Making your own dairy-free Italian style bread crumbs is so easy and so rewarding. Simply grate a stale baguette, add some simple seasonings, and you’re ready to bread all the tofu cutlets and top all the casseroles for that great crispy coating we all love.
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So many grocery store bread crumbs contain some form of dairy in them. But making your own breadcrumbs is super simple and also saves you money and the hassle of searching to find a decent dairy free option for this pantry staple at the store.
All you need is one very stale baguette (or other style bread) and a few simple herbs and seasonings. They’re perfect for breading our tofu cutlets or polenta pizza bites. Or use them as a crunchy topping for your next vegan casserole or lasagna, like our zucchini lasagna.
Why We Love This Homemade Bread Crumbs Recipe
- Dairy-free – A lot of the store options for Italian and regular bread crumbs contain some form of dairy. It’s either the obvious parmesan cheese or the less obvious whey or casein or milk powder additives. But not this recipe!
- Avoid food waste – If you’re like me, you don’t like wasting food. Turning the stale bread you’d otherwise throw away into something useful is one of the best ways to avoid food waste.
- Budget-friendly – One baguette costs a fraction of the price and makes almost twice the amount of fresh a canister of plain bread crumbs.
- Easy – You can make these fresh bread crumbs from stale bread in less than ten minutes.
Ingredients in Vegan Bread Crumbs
You’ll need just 7 ingredients to make your own Italian bread crumbs at home!
- Stale baguette – Most baguettes are vegan, but check ingredients or ask the baker if you aren’t certain to be sure they’re vegan-friendly.
- Italian seasoning
- Dried parsley
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ground black pepper
Substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a variable degree of difference in the final product. That being said, sometimes you can’t tolerate or just don’t have an ingredient and there is an easy swap. Here are our best tips for these moments! Let us know in the comments if you try any substitutions and how they work out for you!
For the baguette: You can pretty much use any old bread to make your own bread crumbs. I like to use baguettes or other homestyle rustic type of bread from the bakery section of the store because I feel that kind of bread makes a better bread crumb than, say, store bought slices of bread. But yes, you can use stale slices of regular white bread to make bread crumbs and they work out just fine.
For the dried parsley flakes: This is more for a color pop. If you want an even bigger flavor from your bread crumbs, you can sub more Italian seasoning for this.
For the ground black pepper: I enjoy the little bit of spice the black pepper adds. You can also use white pepper. If pepper’s not your thing, feel free to omit it.
How to Make Homemade Bread Crumbs
Using a cheese grater placed in a large bowl or baking dish, grate the stale baguette into fine crumbs. If your bread is not completely stale, you can bake the crumbs on a baking sheet for about 7-10 minutes on 300º Fahrenheit.
Add all the herbs and spices to the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly to combine.
How to Use These Dairy Free Bread Crumbs
Use these easy homemade breadcrumbs in any recipe calling for breadcrumbs! It’s as easy as that.
Vegan Recipes with Bread Crumbs:
How to Make Bread Crumbs Stick (without eggs)
Three words: Dry. Wet. Dry. That last dry being the breadcrumbs.
Get out three shallow bowls or pie plates. To the first dish, add some flour, corn starch, or a mix of the two. To the second, add the marinade you’re using, some egg replacer like Just Egg or aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas or white beans), or a thicker non-dairy milk. And to the third, add your bread crumbs.
Dip the tofu cutlet or whatever you’re breading in the flour or starch, then in the marinade or egg replacer, then in the bread crumb mixture. Dry, wet, dry. Be sure to coat completely during each phase.
How to Store Homemade Bread Crumbs
Store homemade bread crumbs in a well-sealed airtight container in the pantry for up to two weeks or up to almost two months in the refrigerator.
Homemade bread crumbs can be frozen for up to six months stored properly in an airtight container.
Homemade Bread Crumbs FAQ
Regular bread crumbs are just stale bread grated down to a fine crumb. Italian bread crumbs are just regular bread crumbs seasoned with Italian inspired herbs and spices. You can season homemade bread crumbs to fit virtually any style dish using complementary herbs and spices.
I like grating my bread crumbs by hand. I find the rhythmic nature of it soothing as the bread scrapes against the grater. And I like to watch the pile grow as I make progress through the stale loaf. It’s like real-life ASMR. You can put the stale bread in a high powered blender and pulverize it until you reach the desired effect, but that lacks the reward and elegance of doing it by hand to me. And I honestly don’t think it’s that much faster.
I like to use the small grate side of a four-sided cheese grate. The whole experience of doing it by hand is super satisfying and rewarding. You can also crush stale leftover bread under a rolling pin. A great way is to place the larger pieces of bread or bread slices in a plastic bag. Leave a small portion of the bag open for air to escape as you crush the contents into smaller pieces under your rolling pin.
Traditional bread crumbs from the store are often not dairy free because they contain caseinate, whey, or milk powder for who knows whatever reason. Just make sure you check the ingredients for any dairy or egg ingredients.
There are vegan bread crumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are often vegan. However, many well-known brands of seasoned bread crumbs contain not only dairy derivatives, but egg or honey as well. Again, always double check ingredients.
Edward and Sons has bread crumbs that are always vegan! Kikkoman and most panko-style bread crumbs are vegan. Panko bread crumbs are almost always a vegan’s best bet. If you need to make them smaller, you can roll them under a rolling pin. Products like Progresso, Great Value, and 4C all contain milk, egg, honey, cheese, etc. even in their plain breadcrumbs. I think you know about reading the ingredients.
More Vegan Italian Recipes
We’d love to know how you use these bread crumbs! What sort of delicious recipe did you make with them?
Show us your photos on Instagram @theplantpowercouple (with the “the”) or leave a comment and star rating in the section below.
We can’t wait to see what you do with these!
- 1 stale baguette
- 1.5 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Use a four-sided cheese grater placed in a large bowl or baking dish, and grate the stale baguette into fine crumbs. You want to use the smaller holes on the grater that would give you thin shreds of cheese. These holes give a fine crumb without breaking the baguette apart into larger pieces the way the other options on the grater do. They’re also more forgiving on the fingers than the zester option on the shredder.
- Add spices. Simply add all the spices to the bread crumbs and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to three weeks.
- Baguette Subs: You can pretty much use any vegan-friendly bread to make your own bread crumbs. I like to use baguettes or other homestyle rustic breads from the bakery section of the store because I feel they make a better bread crumb than, say, store bought sliced bread. But yes, you can use stale slices of bread to make bread crumbs and they work out just fine.
- If after you grate the bread, you realize it’s not completely stale and feel a little moistness to it, you can bake the crumbs for about 7-10 minutes on 300º fahrenheit before mixing with the seasonings.
Serving Size:1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.