How to Make Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

Making homemade Italian breadcrumbs is fast, super-easy and cheap. You can use Italian bread crumbs in many recipes, simple or flavored, made with dry bread, fresh one or with breadsticks.

Find out how many ways it’s possible to make homemade breadcrumbs with our step by step recipe!

Have you ever wanted to make a recipe that included the use of breadcrumbs and realize at the last moment that it was finished at home? For example, you have decided to make chicken cutlets but you have no bread crumbs. So what to do?

There are many ways to make homemade bread crumbs. You can use stale bread, for example. Use it alone or mix it with breadsticks and crackers and then chop everything in a food processor.

You can do it with fresh bread, using homemade italian bread recipe or you can use even sandwich bread.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

In addition homemade breadcrumbs, as well as tastier, are also cheaper than those purchased. The benefits of making breadcrumbs at home are many. We can decide whether to chop it coarsely or finer, depending on the recipes we want to make. We can flavor it with spices such as thyme or rosemary.
In short, if your dishes require bread crumbs, immediately learn how to make homemade Italian bread crumbs! 

There are really many Italian recipes that include the use of bread crumbs: veal Milanese, fryed meatballs, Sicilian arancini, just to name a few. So now let’s see how to make homemade italian breadcrumbs for your delicious recipes!

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

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Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • CookTime: 0 Min
  • Yelds: 8


  • about 500 g (1,1 lb) of stale bread or fresh bread such as homemade rustic bread, sourdough bread, white loaf bread or sandwich bread
  • Alternatively any type of breadsticks or crackers, as long as they are NOT flavored with herbs, chilli pepper or olive oil

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

You will need a food processor, an indispensable tool in any kitchen. We have opted for a stainless steel food processor, which is useful for mincing meats and vegetables too.

How to Make Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

With Stale Bread

You can make homemade Italian breadcrumbs with stale bread. You can use slices of rustic bread, or sandwich bread, sourdough bread. In short, any type of stale bread you have at home. You can also make a mix, using various types of stale bread. Even better if you add breadsticks or/and crackers.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 1

Now proceed like this. Put the stale bread cut into pieces in the food processor or blender. If you mix it with breadsticks and crackers, your breadcrumbs will be even tastier. Chop at maximum speed for a few minutes, depending on the desired consistency: 1 or 2 minutes for coarse bread crumbs, 3 or 4 minutes for fine bread crumbs.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 2

You can decide, according to the recipe you need to make, whether to grind very thin bread or leave it more grainy. If we want to use bread crumbs to bread cutlets, croquettes, meatballs or arancini, a coarser grain could make it better than a very fine one. A finer bread crumbs, on the other hand, might be better to make certain doughs drier or to make fillings.

This preparation made with stale bread is great for meat, fish and vegetables.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

With Fresh Whole Sandwich Bread

You can make homemade Italian bread crumbs with fresh bread too. In Italy, fresh bread is brought to the table every day. So it’s easy to have freshly baked bread to use for making bread crumbs. If you don’t have any ciabatta, sourdough bread or homemade bread, you can use the bread to make sandwiches. These fresh white bread loaves are stored in special plastic food bags and remain fresh for long.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 3

So take your fresh bread and break it with your hands. Then preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and when it reaches this temperature, turn it off. Put the pieces of bread on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes (oven hot but off!).

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 4

When the bread is dry enough, put it in a food processor. Chop at maximum speed for a few minutes. If you have used freash bread to make sandwiches like we did, you will notice that your bread crumbs are very finelly chopped.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

With Fresh Chopped Sandwich Bread.

There is another way to make bread crumbs with fresh bread. Take the bread to make sandwiches or other fresh bread. Cut it into rather small pieces. Then put them in a food processor and chop at maximum speed for 2 or 3 minutes.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 5

The freshly chopped bread, now in crumbs, must be toasted to use it in your recipes. So turn on the oven to 180° C (350°F) . When it reaches this temperature, turn it off.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 6

Put the chopped fresh bread on a baking sheet and spread well. Then let the bread dry in the oven for about 15 minutes. You will notice that with this method the bread crumbs come out much coarser.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

Make Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs with Breadsticks

You don’t have any bread available? Of any kind? Well know that breadsticks may be enough to make bread crumbs for your recipes. They are ideal for breading veal slices for example. Maybe to make Italian cutlets.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe step 7

So, get some breadsticks. Chop them coarsely with your hands and put them in a chopper. Chop at maximum speed for 1 or 2 minutes. The time depends on how coarse or fine you want the grain of your bread crumbs.

Try breading a cutlet with coarsely chopped breadsticks and you will notice the difference!

Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs Flavored with Herbs

If you want to customize the taste of your homemade Italian bread crumbs, you can add some aromatic herbs of your choice. Excellent with rosemary, but also paprika, dried chilli pepper or ground black pepper.

However, not all types of bread are ideal for this preparation. In fact, it’s better to avoid bread seasoned with oil or focaccia, which are too rich in fat. The risk is the rancidity of the bread crumbs, if you want to conserve it.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

If you are not planning to keep the bread crumbs but you need to use it immediately for your recipe, you can enrich its flavor with extra virgin olive oil and mix the bread with these aromas, according to your tastes and the recipe you have to make:

  • Lemon peel
  • Fresh chopped aromatic herbs
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmigiano cheese

How to Store Freshly Made Breadcrumbs

A good way to store homemade Italian bread crumbs is to keep it inside a glass jar with an airtight seal. It can be flavored with the addition of a few sage or bay leaves, which guarantees a better conservation quality.

homemade italian bread crumbs recipe

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