If you’ve recently started a ketogenic diet or are looking for other options, you’re probably aware that some recipes don’t always taste as good when made low-carb. We’re talking about dishes that call for bread crumbs, like meatballs and meatloaf.
We researched and came up with some pretty tasty bread crumbs alternatives that won’t throw you out of ketosis.
Say hello to a keto meatloaf that will not dry out! Most keto meatloaf recipes struggle to replace traditional meatloaf breadcrumbs with a low-carb breadcrumb substitute.
It’s critical to remember that you should dip your food in an egg wash to ensure that it adheres before applying any coating. You can also use butter or oil instead.
We’ll show you how to boost the flavor of your favorite comfort food while removing the carbs. Here are the best low-carb bread crumb substitutes for keto recipes, as well as for instructions on how to use them.
Substitutes you can Use Instead of Breadcrumbs
You can’t go wrong with Parmesan as a breadcrumb substitute, and it tastes great and instantly improves the flavor of any dish. It also adheres well to food and is high in fat and low in carbs, making it a perfect keto food.
Fry your favorite meats in a butter and Parmesan coating. The cheese will brown beautifully, providing a crisp and crunchy finish to your meat that will not disappoint. Coat some kale leaves in Parmesan and bake them in the oven for a keto snack.
You can also experiment by combining your Parmesan with other ingredients from this list. To give your foods a nutty and cheese crunch, combine Parmesan with almond crumbs or flour.
2. Coconut Flour
Because it has many health benefits, coconut flour is an excellent substitute for breadcrumbs. Coconut flour is high in fat and fiber, which helps fill you up, but it also helps reduce inflammation.
Try an egg wash or coating your food in coconut flour before frying or baking it. This would be great with meat and vegetables.
The coconut adds a nutty and flavorful flavor to your food while also providing a good source of MCTs to help you increase ketone production.
3. Almond Crumbs / Almond Flour
Almond flour is simply one of the best keto-friendly flour alternatives available for use in keto cooking.
You can buy almond flour (also known as almond meal) at the store or make it yourself, and it’s not difficult, especially if you already make homemade almond milk.
Begin by soaking the almonds overnight. Drain and rinse your almonds the next morning before combining them with fresh water in a high-speed blender. On high, blend until the almonds are finely ground. Strain the almonds from the milk using a nut milk bag. You now have all of the ingredients for almond milk and almond meal!
Spread the almond meal out onto a cookie sheet. You can either dehydrate the almonds in a dehydrator or bake them at very low temperatures, such as 200 degrees Fahrenheit, for 1.5 to two hours.
Your almonds should be dry and finely ground when they come out of the oven. You can use this mixture to coat your food or blend it finer to make an almond meal.
You can combine almond crumbs or meal with the other breadcrumb substitutes on this list. Almonds are extremely versatile and go with almost anything.
4. Golden Flaxseed
Coating your chicken in egg wash (or butter) and golden flaxseed before frying gives it the appearance of regular breaded chicken due to the color, so this is a great hack if you’re still getting used to the keto diet.
Flaxseeds are extremely nutritious and provide numerous health benefits due to their high omega-3 fatty acid and fiber content.
Consuming two tablespoons of flaxseed per day can provide up to 25% of your daily fiber requirements! It’s one of the best fiber sources for keto.
Flaxseeds have also been shown to improve the appearance of your skin and hair, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation (due to their antioxidant profile), balance hormones, support digestive health, and aid in weight loss.
When making keto meatballs, you could substitute flaxseed meals for breadcrumbs due to their rich and nutty texture.
When using flaxseed meal as a coating for food, use it instead of whole flaxseeds, especially when frying. This is because flour is more likely than whole seeds to stick to your foods.
5. Pork Rinds
Because they are high in fat and low in carbs, pork rinds are a popular keto diet substitute for breadcrumbs. Not to mention how tasty they are and how well they complement any meat dish.
Pork rinds have a crunchy and flaky texture, so that you could use them on their own. You may need to crush them to get small enough pieces to use as a coating.
Pork rinds can be purchased in jars and crushed at home with a high-speed blender or even with your hands. Make sure to purchase a brand derived from clean sources (organic, grass-fed, and antibiotic-free) and does not contain added sugars, artificial ingredients, or preservatives.
6. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds, like flaxseeds, have many health benefits due to their fiber and omega-three fatty acid profile, but they are larger than other seeds, making them difficult to use as a food coating.
As a result, you’ll want to use sesame seed flour, which is finely ground and will adhere to your food better. Sesame seed flour is frequently found as part of a low-carb flour blend.
Coat your meats and vegetables in butter or ghee, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Fry them or bake them in the oven for a nice crunch.
7. Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts or hemp seeds are excellent options for making your meatloaf keto, and they add flavor and help retain a lot of the moisture in this keto recipe.
