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.
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!
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.
- 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, or add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your milk.
- 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.
- Vegan Butter — I prefer using vegan butter sticks like Earth Balance or Miyokos, but tub margarine works here, too.
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.
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!
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.
How do we add more fat to vegan dinner rolls? Indeed, we won’t add an egg, like many dinner rolls recipes. But we’ll use a flax egg instead. A typical chicken egg has 5 grams of fat. A flax egg has 4.3 grams of fat. Pretty comparable!
Here are some more tasty vegan bread recipes you can include in your kitchen for tasty plant-based meals:
Here are some of my favorite tips after making this vegan roll recipe perfect every time:
- Make sure your yeast is still good and hasn’t expired.
- 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.
- 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.
- My favorite tip is to add a little melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
These came out SOOO yummy! Big hit with my family!
Easy Vegan Dinner Rolls
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter , melted, for brushing
- 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.
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Make-ahead TipsFridge Method — Place prepared dough balls in a pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the whole pan. It will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. 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, and place in the freezer. Once the dough is frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This allows you to remove and bake a few at a time. Ready to bake? Place the frozen dough balls in a pan, cover the pan, and let the rolls thaw and rise. Then follow the baking instructions. If you’re working with refrigerated or frozen dough, allow additional rising time in the subsequent step.
Shaping Dinner RollsFollow these steps to make a basic round roll:
- Portion the dough into 14 relatively equal pieces
- Dip your fingers in 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.
- 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!
Plant-Based MilkYou can use higher-fat plant-based milk (such as cashew milk) for softer dinner rolls.
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.