8 Amazing Substitutes for Bread Crumbs in Meatloaf

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Who doesn’t love a good old meatloaf? Meatloaf is a classic comfort food perfect for a cozy family dinner. It’s simple, easy to make, and can be customized with a variety of flavors and ingredients.

But what happens when you’re all out of bread crumbs? No worries, there are plenty of other things you can use as a substitute!

In this blog post, I’ll talk about 8 awesome substitutes for bread crumbs in meatloaf and provide 5 delicious recipes for you to try out. Get ready to satisfy your comfort food cravings!

Substitutes for Bread Crumbs in Meatloaf

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are oatmeal steamed and flattened with large rollers to create flat, oval-shaped flakes. They are made from whole oat groats that have been cleaned, hulled, and lightly toasted.

Although they’re often used for breakfast cereals, granola, and trail mix, they also make a binder for meat and eggs.

To use rolled oats in your favorite meatballs or meatloaf recipe, all you have to do is replace the bread crumbs with a bit of extra rolled oats, grind them up in a food processor for a finer texture, and add some seasonings for extra flavor. It’s an easy swap that works like a charm!

Read more: Oatmeal: Nutrition, Benefits, Types, Toppings

Potato Chips

Another great alternative is crushed potato chips! Not only do they get the job done, but they also add a tasty kick to your recipe, especially if you go for barbecue or onion-flavored chips.

To get a texture similar to breadcrumbs, simply toss the chips in a clean plastic bag and crush them up! 

2 min

Crushed Crackers

Whether you’re into salted crackers or gluten-free ones, crackers can give your meatloaf that same texture and consistency you get from bread crumbs. Plus, a satisfying extra crunch!

To swap in crushed gluten-free or saltine crackers for bread crumbs, simply crush them up into small pieces. It’s an easy substitution that can work wonders in your meatloaf recipe.


When looking for a bread crumb substitute, you can use unsweetened cereal, and our personal fave is cornflakes — especially for chicken dishes. Cornflakes have a subtle flavor and a super crunchy texture that can take your meal to the next level.

3 min 1

Almond Flour

Almond flour or almond meal is another great gluten-free substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf. It’s got a chunky texture that adds a nutty flavor to your dish. You can use it to mix into meatballs or meatloaf, or even coat meats like pork chops to give them a deliciously crispy exterior.

Just remember that almond flour is denser than bread crumbs, so you might need to tweak the liquid measurements in your recipe a little to get a perfect consistency.

Check out the Best Almond Crusted Chicken Air Fryer Recipe.

Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa flakes are flattened quinoa seeds rolled into very thin flakes. They are a great alternative to traditional oatmeal flakes and can be used in a variety of recipes including meatloaf.

Using quinoa flakes straight out of the packaging is fine, but to enhance their flavor, you can lightly toast them before use. If you prefer a finer texture, you can quickly pulse them in a food processor.

4 min 1

Read more: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and How to Prepare Quinoa and Quinoa Flakes

Cooked Rice

When you need a binder in your recipe, such as in black bean burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf, cooked rice works great as a substitute for breadcrumbs. However, rice is not the best choice for creating a crispy coating in fried foods like coated meat or fish due to its high moisture content.

Fresh Bread

Bread, even gluten-free or stale bread, can be used as a alternative for breadcrumbs in recipes.

Keep in mind that fresh bread needs twice the amount of dried bread crumbs since the latter is more concentrated and takes up less space in a measuring cup. If you have fresh bread, you can dry it first to make your own bread crumbs.

5 min 1

Which Is Better in Pulsing Substitutes for Bread Crumbs in Meatloaf? Blender or Food Processor?

Blenders are perfect for making smoothies, purees, or crushing ice. They come with a narrow, tapered container and a blade at the bottom, creating a vortex that pulls food down into the blades. They are ideal for liquid-based recipes because their narrow container and high-speed blade make creating smooth, consistent blends easy.

On the other hand, food processors are best suited for tasks like chopping, slicing, and shredding solid foods like vegetables, nuts, and meats. They come with a wider bowl with a flat bottom and various interchangeable blades that can be used for different tasks.

You can make crumbs using either a blender or a food processor as both appliances can breah down solid ingredients into smaller pieces.

To make crumbs in a blender, simply add the bread or other ingredient to the blender jar and pulse it until it reaches the desired texture. Be careful not to over-blend to avoid turning the crumbs into a fine powder.

Follow a similar process when making crumbs using a food processor. Be mindful of the amount of ingredients you add at once, as overfilling the bowl can lead to uneven results.

6 min 1

5 Savory Meatloaf Recipes to Try at Home!

Whether you’re a meatloaf aficionado or a newcomer to this tasty dish, these delicious twists on traditional meatloaf will have your taste buds singing with delight.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatloaf

Mozzarella stuffed meatloaf is a meatloaf filled with melty, gooey mozzarella cheese that oozes out when you slice into it.

The meat is seasoned with herbs, spices, and sometimes vegetables before being shaped into a loaf and stuffed with cheese. Then it’s baked or cooked to perfection, resulting in a savory, cheesy, and comforting meal that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Gluten-Free Glazed Meatloaf

If you follow a gluten-free diet, gluten-free glazed meatloaf is for you!

It’s a spin on the classic meatloaf that doesn’t contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Instead of regular breadcrumbs or flour, this recipe uses gluten-free alternatives like almond flour or cornmeal.

The glaze is made with gluten-free ingredients, too, like ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s super tasty and perfect for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

You can serve it with yummy roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, or a side salad.

Italian Meatloaf

Italian meatloaf is made with ground beef and pork, mixed with Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese to create a savory and flavorful meat mixture.

Adding vegetables like onions, peppers, and mushrooms can give it an extra boost of flavor and texture. Once the meatloaf is baked, it’s typically served with a rich tomato-based sauce or gravy, which pairs perfectly with a side of pasta or creamy mashed potatoes.

If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, this recipe is definitely worth trying!

7 min

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

Buffalo chicken meatloaf incorporates the savory flavor of Buffalo chicken, typically made with ground chicken, breadcrumbs, eggs, and Buffalo-style hot sauce. It may include other ingredients such as blue or cheddar cheese, diced celery, and minced garlic. 

This dish is often served with additional Buffalo-style hot sauce and a side of vegetables or potatoes. It is a flavorful twist on traditional meatloaf and is popular among fans of spicy food.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown sugar meatloaf is made with brown sugar as a key ingredient in the recipe, giving it a subtle sweetness. The recipe usually includes ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, and a mix of seasonings. Some recipes might also have Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, or mustard included.

This dish is often served with a tomato-based sauce or gravy and is a go-to comfort food dish. The sweetness of the brown sugar really brings out the savory flavors of the meatloaf, making it a tasty and satisfying meal.


So there you have it, lots of great options for substituting breadcrumbs in your meatloaf! No matter your dietary needs or taste preferences, you can find substitutes for breadcrumbs that work for you.

For more delectable meatloaf recipes, check out Instant Pot Meatloaf Bites and Instant Pot Meatloaf. Happy cooking! Also be sure to check out the following article: Dark Soy Sauce Substitute Options.

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