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Vegan Italian Bread Crumbs (Gluten-Free Option)

Homemade vegan bread crumbs taste exactly like traditional bread crumbs. This pantry staple has a crispy texture and a flaky crumb, and is a great way to use up stale slices of bread! 

Looking for more vegan condiments? Try my oven roasted garlic confithomemade vegan croutonsItalian chickpea breadcrumbs, or egg free mayo.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Simple ingredients – Homemade bread crumbs are made using a few basic pantry staples, no fillers or preservatives.
  • Quick – This homemade crispy coating is the perfect traditional breadcrumbs substitute and comes together in about 20 minutes.
  • Flexible – use any amount of bread (depending on how much you have) or switch up the spices to change the flavor profile.
  • Resourceful – Making homemade bread crumbs allows you to reduce unnecessary food waste, save money by not throwing away stale bread, and repurpose your ingredients.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make homemade breadcrumbs:

  • Stale bread, also known as day old bread – any kind of bread will work, but white breads will produce the most neutral flavor.
  • Simple seasonings – nutritional yeast (a great dairy free substitute for parmesan cheese), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt or kosher salt – to taste.

How to Make Vegan Bread Crumbs: Step By Step

Here are some quick visual instructions. The full instructions and ingredient list will be in the printable recipe card below!

1. Add cubed bread into the bowl of a food processor. Process until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Around 30 seconds for coarser breadcrumbs and around 1 minute for fine crumbs. 

2. Arrange the bread crumbs in a single layer on an unlined baking sheet. Bake stirring halfway through.

3. Stir in the seasonings and let cool completely.

Helpful Tips

  • Why leftover old bread? Day old bread is much drier than fresh bread. When it comes to bread crumbs, you don’t want any moisture. So, the drier the bread the flakier the crumb.
  • A food processor works better than a blender.

Quick Tip: You can make bread crumbs with fresh bread, but you need to bake it longer to dry it out since it contains more moisture.

Storage and Reheating

Fridge: Let the bread crumbs cool completely, then store leftover bread crumbs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Freezer: Store in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. They can be used right away, there’s no need to thaw them first.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this vegan breadcrumb recipe using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • Make gluten free bread crumbs – use leftover gluten-free bread. Use a brand that doesn’t use eggs or dairy to keep it vegan.
  • No Italian seasoning? – use a mix of dried basil, dried oregano, and dried rosemary.
  • For plain bread crumbs – season with kosher salt only.

How to Use

Vegan bread crumbs are a great addition to vegan burgers, veggie burgers, breading proteins such as tofu cutlets, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use the crust for homemade Italian bread crumbs?

Baguettes and the heels of bread are great for bread crumbs. The crust adds more flavor and texture. For fine bread crumbs, remove the crust.

Do breadcrumbs go bad?

If bread crumbs aren’t stored properly or come into contact with moisture, it can cause them to get soggy and grow mold.

Are breadcrumbs vegan?

Plain bread crumbs are typically vegan, but some storebought bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs contain eggs or dairy such as parmesan cheese.

What are panko bread crumbs?

Authentic Japanese panko breadcrumbs are made from crustless loaves of bread that are first steamed, then ground into coarse flakes, and dried. They have a drier and flakier consistency than traditional bread crumbs.

More Vegan Basics

I hope you love these Vegan Bread Crumbs! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment & a star rating so I know how you liked it!

Vegan Italian Bread Crumbs (Gluten-Free Option)

5 from 2 votes
A bowl of vegan Italian bread crumbs.
Homemade vegan bread crumbs taste exactly like traditional bread crumbs. This pantry staple has a crispy texture and a flaky crumb, and is a great way to use up stale slices of bread! 

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300ºF/150ºC.
  • Add the cubed bread to the bowl of a food processor. Turn the machine on or pulse the mixture several times until you've reached your desired consistency (around 30 seconds for coarser breadcrumbs and around 1 minute for fine crumbs). 
  • Arrange the bread crumbs in a single layer on an unlined baking sheet. Bake for 12-17 minutes stirring halfway through. If they still have moisture, put them back in for a few more minutes. The bread crumbs should be very dry.
  • Stir in the seasonings and let cool completely before storing.

Notes

If your bread is fresh, you need to bake it longer to dry it out.
See the blog post for helpful tips, storage instructions, and FAQs.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Make gluten free bread crumbs – use leftover gluten-free bread. Use a brand that doesn’t use eggs or dairy to keep it vegan.
No Italian seasoning? – use a mix of dried basil, dried oregano, and dried rosemary.
For plain bread crumbs – season with kosher salt only.

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