Panko Breadcrumbs Substitutes: 5 Top Picks

Panko breadcrumbs are perfect for so many dishes. However, what do you do if you suddenly run out, and you need them?

Well, if this sounds like you, don’t worry! There are lots of great alternatives that you can use, and some of them may even be cheaper!

You don’t need to say goodbye to your favorite dinner just because you have run out of this ingredient. 

Keep reading to find out about five great substitute options for when you run out of panko breadcrumbs. Chances are, you already have a few of the options sitting in your pantry already!

Panko Breadcrumbs Substitutes: 5 Top Picks

Now wouldn’t that be handy?

What Are Panko Breadcrumbs?

If you didn’t already know, panko breadcrumbs are a kind of breadcrumb that is popular in Japanese cuisine.

These breadcrumbs are made from bread that has been dried out, then ground up into a very coarse flour. 

This results in a super flaky and light texture. As a result? These breadcrumbs are perfect if you want to coat foods such as chicken, and fry it up!

If you’re looking for panko breadcrumbs, you will probably want to head down to your local supermarket.

Most large grocery stores will have them in stock. However, if they don’t, then you will want to check out the nearest Asian market. 

Alternatively, you can just make your own! All you need to do is process some bread crumbs until they are coarse in your own food processor. It’s really that easy. 

This should result in perfect crumbs that will give your dish the golden crunch it deserves. The texture will be out of this world, and you will want to use these in every dish you make. 

Remember, they might be from Japan, but they can be used in a wide variety of dishes around the globe!

The 5 Best Substitutes For Panko Breadcrumbs

Don’t worry if you just finished your panko breadcrumbs! There are lots of great options that will give you the same or a similar result!

Stick with us to read about our five favorite substitutes to turn to if you don’t have panko breadcrumbs. 

Coconut Flakes

1. Coconut Flakes

If you’re looking for something like panko breadcrumbs with a difference, coconut flakes are a must-try.

These will give your dish an incredible flavor while also adding that much-needed crispiness. 

You can find desiccated coconut at just about any grocery store.

Wander down the baking aisle and find unsweetened flakes. If you don’t take the time to look, your dish could turn out a lot sweeter than anticipated!

Before using them, you should toast the coconut flakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Simply bake them for around five minutes, then you can use them for all your breading purposes. Just be sure to watch them carefully, since they will burn very quickly. 

Once baked, allow them to cool and use them. If you’re sensitive to sweet things, just be careful! You might find regular coconut flakes a little too sweet for a lot of savory dishes. 

However, if you want to make a sweet treat, then coconut flakes are a real winner. They go with everything, and they add a perfect crunch. Definitely an option you need to try.

Cracker Crumbs

2. Cracker Crumbs

Cracker crumbs are great if you’re really a texture lover. What’s better is that this substitute is super versatile!

You can use cracker crumbs to coat fish and chicken, but you can also add it to salads and casseroles. There’s really no losing with these. 

Since crackers are also typically made from whole wheat, they are nutritional, too! All you need to do to make this alternative is process some crackers in a food processor.

Pulsate the device so that you don’t process them too much and turn them into a fine powder. You still want that texture, after all! 

Once they are as rough or smooth as you want, you can either store them in an airtight container, or use them immediately. You can then use them like breadcrumbs, or any other way you like. 

Remember – crackers are great at absorbing moisture. Before using them as a breading, you should remove any excess moisture from the food you’re working with.

If you don’t, the cracker crumbs will become soggy and unpleasant. 

Crushed Cornflakes

3. Crushed Cornflakes

Crushed cornflakes are kind of the obvious option when it comes to panko alternatives. Why? Well, three big reasons:

  • Super easy to find
  • Super crunchy
  • Gluten-free

Because of these three things, using cornflakes is really one of the best choices you can make. Also, it will make you feel like Eddie from Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off… right? 

As great as they are, you still need to keep a few things in mind. The first thing is the flavor – cornflakes will taste, well, corny – especially when compared to panko breadcrumbs!

This could be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences. 

The second thing is that cornflakes go soggy notoriously fast! As such, you will need to be careful with how much of any liquid you add to a dish.

These will work especially well if you’re just frying something up and don’t want to add any kind of sauce. 

If the flavor or potential for sogginess is too much for you, consider one of our other alternatives on the list!

Crushed Nuts

4. Crushed Nuts

If you love the nuttiness of nuts, then this is a great option for you! Not only us using crushed nuts super easy for all your cooking needs, but they’re incredibly tasty and full of goodness. 

We haven’t mentioned a specific kind of nut, here, because that’s up to you! If you like, you could even use a load of different nuts and process them together to make your breading. 

Pecans, walnuts, and almonds are popular options, but why not try them together?

These will all work great on chicken and fish, and will pair well with leafy greens. To help them stick, a wash of egg wash might be needed. 

Once covered, you can just cook your meal as you usually would and either bake or fry it! The result will be a delicious, golden brown work of art. 

Since you’re working with nuts, be careful if you are thinking of serving this to someone else. Nut allergies are more common than you think!

Always ask before thinking of making it, so you don’t end up sending a loved one to the ER.

Crushed Pretzels

5. Crushed Pretzels

Finally, we have crushed pretzels! These will add a great salty flavor to the dish, and you can prepare them the same way as the above methods.

You could also crush them yourself by using a rolling pin, which can be pretty fun. 

If you want to use these to cover chicken or fish, ensure that the pretzels are turned into fine crumbs.

When being used as breading, you will probably need to use a little egg wash to help stick to them. Once cooked, however, you will have a lovely salty and crispy coating that is simply to die for.  

Like some other options, you can use crushed pretzels to add to your salads and casseroles for a little more pizzazz. 

Final Thoughts 

There you go! Panko breadcrumbs are delicious and all, but it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t have them.

If you don’t have them, there are plenty of alternatives to try out. You might even find that you prefer one of the alternatives (like cornflakes) over the panko crumbs! 

Each of these options are at least worth trying out. If you live somewhere where getting panko breadcrumbs can be difficult, then these substitutes could be especially useful. 

Good luck!

Panko Breadcrumbs Substitutes: 5 Top Picks

Panko Breadcrumbs Substitutes: 5 Top Picks

Recipe by Jenna

Got a recipe that calls for panko breadcrumbs, but you have none? Read this article to find out the 5 best substitutes to try out next time you’re cooking!

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Coconut Flakes

  • Cracker Crumbs

  • Crushed Cornflakes

  • Crushed Nuts

  • Crushed Pretzels


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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