Vegan Dinner Rolls

This easy vegan dinner rolls recipe creates soft, tender, buttery rolls that are simple to make. Made with only 7 ingredients, these vegan rolls add something special to family dinners or even a Thursday night, “sit on the couch watching TV” meal. If you need dairy-free dinner rolls, you’ll love this recipe.

A vegan yeast roll sits on a plate in front of a pan with more rolls.

I have been into making homemade bread for a long time now. I think it started because my mom always insisted on making homemade dinner rolls for our family dinners. And I’m oh-so-glad she did.

Now I love making homemade dinner rolls, whether it be for big family gatherings or even simple weeknight meals. Of course, I took my mom’s recipe and veganized it, and she doesn’t mind a bit.

Making Dinner Rolls Vegan

You can always tell the quality of a restaurant based on the bread they serve. That’s one reason I love to serve delicious homemade bread with my meals at home.

Of course, soft dinner rolls rely on fat from eggs and whole milk, so would it be possible to make them vegan? That’s the question I asked and I’m happy to report the answer is a resounding yes!

Looking down on a baking dish full of vegan bread rolls, with one missing.

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Plant-based milk — I prefer using soy milk, but almond milk or any other plant-based milk will work. For softer dinner rolls, choose plant-based milk with fat in it, or add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your milk.
  • Sugar — We’ll use a bit of sugar to activate the yeast and for flavor.
  • Yeast — You can use either regular active yeast or fast-rise active yeast, otherwise known as instant yeast. You’ll need one packet.
  • Flour — You can use either all-purpose flour or bread flour. All-purpose flour works fine, but bread flour will create softer rolls.
  • Salt — We’ll use salt to add delicious flavor to these dinner rolls.
  • Vegan Butter — I prefer using vegan butter sticks like Earth Balance or Miyokos, but tub margarine works here, too.

How to Make Vegan Dinner Rolls

Here’s a synopsis of the steps involved in making these easy vegan dinner rolls:

  1. Proof the yeast: Stir together sugar and yeast with warm water milk.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Whisk together 2 cups of flour and salt.
  3. Make the Dough: Combine ingredients as described in the recipe card below.
    A hand holds a pyrex measuring cup full of a yeast mixture. It's being poured into a flour mixture.
  4. Cover and Rise: Cover the bowl and place in a warm, dry place until it’s doubled in size.
    Dough is rising in a glass bowl.
  5. Make Dough Balls: Punch down the dough and portion it off and create rolls.
  6. Second Rise: Cover the rolls and set it aside to rise for 30 to 40 minutes.
    These vegan Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls require some time for rising.
  7. Bake: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  8. Coat with Butter: Brush freshly baked rolls with melted vegan butter and maybe even some vegan honey.

The dough rises best in a warm place. One way to do this is to heat a pyrex cup full of water in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (until it’s hot). Then place the covered dough in the microwave and close the door. The heat from the water combined with the steam is an excellent space to allow the dough to rise.

Looking down on vegan yeast rolls in a baking dish, with some of them turned sideways.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • CROWD FAVORITE — Adding homemade bread to any meal will make it an instant hit!
  • EASY — Yes, the dough requires time to rise, but with only 7 ingredients and some easy make-ahead tips, these dinner rolls are easy to serve for dinner.
  • FLAVORFUL — Add your favorite seasonings to the dough, such as rosemary or garlic, to make these dinner rolls even more delicious!

Frequently-Asked Questions

Are dinner rolls vegan?

The average store-bought dinner roll is not vegan because they use a combination of cow’s milk and/or eggs. However, read the labels because there are some accidentally vegan dinner roll brands. It’s also easy to make your own vegan dinner rolls at home.

Dinner Rolls Without Eggs

There is a simple formula to create soft dinner rolls, and it is all about the dough. Think of it this way:

Crusty bread = lean dough = less fat in the dough.
Softer bread = rich dough = more fat in the dough.

So, for soft and tender dinner rolls, we’ll add more fat to the dough. This is referred to as a rich dough, meaning it’s rich in fat.

How do we add more fat to vegan dinner rolls? It’s true we won’t be adding an egg, like many dinner rolls recipes. But we’ll use a flax egg instead. Here’s the comparison when it comes to fat:

A standard egg has 5 grams of fat, and a flax egg? It has 4.3 grams of fat. Pretty comparable!

Shaping Dinner Rolls

There are several ways to roll dinner rolls, such as knotted rolls, cloverleaf, and even vegan hot dog bun shapes.

Follow these steps to make a basic round roll:

  • Portion the dough into 14 pieces
  • Dip each ball in the oil from the pan and gently pull the sides down, working the dough until it’s the shape of a ball.
  • Pinch and seal the bottom of the dough ball
  • You can also roll the ball on a non-floured surface with your hand shaped like a large C.

Bread Favorites

Here are some more tasty vegan bread recipes you can include in your kitchen for tasty plant-based meals:

Serve these vegan dinner rolls with this Vegan Garlic Pasta dish or this Vegan Beef Stew. Homemade rolls make every meal special!

Looking down a dinner roll with vegan honey butter spread over the top. There's another bowl with more of the butter and a plate with three dinner rolls on it.

Marly’s Tips

Here are some of my favorite tips after making this vegan roll recipe perfect every time:

  1. Make sure your yeast is still good and hasn’t expired.
  2. Measure the flour correctly to make sure your rolls are soft and tender. Too much flour creates a dense dough. Spoon and leveling the flour is the way to go.
  3. To get equally-sized rolls, weigh the total dough on a kitchen scale and divide that by 12. Then weigh each dough ball to get a consistent dinner roll size.
  4. My favorite tip is to add a little melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

Dinner Roll Flavoring Ideas

Change up the flavor of your rolls by adding any of the following to your dough:

  • Rosemary Dinner Rolls – add 2 tablespoons chopped dried rosemary.
  • Garlic and Herb Dinner Rolls – add a teaspoon of garlic powder along with 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls — There are two ways to create whole wheat dinner rolls 1) Use whole wheat pastry flour or 2) Substitute a quarter of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. That will add some fiber while keeping these vegan dinner rolls nice and fluffy.
  • Cheddar Dinner Rolls — Chop up half of a cup of vegan cheddar shreds and stir it into the dough. Of course, vegan cheddar biscuits are always great, too!

Make-Ahead Tips

You can make quick vegan dinner rolls by following these make-ahead tips:

  • Fridge Method: Make the dough and prepare the dough balls in a pan and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the whole pan. It will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, set the pan on the counter to allow the dough to come to room temperature. Then follow the baking instructions.
  • Freezer Method: Create the dough balls and place them on a tray. Place the tray in the freezer. Once the dough balls have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This allows you to remove and bake a few at a time. To bake, place the frozen dough balls in a pan, cover the pan, and allow the rolls to thaw and rise. Then follow the baking instructions.

Reader Reviews

★★★★★
These came out SOOO yummy! Big hit with my family!

Kristy
A hand holds half of a vegan dinner roll with a pat of melted butter on top. The pan of dinner rolls behind it.
A vegan bread roll sits on a plate.

Easy Vegan Dinner Rolls

These vegan dinner rolls are tender and buttery, perfect for your next vegan dinner. Follow these instructions to make these yeast rolls tonight.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 14 rolls
Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg
  • ½ cup water
  • ½  cup plant-based milk (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoons fast rise active-dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (or bread flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegan butter , melted

Topping

Instructions

  • Prepare the flax egg by combining finely ground flax seed with water. Set aside for the mixture to thicken.
  • Combine the water and milk together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds, until the liquid becomes just lukewarm. You should be able to insert your finger into the liquid and not feel a notable difference.
  • Add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Stir and set aside.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if you don't have a stand mixer) add the remaining sugar, flax egg, melted vegan butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. With the paddle attachment, mix/beat on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then add the yeast mixture and the remaining flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl (around 2 minutes). Add a tablespoon or two of additional flour if the dough is too wet. You want the dough to be slightly sticky.
  • Knead the Dough: Switch to a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 3 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 3 minutes.
  • First Rise: Transfer the dough ball to a large bowl sprayed with vegetable oil. Turn the dough ball to ensure all sides are covered with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place in a warm, dry place to allow the dough to rise until it's doubled in size, roughly an hour or more. See post on ideas for where to let dough rise.
  • When the dough has risen, spread vegetable oil across the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Shape the dough balls: Punch down the dough, then divide it into 14 to 16 equally-sized pieces. Dip each ball in the oil from the pan and gently pull the sides down, working the dough until it's the shape of a ball. It can help you work the dough if you occasionally touch your fingers into the oil in the pan. Place the dough balls about 1" apart in the prepared pan.
  • Second Rise: Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a dampened kitchen towel. If using a sheet of plastic wrap, spray it with vegetable spray (so the plastic won't stick to the rising rolls). Cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until doubled in size.
  • Bake: When you're ready to bake, heat your oven to 350°F (175°C). When the oven is at the correct temperature, remove the cover from the rolls, and place the pan in a lower rack in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  • Remove them from the oven. Immediately brush with a thin layer of melted vegan butter. These rolls are best when served warm, but can be made ahead, frozen or refrigerated, and heated up prior to serving.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

*Yeast rises best in a moist environment so lean on the side of the dough being too sticky rather than too dry.
Make-ahead Tips: Cover the dough ball in plastic wrap and either freeze or refrigerate. In addition, you can freeze dough balls (before they have risen) by putting them on a tray and placing them in the freezer, once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.
If you’re working with refrigerated or frozen dough, allow additional rising time in the subsequent step.
To make evenly sized rolls, weigh the entire ball of dough and then divide by 12 and weigh each individual dough ball.
Plant-Based Milk — You can use higher-fat plant-based milk (such as cashew milk) for softer dinner rolls.
Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

You know I love a good, vegan bread recipe. Have you tried my Vegan Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls?

This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.

9 Responses to Vegan Dinner Rolls

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKristy Reply

    5 stars
    These came out SOOO yummy! Big hit with my family! I didn’t have rapid rise yeast so I let it rise during the day over about 6 hours and just kneaded half way and let it keep rising again and then a third time before baking. Yum!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad you liked these dinner rolls, Kristy! Your adaptations sound great, too!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKaren Reply

    Need Gluten-free-will try with Gluten free flour

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyShannin Reply

    5 stars
    I skeptical that these would turn out well, especially after my dough ended up shaggy rather than sticky. However, I added a little water & hoped for the best. These turned out beautifully. I will definitely be making these again.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyScott Rudolph Reply

    If I have frozen these, when should they be removed from the freezer if I want to have them ready to eat at 3:00 PM?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Scott. I’m assuming the rolls are already baked and ready to go. If so, remove them from the freezer anytime. I would set them out as soon as the night before even, but again, it doesn’t matter if they’re not out yet. Heat your oven to 300F and place the rolls in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Check one to make sure they’re warmed in the center.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLinda Reply

    When do you add the first 3 T of melted vegan butter?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Linda! The recipe has been edited to include the melted vegan butter. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLeona Reply

    5 stars
    This looks very similar to the recipe I’ve used for years. And we used to make this together. ❤️

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