Cracker meal is a common ingredient used in many dishes, from coating chicken to making meatballs. It adds a crispy texture and helps keep the food moist.
However, if you ever find yourself without a cracker meal, fear not! There are plenty of substitutes you can use without compromising the outcome of your dish.
In this blog post, I’ll share with you the 13 best cracker meal substitutes with proper ratios to help you become a more versatile home cook.
So, let’s get started!
In short, "What can I use instead of a cracker meal?" Panko Bread Crumbs, Rolled Oats, Cornmeal, Crushed Pretzels, Almond Flour, Rice Flour, Corn Flakes, Almond meal, Oats, Coconut Flour, Quinoa Flakes, Ground Nuts, and Brown Rice Flour.
What is a cracker meal, and what does a cracker meal taste like?
Cracker meal is a type of coarsely-ground flour made from dried crackers, typically saltines or soda crackers.
The great thing about a cracker meal is that it doesn’t require the same lengthy soaking process as with some other binders like breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs; rather, it simply needs to be moistened in order to form a paste-like binding agent.
In addition to its textural benefits, cracker meal has also been found to add complexity and depth of flavor in certain recipes due to its slight nuttiness.
This is why it pairs so well with lighter ingredients like fish fillets or grilled vegetables; the slight nuttiness helps bring out the umami flavors without overpowering them.
Cracker meals can also help balance out overly sweet or salty dishes by providing a subtle counterbalance that won’t take away from the primary flavors of the dish.
What is a cracker meal made of?
Cracker meal, also known as cracker crumbs, is a finely-ground form of unsalted crackers that are used in a variety of cooking and baking recipes.
Cracker meal is made from grinding up any type of unsalted crackers, such as saltines, oyster crackers, graham crackers, or cheese crackers, into a coarse meal.
The resulting texture can be varied to suit the recipe’s needs; when ground fine enough, it can serve as a substitute for classic breadcrumbs.
Uses of cracker meal
Cracker meal is an underrated yet versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is a great substitute for bread crumbs and can be used to coat chicken, fish, or vegetables prior to baking.
When mixed with egg and fried, the cracker meal creates an irresistibly crunchy crust. Additionally, cracker meals can be used to add flavor and texture to pot pies, casseroles, stews and even soups.
For added flavor complexity, a cracker meal can also be spiced up by adding herbs like thyme or rosemary or spices like red pepper flakes.
This makes cracker meals not just a way to add crunch or structure to a dish but also an excellent way to add layers of flavor.
Finally, a cracker meal has many health benefits over traditional bread crumbs as it is much lower in fat and calories – making it perfect for those looking for lighter options.
It’s also gluten-free, which makes it perfect for those dealing with wheat allergies or sensitivities.
Where to buy cracker meal?
If you are looking for where to buy cracker meals, there are a few different places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores.
You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of cracker meals.
Best Cracker Meal Substitutes
There are many healthy and delicious substitutes for cracker meals that can be used in a variety of recipes.
1. Panko Bread Crumbs
Because they are lighter and airier than traditional breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs create a delicate crisp texture.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of panko breadcrumbs to a cracker meal.
2. Rolled Oats
Rolled oats can be used as a substitute for cracker meals in dishes where you want a bit more fiber and texture.
Normally blend rolled oats in a food processor until they become a fine powder.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of oatmeal powder to a cracker meal.
Cornmeal is a great substitute for cracker meals in dishes that have a Southern or Mexican flair. It provides a similar crunchy texture and adds a slightly sweet flavor.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of cornmeal to a cracker meal.
4. Crushed Pretzels
If you’re looking for a unique twist on a classic recipe, use crushed pretzels as a substitute for a cracker meal. Pretzels are salty and crunchy, adding a delicious savory flavor.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of crushed pretzels to a cracker meal.
