Vegan Dinner Rolls

Wow your guests with these beautiful, fluffy homemade dinner rolls. Simple to make with minimal active time, this dinner rolls recipe is perfect for holidays and dinner parties and great for making game-day sliders and sandwiches. 


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I always loved that little basket of warm dinner rolls you get at some restaurants. 

And the first time I pulled these easy vegan rolls from the oven, that’s exactly what I was reminded of. Soft, warm, and flaky. 

You will not believe how easy it is to make these delicious dinner rolls without milk or eggs! 

Serve them as part of the vegan sides for Thanksgiving, or make mini vegan meatball sandwiches or sliders for parties, potlucks or gameday get-togethers. 

And imagine the faces when you just pull them out for a weeknight dinner! However you use them, you are going to love this easy vegan rolls recipe.

Why are these the best vegan dinner rolls?

  • Soft and buttery without any dairy.
  • Great as Thanksgiving rolls or with any holiday dinner. Perfect for parties and potlucks. 
  • They’re so much easier than you might think. And it’s really impressive to family and guests.
  • They make the house smell absolutely amazing!
Overhead photo of a dinner roll on a small round white plate in front of a wooden cutting board with a pile of dinner rolls on it

Ingredients for Vegan Dinner Rolls Recipe

You only need five simple ingredients, water included, to make these delicious and healthy dinner rolls. 

We’ll talk about them in this section along with some notes on what each ingredient does, but remember, the full recipe with ingredient amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!

Dry Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – Also know as “Plain Flour” in the UK and Australia. Make sure you have extra flour for flouring the work surface.
  • Salt – If you’re using sea salt, make sure it’s finely ground.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Hot water (105-115°F) – Water that is too hot will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise. Water that’s too cold won’t activate the yeast and the dough won’t rise.
  • Active dry yeast – to make the dough rise
  • Sugar – to activate the yeast

You’ll also want some olive oil to oil the proving bowl a bit. You can substitute other oils like sunflower oil or avocado oil, but I would avoid coconut oil as it doesn’t work the same way.

Substitution Options for Dairy-Free Dinner Rolls

For the All Purpose Flour: I haven’t tried it, but you could use a general all-purpose gluten-free flour blends like Bob’s Red Mill to make these gluten-free dinner rolls as well. You may be able to use half or all whole wheat flour, but this would require an increase in the water amount you need. 

For the Yeast: I make these vegan dinner rolls with active dry yeast. You can use instant yeast in this and add it directly to the flour, but it is suggested that the water temperature be hotter for instant yeast than active dry yeast. Recommended temps for active dry yeast are between 105-115F/40-45C; and for instant yeast, recommended water temp is 120-130F/50-55C.

For the Sugar: I just use regular white sugar. You can also use light brown sugar, coconut sugar or cane sugar. Maple syrup or agave will also work. Yeast just needs a little help from its sweetie to help it bloom its fullest.

Close up head-on photo of a pile of bread rolls on a rectangular cutting board

How to Make This Soft Bread Rolls Recipe

I know making your own dinner rolls can seem daunting, but I promise once you try this easy recipe, you’ll feel empowered to make them again!

Step 1: Make the Dough

We’ll start this process by making our dough. 

You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this if you want, but we prefer to use a large bowl, sturdy silicone spatula, and our hands! A kitchen scale can also be incredibly helpful for this recipe to get the most accurate measurements.

  1. First you want to combine the yeast and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the hot water and gently shake or stir to agitate. Let sit for 5-7 minutes as the yeast “blooms”.
  2. Next, measure and weigh the flour in a large bowl and then add the salt. Mix these dry ingredients together and create a small well in the middle for your yeast/water mix.
  3. When the yeast has fully bloomed, pour in the water and begin to pull the flour from the sides, incorporating everything well. The dough should be a little sticky, but not overly wet and sticky. Keep mixing until everything is combined into a shaggy dough and all the flour has pulled from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, and knead well for three minutes until a proper smooth consistency is achieved.
  5. Lightly oil the bottom portion of your bowl and return your dough to the bowl. Cover well with plastic wrap or a well-fitting lid and allow to proof in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. The dough should double in size during this first rise.

