How to Use Leftover Bread to Make Breadcrumbs

There’s nothing more satisfying than the crunch that comes from breadcrumbs atop a delicious savory dish or casserole. Try them on spaghetti squash macaroni and cheese! Breadcrumbs are also an easy way to add crispness to your food without frying. Our Smart Lunches arancini rice balls use breadcrumbs and are baked, not fried!

Some brands of store bought breadcrumbs contain lots of preservatives and even high-fructose corn syrup. A simple way to avoid this is to use leftover bakery or homemade bread.

How to Make Breadcrumbs

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t use really old bread to make breadcrumbs. They will taste stale, and bread stored at room temperature often grows mold before it dries out completely. You can toast the bread in your oven at about 350 degrees, checking the bread about every 10 minutes. Cutting the bread up into even 1-inch size pieces before placing into the oven will decrease the time you have to toast it, and help the bread cook more evenly.

After the bread is toasted, let it cool, ensuring that all the pieces are completely dry. Then dump all of the pieces and their crumbs into a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Pulse until they are your desired size. Season with salt and herbs if you’d like!

Store the bread crumbs in the fridge or freezer in a sealed, plastic bag with the air removed.


Bread, cut into 1” pieces
Optional seasoning


  1. Spread cubes on baking tray in a single layer.
  2. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Check and stir, if they aren’t dry, continue baking and check every 10 minutes until most cubes are hard and crunchy, but avoid burning.
  4. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor.
  5. Process bread cubes into breadcrumbs along with any seasonings if desired.
  6. Store bread crumbs in a plastic bag, with the air removed, in the fridge or freezer.

Original Recipe from The Prairie Homestead


Smart Tip: Want to avoid gluten?

We suggest following the same techniques for toasting your favorite leftover gluten-free bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the pieces are lightly browned and crispy. You can also make panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) that have a lighter texture and more crunch with Rice Chex. has three recipes for gluten-free breadcrumbs!