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Can you use cornflakes as breadcrumbs?

Cornflakes can make a quick and easy substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes that call for a crispy, crunchy coating. While they won’t replicate the exact flavor and texture of breadcrumbs, cornflakes can provide a similar coating and work nicely in dishes like oven-baked chicken fingers, fish fillets or meatloaf.

Can You Use Cornflakes Instead of Breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use cornflakes in place of breadcrumbs as a coating or topping in recipes. When crushed into fine crumbs, cornflakes can substitute for dry breadcrumbs in most recipes calling for a crispy coating.

Some key points about using cornflakes as a breadcrumb substitute:

– Crush them into fine crumbs to mimic the texture of dry breadcrumbs. Use a food processor or place in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pin.

– They will provide a light, crunchy and crispy coating for baked or fried foods. The texture will be a bit more flaky than breadcrumbs.

– Cornflake crumbs brown and crisp up nicely in the oven or when pan-fried.

– They have a milder flavor than breadcrumbs so season them accordingly. Add herbs, spices, salt and pepper to boost the flavor.

– Use cornflake crumbs as you would dry breadcrumbs when coating items before baking or frying. Dredge meat, chicken, fish in flour or egg wash then press into the cornflake crumbs to coat.

– For a very crispy coating, double dip by coating the item in cornflake crumbs then egg wash then back into the crumbs again before cooking.

– They can be used alone as a coating or mixed with other crumbs like panko or crackers for texture.

So in summary, yes cornflakes can substitute for dry breadcrumbs in recipes when you need a light, crunchy crust or coating on baked or fried items. The texture and flavor will be a little different than breadcrumbs but they will still provide a nice crispy coating.

How to Make Cornflake Crumbs

Making cornflake crumbs to substitute for breadcrumbs is easy:

– Place cornflakes into a food processor or blender. Pulse to break them down into fine crumbs, being careful not to over process into a powder.

– You can also place cornflakes in a zip top plastic bag and crush into finer pieces using a rolling pin. Crush them down until they resemble coarse crumbs.

– For seasoned crumbs, add in dried herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder or other spices as you pulse in the food processor or shake seasoning into the plastic bag.

– Use standard dry breadcrumb measurements when substituting with cornflake crumbs. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup breadcrumbs, use 1 cup crushed cornflakes.

– Store extra cornflake crumbs in an airtight container for later use. They will keep for 4-5 days at room temperature.

– For a thicker coating, use panko breadcrumbs mixed with cornflakes. The larger panko flakes will add more texture.

– For extra crispy oven-fried items, combine crushed cornflakes with some crushed saltine crackers or crushed corn tortilla chips. The starch will crisp up nicely.

So crushing cornflakes into fine crumbs is a quick and easy way to get a breadcrumb-like coating to use on anything you’d typically bread or coat with crumbs. Add seasoning to the crushed flakes for extra flavor.

Best Recipes to Use Cornflake Crumbs

Here are some of the best recipes to substitute cornflake crumbs for regular dry breadcrumbs:

Oven Baked Chicken Tenders or Fingers

Chicken fingers or tenders come out crispy and crunchy coated in seasoned cornflake crumbs. Dredge in egg then cornflake crumbs and bake in the oven until cooked through and browned.

Baked Fish Fillets or Sticks

Cornflake crumbs make an ultra crispy coating for fish. Coat white fish fillets like tilapia, cod or haddock in cornflake crumbs flavored with lemon pepper, dill or Old Bay seasoning. Bake until flaky.


For a crunchy crust on meatloaf, coat the outside with crushed cornflakes before baking. Can also mix some right into the meat mixture.

Pork Chops

Crushed cornflakes combined with herbs or panko make a tasty coating for oven baked pork chops. Provides a nice crispy crust.

Eggplant or Zucchini Parmesan

Instead of breading eggplant or zucchini slices before baking with tomato sauce and cheese, use cornflake crumbs for the coating.

Oven Baked Onion Rings

For crunchy oven baked onion rings, use cornflake crumbs flavored with cayenne, salt and pepper for the crispy exterior coating.

Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken

For a healthier fried chicken, oven bake chicken drumsticks or thighs coated in crushed cornflakes for the crispy breading.

Cornflake Crusted Baked Tilapia

Tilapia fillets coated with crushed cornflakes crumbs flavored with Old Bay and paprika make a quick and healthy weeknight meal.

So cornflake crumbs can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in just about any recipe that calls for a light crispy coating on chicken, fish, pork or vegetables. The crunchy cornflakes provide great texture and flavor.

