How to Give Your Meats and Veggies a Crispy Crust Without Breadcrumbs or Frying

Almond crusted salmon
Image via timolina/depositphotos

Breaded and fried foods are absolutely delicious, but if you’re trying to eat healthier, they’re not the best option. But these aren’t the only ways to get a crunchy coating on meats, fish, and veggies—there are much healthier alternatives that are just as yummy. With a bit of creativity, you can make crunchy food without frying or breading it. Here are five ways to get that crispy crust without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle.

Nuts, Seeds, and Spices

Give your dish a coating of nuts, seeds, and spices for a rich flavor. You can make your own blend or buy a pre-made mix.


Vietnamese rice paper makes for a crispy blanket for meat, fish, and veggies. Just wrap your food in the rice paper and panfry it on all sides for a crispy shell.

Mushroom Dust

Dried mushrooms add umami and texture to any dish. Pulse the mushrooms in a grinder and dust your dish with the mixture.


Puffed quinoa makes for a great substitute for breadcrumbs. Set up three bowls: ground puffed quinoa, eggs, and puffed quinoa. Dip the meat, fish, or veggies into the bowls and bake for a nutty, toasty flavor.

Parsnips or Sweet Potatoes

Top your casseroles with parsnips or sweet potatoes for an added sweetness. With a mandolin, slice them super thin and put them on top of the casserole, baking them until they’re brown.