5. Almond Flour
Almond flour is a gluten-free and low-carb alternative to cracker meals. It has a nutty flavor and tender texture that works well in recipes that require a delicate crunch.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of almond flour to a cracker meal.
6. Rice Flour
Rice flour is another gluten-free alternative to cracker meals. It has a light texture and a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with many dishes.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of rice flour to a cracker meal.
7. Corn Flakes
Crushed cornflakes are a great substitute for cracker meals in recipes that require a golden and crispy finish.
They have a sweet and savory taste that pairs well with meat or vegetables.
Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio of crushed cornflakes to a cracker meal.
8. Almond meal
Almond meal is a great substitute for cracker meal, as it provides a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to dishes.
Ratio or measurement: To use, simply replace the same amount of cracker meal with an almond meal.
Oats are another great substitution for cracker meals that can provide an added source of fiber and whole grains to your recipes.
Ratio or measurement: To use oats as a substitute for a cracker meal, grind them into a fine powder or flour before adding them to your recipe in place of the same amount of crumbly crackers or breadcrumbs called for in the recipe.
10. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a tasty gluten-free alternative to traditional flours and makes an excellent replacement for cracker meals due to its mild and slightly sweet flavor profile.
Ratio or measurement: To use coconut flour, replace the same amount of crumbly crackers or breadcrumbs called for in your recipe with half the amount of coconut flour using volume measurements instead of weight measurements.
Since coconut flour is much lighter than other flours so, less is needed per recipe.
Discover more: Best substitutes for coconut flakes
11. Quinoa Flakes
Quinoa flakes are another wonderful gluten-free alternative to traditional flours and make an excellent substitution for cracker meals due to their light and slightly nutty flavor profile.
Ratio or measurement: To use quinoa flakes as a substitute for crumbly crackers or breadcrumbs called for in your recipe, simply replace the same amount with equal volume measurements instead of weight measurements.
Since quinoa flakes are much lighter than other flours so, less is needed per recipe.
12. Ground Nuts
Ground nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews or pecans can be used as substitutes for crumbly crackers or breadcrumbs called for in certain recipes if you’re looking for an added crunch factor.
Just make sure you grind them until they’re very finely ground before adding them to the mixture so they don’t overpower any other flavors present in the dish!
Additionally, make sure you adjust any seasoning amounts if using ground nuts since their flavoring may be different than that of traditional breadcrumbs or crumbly crackers usually used in recipes calling for these ingredients!
13. Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour contains fewer calories than other flours (such as wheat) but still provides enough structure and texture to hold together baked goods like cakes and cookies while giving them a nice earthy taste.
Making it a great substitution option if you’re looking to reduce calories while still providing some degree of texture within your dish!
Just remember that brown rice flour has different properties from wheat flour – so always adjust any seasonings accordingly if using it as an alternative ingredient!
Homemade cracker meal
Making a cracker meal at home is a simple and inexpensive way to enjoy a delicious snack on the go.
It only requires two ingredients: crackers and butter or oil.
To make a cracker meal, start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Then, spread a single layer of crackers onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Once finished, remove from the oven and place in a bag. Using a rolling pin or food processor, crush the crunchy crackers into fine crumbs of equal size.
Next, melt some butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the crushed crackers until evenly coated and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder or other desired seasonings as desired.
Spread the mixture onto another baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375°F until lightly golden brown.
Finally, cool before storing in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks at room temperature.
Conclusion on cracker meal substitute
In conclusion, there are plenty of cracker meal substitutes that can be used in recipes. Some options, like panko breadcrumbs or cornmeal, provide a similar texture and flavor, while others, like rice flour or almond flour, offer a unique twist.
When making substitutions, it’s essential to use proper ratios to ensure the right texture and flavor.
With these 13 best cracker meal substitutes with proper ratios, you can become a more versatile home cook and create dishes with a variety of textures and flavors.
FAQs on cracker meal substitute
Q1. What is similar to a cracker meal?