Step 2: Shape the Rolls

Once your dough ball has risen in its oiled bowl, it’s time to shape the rolls! 

I know this part can be overwhelming, so I’ve included more tips in the “Tips and Tricks” section below!

  1. After the first proofing is finished, turn the dough out onto a non-floured counter and “punch down” to release the gas.
  2. Remeasure the weight of the dough and divide by 16.
  3. Cut out 16 equalish portions (usually about 55-58 grams each, depending on the weight of dough after the first proof.)
  4. Roll each portion on the counter between your hands to form a tight ball and place on a baking sheet close to each, just barely touching. They should connect on the second rise.After all the rolls are on the baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise a second time, 35-45 minutes.

Step 3: Bake the Rolls

  1. Bake at 375°F for 16-18 minutes on the middle rack until the tops of the rolls begin to look golden brown and the whole house smells of fresh baked bread.
  2. They should have a slightly hollow sound when you tap the bottom.

Homemade Rolls Tips & Tricks

Making traditional dinner rolls dairy-free is easy, but there are still a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind to get you the best results possible.

Pay attention to the temperature of your water.

It’s really important that the water be the appropriate temperature.

Water that is too hot will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise. Water that’s too cold won’t activate the yeast at all. 

You’ll know the yeast is “blooming” when you see a yeasty foam rise to the top of the water. Active dry yeast usually takes 5-7 minutes to fully activate.

Recommended temps for active dry yeast are between 105-115F/40-45C; and for instant yeast, recommended water temp is between 120-130F/50-55C. 

I also like to preheat the bowl and measuring cup used for the water so the water temperature doesn’t fall drastically when it’s poured into a cool glass or bowl.

Don’t skip the sugar.

Sugar is like food for yeast. 

As they combine in the hot water they produce an enzyme that creates carbon dioxide that helps the dough rise.

Shaping Tips

The process of shaping your vegan dinner rolls can seem like a daunting task, but I like to think of it as just two simple steps: 

  1. Tuck – Take a piece in the palm of one hand, and with the other, tuck/push the back of the dough gently inward with your fingers so a rough ball is formed. 
  2. Roll – Roll the rough ball on the counter between your hands in a circular motion to smooth it out and form a better, smoother ball that resembles a roll.
Overhead photo of a hand pulling a bread roll from a pile of them

How to Serve Fluffy Vegan Dinner Rolls

We like to serve these rolls warm with a hefty slather of vegan butter like Earth Balance!

Here are some more ideas:

  • As a side at family dinners or as holiday or Thanksgiving rolls alongside cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes!
  • Bring them along to potlucks or dinner parties.
  • On game day as mini vegan meatball sandwiches, jackfruit sliders, or sloppy joes.
  • You can also use them to make Thanksgiving Leftover Sliders with our Thanksgiving Seitan Roast.
  • As a side to vegan soups and stews. They’re perfect for sopping up that last bit of broth.

How to Store Leftover Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Stored at room temperature in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, the rolls are at their best for 2 days.

Freeze any leftover rolls you don’t think you’ll eat within a day or two immediately. The key to a good roll is moisture, and you don’t want these drying out. 

Store them in a well-sealed airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, frozen rolls will be at their best for up to 3 months. 

How to Reheat Leftover Dinner Rolls

Microwave day-old rolls on high for 10-15 seconds to soften and warm them a little.

Allow frozen rolls to defrost fully. Reheat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 300°F until warmed through.

FAQs

Are Hawaiian rolls vegan? 

King’s Hawaiian rolls, the most famous, contain eggs and dairy and are not vegan. Sara Lee has a line of Hawaiian rolls that are vegan. Check your local grocery store for other brands and availability.

Are dinner rolls dairy free? 

This really depends on the recipe and the roll. Most dinner rolls are made with an enriched dough meaning they contain eggs and dairy.

There are many dairy free dinner rolls. But there are also just as many if not more that contain animal products. Always be sure to read ingredients or ask if you are unsure.

Are Rhodes dinner rolls vegan? 

Rhodes classic “Thaw, Rise, and Bake” dinner rolls are dairy free and vegan. Note that not all Rhodes varieties of dinner rolls are vegan however, some are only vegetarian.

Are Sister Schubert rolls vegan? 

