Emily’s Simple Rolls (Thanksgiving)

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When Thanksgiving rolls around, I usually have more than enough cooking on my plate. With a huge family and multiple meals to attend, not to mention a quiet weekend-after-Thanksgiving celebration with our closest friends and family, the kitchen is usually filled to capacity.

That means that what I desperately need when the time comes to put Thanksgiving dinner together, is easy recipes that will go together in a snap. I don’t want to spend all day dealing with bread, especially when there are so many other tasty dishes to put together but I also have a reputation to uphold, and that means I’m not going to the grocery store and grabbing the nearest bag of bread, either.

Enter these rolls.

With a few simple ingredients most of them you probably already have on hand, especially if you’re prepping Thanksgiving dinner you can throw together stunning rolls that will wow your family, impress your friends, and leave everyone wondering just how long you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen to put together the perfect meal. Last Thanksgiving, when I put these on the table, there were some dropped jaws and questions about just how long I’d spent working on Thanksgiving dinner.

The answer? A secretive smile. (A girl can’t give away all of her secrets, right?)

Are you ready to add that extra something special to your Thanksgiving dinner table? These rolls are the perfect addition and a great way to show off your talents in the kitchen. They’re even a great dish for Thanksgiving potlucks or for people who struggle with what to bring to the table!

The recipe makes four rolls. You can easily double it or triple it to meet the size of your family; however, past a certain point, the dough becomes a little much to handle if you keep increasing the size of the recipe. Luckily, these rolls are so simple to throw together that if you need to make more than one batch, you won’t have any trouble fitting it into your schedule for the day.

How to Prepare No-Yeast Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

Ingredients for No-Yeast Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (add an extra 2 tbsp if using whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt or sour cream

Directions for No-Yeast Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the muffin tin cups or use silicone liners for an effortless release.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  3. Gradually introduce the milk and yogurt or sour cream, mixing with a wooden spoon. As the batter thickens, lightly oil your hands to knead the dough until smooth.
  4. Partition the dough into four even pieces and nestle them into the prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to rotate the tin midway for even baking.

Can I add herbs or seeds to this recipe?

Definitely! This recipe is adaptable. You can mix in your preferred herbs, nuts, or seeds for a unique flavor. Brushing the tops with olive oil and sprinkling seeds before baking will also add a delightful crunch and aesthetic appeal.

What’s the difference between dinner rolls and yeast rolls?

Dinner rolls can be made with or without yeast. Yeast rolls rely on yeast for fermentation, producing a fluffier texture. In contrast, the no-yeast variations, like our recipe, use baking powder as the leavening agent, resulting in a denser yet still delicious roll.

Can I use this recipe for other occasions besides Thanksgiving?

Absolutely! While these dinner rolls complement a Thanksgiving feast, their versatility makes them suitable for any meal, be it a family gathering, Sunday brunch, or a simple weeknight dinner.

How many calories are in these dinner rolls?

Depending on the exact size and any additional ingredients you might add, each roll typically contains between 90-110 calories. However, this is a general estimate, and for a precise count, it’s best to use a calorie calculator with your specific ingredient measurements.

How long do these dinner rolls stay fresh?

When stored in an airtight container, these rolls will remain fresh for up to 2-3 days at room temperature. For longer storage, consider freezing them and reheating when needed.

Is there a way to make these rolls vegan?

Yes, to make these rolls vegan, replace the whole milk with a plant-based milk like almond or soy. Instead of yogurt or sour cream, you can use a vegan alternative or even applesauce to maintain the moisture.

What can I serve with these dinner rolls?

Dinner rolls are versatile and can accompany soups, salads, meats, or even be enjoyed with butter or jams. They’re a delightful addition to any meal!

How can I ensure my dinner rolls are soft and fluffy?

To achieve soft and fluffy dinner rolls, ensure that you don’t overmix the dough. Also, preheating the oven correctly and rotating the tin for even baking plays a crucial role.

Can I use this dinner rolls recipe to make a loaf?

Yes, this recipe can be adapted to make a loaf. Instead of dividing the dough, place it in a greased loaf tin and adjust the baking time accordingly, typically around 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Why are my dinner rolls hard on the outside?

If your rolls come out hard, it could be due to over-baking or having the oven temperature too high. Always preheat your oven and use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temperatures. Additionally, avoid overmixing the dough, as this can lead to tougher rolls.

No-Yeast Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup flour either all-purpose or whole wheat
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk add 2 tbsp if using whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt or sour cream


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease muffin tin cups to hold the bread. Silicone liners can make getting the bread (and any other muffins and cupcakes) out of your muffin tin a snap!
  • Sift together the dry ingredients. Gradually stir in the milk and yogurt or sour cream with a wooden spoon. As the mixture grows thicker, oil your hands to prevent sticking and knead until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Divide the dough into four pieces of roughly the same size and place them in the greased muffin cups. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through.


Recipe Additions:
This is a versatile recipe that can be altered to fit your family's tastes and the theme of your meal. Try adding herbs, nuts, or seeds to the batter for a unique taste, or brush with olive oil and sprinkle seeds on top for an extra crunch.
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