24 Substitutes for Breadcrumbs in Meatballs and Meatloaf

No need to depend on expensive gluten free breadcrumbs to replace wheat breadcrumbs in your favorite meatballs or meat loaf. Use what you have on hand to make moist, tender, nutritious entrees.

minced mushrooms

minced mushrooms with a bit of zucchini photo by lsimon


My favorites are minced veggies with the leanest ground meat I can get. The results are juicy, never dry, or tasteless. And you can sneak a serving of veggies into the mix. Make it half meat, half veggies.

1. carrots

2. cauliflower

3. celery

4. cilantro

5. mushrooms

6. onions

7. parsley

8. peppers- green and sweet bell peppers

9. sauerkraut

10. spinach- thaw frozen spinach, no need to mince

11. zucchini


many kinds of whole grain rice photo by lsimon

Starches and grains

Grains work well too. Use dry cornmeal, gluten free oatmeal, and quinoa flakes. Or leftover cooked amaranth seeds, quinoa seeds, and whole grain rice are perfect additions to the meat mixture.

12. amaranth

13. cornmeal

14. gluten free oatmeal

15. quinoa

16. rice (this is really dozens of choices since there are so many kinds of rice).


nuts photo by Dano


I haven’t tried a few of these, but any kind of nut adds flavor and richness. Grind nuts into meal in a mini food processor, not nut butter. My Mom approved when I added ground pecans to Greek Meatballs. Her verdict, first that happy sound in the back of the throat, then “these are SO good”.

17. almonds

18. cashew

19. hazelnut

20. macadamia

21. pecans

22. pine nut

23. pistachio

24. walnuts

Have I forgotten anything? What do you use in meatballs and meatloaf?