Old Breadsticks: How to Eat or Use Them

Breadsticks are excellent with many things — sauces, drizzled in garlic and olive oil, or while you’re waiting for your main course to come out. If you have some breadsticks at home that you’ve had …

heap of breadsticks left overnight

Breadsticks are excellent with many things — sauces, drizzled in garlic and olive oil, or while you’re waiting for your main course to come out. If you have some breadsticks at home that you’ve had for a while, you’re probably wondering if you can still eat or use them. 

Old breadsticks can be used for many things since they do not expire quickly or go off easily. Breadsticks are a little harder than your standard loaf of bread, and the lack of moisture makes them less susceptible to mold. However, you still need to store breadsticks properly. 

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss eating old breadsticks, a few ways you can use them, and if you can eat breadsticks left out overnight. Don’t throw away your old breadsticks quite yet: You might just find a use for them. 

old breadsticks on a table

Can I Eat Old Breadsticks?

Breadsticks are so versatile that it’s always handy to have them in your cupboard. You’ll likely find a use for them — whether it’s for a mid-afternoon snack or feeding the birds. 

You can eat old breadsticks, depending on the way they were stored. If they were sealed in their package, you could probably eat them since they usually last up to 9 months in this case. However, if they are not sealed properly, you may have to find another use for them.

If you haven’t opened the packet yet, they’ll likely stay in good condition for up to 9 months (or even longer, depending on the brand).

However, if you have opened the packet, you’ll need to ensure you’ve sealed it properly before storing it. This ensures no air gets to the breadsticks and will help keep them edible for longer (source: StillTasty). 

If they’re a few months old and seem fine (i.e., don’t smell or have mold on them), they’re probably safe to eat. If they’re over 9 months old, you should probably find another use for them. If you see mold on the breadsticks, you should avoid eating them. 

In severe cases, eating mold could cause respiratory distress and other allergic reactions, so take care if you see your breadsticks (or any food, for that matter) growing mold (source: Cleveland Clinic). 

In most cases, you’ll likely find there is a best-before date on your breadsticks packet. A best-before date is an indication of when they might start to lose any of their taste or texture.

You can eat breadsticks past their best-before date, but it’s usually better to play it on the safe side (source: Healthy Food). 

What To Do With Old Breadsticks

Believe it or not, you can do so many things with old breadsticks. If you can’t eat them because they’re too hard, don’t fret: There are still many options for reusing them.

Below, you’ll find a few great options for reusing your old breadsticks to help you avoid food waste. 

Make Croutons

Making croutons is easier than you think, especially if you have old breadsticks lying around. A great way to make croutons is by breaking up the breadsticks into tiny pieces and baking them.

You can bake them until they’re golden brown and sprinkle them over soup, or you can drizzle them with minced garlic and olive oil and eat them as a tasty snack with some hummus, perhaps.

If your croutons are extra hard, you’ll want to sprinkle them on something very wet (e.g. soup, sauces or over a dip).

croutons in a bowl made from old breadsticks

Make Breadcrumbs for Meatballs

Making meatballs usually requires you to either use soft breadcrumbs from a stale loaf of bread or invest in a pre-mixed package at the store. However, if you’ve got old breadsticks lying around, you can throw them into a food processor until they’re very fine and use this as a replacement.

Additionally, since breadsticks are often slightly salted, this will add extra taste and texture to your meatballs. 

Aside from meatballs, you can also use breadcrumbs to make a delicious meatloaf. 

Use It as a Pasta Bake Topping

Everybody loves pasta, but using breadsticks as a topping makes your pasta taste even better. Follow the steps below to use your old breadsticks to spice up your pasta bake, especially if it’s mac and cheese. 

  1. Blitz the old breadsticks roughly in a food processor. Make sure the crumbs aren’t too small (i.e., before they become very fine) because you’ll miss out on the extra crunchiness. 
  2. Once you’ve made your pasta and laid out your cheese over the top, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Make sure the pasta is covered evenly for the best results. 
  3. Bake the dish for at least 20 minutes on medium heat, removing it from the oven when the top is crispy and golden brown. Your pasta bake will taste phenomenal. 

Use Them in Panzanella

Panzanella is an Italian salad that often uses stale bread soaked in spices. It’s so delicious that you have to try it! So, if you’re looking at those old breadsticks and wondering what to do with them, this is an excellent option.

For example, making a roasted pepper Panzanella is a great way to use up those breadsticks. This red pepper Panzanella allows the croutons to soak in that delicious red pepper sauce for a while, making it extra tasty. 

This is an awesome dish for over-ripe tomatoes, too, because the old breadsticks soak up the juices and become delicious.

What to Do with Moldy Breadsticks

Moldy breadsticks definitely shouldn’t be eaten. To avoid food waste, you can throw them on your compost heap to help your plants thrive.

Composting has several notable benefits, not just for you and your garden but also for the environment (source: United States Environmental Protection Agency). 

heap of breadsticks left overnight

Can I Eat Breadsticks That Were Left Overnight?

You can eat breadsticks that were left overnight. This is because bread does not usually need to be refrigerated, so room temperature is acceptable as long as you package them securely. Do not just leave them out on the counter. 

If you leave your breadsticks out on the counter overnight outside of their packaging, you may wake up the following day to find that they’ve become super hard, and you’ll have to use them in your cooking rather than eating them as you usually would. 

So there you have it! If you’ve got old breadsticks, there’s no need to throw them away: Use one of the above options to avoid food waste, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how versatile they are.