breadcrumbs ensure an airier texture in meatloaf or meatballs. However, there are many other differences and other breadcrumbs varieties, all better suited to specific recipes. You can even find gluten-free or keto-friendly breadcrumbs. Take a look at the following breadcrumb varieties and which recipes to use them.

Fresh toasted

Fresh toasted breadcrumbs are a versatile and flavorful addition to any dish. They are made from bread that has been toasted and then processed into small pieces or crumbs. The flavor of fresh toasted breadcrumbs is rich and nutty with a satisfying crunch that adds texture and depth.

Fresh toasted breadcrumbs can be used in a variety of dishes, but are best when sprinkled on top of food, where they become crunchy when baked. They taste great onlasagna, pasta dishes, or casseroles. Fresh toasted breadcrumbs are a great addition to mac and cheese, adding a crunchy topping that contrasts with the creamy texture of the cheese sauce. To use fresh toasted breadcrumbs in mac and cheese, simply sprinkle them on top of the dish before baking. Next, bake the mac and cheese in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20–25 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbly. 

Fresh toasted breadcrumbs are also perfect for making breaded chicken cutlet recipe: Dip the chicken into a mixture of beaten eggs and milk, then coat the chicken in the fresh toasted breadcrumbs, pressing them gently into the chicken to ensure an even coating. Next, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until it is golden brown.

Fresh untoasted

Fresh untoasted breadcrumbs go well in those recipes that primarily rely on texture or need a binding agent. They are moist, tender, and slightly nutty, making them an ideal ingredient for meatloaf, mac and cheese, soups, and meats.

You can use a food processor or crush the bread by hand to make fresh breadcrumbs. Start by selecting a loaf of bread with a dense texture, such as sourdough, French, or Italian bread. Cut the bread into small pieces, place them in a food processor, and pulse until it is reduced to small crumbs. Alternatively, you can use a grater or a blender to make the breadcrumbs.

One of the best uses for fresh breadcrumbs is as a meatloaf binder that helps hold the meat together, making it moist and tender. Mix the breadcrumbs with ground beef, pork or turkey, eggs, and seasonings to make the meatloaf. Then shape the mixture into a loaf and bake it in the oven. Fresh breadcrumbs can also be used to thicken soups and stews. They will give the soup a rich and creamy texture. You can also coat meats, like chicken or fish, and fry them in a pan until crispy and golden brown.


Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb made from white bread without the crust. It has a light, airy texture and is often used as a crunchy topping or coating for fried foods. The unique texture of panko gives it the ability to absorb more moisture than traditional breadcrumbs, which makes it the perfect choice for many recipes. The flavor of panko varies depending on how it's made and what type of ingredients are used, but it can range from mild to nutty and buttery.

Panko belongs in various dishes, from paella and fried fish to tuna salad or octopus puttanesca. You can try coating fish and seafood in panko. For example, use panko breadcrumbs to make crispy and flavorful fish tacos by coating the fish in panko breadcrumbs and pan-frying until golden brown. Serve the fish in a soft tortilla shell with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, and a squeeze of lime. When making an octopus puttanesca recipe, use toasted panko to top the cooked octopus, veggies, and pasta and add a crunchy feel to the dish.

Panko breadcrumbs can also add crunch and flavor to make tempura-style shrimp or vegetables. The light and airy texture will create a crispy and delicious coating that will complement the flavors of the dish.

Italian style

Italian-style breadcrumbs are seasoned with herbs and have become a staple in many kitchens due to their versatility and delicious flavor. These breadcrumbs are made from dried bread that has been finely ground and combined with various herbs and spices. The taste of Italian-style breadcrumbs is typically savory and slightly salty. The herbs and spices used in the mixture often include parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder, among others. The result is a well-rounded flavor that can enhance many dishes.

In terms of texture, Italian-style breadcrumbs are typically delicate and dry. However, they have a crispy texture when baked or fried and can add a satisfying crunch to various dishes, especially when paired with Italian herbs or cheese. Italian-style breadcrumbs are great for breading chicken, fish, and vegetables. Meatballs stuffed with this breadcrumbs variety will have a delightful flavor and texture. Fried vegetables like zucchini or eggplant can be coated with breadcrumbs to make them crispy and delicious. 

