Soft Onion Rolls

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These Onion Rolls are soft and fluffy, with a healthy bite of onion flavor. They are perfect for adding to your holiday menu or just when you want something a little different from your typical dinner rolls.

Baked onion rolls in a white baking dish.

Onion Rolls are similar to what you might find in the bread basket at a fancy steakhouse, so try pairing them with my Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon and a Steakhouse Salad. You can also whip them on for Thanksgiving dinner, or pair them with your Easter Baked Ham.

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Why We Love This Recipe

  • They are so soft and fluffy!
  • The spicy onion is mellowed out a bit when sauteed in butter, but the onion powder brings it back around. They have a great sweet onion flavor without the heat.”
  • These are what I like to call “dressed up dinner rolls.” I used a simple dough recipe but gussied it up with some beautiful onion flavor.
  • The rapid rise yeast is a game changer! Normally your dinner rolls would require several hours of rise time, but these onion rolls only need about 30-45 minutes.
Ingredients needed to make onion rolls.

Ingredients

  • Onion – You can use whichever onion they prefer. I love sweet onions, like Walla Walla or Vidalia, for this recipe but if you want more of a bite to the flavor, white or red onion will work fine too.
  • Butter – Helps to make the rolls rich and tender.
  • All Purpose Flour – Part of the base for this recipe. Just regular all-purpose flour is all that’s needed.
  • Granulated Sugar – Most bread recipes will have a little bit of sweetener to balance the flavor. You only need a little bit and you can use a sugar substitute if needed.
  • Rapid Rise Yeast – Make sure you pay attention to the product you buy. The rapid rise yeast doesn’t require any bloom time and what helps to get the job done is less than half the time. Regular yeast rolls will take several hours, but these onion rolls are done in less than an hour and a half.
  • Onion Powder – To strengthen the onion flavor of the rolls.
  • Milk – Any milk fat will work here.

How To Make Onion Rolls

This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

Chopped onions in a skillet, sauteed in oil.

Step 1: Melt butter in a skillet and saute onion over medium heat, just until they begin to turn golden brown. Set aside to cool, then blot with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible.

Flour in a large mixing bowl with a whisk.

Step 2: Whisk together dry ingredients – flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and onion powder.

Whisked egg with water in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3: Microwave milk, water, and butter to 120℉.

Hand mixer in a bowl of dough.

Step 4: Combine dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and half of the onions using a hand mixer.

Dough that has been kneaded in a large bowl.

Step 5: Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer and knead with the dough hook. You can also knead by hand. The consistency of the dough should be like a slightly sticky playdough.

Risen dough in a large clear glass mixing bowl.

Step 6: Cover the bowl and set aside to rise for about 15 minutes.

Balls of dough in a baking dish.

Step 7: Separate the dough into balls to form the rolls and set aside to rise for 20-30 minutes.

Risen, unbaked rolls with sauteed onions on top, in a white baking dish.

Step 8: Brush with butter and top with remaining sauteed onions, then bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe FAQs

Do I need to “bloom” the yeast?

Rapid yeast, unlike regular yeast, does not require bloom time. If you want to use regular yeast, the yeast should be added to the warm milk mixture instead of the flour mixture and should be left in the warm liquid for about 5 minutes or until it begins to froth. 

How do you store yeast rolls?

Store any leftover rolls in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven, microwave, or air fryer if desired. It’s not recommended to keep bread in the refrigerator as it will dry out the bread much faster.

Can you freeze onion rolls?

You absolutely can freeze these rolls. Once they are cooled to room temperature, wrap them in plastic wrap and then place into a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw on the counter and reheat if desired.

Onion Rolls in a small stack on a white plate.

Helpful Tips

  • It is really important that you blot the onions with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Too much moisture and your rolls will not rise. Do not skip this step!
  • I love using the microwave to let my dough/rolls rise. You can make it nice and warm by warming up a bowl of water in there for a minute or two prior to placing the dough in. 
  • Be gentle when brushing butter/onions on top. You don’t want to deflate the rolls! 
  • If your rolls aren’t browning enough, you can add more butter to the tops. You could even use a simple egg wash if preferred, but I like the flavor of butter better! 

More Bread Recipes

  1. Focaccia Bread
  2. Buttery Frozen Dinner Rolls (with Rhodes Rolls)
  3. Indian Fry Bread
  4. Copycat Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread
  5. Garlic Cheese Toast
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Onion rolls social media image.

Onion Rolls Recipe

5
These Onion Rolls are soft and fluffy, with a healthy bite of onion flavor. They are perfect for adding to your weeknight or holiday menu.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Rolls
Calories 147kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small sweet onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons butter divided
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 packet RapidRise yeast (2-¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter and add the onion. Cook slowly over medium heat until the onion starts to turn golden brown. (About 3-5 minutes) Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, blot the onions to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granular sugar, yeast, salt and onion powder until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a microwave safe small bowl combine the milk, water and 2 remaining Tablespoons of butter. Heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals until the temperature reaches 120-130 degrees.
  • Move the heated milk mixture to a larger bowl and combine with ½ cup of the flour mixture. Use an electric mixer on low speed to mix until combined.
  • Add about ½ cup of the prepared, blotted onions and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Slowly add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time until the dough resembles a thick and slightly sticky playdough.
  • Move the prepared dough into the bowl of a stand mixer and use the dough hook to knead for 6-8 minutes on low. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand on a prepared floured surface. The dough is ready when you can press it and it returns back to shape.
  • Cover the dough and move to a warm area to rest for about 10-15 minutes, the dough will rise slightly.
  • Separate the dough into 12 evenly sized rolls and shape if needed. Place them in a prepared dish.
  • Cover and set aside to rise for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Melt the remaining butter and add the remaining onions to it. Brush this mixture over the rolls until the tops are completely coated.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through.

Notes

  • It is really important that you blot the onions with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Too much moisture and your rolls will not rise. Do not skip this step!
  • Store rolls in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Do not store in the fridge or they will dry out much faster.
  • To freeze, wrap them in plastic wrap and then place into a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months and thaw on the counter.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 237mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 162IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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