Easy Light and Fluffy Homemade Dinner Rolls

Oftentimes, the hallmark of a special meal is the basket of fluffy dinner rolls passed from hand to hand. Thankfully, these homemade dinner rolls are easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients.

No yeast? Try these easy biscuits!

Contributed by Shannon Stonger

lightly browned dinner rolls in a glass dish

If there’s secret to making a meal better, it’s this: Homemade bread. These amazing dinner rolls don’t require much hands-on time and yield that wonderful aroma that draws everyone to the kitchen. 

This recipe, in particular, is one to keep in your back pocket for potlucks or festive occasions alike. A very short kneading time gives them incredible tenderness while a bit of melted coconut oil makes these hand made dinner rolls a rich flavor

These soft dinner rolls are delicious enough to be a treat but easy enough for everyday. 

Making homemade dinner rolls

As with most bread recipes, the active time for making the dough is much less than the rising time. You’ll just need to plan ahead a bit.

This recipe results in wonderfully fluffy dairy free dinner rolls that are also vegan, with coconut oil standing in for butter. (And yes, if you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use butter instead.)

Fresh out of the oven, these soft rolls will make any dinner look good, but there’s nothing like fresh rolls to perk up boring leftovers!

ingredients for making rolls: flour, sugar, yeast, salt


Requiring just 5 ingredients, you can pull these rolls together from a well-stocked pantry. 

Bread flour – With a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, bread flour provides the stretch and elasticity we all love in bread. If you do not have bread flour on hand, you can substitute all-purpose flour and it’s unlikely anyone will notice. 

Sugar – The sugar in bread recipes is food for the yeast. When yeast consumes sugar, it expels the gasses that make bread rise. I prefer to use organic cane sugar but use what you have in the pantry. You can also use honey.

Coconut oil – The classic dinner rolls recipe calls for melted butter, but this one uses coconut oil to make a wonderful dairy free dinner roll. But trust me when I say: Even omnivorous diners will love these easy rolls. You can, of course, substitute butter instead.

Yeast – This is the ingredient that gives rise to these soft pull-apart dinner rolls. Use active dry yeast and allow it to proof before adding it to the flour.

steps to making rolls: shaggy dough, risen dough, formed rolls in pan

Making the dough and forming the rolls

Start by combining the sugar, warm water, and yeast in a mixing bowl to proof. Add remaining ingredients and knead the dough right in the bowl

attainable sustainable find out more box.

Allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, then divide into 15 balls. Place shaped balls of dough into a casserole dish and allow to rise again. 

Bake until lightly browned and serve warm with butter and jam.

dinner rolls served in a white bowl


★ Did you make these homemade dinner rolls? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

pull apart roll on a wooden spatula with a pan full in the background

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

These vegan dinner rolls are light and fluffy and delicious. While you'll need to plan ahead to allow a little rising time, there's minimal hands on effort to make these!


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened, but not hot
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt


  1. Combine the sugar, 1/4 cup of the warm water, and active dry yeast in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine and leave to proof for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles begin to form. Add remaining water.
  2. Stir in the coconut oil, bread flour, and salt and mix until the flour is hydrated. Gently oil your hands and knead the dough in the bowl for 3-5 minutes or until a soft but still slightly shaggy dough forms, reapplying oil as needed to keep dough from sticking.
  3. Cover bowl with a plate, lid, or plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough and divide it into three equal pieces. Divide each piece of dough into fifths, forming fifteen total pieces of dough.
  4. Generously grease a glass 9x13" pan. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by folding and stretching the dough over itself until a smooth surface forms. Place roll into greased pan and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
  5. Cover pan a lid or greased plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, approximately 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. Once oven is hot, bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top. Allow to cool for five minutes in pan before removing. Serve warm with butter or homemade jam.


If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use butter instead.

With a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, bread flour provides the stretch and elasticity we all love in bread. If you do not have bread flour on hand, you can substitute all-purpose flour. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 343mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

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freshly baked roll on a plate, halved and spread with jam

Originally published June 2017; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Shannon Stonger is the founder of the blog Nourishing Days, where she shares her family’s journey towards sustainability. She is the author of The Doable Off-Grid Homestead, Traditionally Fermented Foods, and the sourdough baking book 100% Rye. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and lives with her husband, five children, and various farm animals on their five-acre homestead in Texas.

11 comments… add one
  • Miss Cellaneous Sep 14, 2022 @ 20:56

    The best, FLUFFIEST abd softest rolls I have EVER made (and bread is a STAPLE in my house! I used 1/4 cup honey in place of honey. I got away with a little less than 1/4cup the 2nd time around. Tip: if you use honey, add all the water and honey at the same time to activate the yeast. If you add 1/4c honey and 1/4c water to the yeast it won’t foam properly.

    • AttainableSustainable Sep 20, 2022 @ 11:39

      Good to hear the honey worked for you, and a good tip, thanks!

  • Lindsay Apr 8, 2020 @ 15:12

    Thank you for this recipe. I do enjoy cooking but had never made rolls until today. My husband ate four at supper and my four year ate two. They were a huge hit.

  • Ann Apr 2, 2020 @ 10:56

    I think your rising time can be shorter for first proofing if you use your instant pot. It must have a yogurt button tho.

    • Christine Springis Apr 2, 2020 @ 13:58

      Hello Kriss. I tried to purchase your Sustainable book for the first of April. Corona virus 19 closed the store before I could purchase it and have it delivered before store closed. As soon as they reopen I look forward to purchaseing The Sustainable Book to add to my home library. Christine S.

      • Kris Bordessa Apr 12, 2020 @ 13:51

        Yes, this virus has made it difficult to find at many local booksellers. I hope you’re able to find it soon.

  • Kathleen Rago Apr 2, 2020 @ 10:19

    The recipe sounds easy and the rolls look yummy. I am curious to know whether you could use the base recipe, except for the flour, and substitute wheat or rye, etc. flour and come out with satisfactory rolls?

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 12, 2020 @ 13:52

      I’ve had luck replacing up to 1/2 the all-purpose flour with heavier flours like wheat and rye. It will still *work with the whole flours, but the rolls will be very dense.

  • Crystal Dec 21, 2018 @ 9:36

    Hi Shannon,

    How do you fold and stretch the balls?

    Thanks for the recipe! Crystal

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 27, 2018 @ 16:14

      I don’t know if Shannon will see this — she has a new baby! — but let me give it a try. It’s kind of like playing with play dough. You basically want to turn the edges under the dough, so the top is smooth. I feel like if you give it a try, you’ll get the hang of it quickly!

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 18:17

    Great recipe. Easy to make.

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