Home Knowledge The 10 Best Melba Toast Substitutes

The 10 Best Melba Toast Substitutes

Melba toast appetizers

Melba toast is a dry, thinly sliced, crisp toast that is commonly used as a base for topping appetizers or served with salads and soups. The toasts can also be crushed and used for breading fish or meat. In the United States and most other parts of the world Melba toast is a fairly common ingredient that can be found in mainstream grocery stores.

If you can’t find any or you need an alternative for dietary reasons then keep reading. We have compiled a list of excellent substitutes for Melba toast to use in recipes and no one will notice a difference.

What can I use as a Melba toast to substitute?

To replace Melba toast as an appetizer, covered in toppings, then make your own by toasting bread or use store-bought bagel chips, zwiebacks, or crackers. For a gluten-free alternative, you can make your own by toasting gluten-free bread on low heat or buy ready-made almond flour crackers. If you’re on the HCG diet, choose Finn crisps or Wasa crackers, but we suggest checking with a dietician to make sure they’re best for your situation.

1. Toasted bread

The best way to replace Melba toast is to make your own at home. Start by lightly toasting some thinly sliced white bread with the crusts removed. You can use a standard toaster, an oven, or a toaster oven. Once the surface is lightly browned, carefully slice each piece of toast in half again so that you now have very thin slices of bread. Finally, continue to cook the untoasted sides until they are a light golden color.

For those that are using a regular toaster, place two slices of bread back to back so that only the untoasted sides are exposed. This way you get a nice even toasting.

If you use an oven to toast the bread, then set it on a low 250°F (120°C) temperature and flip them halfway through. This option takes a lot longer than using a toaster, but you get a better result. The Melba toast will be drier and crispier, much like the store-bought product.


  • Stale bread can be used for making Melba toast and is excellent for reducing your food waste in the kitchen.
  • For extra flavor and a buttery mouthfeel, you may want to butter each piece of bread before toasting.
  • Instead of using regular sliced bread you can also use a baguette loaf, sliced thinly. The Italians call this popular snack a crostini.

2. Bagel chips

Bagel chips are thinly sliced, toasted bagels and they make a handy replacement for Melba toast. The biggest difference between the two is that bagel chips are round whereas Melba toast is square. Whichever option you use they are suitable for topping with dips, smoked salmon, pâté and more.

3. Panko breadcrumbs

Another useful ingredient that can be used for crumbing meat is panko breadcrumbs. They’ll have a slightly crispier texture than Melba toast, but they certainly won’t be out of place in the recipe. Some may find the texture better than the original ingredient.

4. Croutons

Does your recipe call for crushed Melba toast to be used as breading? If so, croutons will work just as well. They are essentially Melba toast except they are much smaller pieces. Once crushed up, no one will know that you’ve switched ingredients. As you’ve probably already guessed, you would not use croutons for topping with ingredients as an appetizer because they are too small.

5. Crackers

Crackers or saltines are good options for topping with your favorite cheese, dips, and meats. They don’t have the same “gourmet“ feel to them that Melba toast has but if you’re hosting a relaxed get-together then crackers will work just fine. They’re a practical and delicious backup snack.

6. Wasa Crackers

One of the foods suggested for those undertaking the HCG diet is Melba toast. As an alternative, you could consider using Wasa crackers which are a type of crispbread made from whole grains. They don’t have a lot of flavor so consider them a blank canvas for adding other tasty ingredients.

The benefit of including these crackers in your diet is they are low in calories and sodium while being high in fiber when compared to Melba toast.

Finn crisps are another brand that produce a tasty range of crispbreads suitable for the HCG diet. Check them out for another delicious alternative to Melba toast.

Note: We suggest consulting your doctor or dietitian to make sure this option is a good one for your circumstances.

7. Le Pain des fleurs Ancient Grain Crispbread

Le Pain des Fleurs is a brand of light and crunchy crispbread that’s 100% organic and free from gluten. Coeliacs and anyone on a gluten-free diet can feel comfortable eating these snacks without the unwanted side effects. These crispbreads are a lot larger than Melba toast so you may want to use a sharp knife to cut them into smaller segments before topping with food and serving as an appetizer.

In addition to being gluten-free Le Pain des Fleurs crispbread is also free from yeast, egg, wheat, sugar, and is low in sodium.

Tip: Another good gluten-free option you may want to consider is almond flour crackers that are produced by Simple Mills.

8. Zwieback

If you enjoy your snacks slightly sweet, then zwieback may be a better option than Melba toast. It is made from sweetened white bread that is baked twice to produce a crispy toast snack. The pieces are small, a lot like Melba toast and are a popular rusk for infants to gnaw on.

If you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, then this Melba toast replacement isn’t recommended. Although the major manufacturer of this product has discontinued the line, there are still smaller producers of this product which you can find online.

9. Oyster crackers

Oyster crackers are small, salty round or hexagonal shaped biscuits that are perfect for adding to oyster stew or chowder. The ingredients include flour, shortening, baking powder, yeast, sugar, and salt. Oyster crackers are typically too small for topping with ingredients but they are useful for using as a crumb or for a snack straight out of the bag.

10. Grissini

A grissini is a type of breadstick or dipping stick that is a similar size to a pencil. This bread originated from Italy and is crispy and salty. Although they won’t replace Melba toast as a base for toppings, they are excellent for dipping or eaten on their own as a snack.

Summary of Melba toast alternatives

SubstituteBest For
Toasted breadAppetizers
Bagel chipsAppetizers
CroutonsMeat breading
Panko breadcrumbsMeat breading
CrackersAppetizers, snacking
Wasa crackersHCG diet
Le Pain des fleurs crispbreadGluten free appetizers
Oyster crackersSoups, stews, snacking

Fast facts

  • Melba toast got its name from the famous Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba.
  • A personal chef dreamed up the snack to serve her while she was ill. The same chef also created Peach Melba, a delicious dessert popular in the United States.
  • Melba toast is an great teething snack for infants to chew on.
  • Popular toppings for Melba toast include cheddar cheese, pâté, spreads, and sandwich ingredients.
  • A similar snack is bruschetta; however, these are usually larger slices of toasted bread when compared to Melba toast.

Summing up

Melba toast is a fun bite-sized snack that is perfect for topping with additional ingredients or eating on its own. If you don’t have any in the cupboard then you can make your own by slowly toasting white bread or using bagel chips or croutons. Panko breadcrumbs are useful if you need to add a bread coating to meat or chicken. For a gluten-free option, you might want to try Le Pain des fleurs Ancient Grain Crispbread or simply make your own Melba toast using gluten-free bread.

What will you use your Melba toast substitute for? Please let us know in the comments below.