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Meatloaf Bread Crumb Substitutes

Recently, I've had quite a few people ask me about substitutes for bread crumbs in meatloaf.  Do you have to add breadcrumbs at all?  What are alternatives to using breadcrumbs?  These questions are on a lot of people's minds, so I thought it would be good to address them in a post.

Breadcrumbs are usually added to meatloaf as a filler.  When meatloaf first became popular, people were very concerned with saving money.  By adding an inexpensive filler, the more expensive meat would feed more people. 

Meatloaf can be made without breadcrumbs, but we as a society have become accustomed to preparing our meatloaf recipes with bread crumbs.  If you want to try something different, or you happen to be out of breadcrumbs, here is a handy list of breadcrumb alternatives for your meatloaf recipe.

1) Cornflakes  Crush the cornflakes, or other unsweetened cereal, in a ziploc bag and use as you would breadcrumbs.

2) Soft Bread  Tear the bread into small pieces.  The pieces can be used instead of dried bread crumbs.  Make sure you tear or cut the bread into small enough pieces so you can incorporate it evenly into the meatloaf.

3)  Quinoa  Prepare according to package directions, or use leftover quinoa.  Approximately 1/2 cup of quinoa per pound of meat should work.

4) Pecan meal  There are certain grocery stores that carry pecan meal(finely ground pecans) or other nut meals.  These can be used as breadcrumb substitutes in meatloaf recipes, but keep in mind that the flavor of the meatloaf will be affected.  Choose the nut meal wisely, and your meatloaf creation will come out tasty.

5)  Rolled Oats  A large number of health food forums and bodybuilding forums suggest using rolled oats as breadcrumb substitutes.  Oats add additional whole grains and fiber to an entree that normally would contain minimal amounts of these two items.

6) Parmesan Cheese  One-half cup of parmesan cheese added to the meatloaf recipe can be a fantastic substitute for bread crumbs.  This substitution works well for low carb or keto diets.

7) Crushed Crackers  If you're looking for more unusual substitutions for breadcrumbs, you could try crushed pork rinds or various kinds of crushed crackers such as Ritz crackers, Saltines, or other dry cracker.

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