And, of course, dishes like parmesan chicken or eggplant often rely on breadcrumbs to create the signature crispy coating. For parmesan chicken and eggplant (the veggie version of parmesan chicken), coat the chicken or eggplant slices in Italian breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and then roast them in the oven until they become crispy.

Plain breadcrumbs

Plain breadcrumbs are probably the variety you will find in almost any store. They are made from dried and ground bread, typically white bread, with the crusts removed. The resulting crumbs have a fine texture and neutral flavor, making them versatile for various recipes. The main difference between plain breadcrumbs and fresh untoasted is the texture. Plain breadcrumbs are made from bread that has been baked or toasted, while fresh untoasted breadcrumbs are made by grating fresh bread into fine crumbs, so they are softer and more delicate.

Regarding flavor, plain breadcrumbs have a subtle taste that complements the other ingredients in a recipe. They don't overpower the dish but add a slight crunch and enhance the overall texture of the final product. Consistency is also crucial in many dishes. For example, they can create a crunchy coating that contrasts with tender meat. In stuffing, breadcrumbs help to absorb moisture and add texture to the dish. They also provide a binding agent for crab cakes and veggie burgers to help hold their shape.

There are a few different ways to use plain breadcrumbs while cooking. First, add them directly to meat mixtures like meatballs or a classic meatloaf recipe. For breaded dishes, use flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs. To create a crispy topping for casseroles or baked dishes, you can toast breadcrumbs in a pan with butter or oil.

Golden breadcrumbs

Golden breadcrumbs with turmeric are a flavorful and versatile ingredient that pairs wonderfully with other earthy flavors. Turmeric is known for its slightly bitter taste, which works great with the breadcrumbs' nutty and crunchy texture. Adding turmeric gives these breadcrumbs a beautiful golden hue, making them visually appealing and delicious. The flavor of these breadcrumbs is complex and aromatic with a warm and slightly spicy note that lingers on the palate. The texture is crunchy and somewhat coarse, which adds a pleasant contrast to creamy or soft dishes. The golden breadcrumbs with turmeric are also a great source of fiber and an alternative to traditional breadcrumbs.

Golden breadcrumbs work best in various dishes, including stuffed mushrooms, casseroles, soups, stews, and salads. They can be used as a topping or a filler, adding flavor and texture to the dish. For stuffed mushrooms, golden breadcrumbs with turmeric can be mixed with cheese, herbs, and other seasonings to create a satisfying filling. Sprinkle golden breadcrumbs on casseroles to add a crunchy texture and a pop of color. In soups and stews, golden breadcrumbs can be used as a thickener or a garnish. In salads, they work best as a topping to add texture and flavor to the dish.


Gluten-free breadcrumbs are a great alternative to traditional breadcrumbs for those who follow a gluten-free diet. They are made from ingredients such as rice flour, gram flour, or maize starch and are free from wheat, barley, and rye, which contain gluten. One of the key benefits of using gluten-free breadcrumbs is that they have a similar texture and flavor to traditional breadcrumbs. They are also versatile and can be flavored with herbs and spices to enhance the taste of the dish where they are used.

Gluten-free breadcrumbs work best as a topping for chicken, fish, bakes, and gratins because they provide a crisp texture that pairs well with these dishes. When used as a topping, sprinkle them on top of the food before baking or cooking. For chicken and fish, use gluten-free flour and egg to coat the meat before pressing the breadcrumbs to create a crisp coating. To enhance the flavor, mix gluten-free breadcrumbs with herbs and spices that work best with your recipe.

Cheese breadcrumbs

Cheese breadcrumbs are a delicious blend of two classic ingredients that bring out the best in each other. Mixed with finely grated cheese, typically parmesan or pecorino romano, these breadcrumbs result in a flavor-packed and extra crispy coating. When baked or fried, they form a golden crust on the outside and are slightly soft inside.

