Potato Rolls

These soft, fluffy tender potato pull-apart rolls are a family favorite. They’re perfect for special occasions and are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

Potato rolls are our go-to bread recipe for Sunday dinners and holidays. They’re the perfect side dish and great for lapping up soup or saucy entrees.

Hands pulling apart two potato rolls.

Yup, Mashed Potatoes!

I may have a slight obsession with bread. But that’s ok, because these potato pull-apart rolls are amazing!!

They’re so incredibly fluffy and tender, you’d never be able to tell that they’re made with one of our favorite sides – mashed potatoes!

That’s right, I’m reusing or up-cycling leftovers… and in the best way possible. I’m breathing a bit of new life into what would be a very plain side dish, for the second night in a row. Instead, I’ve worked them into a dough recipe for the best little pull-apart rolls.

Instant yeast makes for a quick rise for these potato pull-apart rolls.

Yeast Tips

For this particular recipe we’ll be working with instant or rapid-rise yeast. 

What’s the difference between active yeast and instant or rapid-rise yeast?

Not much, aside from the size, the only real difference is that active yeast must be proofed (or activated) in a liquid prior to using, and rapid-rise yeast can be mixed directly into dry ingredients because of it’s fine particle size.

Just make sure to check the dates on your yeast container/packet and check the temperature of your liquid ingredients to avoid killing the yeast. The liquid ingredients should read 110-115 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

The dough comes together like any other homemade bread with one exception. You have to add mashed potatoes! I mean, these are called potato pull-apart rolls after all!

If You Don’t Have Leftover Mashed Potatoes…

Don’t sweat it. You can still make these! Just use a large russet or 2 medium size yukon golds instead. I’ve made these with both seasoned potatoes (leftovers) and plain (non-leftovers), and they’re great either way.

If you do decide to cook your own just for this recipe, I’d highly suggest peeling them, chopping them and sticking them in one of these microwave bags along with a little water to steam. You’ll thank me later. They’re life-savers (ok, more like time-savers). I’ve picked them up at both Target and Walmart.

Of course, you can always use potato flakes too. I’ve made this recipe using both, and to be honest, I can’t taste a difference. 

Tacky dough ready to rise and be shaped into homemade potato rolls

How to Make Potato Rolls

MIX, KNEAD, RISE. Once you’ve got your ingredients prepped, mix up the dough, knead it (using a stand mixer with a hook attachment or by hand) and transfer it to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place it in your warm oven until has doubled in size.

SHAPE. Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 15 balls, shape and place into a buttered 9×13 metal pan. Dust the tops with extra flour to prevent the plastic wrap from sticking as the rolls rise (this is a tacky dough, so it’s a necessary step).

RISE AGAIN. Cover again and return to the oven to double in size again. TIP: The rolls should be nice and puffy and they should be touching each other.

BAKE. Remove the rolls and turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. They should be a deep golden color on top.

Variations/Additions:

  • Brush with butter and herbs after baking it. 
  • Use really deliciously flavored mashed potatoes, like Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

Potato pull-apart rolls shaped and ready for the second rise.

Serving Potato Rolls

Serve these as a side for some main dishes. Some of our favorites include:

You can also use them as buns for Sloppy Joes, Black Bean Burgers, or Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

A pan of golden brown potato pull-apart rolls.

Leftovers

Keep leftover potato rolls in an airtight bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

If you happen to be making these after Thanksgiving (hence the leftover mashed potatoes), you could make Thanksgiving sliders with the rolls and other leftovers.

  • Freezing dough: Form your dough into balls and flash freeze them for ⅔ hours in the freezer before placing them in a freezer safe bag/container. Let them thaw in a baking dish on the counter for a few hours to let them rise a little bit more.
  • Freezing rolls: Let the rolls cool completely before placing them in an airtight container/bag and keep in the freezer for 3 months. Bring to room temperature and then nuke them in the microwave for a nice and warm roll.

Make Ahead: Some recipes have you form the dough and leave it in the fridge overnight to rise. This makes the process very slow, but it is great if you’re too busy the next day. Bring it out 2 hours before you want to bake them and make the dough into individual rolls. Let them rise up until baking time.

The tender, flaky inside of soft potato rolls.

Enjoy them while they’re nice and warm… that’s the best way to eat pull-apart rolls!

LOOKING FOR MORE ROLL RECIPES? TRY THESE:

See how shape perfect, round rolls in the video below:

 

 

Soft, tender potato pull-apart rolls.

Potato Rolls Recipe

These soft, fluffy tender potato pull-apart rolls are a family favorite. They're perfect for special occasions and are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!
4.67 from 9 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Breads & Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 50 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Additional Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 15 rolls
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. mashed potatoes - lightly packed (about 1 large russet)*
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, when it reaches that temperature turn it OFF (you want your oven to be warm but not hot).
  • In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, add the butter, milk, and water. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is warm and the butter is mostly melted (about 1 minute - 1 minute 30 seconds on HIGH). It should be at or above 115 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Make sure the butter is fully melted by stirring every minute.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix on low for 15 seconds. Once the warm liquid mixture reaches 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer, add along with the mashed potatoes and eggs.
  • With mixing speed on low, mix until a soft dough forms, then switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 4 minutes. The dough will seem very tacky.
  • Transfer to a large, clean bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place into the warm oven to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Just be sure to check on it at the 30 minute mark to monitor the progress.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the oven and punch it down. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 15 equal pieces using a bench scraper or butter knife. You can use a kitchen scale to ensure accuracy if desired.
  • Roll into circles (see video in post) and place into a well-buttered 9x13 metal baking pan. Dust with excess flour to prevent the plastic wrap or towel from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and return to the oven to rise again. Allow rolls to double in size, about 45 minutes. The sides should be touching.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown in color.
  • Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before pulling apart.

Notes

*Potatoes can be seasoned and can have butter/milk/sour cream folded into them. They can also be completely plain.
-You can easily add chopped rosemary to these rolls or even a bit of garlic powder to enhance the flavor.
Recipe source: slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I just made these rolls and they were amazing! I have tried other potato roll recipes and I felt like they never included enough potato. This recipe is exactly what I was looking for. They were the softest and tastiest rolls that I have ever made.

    1. Yes, you can, though I have not personally tried. Glass usually tends to cook faster, so it won’t need as long, though I wouldn’t know exactly how long.

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome, soft and delicious. Although i used a scale and weight to 2oz per ball and got 22 rolls. Super easy will definitely will make again.

  3. Twice I tried to fo these and it didn’t work. My dough was tough. What am I doing wrong? I followed the instructions to the T. I used potato flakes 1/3 cup.

    1. I wish I knew for sure. There are a few factors that might cause that. I haven’t used potato flakes, so not sure if that played a part in that.

  4. 5 stars
    These are seriously the softest, most buttery rolls! They are difficult to make, which makes them the perfect rolls!

  5. 4 stars
    I suppose I did something wrong. My rolls have more of a biscuit texture. They are tasty but I would not call mine a roll. I had planned on serving them with dinner, but will wait and serve them with breakfast. I think they will be delicious as a egg, ham and cheese breakfast biscuit.
    Any ideas what I might have done wrong to get the wrong texture?

    1. Sometimes the texture of rolls turn out more dense because the dough did not have enough time to rise and become fluffy. Another reason could be older yeast that is used. You may not have experienced these issues though. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out exactly as you had hoped.