Whether for a recipe or a snack, when the household runs out of buttery round crackers, finding a substitute can be tricky. These crackers supply crunch as well as a salty and lightly sweet flavor in all their collaborations. Finding the right balance of texture and flavor to complement these recipes, hors d'oeuvres or snacks takes considering the other ingredients as well as the purpose the buttery round crackers serve in the mix.
Buttery round crackers crumble to create filler and help serve as a binder in recipes such as meatloaf, casseroles and fritters. Although regular bread crumbs also help soak up the liquid in these types of recipes, they fall short of having the buttery, salty flavor of the crackers. When using regular bread crumbs as a substitute, consider adding butter flavor extract, or even a little melted real butter, since the buttery crackers contain some fat not found in bread crumbs. To retain the crunch and extra body of the buttery crackers when crumbled, try crumbled pretzels or potato chips instead.
Toppings and Coatings
Buttery round crackers create crunch when crumbled on top of a casserole or as the breading around a fried or baked patty. Recipes combine the crushed crackers with butter or oil to brown and solidify the crust. Use this same principle when substituting. Crushed pretzels or potato chips may serve well here also, with butter drizzled on top. Additional ideas include an unsweetened breakfast cereal such as corn flakes or rice squares. Add a bit of extra salt when using cereal to make up for the difference in saltiness between it and the crackers.
Snacks and Hors D'oeuvres
Round buttery crackers topped with spreads and garnished with fruit, meat or vegetables serve as both snacks and appetizers. In the absence of your favorite buttery toasted rounds, instead of reaching for other crackers, try crostini. Slice a french baguette and brush both sides with melted salted butter. Toast in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Low-Carb and Gluten-Free
When dietary considerations cause you to skip the round buttery crackers found in many recipes, consider lower-carb and gluten-free substitutes instead. As a binder in meat loaf and fritters, consider almond flour, crushed pork rinds or grated parmesan cheese. Instead of breading your chicken patties or fish cutlets with crackers, dip them in beaten egg and roll them in a mixture of flaked unsweetened coconut and herbs, and fry them up to create a crust. Use cucumber rounds or slices of sausage for spreads and toppings for festive appetizers.
- The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Jack Bishop
Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.