Bread crumbs are a versatile and common ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. They can be used as a coating for chicken or fish, as a filler for meatballs or burgers, or as a topping for pasta or pizza. 

But do bread crumbs expire? And if so, how do you store them to make them last as long as possible? Let’s discuss how to use bread crumbs in more detail.

What are bread crumbs?

Bread crumbs are a type of bread product that is made by grinding or crumbling bread into small pieces. They are often used as a breading for fried foods, as well as in stuffing, soups, and sauces.

There are three main types of breadcrumbs:

  • Fresh breadcrumbs are made while the bread is still fresh and soft. They absorb liquids well and are often used to bulk out savory tarts or as a binder in sausages.
  • Dried breadcrumbs can be used to coat ingredients like fish and potatoes before deep-frying. Dry breadcrumbs can also be sprinkled over pasta dishes to add extra bite.
  • Panko breadcrumbs are made from crustless white bread. The flakes are delicate and turn crispy when fried. Panko breadcrumbs are a common ingredient in katsu dishes.

orange bowl filled with breadcrumbs

How long do bread crumbs last?

Homemade breadcrumbs will last for up to 2 weeks in a pantry or cabinet. If stored in the fridge, breadcrumbs will last for a month or two. Frozen breadcrumbs can be used for 6 to 12 months.

How to store bread crumbs

Storing breadcrumbs is easy. Bread crumbs can be stored in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. Always label your bag or container with the date and any information about seasoning. If storing in the pantry, keep your bread crumbs in an airtight container.

If stored in the fridge, keep it in a sealed container or bag. Or if stored in the freezer, freeze in a sealed bag. To defrost frozen bread crumbs, you will need to first place them in the refrigerator overnight. Once they are thawed, you can use them in your favorite recipes.

Before using, always check for signs of spoilage. Expired bread crumbs typically look moldy and have an unpleasant, sour taste. 

How to make bread crumbs at home

Bread crumbs can be store-bought or made at home very easily. If you want to use store-bought breadcrumbs, look for them in the baking section of your grocery store. They will usually come in a bag or a container.

However, if you want to make your own bread crumbs, all you will need is some bread. You can use any type of bread for this, but it is best to use a day-old loaf or something that is starting to go stale.

Cut the bread into small cubes or slices and place them in a food processor. Pulse the cubes or slices until they are broken down into smaller pieces but do not over-process them or they will turn into a paste.

If you do not have a food processor, you can also make bread crumbs by placing the bread slices in a resealable plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

To make dried or Panko breadcrumbs, repeat the steps above but bake in a single layer on a baking sheet at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.

spoon scooping breadcrumbs from black bowl

Popular recipes that use bread crumbs

Bread crumbs are a common ingredient in cooking because they are a cheap way to add flavor and texture to dishes. They can be used as a coating for chicken or fish, or as a topping for pasta or casseroles. Some crowd-pleasing bread crumb recipes are listed below.

Roasted Veg

Dishes made with bread crumbs don’t have to be deep-fried. Roasted veg is nutritious, tasty, and filling.


1 eggplant, sliced into thin strips

1 zucchini, sliced into thin strips

1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, combine eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.


Baked Chicken

Baked chicken, seasoned with herbs and spices can be served as a main course or as a side dish.


-4 chicken breasts

-1 cup bread crumbs

-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

-1 teaspoon dried oregano

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup lemon juice

-1/4 cup chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and chicken broth.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in the bread crumb mixture, then coat with the olive oil mixture. Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.


Macaroni Cheese

Gooey macaroni cheese is great comfort food when catering for the whole family.


1 pound macaroni pasta

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente; drain.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 2 cups cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce over pasta; stir gently to combine.
  5. Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Drizzle with melted butter.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.



Can breadcrumbs go bad?

Bread crumbs do have an expiration date, but they will usually last a long time after the bread has been baked. In general, home-baked breadcrumbs will last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. 

If chilled in the fridge, breadcrumbs should last for a month or two. Breadcrumbs in the freezer can be used for 6 to 12 months. Above all, proper storage is key to keeping breadcrumbs fresh.