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Italian Bread Crumbs

Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs are easy to make from scratch in just a few minutes!!

It is so much better than store-bought and at a fraction of the price. Plus, there are no preservatives or unwanted ingredients!!

Italian bread crumbs in glass jar with a spoonful of crumbs.

My Italian family never wasted bread. In fact, it was considered bad luck to throw bread away. Leftovers were turned into bread crumbs; I have always done the same. Having homemade Italian bread crumbs in the freezer means Italian Chicken Cutlets are a cinch to prepare.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy – Italian bread crumbs are simple to make at home and perfect for using leftover bread.
  • Adaptable – This recipe uses some of my favorite herbs and spices, but it is completely adaptable and can be tweaked easily. Also, you can use your favorite bread!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredient notes

Ingredients required to make the recipe as viewed from above.

This recipe for Italian bread crumbs uses basic ingredients that you probably already have.

  • Bread – I even use leftover whole-grain bread (I don’t mind the bits!).
  • Fresh parsley – you could use dried, but be sure it’s very fresh.
  • Dried oregano – use fresh if you prefer. However, triple the amount of fresh oregano is used.
  • Dried thyme – like oregano, you can use it fresh. Remember to increase quantities if fresh herbs are used.
  • Onion powder – adds so much flavor.
  • Garlic powder – great flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – without these, this Italian bread crumb recipe would be too bland but can be slightly reduced to taste.

For a quick shortcut, you can grab store-bought dry bread crumbs and season them yourself to whip up Italian bread crumbs in just 5 minutes!

Instructions

Slices of bread arranged on baking sheet.

Slice the bread thinly and dry in a low oven.

Chunks of bread in a food processor.

Crumble the dried bread into a food processor and whiz until the texture you like.

Bread crumbs and chopped fresh parsley in a food processor.

Add chopped parsley to the bread crumbs and process for 30 seconds.

Bread crumbs, dried herbs and spices being stirred.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Hint: Typically, I will save bread ends, crusts, or any leftover bread in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Then, when I have enough, I’ll spread the bread on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven after I’ve baked a cake or made a butterfly chicken recipe and make Italian bread crumbs from there.

Top Tips

The secret to perfect crumbs lies in the bread’s dryness. Very fresh bread will tear in the food processor and not crumble nicely. Drying time depends on the bread type. A light and airy baguette like a French stick dries quickly. Denser bread, however, will take longer in the oven.

For faster drying, be sure to slice your bread thin.

FAQ

Can I use sourdough to make the crumbs?

Yes, you can. However, I find the food processor needs to be powerful to reduce dry sourdough to crumbs.

What is the difference between Italian bread crumbs and regular

Italian bread crumbs are regular bread crumbs with seasonings like oregano, garlic, parsley, and salt or other Italian seasonings.

Can I use Italian bread crumbs instead of panko crumbs?

Yes, absolutely! There will be a difference in texture, but the flavor will be amazing!

How long will these bread crumbs last?

Keep these bread crumbs in the fridge for two weeks or so. However, I like to double or triple the recipe and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Always store in an airtight container or heavy-duty, zip-lock bag.

What do I use Italian bread crumbs for?

My favorite dish to make is Italian Chicken Cutlets. But you can use the same recipe and swap out the chicken for beef or pork. Also, these bread crumbs can be used to add body to soups or added to ground beef to make meatballs.

Breadcrumbs in glass jar with a spoonful beside the jar and bread in the background.

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Italian bread crumbs in glass jar with a spoonful of crumbs viewed from above.

Italian Bread Crumbs Recipe

A recipe for tasty, homemade bread crumbs with Italian seasonings. So easy that you'll never buy Italian Bread Crumbs again!
5 from 62 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings:2 cups
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 grams) bread
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300ºF/150ºC.
  • Slice the bread thinly and spread out in one layer on baking sheets (you will need more that one baking sheet).
  • Toast bread for 5 minutes then flip bread slices over. Toast for another 5 minutes until dry throughout. Heavy breads may take longer to toast.
  • Transfer toasted bread to a wire rack until cool.
  • Break up the bread and crush in the food processor in several batches progressively transferring crumbs to a medium bowl.
  • With the last lot of crumbs in the food processor add the parsley and process for 20-30 seconds until the parsley is finely chopped.
  • Combine all the crumbs in a bowl together with remaining ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container or heavy duty zip lock bag in the fridge for two weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.

Notes

Variations
  • If you are in a hurry, you can use plain, dry, store-bought bread crumbs and add the seasonings. In this case, you can make Italian bread crumbs in 5 minutes!
  • Increase or decrease the spices to your taste.
  • Add finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) or Pecorino Romano cheese.
Tips for Success
  • The bread must be dry, or it will tear and not crumble in the food processor. Different breads will need different drying times. I use a French stick, which dries easily. However, heavier breads will take longer to dry in the oven.
  • Be sure to slice the bread thinly so that it dries quickly.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 114g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2345mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 656IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you! So much better than the processed packaged ones. I used 1 pound of fresh bread crumbs from my local grocery store. I skipped the pepper due to acid reflux but added a teaspoon of ground rosemary. I didn’t have parsley so thought the rosemary would add a little something. This will be my new way of using breadcrumbs for any recipe! (Going to try that breaded baked cauliflower recipe another person posted, thank you for that also!)

  2. 5 stars
    Spot on! I doubled all the herbs and spices. Added to two cups plain bread crumbs. Melted 11/2 cups butter. Dipped cauliflower floweretts into butter, then into breadcrumbs. Baked at 400 degrees for 20 min. Superb!

    1. Same!!! I doubled the spices and added 2 scant palm fulls of dry parsley… They smell divine!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Evergreen staple at our house ! We use it almost everywhere when thickening required ! Thank you so much !

  4. I like homemade crumbs…it’s easy and all the leftover bread get to used up…perfect!