Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

12 servings
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls are a light, fluffy, buttery addition to dinner, and are hands down the EASIEST yeast bread you will ever make!

This site strives to deliver the best recipes right to your dinner table, and nothing says dinner like this warm buttery dinner rolls recipe that pairs perfectly with Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast and Classic Beef Chili.

Easy Dinner Rolls


Dinner Rolls are soft, buttery, flakey, and all around one of the most amazing things you will add to your dinner table this year. They’re really simple to make, and taste WAY better than store-bought.

You could make a big batch and serve half with dinner, and use the other half to make appetizers like Baked Egg and Cheese Hawaiian Sliders, or Baked Cuban Pork Party Sliders. They’re a go-to during appetizer season (like a certain big football game a few weeks from now!), plus you can make them ahead of time and freeze until you’re ready to prep.

One of the best things about this dinner rolls recipe is that you don’t have to hand-knead the dough. The stand mixer will basically do it for you with the dough hook attachment, and all you have to do is roll it into balls before baking.

If you don’t have a stand mixer or you want to do it the old fashioned way you can still knead the dough with your hands. Both methods have been tested, and the hook only helps to go faster.

Dinner Rolls


How do you make yeast rolls light and fluffy?

When you add your warm water, butter, and milk mixture to the yeast, make sure your temperature is below 130 degrees F. Any more than that and the yeast won’t survive (this goes for rapid rise or active dry yeast). Then let it stand for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast before you add your other ingredients and knead the dough. Yeast needs warm water to wake up and start working. This is called “proofing.”

What can I do so that my dinner rolls are not so dry?

If you’ve already baked your dinner rolls, then all you can do is butter away at the dinner table. Then next time try these tricks:
– Use whole milk. The fat is necessary to help with the yeast, and skim milk won’t work as well.
– Don’t use too much all purpose flour, this can easily dry out your rolls. If you knead by hand or when you’re rolling your dough into balls, it’s ok to use all purpose flour on your hands to prevent sticking, just don’t go overboard at this step. The first time you make this might be tricky until you learn how much extra all purpose flour is enough.
– Make sure you measure the yeast, adding too much can dry out your rolls.
– If your rolls are still dry, use an oven safe thermometer to check your oven temperature and make sure it isn’t cooking hotter than the set temperature.

Can you freeze unbaked dinner rolls?

The dough can be frozen right after they are shaped into balls, before they’ve already had the chance to rise. Wrap them tightly and place in the freezer for up to a week. To defrost, refrigerate overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until the dough rises.

How can I get my dinner rolls to rise?

The secret is in the yeast. To get a good rise, make sure you follow the directions closely and proof the yeast for at least 5 minutes (it will look at little foamy), then knead the dough, form tight rolls, and let it rise for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Make sure the yeast is not past the expiration date if you’ve had it for a while.
Let the rolls touch once they’re done rising. As they bake, they’ll help lift each other up, just like Buttermilk Biscuits.

If you’re using instant yeast, use slightly less than this recipe calls for. Instant yeast also doesn’t need to be proofed first, so you can combine it with the dry flour, then follow the recipe as written minus the proofing.

How do you make sweet dinner rolls?

These dinner rolls already have some sweetness in the flavor. To increase the sweetness, add a tablespoon of honey to the recipe, and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top of the rolls before baking (for savory rolls you can top with course salt or herbs). You can also serve the rolls with a homemade honey butter.

A great recipe for homemade honey butter is to add ½ cup unsalted butter to a large bowl and use an electric mixer to cream together with 2 tablespoons honey and a dash of cinnamon.

Why are my dinner rolls dense?

There are two main culprits to dense dinner rolls. Too much flour, and not enough moisture. Another possible reason is that you let the dough knead for too long. It should take about 8-10 minutes for your dough to start pulling from the side of the mixing bowl, a sign that you are done kneading and can start rolling out your dough balls.

Dinner rolls on plate with green beans and chicken



  • Buttery rolls taste best when you serve them warm. If you’ve baked them ahead of time, you can warm them up by wrapping in tinfoil and placing them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. These are perfect to make ahead for holidays!
  • Lightly brushing the rolls with melted butter before baking is what gives them that golden brown color, so don’t skip this step. Plus they’re extra buttery when you take them out of the oven.
  • If you don’t want to grease your pan, line your baking pan with parchment paper to make it easier to lift the rolls out once they’re done.
  • Set a timer when you’re letting your rolls rise. Letting this go too long can lose some of the fluffy texture you’re trying to achieve.
  • If you have active dry yeast, you can use that in place of the rapid rise yeast and add an extra 10 minutes for the dough to rise before you bake, until it looks doughy and pillowy. Set them in a warm place and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it alone for the whole time so it doesn’t deflate.
  • Make sure your dinner rolls are all about the same size. This will make sure they bake evenly, and that you get the right amount of servings.


