16 Best Substitutes for Breadcrumbs in Meatloaf

Substitutes for Breadcrumbs in Meatloaf
Photo by RitaE

Several recipes call for breadcrumbs. Can you picture your favorite dish or baked mac and cheese without the buttery, crispy topping? In our opinion, no! The breadcrumbs are the main binding ingredient in dishes like meatballs, meatloaf, black bean burgers, and crab cakes.

Additionally, they create a deliciously crispy topping for pasta meals, roasted fish, or side dishes of roasted vegetables when they are torched.

There is a good reason why meatloaf is a popular recipe in many homes. It is completely excellent, convenient, simple, and inexpensive.

It’s also adaptable! If you want to bake a delicious meat mixture in a loaf pan tonight, but you don’t have any bread crumbs on hand or prefer not to use them, don’t worry! There are many substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf! 

Several flavors may be used in meatloaf. Breadcrumbs are one of the most popular methods to add texture and taste to meatloaf. They are a terrific way to do this.

They are not the only choice, though. In place of breadcrumbs, you can use various ingredients, such as: Of course, these substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf may slightly change the texture of your meatloaf, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Here are a few alternatives to breadcrumbs for meatloaf:


If you have any bread, you can just rough it up and watch all that crumbed gold shower down, ready to give your cuisine a delightful armor of carbohydrates.

You’ve probably previously thought of this. You can lightly toast your bread to make it easier to crumble, but keep in mind that it will burn more quickly when your food is put on the stove.

If you have a food processor, a few slices of bread should be easily processed in a medium-high setting. It makes perfect substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf! 


Because cornflakes may be used to give baked dishes the same crunchy feel as bread crumbs, they can be used as substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf. While maize is naturally gluten-free, it’s possible that cornflakes aren’t.

Make careful to use gluten-free cornflakes if you have any allergies or sensitivities. Make careful to crush up cornflakes before using them in place of breadcrumbs. You may accomplish this by placing the cornflakes in a ziplock bag and sealing it.

Shredded Coconut

In terms of texture, coconut is one of the best substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf, and since it is so light, it will stick well to an egg-washed surface.

Shredded or desiccated coconut can be used in sweet or fatty recipes for breadcrumbs. They are ideal for inclusion in baked products, particularly gluten-free versions.

You may need to make a little adjustment to the recipe because coconut has more moisture than typical bread crumbs. Test your recipe first to see how the substitutes for breadcrumbs in the meatloaf with coconut turn out.


Don’t undervalue cauliflower since it works well as one of the substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf too! In a food processor, pulse until the mixture is crumbly and fine. Following this path has two advantages: You’ll increase the nutritious content, and this choice is completely free of gluten.


Oats may be used as binders in meatballs or meatloaf and are excellent substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf. Remember that they don’t provide much taste, so you might need to add more spice if you use them in a dish that asks for breadcrumbs.

Oats are healthy, so you might want to think about switching to them permanently from the tasty edible sand known as breadcrumbs if you’re on a health kick or just like taking care of yourself in general.

Additionally, they include more fiber than regular bread crumbs. The oats should be finely ground in a blender or food processor before being added to a dish, along with any dried herbs or spices. They perform better as a binder than as a crunchy topping or coating.

Ground Almonds

Although technically a nut, almonds are the only ones pre-ground into granular materials, so you could have a pack or two of them hidden under your bags of flour or sugar.

They may serve as a binding agent or a great coat, making them terrific substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf. If you want to amp things up, use ground almonds instead of flour, add your egg wash and finish with yet another delectable bread crumb substitute.


When working with bigger materials like sunflower seeds, you need to release the beast and smash them down to size. However, if they’re little enough, like chia or sesame seeds, you can simply roll your meal up in a pile of them and begin cooking.

Additionally, you could have milled seed stashed away in a cabinet somewhere. Milled simply means ground into powder.

