Thursday, April 4, 2024

Potato Rolls Recipe (Soft & Fluffy Homemade Dinner Rolls)

Make delicious potato rolls with this recipe. These potato rolls are so soft, light and fluffy! 

You just can't get potato buns like this at the grocery store.

Enjoy them warm, slathered with melted butter fresh from the oven.

Once you try homemade potato rolls, you'll never go back. 
potato rolls in a pan


Are you a bread person? I absolutely am and I enjoy making bread and rolls. There's nothing better than a good dinner roll or a freshly baked loaf of bread. 

I began making homemade bread when I was 10 years old.

Those were in the days before my mom got a Kitchenaid. I would knead the dough by hand and everything. 

I'm sure my loaves didn't turn out as good as my mom's but I enjoyed making them and I still do. 

Some of my favorite bread/roll recipes are garlic parmesan bread twists, homemade bread bowls, and daisy braid bread

For a sweet twist, you gotta try Grandma's cinnamon rolls, cinnamon bread, or orange knots.

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potato rolls stacked on a plate with text overlay
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This old fashioned potato rolls recipe came from my neighbor. She's an amazing cook.

She first made them for me when I had my oldest child. If you can believe it, that was 21 years ago! 
They were so good that I requested the recipe. Come to find out they had a secret ingredient. Potatoes! 

These really are the best potato rolls.

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  • yeast
  • water
  • milk
  • shortening
  • sugar
  • salt
  • mashed potatoes
  • egg
  • flour
  • butter


There are several kinds of yeast. This recipe calls for active-dry yeast. You will learn how to proof yeast in the how-to section. Don't use instant yeast, or rapid-rise yeast in this recipe.


I use butter flavored shortening. However, you can use regular shortening, or even substitute butter if you prefer.


This is a great recipe to use leftover mashed potatoes.

If you don't have leftovers, you can totally whip up some instant potatoes. (Don't just add the potato flakes, you do have to actually make them first.)

I've read some recipes that say you shouldn't use mashed potatoes that have butter or milk added to them.

I don't agree. There is not enough milk or butter in a half cup of potatoes to make a difference. I always used leftovers and they always have milk and butter in them. And they always turn out great! 


I generally use all-purpose flour. But have had good results with bread flour too.
ingredients needed for potato rolls


A stand mixer is my favorite tool when making rolls and bread. It makes kneading the dough a breeze.

But you can totally knead by hand if you don't have a stand mixer.

old fashioned potato rolls


Making rolls or bread using yeast can be intimidating. Especially if it's your first time.

But don't worry, I will walk you through each step of the process. You can totally do this!


Let's get started with the yeast. There are a few different types of yeast you can buy. 
For this recipe we are using active dry yeast. This type of yeast needs to be proofed.

This is a process in which you activate the yeast to prove that it is good, that it will raise the dough.  

Here's how you do it. 

Begin by with warm water. For this recipe we need 1/4 cup.

How warm should the water be? 

Ideally, the water should be between 100°-110° F.

But who keeps a thermometer around? Not me. 

Here's my tip: the water should be "baby bottle warm".

Never made a baby bottle? Hold your wrist under the running water. When it feels just slightly warm, then it's good. 

Pour the water into a bowl, add the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. (Yeast feeds on sugar, so it will grow more quickly when sugar is added.)

Stir it once or twice and then just let it sit.

collage depicting yeast proofing

If the yeast is good, it will feed on the yeast and start to expand.

It will look foamy like in the bottom half of the picture above. This will take about 5 minutes.

If the yeast is not good, then it won't do anything. Most likely this is because the conditions weren't right (water too hot or too cold). Just try again paying careful attention to the temperature of the water.

Rarely it could be that you have a batch of bad yeast. (I buy yeast in bulk and have never bought bad yeast in all the years I've been baking.)


While the yeast is proofing, warm the milk and shortening. 

My grandma always did this over the stove. I use the microwave. 

Add the milk and shortening to a glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the shortening is mostly melted.

Using warmed milk to make the dough warms the dough and makes an ideal temperature for the yeast to continue working. 

milk and shortening in a glass cup


In the bowl of a stand mixer, add milk mixture, sugar, salt, mashed potatoes, egg, yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour. 
collage of mixing dough for rolls
Mix on low speed until combined, using the dough hook attachment.  Then add the additional flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing between each cup. Do not exceed 5 cups total flour.

The dough should begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It will be a soft dough, but it will form a smooth ball. 

Knead for 10 minutes.

Add dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning dough so that it is coated with the oil. 

Then cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place. Let it sit and let the dough rise until double (about 45-60 minutes).
potato roll dough in a bowl

 Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough. Now it's time to make the dough into rolls.

Tip: Most recipes will have you form the balls on a lightly floured surface. The problem is that too much flour can be incorporated into the dough and the rolls can be dry. 
My solution: Spray the counter with cooking spray. It helps prevent the dough from sticking. And it doesn't dry it out.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. Shape the pieces into round dough balls.

Place them in a greased pan. I fit 12 rolls in a 9 X 13 pan, and put the rest in another pan. 

(You can also use a cookie sheet or other type of pan.)

I like the rolls to touch after they've risen to create soft sides. 

If you want, you can spread them out more on a baking sheet to create more of a crust over the whole roll.

Once all the dough is formed into balls, cover them and let rise until double (30-45 minutes).

collage of potato dough balls in a pan

Note: Another way to make these rolls is to roll out the dough, cut out into circles and fold in half. This is how my Grandma always made rolls. Check out her recipe and this unique way of forming the rolls. This is how my neighbor makes them too.


Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the rolls for 10-14 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Immediately brush with melted butter. 

potato rolls made with mashed potatoes

These turn out so light and fluffy and perfectly soft. They're so much better than store bought!

a plate of potato rolls

 Enjoy them with chicken noodle soup, Sunday dinner, or just eat with jam.


Leftover rolls can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Toss them in a hot oven for a few minutes to warm if desired. 


Potato rolls can be frozen. Place in a ziptop bag and store for 1-2 months. Let thaw and then warm in oven if desired.

a potato roll with jam on a plate near a stack of rolls and a pan with rolls in it.


Don't forget to pin it!!
mashed potato rolls recipe

easy potato dinner rolls with text overlay

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