What Kind of Bread Crumbs Should I Use?

Fresh, panko, and the ones in the cardboard cylinders . . . what’s the difference?

Published Feb. 3, 2023.

You might have noticed that we call for a few different types of bread crumbs in our recipes. Ever wonder why? (Or do you have better things to do with your limited free time than ponder the differences between dehydrated carbohydrates? Humor me, then.

There are basic bread crumbs (the kind you’d buy in cardboard canisters at the supermarket), fresh bread crumbs, and panko bread crumbs. 

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Basic Bread Crumbs

Plain bread crumbs tend to be sandy and gritty; we typically use them only when we need the fine texture for a thin, even coating on certain crunchy foods, like schnitzel or fried fish.


Fried Fish with Pickled Jalapeño Mayonnaise

A new twist on an old Southern favorite.
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Fresh Bread Crumbs

Fresh bread crumbs are made by grinding bread (usually white sandwich bread) in a food processor and then using them fresh or toasting them, depending on the recipe. These crumbs are more coarse and have superior flavor and a lighter texture; they especially shine as a topping on casseroles or pastas. 


Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Why suffer through stodgy, gritty, greasy, or bland mac and cheese? We can steer you toward a delicious, foolproof homemade version that’s fast enough for a weeknight.
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Panko are flaky, crunchy bread crumbs from Japan, and they make exceptionally crispy coatings for fried and baked foods. They’re a great all-purpose option to keep on hand for most applications.


Sausage-Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Can stuffed peppers really be exciting? Yes, they can!
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Wondering which ones to choose when you’re at the store? Our trusty reviews team has you covered; check out all of their thorough testing here!

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