Every year, Earth Day is a great opportunity to think about what we can do to help preserve our planet and cut down on our environmental impact. However, you don’t have to wait until Earth Day to start thinking about little things in your everyday life that can affect the planet! In fact, there are very simple, small habits you can change right now to make a positive impact on the environment.
And, one of those habits is cutting down personal waste. So, in honor of Earth Day this year, we’re helping you cut down waste on one household staple product that’s particularly close to our heart: bread! Rather than throwing out your stale bread, why not try transforming it into breadcrumbs and try out one of these 14 different ways to use breadcrumbs!
1. Breaded Chicken
Today’s stale bread can easily turn into tomorrow’s classic baked chicken dinner. With just a little bit of seasoning and/or sauce, your next favorite breaded chicken recipe could be waiting right around the corner!
Suggested Recipe: Sheet Pan Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken
If you’re looking for a time-saving recipe perfect for weeknights, we recommend trying your hand at Sheet Pan Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken. With every ingredient baked on just one dish, this recipe is the perfect compromise between deliciously creative and conveniently simple.
Breadcrumbs make a great addition to homemade burger patties—particularly ones made with lean meat. Due to their texture and softness, breadcrumbs will help the patties hold moisture while grilling or pan-frying, leaving you with a juicy and tasty end result.
Suggested Recipe: Tuna Burgers
The breadcrumbs in this particular recipe help the patties stay extra tender, flavorful, and crispy on the outside. We recommend toasted and crumbled Martin’s Butter Breadcrumbs for a particularly satisfying bite.
3. Breaded Pork
You’re most likely more familiar with breaded chicken, fish, and even vegetables. But, Pork Schnitzel is proof positive that breaded pork can be delicious, too. Just look at that crispy, golden crust!
Suggested Recipe: Pork Schnitzel
Our take on this traditional German recipe is made with breadcrumbs from Martin’s Potato Bread. Simply dredge sliced and tenderized pork tenderloin in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and pan fry in oil until golden brown and crispy. Enjoy warm with your favorite side.
Check out our simple how-to video for breading pork—or any other meat you’d prefer!
4. Pasta Topping
There’s one thing that can turn good pasta dishes into great ones: a crispy topping of seasoned breadcrumbs. In fact, you can add breadcrumbs to practically any pasta dish—from chicken alfredo to spaghetti casserole. Check out some of our favorites below!
Suggested Recipe: Lobster Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is particularly delicious when it’s topped with a layer of toasted breadcrumbs. And this Lobster Mac and Cheese is no exception! Buttery lumps of lobster and creamy, cheesy pasta make this pasta dish irresistible.
Traditional dumplings are made with flour rather than breadcrumbs, but if you’re looking for a way to use up that leftover bread and you’re craving a warm, old-fashioned meal, this is a great option!
Suggested Recipe: Chicken Bread Dumplings
These Chicken Bread Dumplings are a lovely, hearty addition to traditional chicken soup. This recipe is made with Martin’s Potato Bread, but it can also be recreated with Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread or 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread!
If you tend to have more of a sweet tooth, try adding Martin’s breadcrumbs to a delicious base for pie crust, bread pops, or even crispy, homemade cookies! Any of our slightly-sweet breads make a great compliment to your favorite desserts.
Suggested Recipe: Breadcrumb Monster Cookies
These Monster Breadcrumb Cookies are perhaps the most delicious way to clean out your pantry (or use up leftover holiday candy), since they’re made with breadcrumbs and any other sweet or salty topping that you have stashed in your shelves. For our batch (pictured above), we used dark chocolate, white chocolate, pretzel pieces, and shredded coconut for a sweet and salty delight!
- Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie
- Easy Mini Cheesecakes
- Very Merry Martin’s Bread Pops
7. Breaded Vegetables
Even kids and non-veggie lovers have to admit that a quick layer of crispy breadcrumbs makes any vegetable better. But don’t just take our word for it—make your own breadcrumbs and try these recipes for yourself!
Suggested Recipe: Breaded Delicata Squash
With just a few coatings of flour mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs, these Delicata Squash Rings take breaded vegetables to a whole new level. Top it all off with a savory, homemade Garlic-Lemon Sauce for the ultimate snack!
Similar to pasta, casseroles can be easily upgraded with a breadcrumb topping or filling. This option is particularly effective in vegetable casseroles—to balance the dish with a hearty and satisfying element.
Suggested Recipe: Summer Squash and Sweet Corn Casserole
Don’t think breadcrumbs are just for winter comfort foods, either! This buttery casserole is a great example of how perfectly a breadcrumb topping pairs with fresh and springy veggies, like summer squash and sweet corn.
9. Breaded Seafood
You’re most likely familiar with the classic breaded fish sticks, but there are so many more ways to use breadcrumbs with your favorite seafood—from baked shrimp to fried crab cakes!
Suggested Recipe: Crispy Trout Sandwich
This Crispy Trout Sandwich recipe is the perfect combination of hearty seafood, fresh-cut veggies, and a bright, lemony sauce. It’s a fool-proof formula that would taste great with any white fish you happen to have on hand.
10. Meatloaf/Meat Balls
Similar to our hamburger hack, adding a bit of breadcrumbs to your meatloaf helps this classic family dinner dish retain moisture for a better overall texture and taste. Try it with meatballs, too!
Suggested Recipe: Southern-Style Meatball Subs
These saucy Southern-Style Meatball subs are perfect for a busy weeknight, tailgating adventure, or picnic dinner. They’re full of flavor and will certainly satisfy any hungry stomach.
11. Ham Loaf/Ham Balls
Naturally, the meatloaf tip works with ham loaf and ham balls, too! Ham loaf is typically sweeter than meatloaf, so we’d recommend opting for Martin’s Potato Bread, which also tends to taste slightly sweet!
Suggested Recipe: Ham Balls
This traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is a great one (and not too difficult) to try at holidays or family gatherings. Try serving them alongside mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and Mrs. Martin’s Stuffing!
12. Stuffed Meat and Vegetables
If you have time for something a bit more complicated, rather than just breading your meat and veggies, try stuffing them! By adding herbs, cheese, and other ingredients, you’ll really upgrade the final product.
Suggested Recipe: Mushroom Melt Hasselback Chicken
This flavor-packed chicken recipe will surely show off your culinary creativity! In addition to a toasted breadcrumb mix, this sliced chicken is stuffed with ham slices and topped with melty cheese and fresh herbs, making a tasty dinner that’s dressed to impress.
13. Fried Food
In addition to the classic flour and egg coating for frying up your favorite foods, try adding breadcrumbs for extra crunch and texture. This also works great for recipes made in an air fryer!
Suggested Recipe: Fried Pickle Sliders
This recipe for breaded Fried Pickle Sliders will show just how delicious a fried breadcrumb crust can be! Recreate this classic burger joint appetizer with dill pickle chips, egg, flour, a little cayenne for spice, and Martin’s breadcrumbs, and enjoy on a slider or by itself!
14. Dog Treats
Yes, you read that right! Even your canine loved ones can benefit from using breadcrumbs in your cooking. They can be used in biscuits, meatballs, or even dog-safe sliders!
Suggested Recipe: Sweet Potato PB Biscuits
These Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Biscuits contain just a few simple, animal-safe ingredients and can be baked right in the oven using any cookie cutters you have at home.
So next time you’re left with stale bread or rolls, try making one of these delicious recipes to cut down on waste, and tell us what you think! We recommend starting with this simple technique for the tastiest breadcrumbs:
Looking for more ways to celebrate Earth Day? Try these 30 Ways to “Go Green” for Earth Day
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