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The 5 Best Substitutes for Panko Breadcrumbs

Who doesn’t love the light and airy texture of panko breadcrumbs?

These Japanese-style breadcrumbs are made from bread baked twice, resulting in a crispy texture that is perfect for coating chicken, fish, or vegetables.

Panko breadcrumbs are also versatile – they can be used to add a crunchy topping to casseroles or used as a substitute for traditional breadcrumbs in stuffing recipes.

However, not everyone has access to panko breadcrumbs, which can be expensive to purchase.

Luckily, some great substitutes will give you similar results.

Keep on reading to find out the best substitutes for panko breadcrumbs.

What are Panko Breadcrumbs?

what are panko breadcrumbs

Panko breadcrumbs are a type of breadcrumb that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine.

They are made from bread that has been dried and then ground into coarse flour.

This type of breadcrumb has a light, flaky texture that makes it ideal for coating and frying foods.

Panko breadcrumbs can be found in most Asian markets, or they can be made at home by processing regular bread crumbs in a food processor.

When used correctly, panko breadcrumbs can give your dishes a crispy, golden-brown crust that will please any appetite.

Although they are most commonly associated with Japanese cuisine, panko breadcrumbs can be used in various dishes from all over the world.

If you are looking for a way to add some extra crunch and flavor to your meals, then panko breadcrumbs are a great option to consider.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panko Breadcrumbs

For those times when you can’t find panko breadcrumbs or you want to try something new, several excellent substitutes can be used in its place.

Here are five of the best substitutes for panko breadcrumbs:

1. Crushed Cornflakes

crushed cornflakes

Let’s start with an obvious one – cornflakes.

Crushed cornflakes make a great breadcrumb alternative for several reasons:

  • They’re easy to find (check your pantry.).
  • They add a lovely crunch to whatever you’re making.
  • They don’t have that pesky gluten that some people are trying to avoid.

When substituting cornflakes for breadcrumbs, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.

First, the flavor of your dish will be more ‘corny’ than it would be with breadcrumbs.

If that’s not a flavor you’re going for, you might want to try another alternative.

Second, cornflakes can get soggy more easily than breadcrumbs, so you’ll want to avoid adding too much liquid to your dish.

So, if you’re looking for an easy, gluten-free alternative to breadcrumbs, give crushed cornflakes a try.

2. Cracker Crumbs

cracker crumbs

For those who want a little more texture in their life, cracker crumbs are the way to go.

Cracker crumbs can be used as a breading for chicken or fish, sprinkled on casseroles, or even crunchy topping for salads.

And because they’re usually made from whole wheat crackers, they pack a nutritional punch, too.

To make your cracker crumbs, place a few crackers in a resealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces.

You can also put the crackers in a food processor and pulse them until they’re broken up.

Once you have your desired consistency, transfer the crumbs to an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place.

Then, when you’re ready to use them, sprinkle the crumbs on top of your dish or use them as a breading.

Remember that cracker crumbs can absorb moisture, so if you’re using them as a breading, be sure to pat the excess moisture off of your chicken or fish before dredging in the crumbs.

3. Crushed Pretzels

crushed pretzels

Another great substitute for panko breadcrumbs is crushed pretzels.

Pretzels offer a similar crunch and texture as panko but with a salty flavor.

This is a great option if you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your dish.

When crushing pretzels, use a food processor or blender for best results.

You can also put them in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Just make sure the pretzels are finely crushed before using them in your recipe.

If you’re using crushed pretzels as a breading, you’ll want to use an egg wash to help them stick.

Whisk an egg with some water and brush it on your food before breading.

This will help the pretzels adhere and create a crispy coating.

Crushed pretzels can also be used as a topping for casseroles or salads.

They add a nice crunch and can be easily customized to your liking.

Mix them with some spices or herbs and sprinkle them on your dish.

4. Coconut Flakes

coconut flakes

If you want to get that toasty flavor without any work, go for coconut flakes.

You can find these in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

Just make sure to get unsweetened flakes, or you’ll be in for a sugary treat.

The flakes will need to be toasted before you can use them.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the flakes on a baking sheet and bake for about five minutes.

Keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly.

Once they’re nice and toasty, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

With just a few minutes of prep time, you can have delicious, toasty flakes to take your dish to the next level.

Just be sure to use them sparingly, as they can be quite sweet.

5. Crushed Nuts

crushed nuts

Last on our list of substitutes is crushed nuts.

Crushed nuts can be used as a breading for chicken or fish, adding a nice flavor and crunch to the dish.

There are many different types of nuts that can be used for this purpose, including almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

Just make sure to use a food processor to finely chop the nuts to adhere to the meat or fish.

When using crushed nuts as a breading, it is best to use an egg wash to help them stick.

Whisk an egg with a little water and brush it on the meat or fish before adding the nuts.

Then bake or fry as usual.


Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style of breadcrumb that is light and airy.

While panko breadcrumbs add a unique texture to dishes, they can be expensive and difficult to find.

Luckily, several easy substitutes will give you the same results.

Based on what you have on hand, any of the following can be used in panko breadcrumbs: crackers, cornflakes, or crushed nuts.

So the next time you are in a pinch, don’t worry; there are plenty of panko breadcrumb substitutes that will do the trick.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panko Breadcrumbs

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panko Breadcrumbs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Crushed Cornflakes
  • Cracker Crumbs
  • Crushed Pretzels
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Crushed Nuts


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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