  • Serve: Dinner rolls will last on the counter in an airtight container for 4-5 days, or until they go stale.
  • Store: It is not recommended to refrigerate bread because it will actually make it go stale faster.
  • Freeze: You can also wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Homemade Buttery Rolls

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Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls are a light, fluffy, buttery addition to dinner, and are hands down the EASIEST yeast bread you will ever make!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups flour , or more if needed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast , 1 packet
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted


  • Add the yeast to the stand mixer and in a saucepan heat the whole milk, water and butter until very warm it reaches between 120 and 130 degrees on a thermometer (you don’t want it too hot or it will kill the yeast) and add the milk mixture to the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes to proof the yeast (this ensures super fluffy rolls).
  • Add 1 ½ cups flour, salt and sugar to the stand mixer with the regular whisk attachment for 2 minutes on medium speed before adding ½ cup of flour and changing to the dough hook and keeping it on medium speed for another 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Roll the dough into 12 balls and place into 8×8 inch baking pan, covering with a dry, clean kitchen towel in a warm place for 30 minutes (you want the rolls to double in size).
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, brush the rolls with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes.



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Dinner Rolls Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Homemade Dinner Rolls
Easy Homemade Dinner Rolls

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. These make a great dinner! I thought they were hard to make, glad I followed the instructions carefully. I’ll definitely make these again.

  2. This is definitely one of my go-to bread recipes. These dinner rolls are so simple and easy to make, and they’re buttery! My family loves to have them. Absolutely a winner!

  3. Tried these tonight. They came out like hockey pucks. I don’t think the dough rose at all. I even put them in the oven at 200 to get them to rise and nothing.

    1. I’m so sorry this didn’t turn out for you. Would be happy to troubleshoot with you if you ever have a question or trouble with a recipe in the future! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. First time making them. Turned out good and tasted good. My house smells wonderful. What is the best way to determine size of ball to roll?

    1. You can always roll the dough into a log and section it out into 12 portions to form into the balls. That should help to make sure they’re all the same size.

  5. Tested tonight to see if the recipe would be to my liking for Thanksgiving dinner and they turned out great! Will be remaking for Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing!

  6. More question than comment. Can this be doubled? And can I pre heat oven to warm shut it off and put rolls in to rise? I have a drafty cold old house.

    1. Yes and yes 🙂 To double the recipe, go to the top of the recipe card and hover over servings amount, use the slider to double the amount and it will adjust the quantities on the ingredients. Hope this helps!

  7. I have these rising now. I didn’t realize until I read the comments the butter in the ingredient list is supposed to be inside the dough- I thought it was for brushing since the steps don’t say when to add it. I also added the water a little after I started mixing with the bread hook when I realized the dough needed moisture, since it’s not in the steps either. This is my first time making rolls from scratch. Will they still turn out or should I make a new batch?

  8. These were the best dinner rolls I have ever made!!! They were light and fluffy, flavorful and beautiful! Thank you for the recipe.
    I used my bread machine on the dough setting, used bread flour, and accidentally added the 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the dough. They came out great. I repeated the recipe with all purpose flour and left out the melted butter and it was not quite as good but was still happy with the results. I made 9 balls in an 8 x 8 glass pan and they were a great size for dinner. I brushed butter on them again after they came out of the oven.

    1. In the bread machine, did you let it knead only or knead and rise? If you let it knead and rise in the bread machine, then how do you form the rolls before baking. I have never baked rolls so sorry if this question is very basic. 🙂

      1. If I wanted to make the dough ahead of time so that I could just pop them in the oven, what step do I stop on before putting in the fridge? Do I roll the dough into balls and then refrigerate? Then take them out to ride for the 30 minutes in your directions? Thanks so much! These look yummy!

        1. Yes, you’re correct. Once you shape the dough into balls and place them into the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to bake, allow them 30 minutes to rise and follow the instructions. I hope you enjoy them!

  9. It looks good but the recipe is incomplete. It doesn’t say how much butter to put in the dough. It only specifies the amount of melted butter to be used to brush on the rolls before baking. I was eager to try it but need to know how much butter to use in the dough. Thank you.

    1. Sorry for the confusion – the melted butter listed in the recipe is the butter you need. If you brush the top, that would be additional melted butter, as much as you need. Hope this helps!

    1. I haven’t tested it so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  10. Sabrina, can I use my bread machine on dough setting to mix, knead and rise the dough, then bake them. Thank You.

  11. Thanks for posting this recipe. The only question I have is: How do you divide the rolls in an 8″ x 8″ pan? If I make 12 of them, usually I would do 4 x 3, but not sure how to do this in a square pan. Is 8″ x 8″ the correct size?

  12. I don’t have a stand mixer so can I knead this by hand? Also, does it work for making loaves as well? Or do I need to vary it a little?

    1. You can knead it by hand I just prefer to use the stand mixer because it goes so much faster. Yes, this recipe will work for loaves too. I hope you enjoy them!

  13. Hi Sabrina,
    The ingredients only include melted butter. If this is the total amount of butter then can you please tell me how much of this should be added in with the milk and how much should be saved to rush on the rolls.
    PS I really like the explanations you give. They help me to understand why a recipe didn’t turn out and what I can do differently next time.

    1. Sorry for the delay. The two tablespoons of butter listed in the ingredient list is for the dough. You’ll brush the tops with additonal melted butter. Sorry for the confusion as well.

  14. I get frustrated reading some of these recipes because a lot of times important details are left out.
    This one calls for flour, is that “all purpose” flour? I’m guessing self rising would not be used with yeast.
    Having not made bread before this would be important to me.