Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 17, 2007 09:25 AM

Gluten-free replacement for bread crumbs?


Does anyone have any suggestions for replacing bread crumbs as a binding agent in things like meatballs for someone who is gluten-free? I'm sure there is something...

All suggestions welcome!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Some people use cooked rice or raw rolled oats. I don't use any fillers in my meatballs or meat loaves. I found it to be really unnecessary. i usually mix in my Kitchen Aid and I might add an extra egg. They come out light and moist.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      just a note, oats contain gluten. GF products are safest if the person is celiac.

      1. re: alex8alot

        oats do not generally contain gluten themselves, but are processed on machines that process other grains that do contain gluten - most of the time. you can find safe oats out there. ;)

        1. re: lollya

          even GF oats aren't safe for *everyone* - all oats (conventional AND GF) contain a protein called avenin that can trigger a reaction in some sensitive celiacs.

          1. re: lollya

            My new best way to make GFCF meatballs, smash up rice chex, soak them in rice milk (or whatever), add herbs, garlic and or onion, salt, sugar, pepper, and bake, alone or in sauce.

            1. re: ECB

              How long do you soak the chex? I use a combo of rice and corn chex, pulsed in a food processor, as my go-to breadcrumbs for meatloaf and breading. It's also a lot cheaper than the other GF breadcrumbs!

              1. re: Emily928

                I just mash up the rice chex by hand, then soak them in the rice milk until almost completely squishy. I bet that the Corn Chex add some badly needed flavor.

      2. I've used gluten free crackers or GF bread crumbs, but most of the time, I just don't use a binder.

        For coating, lots of people use GF corn flakes or nuts.

        1. I would use rice crispies ground up with a mortar and pestle, or in a f.p. if you need a lot. Corn flakes would do it too.

          9 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              actually you can buy gf versions of both, but you're right, the traditional/standard brands [i.e. kellogg's] are not gf.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Absolutely! I just was pointing out the *corn*-flakes and *rice* krispies aren't gluten free as generic products. LOVE dixie diner's gluten free maple smaps as a rice krispies substitute that is also high protein and high fiber.

                1. re: Emme

                  i remember seeing your recommendation for those on another recent post so i got all excited & researched them...only to discover that they're made with soy, which i also can't have :(

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Bummer! I'm so sorry to hear that... For me, they're just great since they get around that whole gluten, but need for fiber and protein thing... Do they have other products that don't have soy... I've never paid attention to that unfortunately...

              2. re: Emme

                Presumably Corn Chex or Rice Chex (which say GF on the box) would work too.

                1. re: Emme

                  Corn flakes and rice crispies are gluten free...

                    1. re: cricra

                      I believe that Rice Crispies are now glluten-free. From what I read recently this is the only cereal that Kellogg's makes that is gluten-free.

              3. brown rice bread crumbs work really well...the brand i use is 'hol-grain' and you can find them at whole foods or natural foods stores. i use them in my meatloaf, meatballs, etc, and the results are always great.

                for other uses such as coatings, you can also try cornmeal, or in a pinch, crushed gluten-free cornflakes/other gf cereal or crushed gf crackers.

                11 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  There are lots of options... Any GF grain should work (amaranth, millet, even quinoa).
                  Some are available as flours (potato flour, rice flour, etc).

                  The oat suggestion could be worth considering - certified GF oats are available from various manufacturers:

                  Chick-pea flour (aka 'gram flour') is also an option, but may absorb less than others.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    thanks! good ideas. i should have specified that i don't like using GF bread because it's so expensive that it seems like a waste. i'm just tired of seeing recipes that call for bread crumbs and not having a solution. i like the cornflakes and cooked rice ideas and will try that. Also, I wonder if rice flakes would work? Hmm..

                    1. re: allieinbklyn

                      Oh - one other suggestion that works for some things is ground up wheat free waffles. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby they have a brown rice bread that is fairly cheap - nasty to eat IMO, but works for breadcrumbs. that being said my son loves the stuff, because that is all he knows. They also sell wheat free waffles which are cheap and rice crackers.

                      1. re: jsaimd

                        wheat-free isn't the same as gluten-free. a lot of those products still contain ingredients [i.e. spelt flour, barley flour, malt flavoring] that aren't safe for celiacs.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Actually, I should have said gluten free. all the of the products I mentioned are GF. I have celiac, and eat these things. The waffles are labeled wheat free, but are in fact gluten free.

                          1. re: jsaimd

                            a-ha...another fellow sufferer.

                            i haven't tried the bread from tj's, but i personally think most gf baked goods are vile, and a complete waste of calories. fyi, do youself a favor and don't ever try the kinnikinnick gf hamburger buns. i threw the entire bag in the trash after suffering through one bite.

                            let me guess, the waffles from tj's probably have soy flour in them, right? i can't have that either, and so many gf maufacturers sneak it into their products...they're killing me!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              yep. They have soy flour. They are just the Van's repackaged as TJs. They startef carrying a GF pancake that truly is vile!

                              I agree most GF baked goods, especially breads are vile. I just bake my own select items. My son however was dxed at 2 years, so he eats everything and likes it. And as I mentioned before, but to clarify why, I tend not to put crumbs in as binders where I can avoid it, because it changes the taste. My husband really doesn't like the taste of most things like GF crumbs. So my advice to original poster is to try without!

                              1. re: jsaimd

                                Heh, DD loves the pancakes (and I find them about as offensive as average gluten-containing toaster pancakes) but the waffles are vile. My recollection is that the pancakes are soy-free, but I couldn't swear to it because we don't strictly avoid soy. :)

                                TJ carries food for life brown rice bread that is cheap enough (around $2/loaf) that I'm willing to use it for crumbs/etc.

                        2. re: jsaimd

                          I have heard people swear by ground GF waffles as breadcrumbs. They say they don't make recipes taste sweet either. Could be an expensive solution though. Normally I use pre-packaged GF breadcrumbs.

                        3. re: allieinbklyn

                          actually the product i mentioned isn't bread - they're packaged bread crumbs made from brown rice. i've only seen/bought them in bags in the store, but apparently you can buy them in larger plastic containers as well...


                          1. re: allieinbklyn

                            best bread i've found is have to eat it the day of, but mix in some cheese and fresh herbes and you're set. the texture is the closest to real bread but you must keep it thin (or it gets a bit goopy)

                            i didn't much like the cornflake route - tasted like cornflakes
                            i've used rice chex with good results
                            the rice crackers that TJ's carries are the best crackers i've had, and also work well when ground finely

                        4. My husband is a low-carber, so I have lots of experience in this area. I run some onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms through the food processor until pretty fine. I saute that mix, and then add it to meatballs and meatloaf mix. It keeps it light with lots of flavor.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sagestrat

                            We do something similar (we're all gluten free and DH and I do low carb). Adding grated, salted, squeezed zucchini works pretty well for us, too. I thik that any not-too-watery veggie would work.

                            1. re: sagestrat

                              Agree, I would just use more onions, chopped fine, and maybe some other vegetables also chopped fine. I also think some pureed lentils could work well.