These Italian bread crumbs or seasoned bread crumbs are the ultimate condiment to pass around at your Thanksgiving holiday table. Crispy and savory infused with herbaceous flavor from fried rosemary and sage or my favorite variation made with fennel seeds.
Italian Bread Crumbs
These incredibly delicious homemade seasoned bread crumbs are to be sprinkled over every pasta dish, mashed potatoes, casserole and specifically over this all time favorite dairy free mac and cheese. They come together in less than 10 minutes and although there are only a few ingredients they really make everything better with their festive salty crunch.
About the Bread
Now I know that plain panko are not traditionally an Italian staple, however by the time I’m done with them they will be, I promise! The thing is their larger crisp crumb yield the best results in this recipe. You can absolutely start with any plain breadcrumbs you like or even make your own whole grain or gluten-free ones. If making from scratch you’ll need about 3 slices of stale bread cut into cubes and processed in the food processor before following the recipe below. Easy peasy, but remember to plan ahead because fresh bread doesn’t work for this, it’s important!
The Herbs + Spices
- Rosemary + Sage – Nothing screams it’s the holiday season to me like the combination of these two woodsy wintery herbs. As soon as they hit the hot oil their fragrance will permeate your kitchen and feel like the magic of the holiday season has landed all over your house. I’m in love!
- Fennel Seeds Variation – I can’t choose a favorite but I find myself making the fennel variation all year round while I feel the herbs are more festive. The sweet perfume fragrance of toasted fennel seeds is unlike any other. I love this one sprinkled over our roasted pepper bucatini and anything coated in this Pomodoro sauce. They can also be used for stuffing mushrooms, tomatoes and as breading in lieu of the plain ones. Onion rings anyone..?!
- Sea Salt Flakes + Red Chili Pepper – You want nice saltiness throughout your mix and there’s nothing nicer than salt flakes floating throughout. For those of us who like a little attitude I suggest a good pinch of hot chili flakes but if that’s not your thing just omit them.
Once cooled store your bread crumbs at room temperature in an airtight jar or lidded container in a cool pantry or cabinet. Depending on the moisture levels in the environment they could stay nice and crispy for quite a while, a few weeks really but who doesn’t eat them in two days?!
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apple
- Roasted Pepper Pasta
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole
- Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
- Italian White Bean Soup
- Best Cauliflower Soup
- Mushroom Leek Pasta
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup.
How to Make Italian Bread Crumbs
Italian Bread Crumbs
- Roughly chop the rosemary and sage leaves. (Make sure that are patted dry not wet)4 sprigs rosemary, 6 sage leaves
- Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and herbs (or fennel seeds) and fry for about a minute or so until fragrant and crispy.3 Tbsp olive oil, 4 sprigs rosemary, 1.5 Tbsp fennel seeds, 6 sage leaves
- Stir in the bread crumbs and toss them around to coat in the olive oil and herbs. Allow them to toast stirring often with a spatula until golden brown to your liking. Stand by the pan, do not leave as the toasting happens super quick and you don’t want to burn them.1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Remove the pan from heat and season with the salt flakes and chili flakes if using. Allow the mixture to cool off, transfer to a bowl and serve alongside your favorite dishes.1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- Leftovers can be stored a room temperature in jar or lidded container.1 pinch red chili flakes
- Gluten-Free: Make sure to use GF panko bread crumbs.
- On Storage - Once cooled store your bread crumbs at room temperature in an airtight jar or lidded container in a cool dark pantry or cabinet.