Top 9 Panko Bread Crumbs Substitutes: Delicious Coating Alternatives

The 9 Best Panko Breadcrumb Substitutes

Panko breadcrumbs are known for their light and flaky texture that provides a crispy and flavorful coating for fried foods. However, if you find yourself without panko crumbs in your pantry, there are several substitutes that can come close to replicating their texture and flavor. In this article, we will explore nine of the best panko breadcrumb substitutes.

1. White Bread

White bread is a readily available substitute for panko breadcrumbs. To make your own panko-like breadcrumbs at home, tear up slices of white bread and pulse them in a food processor until they form coarse crumbs. You can then use these homemade breadcrumbs to coat your food before frying. For a more dried, panko-like texture, refrigerate the breadcrumbs overnight before using.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, freeze the bread and grate it into small crumb-like pieces with a grater. Microwave or toast the grated breadcrumbs to dry and crisp them before using them as a coating.

2. Grains

Surprisingly, certain cereals can serve as excellent substitutes for panko breadcrumbs. Cornflakes and Popped Rice Cereal work especially well and provide a crunchy texture. Place the cereal in a resealable plastic bag and gently crush with your hand, a rolling pin, or a meat tenderizer. Coarse crushing is recommended to maintain texture. Avoid using cereals that are coated in sugar or have sweet or fruity flavors, as they may not complement the protein you’re cooking.

3. Crackers

Dry, crunchy crackers can be an effective substitute for panko breadcrumbs. Choose plain, unflavored crackers to ensure they won’t change the flavor of your dish. Place the crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with your hands, a rolling pin, or a food processor. The amount of crushing can be adjusted to your liking, with coarser crumbs providing a crunchier finish when frying. Use the crushed crackers as you would panko breadcrumbs to coat your food.

4. Nuts

Nuts can provide a unique flavor and texture when used as a substitute for panko breadcrumbs. Plain peanuts or almonds are popular choices for coating foods with a nutty flavor. Place the nuts in a resealable plastic bag and gently crush them with a kitchen tool such as a rolling pin. If you have a food processor, you can pulse the nuts to the desired consistency. The crushed nuts should be small enough to adhere to the protein you’re coating without falling off during frying.

5. Potato Chips/Tortilla Chips

Potato chips and tortilla chips can provide a crunchy and flavorful coating similar to panko breadcrumbs. However, getting the chips to adhere to the food can be a challenge. To overcome this, pulse the chips in a food processor or crush them in a plastic bag until they are small but not powdery. Dip the protein in egg and flour before coating with the crushed chips to ensure proper adhesion. Avoid leaving large pieces of chips in the crumb mixture to prevent unpleasant bites.

6. Sesame Seeds

For a lighter coating and less crunch, sesame seeds can be used as a substitute for panko breadcrumbs. Unlike other substitutes, sesame seeds do not need to be crushed. Simply coat the protein with sesame seeds, along with a little egg and flour if necessary. Both black and white sesame seeds can be used, depending on preference.

7. Parmesan

Parmesan cheese is a delicious substitute for panko breadcrumbs and adds a rich flavor to your dish. It is also a great option for those on a keto diet. Grated Parmesan can be mixed with butter or combined with flour or almond flour to create a textured coating for proteins. Parmesan provides a crunchy texture and cheesy flavor that complements various types of protein.

8. Rice Flour

While rice flour does not provide the same level of crunch as panko breadcrumbs, it is an excellent gluten-free substitute that can be used on a variety of foods. Coat your protein with rice flour before frying for a crispy exterior. Rice flour is a versatile option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

9. Oatmeal

Oats can be a good substitute for panko breadcrumbs, especially in recipes that benefit from a slightly nutty flavor. Use oatmeal or quick oats as a coating for your food by pulsing them in a food processor until they reach the desired consistency. The oats can add a healthy texture and flavor to your dish.

Bottom Line

While panko breadcrumbs are known for their unique texture and flavor, there are several substitutes that can come close to replicating their qualities. White bread, cereals, crackers, nuts, potato chips/tortilla chips, sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, rice flour, and oats are all viable options for creating a crunchy coating on your favorite foods. Each substitute offers its own unique texture and flavor, so you can tailor your choice to your dish.
Experimenting with these substitutes can add variety and creativity to your cooking, especially when panko breadcrumbs are not readily available. Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option, a nutty flavor, or a cheesy finish, there’s a substitute on this list to meet your needs.
Remember to adjust the crushing or grinding process to achieve the desired texture for each substitute. Coarser crumbs or pieces will produce a crunchier coating, while finer textures may produce a smoother finish. In addition, be sure to properly coat your protein with the substitute of choice, using techniques such as dipping in egg or flour to ensure adhesion and even browning during frying.
While these substitutes can come close to replicating panko breadcrumbs, it’s important to note that they may not provide an exact match. The unique texture and absorbency of panko breadcrumbs cannot be fully replicated by other ingredients. However, with the proper technique and choice of substitutes, you can still achieve delicious and satisfying results in your cooking.
Next time you find yourself without panko breadcrumbs in your kitchen, don’t worry. Consult this list of substitutes and choose the one that best suits your preferences and the dish you’re preparing. Enjoy the process of exploring new flavors and textures while creating delicious meals.


What is Panko Breadcrumbs?

Panko breadcrumbs are a type of Japanese breading made from crustless bread that is crushed into flake-like pieces. They are known for their light and flaky texture, which results in a crispy coating when fried.

Why would I need a panko breading substitute?

There may be times when you run out of panko breadcrumbs or prefer to explore different flavors and textures in your cooking. Panko breadcrumb substitutes allow you to create similar crispy coatings using alternative ingredients.

Can I use regular breading to replace Panko?

While regular breadcrumbs can be used as a substitute, they have a finer texture compared to Panko breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs may result in a different texture and less crispy coating. However, they can still provide some crunch in a pinch.

Are these substitutes gluten free?

Some of the substitutes mentioned, such as rice flour and certain cereals, may be gluten-free. However, it’s important to check the specific brand and ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free, especially if you have dietary restrictions or sensitivities.

Can I use these substitutes in the same way as panko breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use these substitutes in a similar way to panko breadcrumbs. Coat your protein or food item with the substitute of your choice before frying or baking. Note, however, that each substitute has its own unique characteristics, so the final result may vary slightly in texture and flavor.

Can I use these substitutes in recipes other than frying?

Absolutely! While these substitutes are commonly used for coating and frying foods, they can also be used in other recipes that call for panko breading. For example, you can use them as a topping for casseroles or as a binder in meatloaf or meatball recipes. Get creative and experiment with different dishes!