Cracker meal is similar to breadcrumbs, cornmeal, polenta, and matzo meal. All of these ingredients are made from ground-up grains and can provide a crunchy texture or coating for food items when fried or baked. Cracker meals can also act as a binder in recipes like meatballs and burgers.
Q2. Is a cracker meal the same as bread crumbs?
No, cracker meals and bread crumbs are not the same. Cracker meal is made by grinding up saltine crackers into a coarse powder and can be used as a coating for fried foods such as fish or chicken. Bread crumbs, on the other hand, are made from dried-out pieces of bread that have been toasted in the oven or pan-fried until golden and crisp.
They are typically used as a topping for dishes such as casseroles, baked vegetables, and macaroni and cheese. Cracker meal is crunchier than bread crumbs since it is finer in texture due to being ground up. Both are considered delicious toppings or coatings to give food an added flavor and crunch.
Q3. Is cracker meal just crushed crackers?
No, a cracker meal is not simply crushed crackers. It is a type of breadcrumb-like ingredient made from finely grinding up crackers into a flour-like consistency. Cracker meal is commonly used in coating and batter recipes for fried or baked dishes like fish, chicken, vegetables and more.
Unlike breadcrumbs, which are typically made from white bread or other grains, a cracker meal has a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the foods it coats. It also absorbs moisture better than standard breadcrumbs, resulting in crispier fried foods.
Q4. What is the best substitution for cracker crumbs?
One of the best substitutions for cracker crumbs is breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are made from toasted or dried bread and can provide a crunchy topping for casseroles, salads, and other dishes. Also, it can be used as a coating for fried foods, such as chicken nuggets or fish sticks.
Breadcrumbs are a healthier alternative to cracker crumbs because they contain fewer calories and less fat per serving. They also add more flavor than plain crackers, with the option to use different types of bread, like Italian or whole wheat, for added texture and flavor. Additionally, breadcrumbs are an excellent source of fiber, which can help promote digestive health.
Q5. Can I substitute panko for cracker crumbs?
Yes, you can substitute panko for cracker crumbs in many recipes. Panko is produced from white bread without the crust and is much coarser than traditional cracker crumbs. This makes them ideal for adding a crunchy texture to fried foods or as a topping for casseroles and baked dishes.
Panko also absorbs less oil than cracker crumbs, making them a healthier option for baking or frying. Additionally, because of their irregular shape and light color, panko won’t cause the dish to darken like traditional crumbs may.
Q6. What can I use instead of cracker crumbs in meatballs?
One great alternative to cracker crumbs in meatballs is breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are made by toasting or drying slices of bread and then grinding them into small particles. They can provide a savory and flavorful coating for your meatball recipe without the crunchiness of crackers.
Breadcrumbs also help absorb moisture from the ground beef, pork, or other ingredients in your meatball recipe, resulting in a moister and juicier finished product.
Additionally, breadcrumbs can be seasoned with Italian herbs or spices to add an extra layer of flavor that’s missing from plain cracker crumbs. If you have dietary restrictions, gluten-free breadcrumbs are also available on the market, making it possible to avoid wheat and gluten altogether while still achieving an authentic meatball texture.
Q7. What is in Nabisco cracker meal?
Nabisco cracker meal is a delicious and convenient way to enjoy your favorite crackers. It comes in various flavors, including cheddar cheese, honey wheat, and multi-grain. Each package contains five crispy, golden-brown crackers that are filled with layers of your choice of flavor.
The cheddar cheese crackers have sharp cheddar cheese that provides a savory taste, while the honey wheat has a sweet and nutty flavor. The multi-grain cracker meal includes whole grains such as oats, rye, and barley. In addition to these classic flavors, Nabisco also offers limited edition seasonal varieties like pumpkin spice or cinnamon sugar for an extra special treat. All of Nabisco’s cracker meals are 0 grams of trans fat per serving and can be enjoyed as a snack on the go or served as part of lunch or dinner.