While hemp hearts are not our first choice, they will produce a tasty keto meatloaf recipe and should be considered.
How to Prepare Keto Meatloaf?
One of the simplest recipes for a low-carb diet is keto meatloaf. To begin with, it’s 95 percent keto-friendly; the only issue is the breadcrumbs.
To make keto meatloaf, you’ll need to find a suitable substitute for Italian breadcrumbs that won’t dry out your meatloaf.
Grate Parmesan cheese
This replaces breadcrumbs and adds a nice subtle flavor to the low-carb meatloaf. While not strictly necessary, it goes well with the seasonings in this recipe (onions or one teaspoon onion powder, one teaspoon garlic powder, and tomato paste).
Use ground beef that is 85/15
The fat-to-protein ratio of 85/15 ground beef is ideal for this recipe. We’ve tried both options and aren’t happy with the results. Most grocery stores sell 85/15.
If you had to pick an alternative, choose 90/10. This recipe calls for 80/20 ground beef, which is too fatty and will result in fat dripping out of your meatloaf.
Turkey ground beef is too lean for this recipe and will be very dry.
We’ve had the best results with ground chuck for our keto meatloaf, but other variations also work well. There is a lot of good information in the write-up about saturated fat, cholesterol, and the different nutrient contents of ground beef.
Mix Your Ingredients
In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including an egg (we always use large eggs), and mix with your hands. It’s impossible to make meatloaf without using your hands, and the meatloaf mixture can be ready in just 10 minutes of prep time.
Get the Oven Ready
For this recipe, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Many recipes call for a 350°F oven, but we’ve found that a slightly higher temperature yields better results.
You can shape the meatloaf mixture by hand on a baking sheet or place the meatloaf mixture in a greased loaf pan.
Before baking, press the meatloaf completely into the pan and flip it over onto a baking sheet. You don’t want your meatloaf to bake in the loaf pan!
Then bake Ketchup Mixture on top
Cook the low-carb meatloaf for 20 minutes in the oven, and this will be roughly half of the total cooking time. We’ll top the meatloaf with the ketchup mixture after it’s been cooking for 20 minutes.
People differ on whether they prefer a pure ketchup flavor on their meatloaf or something sweeter and spicier, more akin to a barbecue sauce, and I usually go with the latter.
You can use sugar-free ketchup, reduced sugar ketchup, or tomato paste as the tomato base. In this recipe, we will use tomato paste because it has the most tomato flavor with the fewest carbs.
Add some vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and optionally a few drops of liquid stevia to finish the tomato glaze. The stevia sweetens up the meatloaf recipe nicely.
When the meatloaf is done, brush it with the sauce and return it to the oven for the remaining 15 minutes of cooking time.
Allow cooling before serving
After 35 minutes in the oven, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf.
Please make sure the internal temperature reaches 160°F, but keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise after removing it from the oven. Any temperature around 155 degrees is ideal.
Allow the keto meatloaf to cool for at least 1 minute before slicing, or you will lose a lot of the juices.
Meatloaf has How Many Net Carbs?
Another excellent question, to which I always respond, “it depends.” This is because it all boils down to the ingredients!
A breadcrumb substitute like ground pork rinds has no net carbs, whereas almond flour has one to three net carbs per serving.
The second source of carbs is any vegetables diced up and added to the meatloaf before baking.
This will most likely be onion and celery, and while they add a lot of flavors, you can skip them and still have a delicious meatloaf!
The final and third places where carbs can accumulate are with the toppings. Because tomato contains more sugars, this is the primary source of carbohydrates.
Whatever you choose, you’ll end up with high fat, high protein, low carb meatloaf, so don’t sweat the small stuff! And a topping like the one we’ve provided below adds maximum flavor with minimal carbs.
Free Form vs. Loaf Pan?
We use a pan in the recipe video because it’s a quick way to get the loaf shape, and it’s how Matt’s mother did it when he was a kid.
You can’t go wrong with a free-form loaf made with your hands. You can even make 3-5 small loaves, one for each family member.
It all comes down to how much time you have to prepare. Free forming is much faster and produces a more rustic-looking meatloaf.
However, it’s important to note that no matter how you form it, there will be a lot of fat runoff because ground beef is higher in fat (we use 85/15).
This is perfectly fine, and you can even use it as a side dish or top your baked loaf with it before serving!
On a low-carb diet, you should avoid eating bread crumbs because they contain gluten, which can cause inflammation in some people. It also has too many carbohydrates for keto dieters.
When following a low-carb diet, the best bread crumbs substitutes are almond and coconut flours, Parmesan cheese, pork rinds, and flaxseed. Be inventive and combine a few of these options for the best results in your specific keto dish.