Turkey and stuffing aside, a basket of warm, soft, and buttery bread is always the sleeper hit of Thanksgiving. Rolls go with every side dish (especially gravy) and are an essential part of leftovers — because what’s the day after Thanksgiving without a sandwich? You can’t go wrong with any homemade bread, but if you need inspiration, here are our 16 best roll recipes. Brush up on your shaping skills before big day, and watch our video on how to shape dinner rolls while you're at it. 

Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Bring on the grated cheese and black pepper. More is more with these dinner rolls

1) Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls

Pecorino and black pepper are key to cheesy, piquant cacio e pepe pasta, and they’re also what transform these unique dinner rolls from good to irresistible. The cheese and pepper are mixed into the dough, and once baked, the rolls get an additional coating of shredded cheese and freshly ground black pepper. (These also bake up beautifully with our Gluten-Free Bread Flour.)

Get the recipe: Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls (or Gluten-Free Cacio e Pepe Clover Rolls)

Shop the recipe: Muffin Pan

Japanese Milk Bread Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
These rolls are the secret to stress-free Thanksgiving prep.

2) Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

It’s no surprise that the plush, feathery crumb of a milk bread loaf translates well to dinner roll form. Tangzhong makes this bread super-soft and increases its shelf life. In other words, you can bake these several days ahead of Thanksgiving and, after a brief reheating in the oven, they’ll taste just as fresh as the day they were made. 

Get the recipe: Japanese Milk Bread Rolls 

Shop the recipe: Baker’s Special Dry Milk

Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls Photography by John Sherman; food styling by Liz Neily
If you need an emergency dinner roll recipe, look no further. 

3) Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls 

It’s all in the title: two dozen rolls, ready in just over an hour and a half. Yes, you can have it all. A whopping 2 1/2 tablespoons of yeast fast-forwards the proofing and rising stages, so these are an excellent candidate for last-minute baking. 

Get the recipe: Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls 

Shop the recipe: SAF Red Instant Yeast 

Parker House Rolls Photography and food styling by Tieghan Gerard
Now this is a dinner roll with serious staying power. 

4) Parker House Rolls 

Perhaps the most iconic dinner roll out there, the Parker House Roll has been beloved since its invention over 150 years ago. These are pillowy-soft thanks to potato flour and ultra-buttery from the melted butter bath they get after baking.

Get the recipe: Parker House Rolls 

Shop the recipe: Potato Flour

Amish Dinner Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
A perennial favorite amongst Thanksgiving bakers (and eaters!).

5) Amish Dinner Rolls

You can bet this recipe will be a hit at your Thanksgiving — there are nearly 500 five-star reviews to back that up. Mashed potatoes keep these buttery, golden rolls moist, which also means you can make them several days ahead of your Thanksgiving feast and reheat to serve.

Get the recipe: Amish Dinner Rolls  

Shop the recipe: 9" x 13" pan

Hawaiian Buns John Sherman
Dreaming of a sweet and savory leftover sandwich? Start here

6) Hawaiian Buns 

King’s Hawaiian rolls have made their way from the Big Island to most grocery stores on the mainland, but they’re even better when made from scratch. Pineapple juice gives these rolls a hint of tropical sweetness, and baking them in a 9" x 13" pan recreates the tear-and-share experience of storebought.  

Get the recipe: Hawaiian Buns 

Shop the recipe: Potato Flour

Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Patience pays off with these uniquely crunchy-yet-airy rolls

7) Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls 

Plan accordingly, since these rolls require an overnight starter and several rests, but they’re well worth it. The key to their crispy, crackly top crust is a final rest in the refrigerator after shaping and proofing, plus an egg wash before baking. And beneath that irresistibly shiny crust, these rolls are delightfully light and airy. (For an even crispier crust, you can add steam to your oven with a preheated cast iron skillet.)

Get the recipe: Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls 

Shop the recipe: All-Purpose Flour

Pretzel Buns Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
A twist on the classic — without the twisting

8) Pretzel Buns

If you want the salty, malty flavors of baked pretzels in your breadbasket but don’t want to work hard for it, turn to these pretzel buns. Instead of twisting and shaping, you simply need to roll the dough into balls and add a decorative crosscut on top. A sprinkle of coarse pretzel salt is the finishing touch.

Get the recipe: Pretzel Buns 

Shop the recipe: Baker’s Special Dry Milk

Sourdough Dinner Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Everything you love about the taste of sourdough, with none of the hassle. 

9) Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Break out your starter for these ultra-buttery rolls. This recipe calls for commercial yeast to do most of the heavy lifting — rather than being a natural leavener, starter provides tangy flavor and chewiness. The dinner rolls are baked in two 8" pans, ensuring a perfect pull-apart texture. 

Get the recipe: Sourdough Dinner Rolls 

Shop the recipe: Sourdough Starter 

Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
A touch of honey, molasses, and a hint of cocoa make these the ideal sidekick to your savory feast. 

10) Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls

A familiar sight at steakhouses, these slightly sweet rolls (the secret is honey and molasses) are even better when recreated at home. A smidge of cocoa gives them their signature color, but it’s not enough cocoa to impart any chocolatey flavor — these are the perfect foil to a savory spread of food. 

Get the recipe: Dark & Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls 

Shop the recipe: White Whole Wheat Flour 

Onion Buns Liz Neily
Onion-infused perfection from dough to spiral. 

11) Onion Buns

The simple addition of dried onion improves upon the humble bun. Onion takes two forms in this recipe: Onion powder is mixed directly into the dough, while a filling of dried onion is spiraled throughout.

Get the recipe: Onion Buns 

Shop the recipe: Rolling Mat

Chewy Sourdough Rolls Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
A seedy topping accentuates the chewy texture of these delightful dinner rolls

12) Chewy Sourdough Rolls

Instead of soft and squishy, these dinner rolls are chewy and hearty. They absolutely belong on your Thanksgiving (and leftovers!) table, and if you need convincing, this reviewer who made leftover smoked turkey and mayonnaise sandwiches on these rolls may sway you: “I can only say this of that sandwich, ‘I laughed, I cried, it moved me.’” 

Get the recipe: Chewy Sourdough Rolls 

Shop the recipe: Everything Bagel Topping

Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Mark Weinberg
Add a touch of pumpkin spice to your Thanksgiving dinner table.

13) Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls 

If pumpkin pie is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert, these beautiful knotted rolls deserve a spot on your dinner table. These rolls, like pumpkin pie, feature both pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice, for a savory take on a favorite seasonal flavor. 

Get the recipe: Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls 

Shop the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Herb & Onion Rolls Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Make two dozen small rolls in a 9" x 13" pan, or one dozen clover leaf rolls. The choice is yours. 

14) Herb & Onion Rolls

Herbes de Provence and dried onion will fill your kitchen — and these rolls — with a lovely aroma. This dough is incredibly versatile, so you can shape them as classic dinner rolls, clover leaf rolls, or bake them in a muffin pan for extra height.

Get the recipe: Herb & Onion Rolls  

Shop the recipe: Herbes de Provence

Tray of sweet potato rolls dusted with flour. John Sherman
With so much squash in season right now, there's no excuse to skip these versatile rolls

15) Sweet Potato Rolls 

These rolls can be adapted to whatever you have on hand: Puréed sweet potato, yams, squash, pumpkin, or mashed potato will all give these rolls a wonderful soft texture. Make these for Thanksgiving, or make them the day after Thanksgiving using some of your mashed leftovers.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Rolls 

Shop the recipe: All-Purpose Flour 

Sour Cream & Chive Potato Bread or Rolls Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Potato bread gets the baked potato treatment. (Sour cream and chives, that is.) 

16) Sour Cream & Chive Potato Bread or Rolls 

Sour cream and chives are a classic pairing with baked potatoes, but they truly shine in these potato rolls. The recipe yields two dozen dinner rolls, which practically guarantees you’ll have enough for days to come. Squirrel some away for sandwiches! 

Get the recipe: Sour Cream & Chive Potato Bread 

Shop the recipe: 9" x 13" pan

Cover photo and food styling (Japanese Milk Bread Rolls) by Liz Neily. 

Ready to get a start on Thanksgiving prep? Make sure you’re familiar with these 4 Tips for Failproof Pie Dough.

Jump to Comments
Japanese Milk Bread Rolls
Japanese Milk Bread Rolls
4.7 out of 5 stars 563 Reviews
3 hrs 57 mins
8 to 10 rolls, depending on size
Filed Under: Recipes
A headshot of Tatiana Bautista
The Author

About Tatiana Bautista

Tatiana Bautista is a writer, editor, and avid home baker and cook. She grew up on Long Island, New York, where her family helped instill a lifelong love of food through homestyle Toisanese dishes and weekly outings for dim sum. From a young age, she’s had an interest in baking thanks to her aunt, w...
View all by Tatiana Bautista