It may be used for coating or binding and should have a texture akin to ground almonds. Even while seeds are flavorful, adding a little salt will make your food stand out.


Even if you’re deep-frying, rice won’t cling firmly enough to act as a coating, but it may bind incredibly effectively, which is necessary when making meatloaf. Consider arancini. It is only a gooey rice ball that occasionally has a cheese center.

Now that you have those starchy superpowers, you can use them to bind anything you want, and the greatest part is that you can use it both raw and cooked with your food, or you can use it precooked as an instant adhesive.


Pretzels are the best alternative for breadcrumbs you’ll find as long as you can tolerate the absurdly high salt content they bring to the table.

Any dish that begs for a crumb coating should have them lavishly sprinkled on it after being crushed to the proper consistency.

If you can ground them up extremely fine, you could even use them as substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf as a binding agent. However, it’s a good idea to lower the salt concentration in other parts of the dish.

Nutritional Yeast

Omnivores are likely unaware of what nutritional yeast is. On the other hand, if you’re vegan, you’re undoubtedly already familiar with this wonder food.

It is essentially deactivated yeast, typically sold as powdered yellow flakes. Because of its nutty and somewhat cheesy flavor, vegans utilize it in various dishes. It is tasty, effective as a binding agent, and adheres well to an egg wash.

Potato Flour

The same rules apply here as they do with corn starch. Potato starch has been extracted and works well to bind loose components or coat meals before frying.

Potato flour adds an appealing solidity and is renowned for retaining moisture when used with other ingredients.


The preferred method for making tofu crispy is corn starch. Although it won’t produce the same results as breadcrumbs, it is an excellent alternative when food is fried. It produces a crisp, occasionally chewy coating around it.

It’s a terrific gluten-free choice for binding things like meatballs or perhaps some handmade falafel if you’re a vegetarian. It’s typically used for thickening soups and sauces. Let your creativity run wild since it also blends nicely with spice.


Quinoa is a great option if you want substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf for dietary rather than practical reasons. It is wholesome, loaded with protein and fiber, and entirely gluten-free. Preparing your dish first before covering it in quinoa can be advisable.

Don’t just boil it and drain it for the finest effects. After doing all that, lay it out evenly on a baking sheet with baking parchment and toast it in the oven or on a grill. This gives it a texture that is deliciously crunchy and identical to breadcrumbs.

Crushed Potato

Everybody has a bag of potato chips hidden behind their cabinet. You may even take advantage of this as a chance to finish any half-eaten or half-stale packets that would otherwise wind up in the garbage. No change will be noticed until they are cooked.

One of their many advantages is that they are already seasoned and prepared to cover your preferred cuisine in a thick layer of salty winter clothing.

It is advised to choose simple chips so that they won’t interfere with the flavors of your food, but if you’re feeling daring, try some unusual flavors like salt and vinegar, honey barbeque, or jalapenos if you have them.

Additionally, if you’re deep-frying, be careful not to immerse the chips for an extended period because they may start to burn.

Crushed Tortilla Chips

These work well as gluten-free alternatives to regular breadcrumbs. You may roll your meatball mixture in these salty crumbs for a crowd-pleasing family supper idea, or you can use them to cover fish filets and chicken cutlets.

Just keep in mind that the crumbs will increase the salt content of your meal unless you buy chips with no added salt.

Crushed Cracker

Most crackers are loaves of bread; they are baked wheat products with a lot of flour and yeast. All the ingredients required to create bread are listed above. As substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf, saltines are an excellent binder, and Ritz crackers taste terrific when coated in egg wash.


Breadcrumbs are a crucial component of meatloaf. You can always use other ingredients as substitutes for breadcrumbs in your meatloaf if they are unavailable or you are on a diet that prohibits them. Crushed crackers, chips, cereal, oats, seeds, and nuts are a few.

They all possess the essential breadcrumb characteristics required to create a top-notch meatloaf. A test will persuade you. There are numerous ways to duplicate their crispy taste and binding power if you use your imagination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like