One of the most popular uses for cheese breadcrumbs is chicken parmesan. To use them in this recipe, coat chicken breasts with flour, egg, and cheese breadcrumbs before baking them in the oven. Another excellent use for cheese breadcrumbs is in cheesy garlic bread. Mixing them with butter to put on top of garlic bread gives you a crispy, cheesy, garlicky side dish or appetizer.

Cheese breadcrumbs are also a staple in fried cheese sticks. They enhance the flavor of mozzarella and offer you a gooey, cheesy, and crunchy snack that's perfect for dipping. Cheesy stuffed peppers can include a mixture of cooked rice, ground beef, tomato sauce, and cheese breadcrumbs. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is bubbly.

Sweet and spicy breadcrumbs

Sweet and spicy breadcrumbs combine the flavors of sweetness and spiciness into one crunchy topping. These breadcrumbs are made by mixing panko with a blend of sugar, paprika, chili powder, and other spices to create a perfect balance of flavors. Sweet and spicy breadcrumbs work exceptionally well with various dishes, but they are ideal for chicken tenders, baked sweet potato fries, stuffed mushrooms, and fried shrimp. The sweetness of the breadcrumbs complements the natural sweetness of the sweet potato, while the spiciness balances out the flavor profile. Additionally, the breadcrumbs help create a crispy coating while keeping the inside moist and tender.

To use sweet and spicy breadcrumbs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while prepping your ingredients. Then, take the sweet and spicy breadcrumbs to evenly coat the food item, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Lemon pepper breadcrumbs

Lemon pepper breadcrumbs are a flavored variety made by combining fresh lemon zest with ground black pepper and toasted breadcrumbs, resulting in a tangy and zesty flavor that pairs well with savory dishes. One of the key benefits of using lemon pepper breadcrumbs is the extra layer of texture to dishes that might otherwise be lacking. In addition, the lemon pepper flavor adds a bright and refreshing note to the dish.

Lemon pepper breadcrumbs work best in baked chicken and fish dishes. They are also an excellent addition to casseroles, stuffing, and meatballs, diversifying taste and adding a pleasing crunch. Additionally, they can be used to make garlic bread, which pairs perfectly with pasta dishes, soups, or even a simple salad.

Lemon pepper breadcrumbs can be used for mac and cheese as a topping to create a slightly tangy crust. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs before baking, and let them brown in the oven for a few minutes until crispy. For baking or frying, coat the food you want to cook with the breadcrumbs before exposing it to heat.

Pork panko

Pork panko breadcrumbs are a delicious and versatile alternative to traditional breadcrumbs. These breadcrumbs are made from finely ground pork rinds, resulting in a gluten-free, low-carb, and keto-friendly ingredient that adds a crispy and savory flavor to any dish. The flavor of pork panko is distinct, with a slightly salty and savory taste that can enhance any food. The texture is crispy, light, and crunchy, perfect for breading and frying.

Pork panko is made by baking pork rinds until they become crispy, then ground into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. The resulting crumbs are suitable in any recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, such as breading for chicken, fish, or vegetables, meatballs, meatloaf, or topping for casseroles.

Oven-fried green tomatoes with pork panko are a delicious and easy-to-make dish perfect as an appetizer or side dish. Start by slicing green tomatoes into thin rounds, dip them into a mixture of egg and milk, then coat them with pork panko breadcrumbs, and bake until golden brown and crispy.

Graham cracker crumbs

Graham cracker breadcrumbs are perfect for making desserts, such as cakes, pies, and cookies. The finely ground graham crackers have a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and a crumbly texture that is perfect for making crusts. The texture of these breadcrumbs is also a crumbly and slightly grainy texture that provides a delightful crunch to any dessert crust.

Graham cracker breadcrumbs work best in desserts because of their unique texture and sweet flavor. When used in dessert crusts, the sweetness complements the flavors of the dessert filling but also helps bind the crust together, providing a sturdy base for the dessert. To use these breadcrumbs, mix them with melted butter and sugar until they are well combined. Next, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a baking dish or pie pan, and bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crispy.

Graham cracker breadcrumbs can also be sprinkled over ice cream or pudding or used as a coating for cheese dumplings. Slightly toasted and with some added sugar, they bring a delicious and sweet crunchiness that perfectly completes the soft texture of the dumplings.