Paleo Bread Crumb Substitutes

Last Updated on November 2, 2021

Today, we’re going to be looking at paleo bread crumb substitutes. Following a gluten-free diet can be difficult enough, so if you’re following a paleo diet too – you may be looking for some inspiration! There are plenty of gluten-free and paleo alternatives to use for traditional breadcrumbs. So let’s take a look at the best ones on offer!

What Is A Paleo Diet?

Paleo diet is sometimes known as the “caveman” or “stone-age” diet. This is because the foods you can consume on a paleo diet are foods that can be obtained by hunting and gathering. This means that the diet can consist of foods such as meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

People following a paleo diet often veer away from dairy and grains. However, some people prefer to loosely follow the diet in a more modern approach and allow themselves to eat gluten-free grains such as quinoa and rice.

Gluten-Free Substitute For Bread Crumbs

So you’re looking for a crunchy paleo substitute for bread crumbs – and who can blame you? Everyone longs for that crunchy texture every so often. Or may even want to use the bread crumbs for thickening! Bread crumbs are often used to thicken soups, stews and bind foods together, such as meatballs. Here’s some gluten-free and paleo options to try.


One of the most popular options is almond flour (or almond meal). It’s very diverse as can be used as a thickener, or a tasty coating. It’s so popular because it’s easily accessible and has very little taste. It is reasonably inexpensive too! Whether you like your coating extra crunchy, or something a little finer – there’s a range of options available with almonds.

  • Almond Flour – a fine flour, that is a similar consistency to that of wheat flour
  • Almond Meal – a coarse flour, much larger grains than almond and wheat flour
  • Chopped Almonds – cut or blend them, this will make for a truly crunchy coating


Coconut Flakes

It’s important to note that coconut flakes will not thicken or bind any foods together. Coconut flakes are a good alternative for coating only. And obviously, coconut is quite a strong flavor, so if you’re not a big lover of coconut – this may be one to avoid!

However, using it as a coating can make for a crunchy and delicious outside. Whether you’re using it on meats such as chicken or pork, or baked goods – it’s a delicious choice.

NOTE: Be sure to buy the unsweetened coconut flakes. They work a lot better!

Coconut Flour

Another versatile option is coconut flour. Whether you’re looking for a thickener, binder, or coating – this is a great option! It’s naturally gluten-free and paleo-friendly. Unlike the almond flour, coconut flour does have a taste. So best to avoid if you do not like coconut!

Something worth mentioning is that coconut flour is more absorbent than many other flours, so bear that in mind when using it in your recipes.

Coconut Flour

Learn more about: Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Recipes

Flax Seeds Or Ground Chia

Ground chia may not be good for breading meats, but if you’re looking for a brilliant binder – look no further! Chia is great for retaining water so works well in foods such as meatballs.

Ground flax can work well as a thickener, binder, or coating agent. Just be sure that you’re using ground flax, rather than whole flax seeds. I don’t think you’d want to biting down on them on your coating!

Tapioca Starch

If you’re looking for a very fine coating on your foods, tapioca starch is the way to go! It’s smooth and silky – and that’s because the grains are so much finer than any of the others we’ve seen today. Not only does it work well as a coating, but also as a thickener in soups and stews too.

It’s important to note that if you’re following a low-carb diet – it may be best to avoid this alternative. It’s full of goodness, but also full of carbs too!

Tapioca Starch

Gluten-Free and Paleo Breadcrumbs Recipe

You may want to make your own breadcrumbs. If so, Beauty and the Bench Press has a brilliant GF and Paleo-friendly recipe. The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are as follows:

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika and 1 tsp. chili powder (for a breadcrumb with spice – this part is completely optional)

It takes just 5 minutes to make and can be prepared in advance and stored for later use. Here’s a step-by-step guide to follow to make the best “bread crumbs”.

  1. Combine the cashews, almonds, garlic and onion salt, black pepper, dried parsley, and salt (and paprika and chili if using) in a food processor/blender until it reaches a flour-like consistency
  2. With a fork, mix in the almond flour well
  3. Keep in an airtight container

And your breadcrumbs are ready to go! It really is that easy.


I hope this article has helped you to see the many gluten-free and paleo bread crumb substitutes that there are on offer. You certainly don’t have to go without when following both these lifestyles – even if it may feel overwhelming at first.

As all of the ingredients are natural, it’s highly unlikely any of them will contain gluten. But be sure to check any ingredients you buy, just in case they are a “may contain”. This means that the product may have come into contact with gluten during manufacturing methods. These should be avoided when possible.

If you’re gluten-free only, there’s plenty of GF breadcrumbs in grocery stores, so you can always opt for those if you prefer.

Do you have any other paleo and GF substitutes? Or will be using any of the ideas we’ve given you above? If so, please leave any answers in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts, and how the breadcrumbs turned out!

Read more about: Does Panko Have Gluten?

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