Panko Bread Crumbs Recipe

Panko Bread Crumbs are a key ingredient in many dishes, they make a crispy coating to many of our favorite dishes. Did you know you can make them at home? Homemade panko isn’t an exact match for panko crumbs that you buy in the store, but they are an excellent substitute.

Homemade Panko Breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

What are Panko Breadcrumbs?

If you’ve never heard of panko before, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not anything weird or complicated. Panko is a type of breadcrumbs, but keep reading to find out that panko is a little bit different from regular bread crumbs. Genuine panko breadcrumbs are made from a particular kind of crustless bread. They are never made from whole wheat bread. The word panko comes from Japanese, and panko is used a lot for light breading in Japanese cuisine.

Why are Panko Breadcrumbs Different?

If you already knew about panko, you’re probably wondering why panko is different from standard breadcrumbs. Panko is lighter, has a crispy texture, a delicate crunch, and is flakier than traditional breadcrumbs. Because panko is lighter, it absorbs less oil and grease making breaded fried foods less heavy. The flakes on the outside of whatever your bread with it are so crunchy. You are going to love how these crumbs taste.

Other Uses of Panko bread crumbs

  • As a crunchy topping for casseroles – Panko adds a little bit of texture to just about any kind of casserole – main dish casseroles, baked pasta casseroles, veggie side-dish casseroles, and bean casseroles. For example, use panko instead of French fried onions or regular breadcrumbs on your favorite green bean casserole. Combine panko with Parmesan cheese and some Italian seasonings and sprinkle generously over any savory casserole heading into the oven.
  • To thicken soups and sauces – Panko can thicken a soup or sauce by absorbing the extra liquid and adding a bit of interesting texture in the process.
  • As a binder – Some cooks use panko as a binder instead of eggs. This is good for vegans and anyone with an egg allergy. Panko is an excellent binder for meatballs.
  • Regular Breading – these are an excellent coating for pork chops (pork Tonkatsu), chicken cutlets (Chicken Katsu), fried shrimp, or other types of seafood. You could also use these to coat vegetables that you air fry or deep fry.
A bowl of homemade Panko Bread Crumbs

What is in Panko?

Typical store-bought panko ingredients are wheat flour, yeast, oil, and salt. Most brands of panko are vegan, but, as you can see, panko is not gluten-free.

  • Can you make gluten-free panko bread crumbs? Yes, you will either use gluten-free bread or rice/corn Chex.
  • What are Some Other Substitutes for Panko breadcrumbs?
    You can certainly substitute regular breadcrumbs for panko in most recipes – it won’t be quite the same though. Other substitution ideas are cracker crumbs, matzo meal, crushed cornflakes, crushed dry stuffing mix, crushed melba toast, crushed pretzels, crushed tortilla chips, or crushed potato chips.

How to store Panko

Be sure to store any leftover crumbs in a dry place. An airtight container is a great way to store these until you need to use them later.

Favorite Recipes with Panko

Be sure to check out more of my Asian recipes and the best DIY recipes here on CopyKat!

Homemade Panko Bread Crumbs in a small bowl.

How to make Panko bread crumbs

Learn how to make homemade Panko breadcrumbs.  Stored in an air-tight container these stay fresh for about 90 days. 
4.94 from 15 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Panko Bread Crumbs, Panko Breadcrumbs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 206kcal


  • 22 ounces white bread you can use a different sized loaf of bread


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Remove crusts from bread.
  • Grate bread by hand or pulse 1 to 2 times in a food processor. Place bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  •  Bake at 350 F (150 C) for 5-7 minute. Be extra careful not to let the panko brown. Remove Panko breadcrumbs from the oven, let cool, and store in glass jars.



Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 2.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Charles

    I routinely use my combo toaster/air fry on the dehydrate setting to make breadcrumbs. The temp is limited to~ 200 so it doesn’t brown but it does take a little longer to dry it out ling enough for a good crumb.

    • Carolyb

      Panko also is heavy with msg I found after I had eaten a dinner made by a friend. I was so hot and had hives for days. I cannot handle msg.

      • KJones

        Unless your friend added msg to the ingredients, it should not have been in the panko itself. Panko is just dried breadcrumbs. I don’t know anyone who adds msg to their bread recipes, but you should ask your friend how she cooked her meal. If msg was added, it was probably during the seasoning of the meat or vegetables. 99% sure it was not from the panko. Panko is normally not seasoned at all, unlike say, italian breadcrumbs for example.


    I keep my brown rice bread frozen until I toast it for different purposes. Could I grate it in the food processor frozen for this Panko recipe?

  3. Gia

    5 stars
    I’m sure they are great as are all your recipes I’ve tried. 2 questions though
    1) is loaf of bread supposed to be fresh or dry to grate it?
    2) can I use sourdough bread instead?

    • Stephanie

      I use the bread while it is still soft. I have not tried making it with sourdough. I think sourdough would make fine breadcrumbs, but the bread is denser, than Japanese milk bread.

  4. dar

    panko cru mbs are made from Japanese milk bread recipe.Totally different from ordinary bread.It uses an additive called tang zhong. After trying
    japanese milk bread recipe would never go back to ordinary bread. unbelievable ly soft bread that stays fresh longer..

  5. VegasDude

    5 stars
    I LOVE Panko… I buy it in the Bulk Food section at WINCO, portion it, and Vacuum seal it…. LOTS CHEAPER !! They last forever, and don’t go stale that way … I don’t even buy regular or Italian breadcrumbs anymore.. I just use Panko for every recipe requiring them..

  6. Diana Lopes

    5 stars
    Panko is an interesting ingredient, I don’t like to use it all that much, but there are some great recipes.

  7. Lee Hoy

    4 stars
    I made Panko by freezing very thick slices of homemade bread then grating them. So much easier to handle that way!

    • VegasDude

      5 stars
      THANK YOU !!!!! I don’t use much bread, so I always keep frozen slices in my freezer portioned to pull out for toast.. This will be MUCH easier..

  8. Bettye Norsworthy

    Do you ever get any Raffertys recipe ?
    Their potato soup is divine
    Sure enjoy your recipes !!!!!

  9. Ms. Katie

    5 stars
    Right on! I dehydrated a few loaves of leftover homemade bread into squares to make stuffing later and took one jar full and ran it through the blender really quick for bread crumbs. I had no idea that made Panko. No wonder it was so good!

  10. Sam

    The idea is to grate fresh bread? Wouldn’t that be so messy and awkward? Grating toasted bread I can understand- but fresh bread?

    • Stephanie

      You can grate it or run it through a food processor. If you are going to grate it, you may want to wait a couple of minutes after you remove it from the package to let it dry out. It may also be a good idea to do this to bread that is not bought from the store on day one.

  11. Judy

    I know I’m missing it some where but there is 206 calories in a serving but what is the serving size (like tbsp, cup, ??)

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