Panko is also known as Japanese bread crumbs and it can complete a variety of dishes.
You can use it in soups, stews, salads, and different other meals. If you get panko that comes in different flavors, you can also make a quick snack out of it.
But what if you don’t have panko in your kitchen and you can’t find it at your local grocery store either? There is no need to worry as we found substitutes for this type of bread crumbs and you can use either one of them to complete a delicious meal.
If you don’t have panko, you can successfully use crushed tortilla chips, toasted shredded bread, crushed pretzels, crushed dry stuffing mix, crushed potato chips, cornflakes, matzo meal, crushed melba toasts, cracker crumbs, or crust leftovers.
Best Substitutes For Panko
Use the next panko substitutes according to your taste and preferences. However, also take into account the dish you want to eat them with as they might not go as great with everything.
1. Crushed tortilla chips
Using crushed tortilla chips instead of Japanese panko can always save your recipe.
Depending on the size of your chips, you might not even have to crush them so, use your own judgment in this matter.
Make sure to use tortilla chips that are unflavored as you want a neutral taste that will not alter the final flavor of your dish.
If you are going to use tortilla chips in a fried dish, you will not have to fry them along with it as they are already crunchy enough. Just add them on top of your final dish and you will get a tasty meal even without panko breadcrumbs.
2. Toasted shredded bread
Toasted shredded bread is another option to use instead of panko.
You will have to toast your bread at home and shred it yourself in the size you want but you will obtain a perfect substitute for panko in just a few minutes.
If you want to add some flavor to your toasted shredded bread, you can always add some garlic powder or onion powder on it for an even better taste.
3. Crushed pretzels
If you have pretzels, know that you can also use them instead of panko. They come in all shapes and sizes and they tend to have different flavors as well.
Try to find plain flavor pretzels with just salt or even better with no flavor. You can crush your pretzels in the size you want and add them to your dish.
Crushed pretzels go in salads as well as in fried dishes and you can even use them as a topping to your soup or stew. You can easily find plain pretzels at almost any local store. And they come at cheap prices.
4. Crushed dry stuffing mix
You most likely have some stuffing mix in your house that you use for your crusty chicken, beef, or even your veggies.
If you don’t have such a mix, you can still find it easily at the first supermarket you go to. Crushed dry stuffing mix can also be a great substitute for panko as it is flavorless and similar in texture.
5. Crushed potato chips
The variety of potato chips that you will find on the market is wide and you can even make your own potato chips at home
If you use purchased potato chips, you can use them right from the bag by just crushing them into the size you need.
They will go great in any dish but the best way to use crushed potato chips is in salads and stir-fries. Use potato chips that have no flavor so you can complement the taste of your final dish without altering it.
Plain cornflakes can also taste great in any dish that asks for panko and you can use them right as they come. It is recommended to use cornflakes instead of panko on top of dry dishes since they will get mushy fairly fast.
Use cornflakes in salads or stir-fries and any other Japanese dishes that call for panko. But leave them out of soups, stews, and baked goods since they will melt.
7. Matzo meal
Matzo meal is a traditional Jewish side dish, made of unleavened bread.
You can grind the matzo meal and use it as a great topping to baked dishes or soups and stews. This substitute for panko is also harder to find in stores. However, if you do find it, you might like it better than panko.
Add as much as you want according to your taste. You can flavor your matzo meal if you make it at home as well.
8. Crushed melba toasts
Melba toasts are basically toasted slices of bread but they are originally toasted on a grill and on both sides of each slice. You can find it easily in stores and cut it in the size you want.
The taste of crushed melba toasts is neutral so it is similar to the panko. But they will have a slightly softer texture. You can use this substitute in stir-fries as well as other dishes that call for panko.
If you want your melba toasts to be crunchier, just cook it for a couple of minutes along with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe.
9. Cracker crumbs
Crackers come in different sizes and flavors as well. However, if you look for a panko substitute, you will need plain crackers or salty crackers.
Either way, you might want to stay away from crackers that include seasonings or herbal flavors so you don’t modify the final taste of your dish.
Crush your crackers to the size you prefer. Or use them as they come in the package instead of any type of recipe that calls for panko.
10. Rice Krispies
Rice Krispies could substitute panko or any crackers in your recipes and they are extremely tasty. As a matter of fact, some people prefer Rice Krispies over panko.
Rice is very popular in Asian cuisine. Therefore, there is no surprise that Asians are the first to try this panko substitute in their dishes.
You can use Rice Krispies in desserts as well. And you will love the way they combine with other ingredients like milk and sugar.
Can I Replace Regular Bread Crumbs For Panko?
Breadcrumbs make a good substitute for panko and you can use them in the same ratio as well. You can make your breadcrumbs from any type of bread you have in the house at that moment and even add the flavors you want to it.
You can use breadcrumbs instead of panko in baked casseroles, soups, stews, or as a crispy coating for fried dishes.
They will not add any taste to your dishes unless you add seasonings to them. However, you will obtain the texture you want for a perfect dish.
What’s The Difference Between Panko And Regular Breadcrumbs?
Even if you can use panko and bread crumbs interchangeably, you will find that they are not the same. Breadcrumb is a term that covers crumbs made of all kinds of bread, whereas panko is made of traditional, Japanese bread.
The texture of panko will, therefore, be different from the texture of regular breadcrumbs but the taste should be fairly the same.
Can I Use Flour Instead Of Panko?
Flour by itself is an ingredient for both panko and bread crumbs.
Therefore, you can’t add it to your food, hoping to provide the same or a similar texture that panko would. You will obtain the floury flavor and it will thicken liquid dishes such as soups or stews. But flour shouldn’t be used as a substitute for panko.
However, if you have flour, you can use it along with water and salt to make your bread that you can convert into breadcrumbs.
What Can I Use To Coat Chicken Instead Of Breadcrumbs?
If you are looking for a substitute for bread crumbs in coating chicken recipes, you can use all the substitutes above.
Any alternative to panko will be a good alternative to breadcrumbs in any type of recipe. Just note you will have to smash the chips or tortillas to a smaller size to use them as a chicken coating but you will not be disappointed.
Panko is hard to find in European countries and in the US unless you go to an Asian market or store.
However, you might get lucky and find it at the international aisle and if you do that, make sure to grab a few packages so you can have storage for future dishes.
And even if you can’t find panko, you will create great recipes with either one of the substitutes in this guide.