Homemade Italian panko bread crumbs are easy to bake in your oven or air fryer! Crispy breading to use for fish or as a binder for meatloaf.
If you want to use your Foodi or hot air machine, use instructions from our air fryer breadcrumbs recipe. That works the same way except you’ll remove the crust first. That makes Italian panko bread crumbs flakier and lighter. (affiliate links present)
Below are instructions on how to make them baked in oven, that way you have two different methods to choose from. We all have our preferences so go with what works for you. I use white bread to make it, but you can use your choice which is what makes this so great. And it’s cheaper than packaged….
Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs
What is the best gluten free bread? I asked my friend with celiac this question and she says hands down Walmart has a brand in the frozen section from Canyon Bakehouse. Occasionally you can find it shelf stable too but when it is frozen it lasts longer and tastes fresher when taken out a slice at a time.
Seriously, there isn’t much if you make them homemade. You’ll be surprised to know that the basic difference is that one has the crust removed, Panko, which makes them a lighter texture. The other keeps the outside in tact which makes it a darker color and a bit heavier.
You can use any seasonings you like when you make from scratch which is what I love.
Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs
Want a healthier version, but with the same light texture to make your air fryer gluten free chicken wings or oven fried fish you can do so here. It is so handy to have in order to bread all sorts of things. It gives the outside such a nice crispiness but allows the insides to stay moist and tender.
Breading vegetables with Panko is a great option too. If you haven’t tried it I would give it a go with our salt and pepper zucchini chips. You don’t even need a knife to get this all prepped. Use your hands to separate and discard the crusts and throw it all into the food processor.
You want Italian bread crumbs in teeny tiny pieces and for them to be pretty equally sized so a blender or Cuisinart of some sort definitely works the best. Seasonings can be quite simple but typically you do want something or they are just bland.
Panko Bread Crumbs Nutrition
I mean there isn’t much to this really. It’s basically whatever the nutritional information is on the back of your bread bag. You should refer to that for accuracy since each brand is different. Beyond that you’ll want a baking sheet and a jar for storage if you are making a larger batch.
- 3 slices of white or wheat bread with the crusts removed, or crustless bread
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning if you want it Italian style
- You would skip seasonings for plain bread crumbs
- I personally like mason jars for storage as they seal tight to keep them dry
You’ll start by cutting the crusts off each slice. Break into pieces and put in a blender or food processor. Cover with lid and grind at medium speed in pulses of 5 – 10 seconds. After about 40 – 50 seconds, the crumbs will be ready.
- Put it in a bowl. Add salt, spices and herbs, mix. Transfer the crumbs to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Spread the crumbs out so they don’t overlap.
- Roast in preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 4-5 minutes stirring halfway through or until as toasty as you’d like.
- Allow them to cool completely to crisp up
- Transfer into a jar or container with a lid and store in a dry place.
If you can’t find a dry spot in your house that doesn’t fluctuate temperatures you can put into your fridge.
Substitute for Panko Bread Crumbs
If you don’t have store bought bread on hand you can make a binder for meatloaf or light breading using other pantry items too. Butter crackers like Keebler or Ritz crushed into tiny bits will work quite well. For a Kosher option you can smash or blend Matzo crackers too.
Pepperidge Farm Italian stuffing mix is probably my favorite alternative to use. It is already nicely toasted and already a bit crispy which is great. Already is seasoned nicely too so you can skip it all, crush and use if you have this on hand.
- Crushed pretzels
- Mashed corn flakes cereal
- Potato chips lightly seasoned and crushed all work well
This is about the color you want them to be after baking in your oven to a golden brown texture.
How to Store Homemade Breadcrumbs
If the recipe calls for Italian flavorings you could add a bit more basil and oregano. Plain breadcrumbs would be best for something like air fryer tilapia where you really want to taste the flavoring in the dish.
If you are going to use them within the next two weeks you can just pour into mason jars when completely cooled and store in the pantry. For a month or longer you should store in the same type of jars with lids sealed tight but keep in the fridge so the texture continues to stay crunchy.
Moisture is the enemy so make sure the seal under the lid is new and very tight or air will seep in and make them mushy over time.
Homemade Panko Breadcrumbs
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Italian Panko Bread Crumbs
- 3 slices bread crust removed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- Cut the crusts off each slice of bread. Break the slices into pieces and put in a blender or food processor. Cover with a lid and grind the bread at medium speed in pulses of 5-10 seconds. After 40-50 seconds, the crumbs will be ready.
- Put it in a bowl. Add salt, spices and herbs, mix. Transfer the crumbs to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast in preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 4-5 minutes, moving around halfway thru or until as toasty as you'd like.
- Allow them to cool completely to crisp up. Transfer the Panko to a jar or container with a lid and store in a dry place.