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Homemade breadcrumbs in a white bowl with a spoon.

How to Make Bread Crumbs

An easy recipe for how to make breadcrumbs: fresh, dried, fried, or panko-style. 1 slice of bread is about 3/4 cup crumbs, so this recipe for 4 slices bread yields about 3 cups. Nutrition information is for fresh and dried styles with no added fat.
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1/4 cup each)
Calories 56kcal


  • 4 slices firm-textured white bread torn into 2-inch pieces, or more as needed (4 slices = about 3 cups crumbs)

For frying breadcrumbs:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil or butter (I like 1 tbsp. fat per cup of crumbs)


To make fresh breadcrumbs:

  • To a food processor, add torn bread pieces (work in batches if necessary). Pulse 3 or 4 times to break up the bread, then let the machine run for a few seconds for coarse crumbs or a little longer for fine crumbs.

To make toasted breadcrumbs:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add ground breadcrumbs to rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Bake until dry and toasted, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how finely they are ground (I bake mine for 20 minutes). Stir after 10 minutes to break up any clumps.

To make fried breadcrumbs (for garnish):

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil until shimmering (or butter until foaming). Add ground breadcrumbs and stir until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately.

To make panko-style breadcrumbs:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Trim the crusts off bread but do not tear into 2-inch pieces.
  • Add crustless bread to prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until bone-dry but NOT TOASTED, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely ground, or grate on a box grater.


  • Leftover bread: One really great way to reduce food waste is to save all your leftover bread ends, chunks, and pieces. You can store them in the freezer until have a large batch, and then grind them all at once.
  • Make them by hand: Add toasted bread to a sturdy plastic bag. Roll over it with a rolling pin or mallet, crumbling the slices. Then transfer to a new, sealable bag or container because you probably damaged the plastic bag in the process.
  • Bread slice to crumb conversion: If you're using the hearty white sandwich bread I recommended above (Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White or similar):
    • 1 slice (1.4 ounces) = 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
    • 4 slices = 3 cups breadcrumbs
  • Seasoned bread crumbs: Use 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of spice per 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Italian, Greek, Cajun, Garlic butter. Or add red chili flakes (spicy), Parmesan (cheesy), fresh herbs, or fried, crumbled bacon bits.
  • Storage: Make sure that the breadcrumbs you made are stored in an airtight zip-top bag or sealed container with very little free space. Thaw frozen breadcrumbs for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.
    • Fresh plain breadcrumbs: Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
    • Seasoned breadcrumbs: If you’ve made flavored breadcrumbs with grated cheese, fresh herbs, or garlic, for example, keep them in the refrigerator and use them within 1 week.
    • Dried (or stale) breadcrumbs: Store at room temperature for up to 1 month or in the freezer for 3 months.
    • Panko breadcrumbs: Store indefinitely at room temperature.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg