Dinner Rolls – The Cookie Rookie®

Amanda M. Rye

Homemade dinner rolls are the perfect thing to serve with any meal. These yeast rolls are soft and fluffy, with just a hint of sweetness. You only need a few ingredients to make these, and they’ll compete the meal beautifully.

overhead view of 15 dinner rolls in a white baking dish.

Easy Dinner Rolls

These are the absolute best dinner rolls because they’re simple, delicious, and they go with everything. No meal is complete without these soft rolls on the table!

Sometimes the bread is the best part of a meal, especially when it’s soft, fluffy, and perfectly flavored. Add butter, honey, or jam to these fresh-baked rolls and enjoy.

Why You’ll Love this Dinner Rolls Recipe:

  • Simple Ingredients: You only need 7 basic ingredients to make these yeast rolls from scratch, and you probably already have them on hand.
  • Fluffy: The soft and fluffy texture is so heavenly. Slather on plenty of butter, and these will melt in your mouth.
  • Best Side Dish: Every meal could use a nice dinner roll on the side, and these really complement any dish.

Once you learn how to make these dinner rolls from scratch, you’ll want to make them for every meal. Luckily, you can prep them and freeze them ahead of time, so you’ll always have some ready to bake!

close up of dinner rolls in a white bowl.

How to Make Dinner Rolls

You can jump to the recipe card for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Make the Dough: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine and heat butter with other liquid ingredients on the stove. Then combine the two mixtures in a stand mixer using a dough hook, until the dough forms.
  2. First Rise: Transfer dough to a large bowl, coat in oil, cover the bowl, and let it rise.
  3. Second Rise: Divide the dough into separate rolls and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish and let them rise.
  4. Bake: Bake until golden brown, brush with melted butter, and serve!
dinner rolls scattered on a tabletop.
close up of dinner rolls in a white baking dish.
Why are they called dinner rolls?

Dinner rolls are named after their purpose, which is to be an easily-passed side dish to accompany a meal!

What’s the difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast?

Instant yeast is ready to be used right out of the package, whereas active dry yeast is coated to preserve its freshness. Because of this coating, you need to dissolve active dry yeast in warm (105-110°F) water before using it.

How can I tell if my yeast is still good?

When using instant yeast, your best bet is to check the expiration date. As long as the package is sealed and within the date, the yeast should be good to go. If your bread dough doesn’t rise after the first proofing, your yeast may be old!

Can I make dinner rolls if I don’t have a stand mixer?

Absolutely! To make these dinner rolls by hand, stir together the step 1 and 2 ingredients until well-combined. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes, then continue to follow the recipe as written.

Why are my dinner rolls dense?

Dense or heavy rolls are usually caused by not kneading the dough long enough. Be sure to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. If your dough is properly kneaded, it should slowly spring back when pressed with one finger. If it springs back too quickly, it is under-kneaded. If it does not spring back at all, it is over-kneaded. The same tips can be used to tell if the dough has been proofed enough. Too springy means under-proofed and not springy enough means over-proofed.

Why are my dinner rolls hard?

There are a few culprits for hard dinner rolls. First, you may have added too much flour. Be sure to measure your flour using the spoon-and-level method to avoid using too much. Second, the dough may be over-mixed. Over-mixed dough will not spring back when pressed gently with a finger. Finally, the rolls may simply be overbaked. Perfectly baked rolls should be golden brown on top and 190°F internally.

Serving Suggestions

Every meal will be better off once you add these dinner rolls to the plate. They truly go with everything, so whatever you’re cooking, this is sure to be the best side dish. Here are some favorite dinners to try out.

dinner rolls in a white bowl.
close up of dinner rolls in a white baking dish, one has been removed.

Make Ahead Instructions

These dinner rolls are a great make-ahead recipe. You can prepare the dough through step 6, then place it in the refrigerator overnight to proof slowly. Continue the recipe as written the next morning!

Storage Instructions

Store leftover dinner rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Freezing Instructions

  • Shaped: Shape the rolls and place them on a baking sheet with space between them.  Freeze for 8-12 hours, then transfer to a Ziplock bag and store for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 3-5 hours, until risen. Bake as directed.
  • Risen: Let the rolls rise completely, then freeze in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature until soft, about 2 hours. Bake as directed.
  • Fully Baked: Freeze fully-baked dinner rolls in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours and reheat before serving.


  • Bread flour gives the rolls a great chew, but you can substitute all-purpose flour.
  • You can use active dry yeast instead of instant. Set aside ¼ cup of the milk and heat it gently to 105-110°F. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, let stand for 5 minutes (until foamy), then mix it into the dough with the butter/milk/sugar mixture in step 3.
  • You can use plant-based milk and butter if you prefer.
  • Liven up the dough by mixing in 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1-2 tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs, or ½ cup of freshly grated cheddar or cheese!

Tips for the Best Dinner Rolls

  • Make sure your yeast isn’t expired!
  • Measure your flour using the spoon-and-level method to avoid dense, hard rolls.
  • Take care not to overheat the butter/milk/sugar mixture; otherwise, you could kill the yeast.
  • If the dough is too sticky, add up to an additional ⅓ cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Tent the rolls with foil if they are browning too quickly in the oven.
cross section of a dinner roll on a tabletop surrounded by dinner rolls.

Whether you’re cooking a beautiful holiday dinner or a quick weeknight meal, these fluffy homemade dinner rolls will fit right in. So say hello to your new go-to bread recipe!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy! You can also jump to recipe.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Scandinavian Holiday Drink - Christmas Gløgg from Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen

Traditionally, “gløgg” is a warm, spiced, alcoholic wine drink which has been drunk by Scandinavians since the 16th century.  And every afternoon from late November through the end of the year, the Hotel d’Angleterre serves its signature Christmas Gløgg to help revelers celebrate the holiday season and endure the chilly […]
Scandinavian Holiday Drink - Christmas Gløgg from Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen

You May Like