18 Recipes That Put Panko to Delicious Use
We love panko, the Japanese-style breadcrumbs. Not too thick or coarse, panko crumbs are flaky, light, and airy, so they create a delicate but crispy coating on just about anything that needs a little crunch — from chicken tenders to breaded veggies and baked casseroles. You can also use panko in place of breadcrumbs to help bind meatballs, tuna or rice cakes, meatloaves, and veggie burgers. Here are some favorite recipes that showcase ways to put your panko to delicious use.
Let's start with a classic. Tonkatsu is the traditional Japanese boneless, breaded pork chop. "A wonderful, easy recipe, yet special," says Trish. "I love another use for panko crumbs."
Crispy outside, moist and tender inside with a surprise garlic-butter center, this elegant chicken recipe can't fail to impress. "It's one of the greatest chicken experiences of your life," says Chef John. "It's also one of the greatest garlic experiences of your life, as well as one of the greatest butter experiences of your life."
Panko Crusted Mashed Potato Cakes
Panko takes leftover mashed potatoes to new heights of amazement. Treat the taters just like you would a fish cake. "Dredging these in the panko crumbs is a wonderful idea," says Trish. I will do it this way from now on."
Crispy Panko Chicken Breasts
If panko is perfect with pork, it's also choice with chicken. "Delicious," says Carrie. "I loved the crispy panko breading! It was a great easy recipe full of flavor! I sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on top. Yum!"
Chef John's Scotch Eggs
Panko crumbs also make the best Scotch eggs. "In my version of Scotch eggs, I keep the egg soft, so when you bite in, you get that amazing contrast in texture between the molten yolk and the crispy sausage shell," says Chef John.
Pumpkin Lobster Mac and Cheese
Panko makes a great topping for almost any casserole that you'd top with breadcrumbs or potato chips. Here's a semi-fancy, adult-friendly mac-and-cheese that proves the point.
"I love Asian-style fish or shrimp cakes but almost never order them because I find there's too much filler or 'binder,'" says Chef John. Not here. "If you want to enjoy shrimp cakes in their most pure form, give this recipe a try. It takes just a few minutes if you use your food processor." Enjoy them with Chef John's Thai-Style Sweet Chili Sauce.
Smoky Black Bean Burgers
Build a better burger with panko. "WOW are these YUMMY," says Maybelle. "I never write reviews but these were TOO good and they whipped up really quick. I will never buy expensive veggie burgers again."
Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Shrimp
Panko creates light, crispy deep-fried foods. With this recipe, you'll season fresh shrimp with garlic powder, and then triple dip: first into a beaten egg mixture, then into a flour and paprika combo, and finally into panko crumbs. The shrimp fry up beautifully light, crispy, and golden brown. "Absolutely fabulous," says Lola. "The panko makes all the difference."
What happens when a simple country chicken heads to the big city? It becomes pork! Yes, this breaded-and-fried meat-on-a-stick isn't chicken at all, it's chopped pork tenderloin (or pork shoulder). Chef John explains the story of this mock chicken drumstick: "City cooks, who couldn't get chicken, would take scraps from much cheaper, at the time, pork and build something similar to what you see here." Enjoy with honey mustard!
Chef John's Cassoulet
"This is the world's greatest baked bean recipe, and a classic French dish," says Chef John. You'll simmer white beans with garlic, onions, bay leaf, and a whole clove. Then combine the flavorful beans with bacon, sausage, and duck confit. After letting the cassoulet simmer, you'll top it with a panko mixture and bake to bubbly.
Panko is also one of the secrets to Chef John's re-engineered and absolutely rave-worthy Chicken Parmesan recipe. "Loved it," says Tanya. "The chicken came out perfect and panko breadcrumbs really made the dish. This is my new go-to recipe for chicken parm."
Savory Ricotta Tart
Panko is delicate enough to use in recipes like this ricotta cheese tart. "I love the simple combination of really good ricotta and fresh herbs baked with just enough eggs to hold things together," says Chef John.
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
You'll also want panko for lightly breaded appetizers like jalapeño poppers and stuffed mushrooms. "These poppers were very good," says monica. "Made these with the over-abundance of jalapeño peppers from my garden. I combined the two cheeses and used a Mexican cheese blend then sprinkled panko crumbs on top."
Crispy Onion Rings
The light flake of panko breadcrumbs also makes them essential for onion rings. Chef John's other secret ingredient is instant mashed potatoes. "Absolutely wonderful," says Stacie. "My family is onion ring fanatics, and they said this recipe was it. Great crunch even when they cool down."
Broccoli Bacon Ranch Tots
Kid or grown-up, there's just no better way to eat your broccoli. "The great flavors of bacon, Cheddar, and ranch in a low-carb, low-calorie tot!" says Julie Hubert. "Enjoy hot with ketchup, Sriracha, ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce!" And if you're more into waffling than totting, they make tasty savory waffles, too.
Tomato and Feta Galette
Here's one for the end of summer when ripe tomatoes are in perfect peak form. You'll spread a mixture of Parmesan cheese, Panko crumbs, feta cheese, and parsley over puff pastry, then add a layer of sautéed onions and garlic, followed by a tomato layer. Garnish your galette with a sprinkle of fresh basil. "A light and savory meal to use up all of those tomatoes from the garden," says tcasa.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs
A little panko gives these ground pork meatballs great texture. Cooked under the broiler and served with a lively dipping sauce, these Vietnamese-inspired meatballs offer an enticing balance of spicy, salty, tangy, and sweet flavors. "We enjoy these tasty meatballs served over a bowl of rice or wrapped in lettuce cups," says lutzflcat. "They also make wonderful appetizers. Leftover meatballs may be stored in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag."