Homemade vegan dinner rolls that are fluffy, flaky, and way easier to make than you might think! You only need 7 ingredients to make these dinner rolls that are perfect for a side dish to any dinner, use them as a roll for quick sandwiches, or with jam at breakfast.
If you are a beginner at making bread at home, don’t worry! This recipe is the perfect place to start. And the reward is a tray filled with soft dinner rolls that everyone will want a second or third helping.
This dough is very similar to my pumpkin clover rolls. In fact, the pumpkin gets swapped for potatoes in this recipe. The result is a pillowy soft roll that is slightly sweet and perfect.
Why You’ll Love these Vegan Dinner Rolls
- Soft, buttery, and perfect pillow like texture
- Simple to follow instructions
- No weird ingredients
- Dairy free, egg free, nut free recipe
What I love about this recipe is that it only requires a few simple ingredients to come together.
- Dairy Free Milk: The warmed milk activates the yeast. For the softest rolls, use a milk with a higher fat percentage, like coconut milk. Soy milk and rice milk are also great choices.
- Yeast: I almost always recommend to use active dry yeast in dough like this. The longer the dough rises means more flavor is developed.
- Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes are what gives these rolls body, texture, and structure to the final roll.
- Oil: Simple canola oil gives this bread the fats to turn it into a buttery soft roll. You could also use coconut or avocado oil.
- Sugar: Sugar helps to feed the yeast and gives the dough sweetness.
- Salt: Every good bread has salt. It actually works with the yeast to provide a better structure and taste.
- Flour: I use all purpose flour for these rolls because of the lower protein percentage. King Arthur Flour makes a great all purpose flour that is always at the same protein percentage. Other brands can vary from batch to batch. I don’t recommend using all bread flour no matter what brand you use as that will result in a dry and tough roll.
- Rosemary Dinner Rolls: Add a tablespoon of fresh or dried chopped rosemary when mixing the dry ingredients.
- Garlic Herbed Rolls: Add up to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and a tablespoon of herbs of your choice (rosemary, basil, chives, parsley, etc) when mixing the dry ingredients.
- Cranberry Orange Dinner Rolls: Add in the zest of one orange and a half cup of dried cranberries when mixing the dough for the first time.
Making the Dough
Even if this is your first time making bread from scratch, don’t worry! These step-by-step instructions are here to help you.
Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.
First, warm the non-dairy milk of your choice and mix it with the yeast and a spoonful of sugar. Cover it and set it aside for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
If your yeast does nothing and doesn’t get foamy looking like the yeast pictured, a few things might have happened. First, the yeast may have expired. Always use fresh yeast. Second, the milk may have been too hot. Aim for about 100F to 110F for the milk temperature. Third, you may be looking too soon. The yeast needs time to proof.
Now it’s time to make the dough. Add all the ingredients to a stand mixer with a dough hook and mix on speed 2 or 3 until the dough forms into a ball. Let it mix on speed 2 or 3 for about 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky but not sticky.
Tip! Sticky dough is when you touch the dough and some sticks to your finger when you pull it away. Tacky dough is when you touch the dough and while it may feel sticky, no dough comes away on your finger.
And yes, you can make this dough by hand! Simply mix the ingredients in a large bowl, until a dough ball forms. Then, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until soft and tacky, about 10 minutes. This totally counts as your arm workout for the day!
Proof the Dough: First Rise
After the dough has come together and been kneaded, it’s time to let it rest for the first rise.
In a large mixing bowl that has been lightly oiled, place the dough ball and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place this bowl someplace warm in the house and let it rise for about an hour, or until it is doubled in size.
Tip! The bowl I love to use the most for bread making is a large ceramic bowl. I find that they rise best in these types of bowls.
Shaping the Rolls: Second Rise
When the dough is about twice the size it was after making it, it’s time to shape the rolls and give them a second rise.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 12 pieces. You can do this in a few different ways.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, then divide into 6 pieces.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then divide into 3 pieces.
Place the new little dough balls into a lightly greased baking tray. Again, place this back in a warm spot and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise for about 30 minutes or until they are not quite double in size again.
While the dough is doing its second rise, turn on the oven and let it preheat for a good 20 minutes. You want the oven to be fully hot when you pop the rolls into the oven!
Baking the Rolls
After the second rise, it’s time to bake the rolls. Uncover them and place them in the oven.
Tip! You can totally brush some melted vegan butter on top of these rolls before baking to help with the color and flavor.
Make sure that the oven rack is in the middle of the oven so that they will evenly bake.
Bake the rolls for 23-26 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Yes! To freeze unbaked bread dough, make the dinner rolls through to the second rise. Instead of letting them do a second rise, pop them in the freezer and freeze totally, about an hour. After they are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer safe container or freezer bag (they won’t stick together after being frozen).
To bake from frozen, allow them to thaw in the fridge for an hour, then bake as normal. They may require a few extra minutes of baking but taste just as good! This is a great way to have fresh dinner rolls for Easter Brunch, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Dinner.
There are typically 2 reasons why these rolls become tough and are not light and soft. The first is that you used too much flour when rolling them out. Try to use as little as possible.
The second reason is that you may have stored them in the fridge. Breads made with yeast, like this one, are best kept on the kitchen countertop to stay soft.
Soft dinner rolls like these and my vegan pumpkin clover rolls are made with an enriched dough. Normally, this requires adding eggs and butter and milk. The soft final result is due to the extra fats worked into the dough.
These rolls are dairy free and egg free but through oils and a secret ingredient, you will get the same pillow soft results.
Top Vegan Rolls Tips
- Make sure that your yeast is not expired! I always check the expiration dates of my ingredients before every bake.
- Use the scoop and fill method for measuring your flours. Don’t just scoop the measuring cup directly into the flour bag. This will overfill your cups, making the final result tough. Use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup and then level it off with the back of a knife.
- Let the oven preheat for a good 20 minutes so that it is ready to go when your rolls are done proofing.
How to Store
Countertop: These rolls will keep on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Fridge: Store the rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing dough before baking: Prepare the dough through making the small dough balls and freeze at that point. To bake after freezing, allow them to come to room temperature and then double in size in a muffin tray.
Freezing after baking: Allow the rolls to fully cool after baking. Store the rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let them come to room temperature and warm before serving.
More Bread Recipes
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- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Stand mixer with dough hook (optional)
- Muffin pan
- Cooking oil
- Extra flour for kneading
- Bench scraper or knife
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- ¾ cup dairy free milk warmed to 100-110F
- 3 tablespoons mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 ½ – 3 cups flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Proof the yeast. In a small mixing bowl, combine the warm dairy free milk with yeast and a sprinkle of sugar. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes. If the yeast does not get foamy, the milk may have been too hot or the yeast may have expired.
- Prepare the dough. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl with a large spoon, combine the proofed yeast, remaining sugar, mashed potatoes, oil, salt, and flour. With the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 30 seconds then scrape down the sides of the bowl. This should take about 2 minutes before the ingredients are fully combined. If the dough is too wet, add in an additional tablespoon of flour until you have a workable dough.
- Knead the dough. Keep the dough in the mixer and on speed 2 or 3, allow the dough to knead for 6 to 8 more minutes. You can knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for the same amount of time. After kneading, the dough should be soft and tacky, but not sticky (it doesn’t stay stuck in your hands).
- First Rise. Lightly grease a large bowl with a neutral oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, patting it with a little extra oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
- Prep the pan. Grease either a 9×13 or an 8×10 baking pan. You can also make these on a lined baking sheet.
- Shape the rolls. When the dough has risen, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. It doesn’t need to be perfect so just eyeball it! Arrange them in your prepared baking dish.
- Second Rise. Cover the shaped rolls with more plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rise until they are puffy, about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how warm the spot is.
- Preheat the oven. While the rolls are in their second rise, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Place the oven rack in the middle or lower third of the oven so that the roll tops don’t burn.
- Bake the rolls. Bake the uncovered rolls for 22-26 minutes or until golden brown on the top. If you see the tops browning too quickly, you can loosely tent the baking dish with aluminum foil. Rolls will have an internal temperature of 190F when fully baked. Remove them from the oven and allow the rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Cover the leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
- How to Store
- Countertop: These rolls will keep on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Fridge: Store the rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freezing dough before baking: Prepare the dough through making the small dough balls and freeze at that point. To bake after freezing, allow them to come to room temperature and then double in size in a muffin tray.
- Freezing after baking: Allow the rolls to fully cool after baking. Store the rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let them come to room temperature and warm before serving.