Food Processor Series: Tre’s Breading

9 Nov

***Unfortunate Update: Through trial and error Tre and I discovered that he is also unable to eat oats. While Tre can no longer enjoy this breading recipe we made for him, it may still be tolerated by other people with wheat allergies. I’m working on an almond-based substitute which I will post shortly. Hang tight.***

Last weekend, my mother presented Tre and I with a dry concoction she called “Tre’s breading” intended to replace traditional bread crumbs in cooking. The coarsely ground meal looked almost identical to the traditional Italian bread crumbs you buy at the store, and upon taste test, offered little evidence that it was some sort of substitute. My mom, who is also invested in mine and Tre’s WCRS-free lifestyle, had taken to the pantry and her stockpile of oats to create a viable substitute for this kitchen staple. Using her food processor, she pulsed quick oats with parmesan cheese and various cooking spices into a course ground meal that looked and tasted almost exactly like its wheat-based counterpart.

Breadcrumbs are one of those ingredient staples that you don’t think about until you realize how happy you are that you magically have them in your pantry the night you decide to make chicken parm. It wasn’t until I couldn’t use breadcrumbs that I realized what a staple they are in my kitchen. From the aforementioned breaded chicken parm, to breadcrumb-thickened meatloaf and meatballs, to a breaded gorgonzola steak topping, crumbs have always been a go-to filler for many of my favorite recipes. With my mom’s clever inception of an oat-based substitute, culinary doors that had once been closed were now reopened for enjoyment.

Tre's breading getting ready to be a filler for meatballs and a lone turkey burger.

Tre’s Breading

  • 1 cup rolled quick oats
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Dash of salt

Adjust spices to taste, this is just my general guideline. I make this breading in increments of 1 cup unless I know I’ll be using a lot in a recipe. Because of the cheese, this must be stored in the refrigerator and has a somewhat limited shelf life.


  1. Pour the oats into a food processor and pulse in bursts until it reaches a medium-fine meal. If you do not have finely grated parm, add it with the oats and blend together.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few more times until combined. You do not want to over blend into a fine powder.

3 Responses to “Food Processor Series: Tre’s Breading”

  1. Susan Anderson March 29, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am making meatballs for a party and one of the guests (the host’s Mom) is allergic to soy. I was in a quandry as what to use as a sub for bread crumbs and then I found your recipe! A lifesaver (actually, literaly!)


  1. Food Processor Series: Instant Oatmeal with no Unidentifiable Ingredients « 23 and Grain Free - November 9, 2010

    […] of culinary inventiveness last weekend (yielding oat-based “breadcrumbs” we now call Tre’s breading) and the gift of my new KitchenAid, my interest in cooking with processor ground oats was […]

  2. Turkey Versions of Traditional Beef Dishes: Turkey Burgers « 23 and Grain Free - November 11, 2010

    […] 1/2 cup breading […]

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