These dinner potato rolls are incredibly soft, light and moist dinner rolls and the perfect choice for your holiday table or next to your Fall and Winter soups.

potato dinner rolls pulled apart

Why I love these potato rolls!

  • These potato rolls are incredibly soft, light and moist and not only that, they stay that way for days! That makes them perfect for all the leftovers.
  • I love that these dinner rolls are smaller. While I love a great roll, I also want to save room for the other things on the plate, so these are just the perfect size for me!
  • And finally, these rolls are also easily made vegan. Simply use oil instead of butter and sugar instead of honey. This is always a nice option if you are feeding a crowd with varied diets.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Potatoes: You can use any type of potato here. Russets are fine, as are yellow-fleshed potatoes. You’ll only need a couple of small potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes are just fine here. If the leftover mashed potatoes are buttered and salted already, you may want to reduce the amount of additional butter and salt you add to the dough a bit. And yes, in a pinch, instant potato flakes would also work.

Yeast: You can use regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF) or Active Dry Yeast here. Rapid-rise or quick rise yeast is not recommended for this classic two-rise recipe.

Flour: I prefer to use unbleached all-purpose flour for all my breads, as it tends to produce a better bread. If you only have bleached flour, that’s fine to use.

Step-by-Step Photos

photo collage of steps to make potato dinner rolls 1

    1. When the dough is mixed, it should be quite most and almost sticky, but it should clean the bowl a bit and wrap the kneading hook.
    2. After kneading briefly on a floured work surface, place in a greased bowl or measuring cup.
    3. Cover and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
    4. Gently deflate dough, weigh and divide into 9 equal sized pieces.

photo collage of steps to make potato dinner rolls 2

  1. Form into a ball by pinching together underneath.
  2. Flip over and using a cupped hand over the top, roll around a bit to seal.
  3. Place into pan and let rise until doubled.
  4. Dust with flour before baking.

Baker’s Tips!

  • Don’t forget you’re going to need some of the potato cooking water, so be sure to scoop up and set aside what you need before draining the potatoes!
  • As you prepare the dough (and shape), add only enough flour to make a dough that isn’t sticky, but that is still very moist – right on the edge of sticky. The more moisture/the less flour added, the more tender your finished rolls will be.
  • This recipe makes 9 rolls. If you’d like more, double the recipe and bake in two 8-inch square pans or all together in a 9×13-inch pan.

Making ahead, storing and freezing

These rolls freeze really well, so you can make ahead and freeze. Thaw in the wrapping at room temperature, then warm wrapped in foil in a 350F. oven for 10 minutes or so.

Store left-over rolls well wrapped at room temperature and enjoy for several days.

Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Top Tip!

You’ll want to take your rolls out when they are “just done” – lightly golden on top and not yet browning on the sides. Again, the less time in the oven, the more moist the rolls and the longer they will stay moist.

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potato dinner rolls pulled apart

Get the Recipe: Simply Perfect Potato Rolls

Light, soft and moist potato rolls that start with a bit of mashed potato and potato cooking water. 
5 stars from 9 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 9 rolls


  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, from 1 large or two small peeled mashing potatoes such as Russet or Yukon Gold
  • 1/2 cup potato cooking water, *Be sure to scoop out and reserve it from the cooking pot before draining the potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, or vegetable/canola oil *see Note 2
  • 1 Tablespoons honey, or 1 1/2 Tbsp white sugar *see Note 2
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon fine table salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more as needed and additional for topping


Prepare the mashed potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a medium-large saucepan. Cover potatoes with at least an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat slightly and continue cooking until potatoes are tender. DO NOT DRAIN YET! Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour potatoes and water over, reserving the potato water in the bowl and the potatoes in the strainer.

Prepare the bread:

  • Place 1/2 cup potato cooking water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scoop out the potato flesh, discarding the skin. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Measure out 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and add to the bowl with the potato cooking water. Add the butter (or oil) and honey (or sugar).
  • Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until mixture has cooled to lukewarm (about 120F for instant yeast or 110F for dry active yeast). Sprinkle in yeast and mix to combine. If using instant yeast, proceed to next step. For active dry yeast, let stand 5 minutes before proceeding.
  • Add salt and 1 cup of the flour to the mixture and still using the paddle attachment, mix until combined. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the kneading hook. Begin adding the more of the flour gradually, until you have a moist dough ball, not sticky to touch, but almost. You may need to add a bit more flour than specified, but be careful you don't add too much. You want to stop when the dough is just not sticky, but is still very moist. It should clean the bowl a bit and wrap the dough hook.
  • Remove dough to a floured work surface and knead briefly, adding a bit of additional flour only if the dough is sticking to your hands or the work surface. Form dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (regular bake/not fan assisted). *Reduce oven temperature to 325F if using a glass baking pan. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  • Remove dough to a floured work surface and gently deflate. Divide dough into 9 equal pieces (*see Note 1). Form each piece into a ball (*see Note 3) and place into your prepared pan in 3 rows of 3 rolls, leaving a little space between rolls. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise until doubled and puffy. Using a fine mesh strainer, dust the top of the rolls with a dusting of flour.
  • Bake rolls for 20-23 minutes, or until just lightly golden on top and not yet browning on the sides. Cool rolls in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool to warm (to enjoy right away) or to cool completely. If not enjoying immediately, store in an airtight container or freeze.


1. I like to weigh the entire dough ball, then divide that weight by 9, to figure out the weight for each roll. That way all the rolls will be the same size and cook at the same rate, as well.
2. If you'd like these to be vegan, opt for the oil instead of butter and the sugar instead of honey.
3. To form the dough into balls, take the piece of the dough and using both hands, stretch dough out from the 3 and 9 o'clock position and tuck underneath, pinching lightly. Repeat from the 12 and 6 o'clock position. Flip over and pinch well where the dough meets underneath. This method creates a tight ball, with surface tension on top, which makes them rise nicely!
Makes 9 small dinner-sized rolls. Double and use two 8x8 pans or one 9x13-inch baking pan.
Be sure to read the information above this Recipe Card for more tips for making this recipe!
Cuisine: American
Course: Bread
Serving: 1roll, Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 285mg, Potassium: 75mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 2.7mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1.4mg
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