Pros and Cons of Using Cornflake Crumbs

Here are some of the benefits as well as drawbacks of using crushed cornflakes instead of regular breadcrumbs:


– Quick and easy to make homemade crumbs from cornflakes cereal

– Provide a light, crunchy texture when used as a coating

– Crisp up nicely and brown when baked

– Work well in recipes that require a crispy crust or breading

– Can be seasoned to add lots of flavor

– Lower in carbs and calories than regular breadcrumbs

– Less messy than fresh breadcrumbs – don’t need to worry about moisture


– Slightly different flavor profile than bread – less neutral

– Crunchy, flaky texture is different than soft breadcrumbs

– May need to use eggs or additional binder to help crumbs adhere

– Don’t absorb moisture or thicken sauces as well as breadcrumbs

– Can burn more quickly than soft breadcrumbs

– Need to crush into fine crumbs for breading texture

Nutrition Comparison

Here is a nutritional comparison of using cornflake crumbs versus regular dry breadcrumbs:

Cornflake Crumbs

– Serving Size: 1/4 cup
– Calories: 107
– Fat: 0.5g
– Carbs: 23g
– Protein: 2g
– Fiber: 1g

Dry Breadcrumbs

– Serving Size: 1/4 cup
– Calories: 113
– Fat: 1g
– Carbs: 18g
– Protein: 4g
– Fiber: 1g

So cornflake crumbs are very close in calories and nutrition to regular dry breadcrumbs. They will be slightly lower in carbs, fiber and protein. The fat content is negligible.

Overall, the nutritional value is quite similar and substituting cornflakes for breadcrumbs won’t significantly alter the nutrition profile of recipes. The main difference is the texture and flavor from the corn versus wheat bread.

Best Cooking Methods

The best ways to cook foods coated in cornflake crumbs include:

– Baking – Coat items in cornflake crumbs and bake in the oven until browned and crispy. Baking allows the coating to get crunchy without excess oil. Great for oven-baked chicken fingers, fish sticks, chops and more.

– Pan-frying – Quickly pan fry items coated in cornflake crumbs over medium heat until browned. This works well for thinner items like fish fillets or cutlets. Use minimal oil to keep it healthy.

– Air frying – For a lower fat version of frying, coat foods in cornflake crumbs and crisp up in the air fryer. Air frying provides the crispy crunchy texture without as much oil.

– Broiling – Top items with cornflake crumbs and broil for a quick crispy topping. Works well for casseroles or side dishes. Watch closely to avoid burning.

– As a topping – Sprinkle crushed cornflakes over casseroles or dishes and bake until browned for crunch. Great for mac and cheese, potatoes or veggies.

No matter which cooking method you use, cornflake crumbs can provide that crispy crunchy breading texture without deep frying. Bake, pan fry or air fry for healthier versions of traditionally breaded foods.

Common Questions

Can I use cornflake crumbs when frying?

Yes, crushed cornflakes can be used to coat items for pan frying instead of breadcrumbs. They will get nice and crispy in just a small amount of oil.

Do I need to use eggs when coating with cornflakes?

Using egg as a binder before coating in cornflake crumbs helps them stick and creates a crisper coating. But for baked items, you can skip the egg wash.

Should I crush cornflakes into a fine powder?

No, for a breadcrumb texture you want the cornflake pieces to still have some irregularity like coarse sand. Overprocessing into a fine powder can make the texture too smooth.

What can I coat with cornflake crumbs?

You can coat just about anything you’d bread with cornflake crumbs – chicken, fish, pork chops, zucchini, onion rings, etc. They work great as an oven-baked breading.

Do cornflake crumbs really taste like breadcrumbs?

Not exactly, the flavor is a bit sweeter and obviously has corn notes instead of bread notes. But they provide the same crispy, crunchy textural element of breading.

How long do cornflake crumbs last?

Store unused cornflake crumbs in an airtight container for 4-5 days at room temperature. The crumbs stale quickly so make smaller batches as needed.

Tips for Using Cornflake Crumbs

– Experiment with mixing cornflake crumbs with panko, crushed crackers or shredded coconut for different textures.

– Season well with salt, pepper and extra spices or herbs to boost the flavor.

– If the crumbs won’t stick well, use egg or buttermilk as a binder before coating in crumbs.

– Don’t over process the flakes into a fine powder – keep some texture like coarse sand.

– For extra crispiness, double coat items by dredging in crumbs, then egg, then crumbs again.

– Try using cornflake crumbs on oven fried cauliflower or squash for a low carb, gluten free breading.

– If baking fish or chicken coated in crumbs, spray with oil or brush lightly with butter or oil before baking.

– For a healthier version of fried chicken, coat in seasoned cornflake crumbs and bake in the oven on a wire rack.

– When pan frying, use minimal added oil. The crumbs will crisp up nicely in just a small amount.

– Substitute cornflake crumbs 1:1 for regular breadcrumbs called for in any recipe.


Cornflakes can make a handy substitute for dry breadcrumbs when used as a crunchy coating or topping in recipes. While the flavor and texture isn’t exactly the same as breadcrumbs, crushed cornflakes provide a light, crispy exterior crust on anything from chicken fingers to pan fried fish.

With some seasoning added for flavor, cornflake crumbs brown up deliciously when baked, pan fried or air fried. They are lower in carbs than regular breadcrumbs and very easy to make from a box of cornflakes cereal. While not an exact replica for breadcrumbs, crushed cornflakes can be used in most recipes calling for a crunchy breading or topping with fairly good results.