Sister Schubert’s frozen dinner rolls contain both eggs and whey/dairy and are not suitable for vegans.

Are brown and serve rolls vegan? 

“Brown and serve” is a general term for frozen or raw dinner rolls that are placed in the oven to “brown” before you “serve” them.

There are a few vegan friendly brands on the market. Check your local supermarket and be sure to read ingredient lists.

Do yeast rolls contain milk?  

“Yeast rolls” is the term used in the southern United States for “dinner rolls”. Depending on the recipe, some are vegan friendly.

Many recipes use an enriched dough containing dairy and eggs. Read any ingredients of brands you are uncertain of.

Where to Buy Vegan Dinner Rolls

You can purchase vegan friendly dinner rolls at almost any supermarket or grocery store. Check both the bread aisle and the frozen foods section.

Brands like Sara Lee, Rhode’s, and Pepperidge Farm offer some vegan dinner rolls among their respective lines. 

Note that not all the dinner rolls from these brands are vegan. For example, the “Country” or “Classic” style dinner rolls from Pepperidge Farm are not vegan, but the Stone Baked Artisan French dinner rolls they offer are vegan. 

This is why I always say to read the ingredients!

More Vegan Bread Recipes

I hope you find these easy dinner rolls – both the final result and the process of making them – incredibly fun and absolutely delicious. 

After making these, I don’t think we can ever go back to store-bought rolls again!

When you try them, can I ask a favor? Please leave a star rating and review below! 

This helps more people find our recipes and is the best free way to support your favorite recipe developer. 

Plus, we love when you invite us into your kitchens and want to help any way we can. Enjoy!

Yield: 16 dinner rolls

Vegan Dinner Rolls Recipe

Close up head-on photo of a pile of bread rolls on a rectangular cutting board

Wow your guests with these beautiful, fluffy homemade dinner rolls. Simple to make with minimal active time, this dinner rolls recipe is perfect for holidays and dinner parties and great for making game-day sliders and sandwiches.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 38 minutes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 535 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup hot water (105-110°F)
  • 1 (1/4-oz) packet active yeast
  • 1.5 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine yeast and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add water and gently shake to agitate. Let sit for 5-7 minutes as the yeast “blooms”.
  2. Measure and weigh flour and then add salt. Mix together and create a small well in the middle for your yeast/water mix.
  3. Pour in the water and begin to pull the flour from the sides, incorporating everything well. The dough should be a little sticky, but not very sticky. Keep mixing until everything is combined and has pulled all the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, and knead well for three minutes until a proper consistency is achieved
  5. Lightly oil the bottom portion of your bowl and return your dough to the bowl. Cover well with plastic wrap or a well-fitting lid and allow to proof for 60-90 minutes. The dough should double in size as it rises.
  6. After first proofing, turn the dough out onto a non-floured counter and “punch down” to release the gas.
  7. Remeasure the weight of the dough and divide by 16.
  8. Cut out 16 equalish portions (usually about 55-58 grams each, depending on weight of dough after first proof.)
  9. Roll each portion on the counter between your hands to form a tight ball and place on a baking sheet close to each, just barely touching. They should connect on the second rise.
  10. After all the rolls are on the baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  11. Bake at 375°F for 16-18 minutes until the tops begin to brown and the whole house smells of fresh baked bread.

Notes

Shaping Tips

The process of shaping your vegan dinner rolls can seem like a daunting task, but I like to think of it as just two simple steps: 

  1. Tuck - Take a piece in the palm of one hand, and with the other, tuck/push the back of the dough gently inward with your fingers so a rough ball is formed. 
  2. Roll - Roll the rough ball on the counter between your hands in a circular motion to smooth it out and form a better, smoother ball that resembles a roll.

How to Store Leftover Rolls

Stored at room temperature in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, the rolls are at their best for 2 days.

Freeze any leftover rolls you don’t think you’ll eat within a day or two immediately. The key to a good roll is moisture, and you don’t want these drying out. 

Store them in a well-sealed airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, frozen rolls will be at their best for up to 3 months. 

How to Reheat Leftover Rolls

Microwave day-old rolls on high for 10-15 seconds to soften and warm them a little.

Allow frozen rolls to defrost fully. Reheat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 300°F until warmed through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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