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Dinner Rolls

If you don’t normally make homemade rolls for Thanksgiving, you might just want to consider taking a little extra effort to make these rolls this year. They are just that good. In fact, I’ve tried literally hundreds of roll recipes over the years and this recipe is hands-down the best one I’ve ever made.

Now before you start thinking about the combination of pumpkin in dinner rolls and wondering how that might taste, let me reassure you that you probably won’t even taste the pumpkin in these rolls. It just serves to make a softer dough and the color a bit richer. But other than that, your picky eaters in the family will likely not recognize any pumpkin taste in these!

These rolls are best served within an hour or two of making, so if you’re planning to serve them on Thanksgiving, you’ll want to make sure and allow extra time to whip up the dough. While it’s rising, you can do your last minute Thanksgiving meal preparations and then stick these in the oven to bake an hour or
so before you’re planning to eat.

Yes, it’s a little bit of extra work but I think you and your guests will agree it was worth it!

For more of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, click on the following links: Sweet Potato Casserole, Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, and Crumb-Topped Apple Pie.

Do you usually make homemade bread for Thanksgiving? If so, I’d love if it you shared a link to the recipe in the comments section.

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  • Kathy Martin says:

    These do look yummy! I was wondering would I be able to make these ahead of time and freeze them? Than thaw and warm in oven the day of? I make other rolls that way and they usually taste just as good.

  • Rachel S says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE these dinner rolls- they are Smashingly devine (as far as dinner rolls can be, that is) I made them just a month or two ago just to get some practice for Thanksgiving- and my 10 year old niece thought that they were yummier than the plate of muffins that I’d also cooked that day- the whole plate of rolls were gone and the muffins were left behind- now what does that tell you? 🙂 Thanks Crystal!
    Ps: Are you gonna post the make ahead mashed potatoes too? I’m intrigued by them- and am considering these for the meal this year. thanks!

  • Rachel S says:

    Ah- just noticed the “what’s coming up” section… haha- I should have kept reading! 🙂

    My favorite homemade whole wheat bread recipe is:

    Gotta Love!

  • Courtney says:

    Could you make and freeze these before the second rising…then let them thaw overnight in the fridge, do the second rise and bake the day of?

  • Angela says:

    I made these last year when you posted them. We absolutely loved them. So glad you posted the recipe again. I have tons of pumpkin in my freezer just wanting to be used! 🙂

  • Dee says:

    I make either the pumpkin rolls, or just good ol’ standard white/wheat dinner rolls from my Betty Crocker Bride’s edition cookbook. The second recipe can be made into crescent rolls, parker house, cloverleaf…any form you want.

    Next year – I’m going to try and make sourdough rolls as well a la the 5 Minute a Day artisan bread recipe.

  • Rae says:

    OMG, you read my mind! I was just thinking the other day if there was some sort of roll that I could do for thanksgiving that would use some pumpkin (because I’m planning on making the homemade pumpkin puree that you posted a while ago). Now I don’t need to search for one (or wonder if one even exists lol) so thank you thank you thank you!

  • Trixie says:


    These sound (and look) fantastic. I can’t wait to try them.

    Love, love, LOVE sweet potato casserole. Here’s my recipe — it’s so good, people think it’s a dessert.

  • kathaleen says:

    On your Farmhouse Chicken do you cook it before you put it in the freezer?

  • These sound — and look – wonderful!

    I think I will have to try out this recipe in my bread machine. 😉

    I’m also lovin’ the links people are throwing out! Looks of great ideas for this holiday. Woo-hoo!

  • Haleigh says:

    Can the initial step be done in a bread machine on the ‘Dough’ setting?

  • Chels says:

    This Freezer Crescent Roll recipe is the best but I’m willing to try out the pumpkin one you’ve suggested!
    You say you use one can of pumpkin small (8 oz.) or large (14.5 oz.)? I’m assuming large because it’s close to 2 cups.

  • Lucky says:

    I make these buttermilk onion pull apart rolls every year:

    They’re kind of a pain but worth it! Just be careful getting them out of the pan.

    I also post cranberry oat knots recently that would would be good for Thanksgiving:

    These were very good, and much easier and quicker than the pull apart rolls. Can’t mess with tradition though!

  • Kristie says:

    I make rolls using my bread recipe which I blogged here:

    You can easily form the rolls ofter the first rise and then freeze. Just take them out about 3 hours before you want to put them in the oven to allow time to thaw and rise. They won’t rise quite as much on your counter, but they will puff up nicely in the oven.

    They will also be fine of you bake them a day ahead, or you can make up the dough and refrigerate it for up to a week.

  • Emily says:

    Wow, those sound great. I’m hungry!

  • Oh how I wish we were hosting Thanksgiving so I could make these rolls! Would be a great way to use up some of my extra pumpkin we froze.

    Maybe I’ll make these for our Christmas gathering instead.. 🙂

  • Chels says:

    I wasn’t thinking correctly when I asked you about the canned pumpkin. Large is 29.5 oz. and a small is 15 oz. so I know it’s the small size. Thanks! I’m excited to try them out on my fam!

  • Tammy L says:

    I’m making these next week… can’t wait! 🙂 I’ll probably double the recipe so we can have some at home as well as taking a bunch to the family Thanksgiving gathering! 😀

    P.S. Thanks for the link to my site! 😉

  • Abbi says:

    Pumpkin (or squash) makes a wonderful addition to homemade bread or rolls. We are blessed with a lot of it and so I put it in my bread regularly. It makes 100% whole wheat stuff breads much softer.

    Here is my favorite roll for Thanksgiving:
    I will sometimes add pumpkin puree to them in place of some of the liquid too. These rolls are always enjoyed where ever I bring them. I recently won the bread division in a contest with them as well.

  • Jim says:

    Anyone know how well these keep/travel? We’re having Thanksgiving up @ the wife’s mom’s house (about 45 mins away), so it’d be great if we could do most of the prep and cooking and finish them there (or all of the prep & cooking, and just heat them up there)

  • Mandi says:

    Does anyone know if I can make these up the day before and keep them in the fridge and then take them out to rise and bake the day of Thanksgiving? I’m trying to avoid the 4 women in the kitchen rush that I know will be taking place right before the meal!


  • Monica says:

    I really want to make these, but my son can’t have butter or margarine. 🙁 Any ideas on what I could substitute?

  • Tammy L says:


    We’ll be traveling about 45 minutes on Thanksgiving Day as well, so I plan to make and bake these rolls the day before and take them wrapped in foil, to warm them in the oven (for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees). 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Crystal,
    You said that these were better when ate within a few hours after baking, but are they still good the next day? Almost everything tastes better fresh, I just want to know if they’re still good the next day even if they’re not as good. After your Hassle-Free Bird post I like the idea of cooking everything in advance.

  • peggy says:

    I do have a recipe I have used for years called Double Quick Dinner Rolls and we love them and they are very easy. I want to try this recipe that you have given us and see how that goes.

  • Kendra says:

    These sound wonderful! Infrequent bread baker question…how close do you put the dough balls on the cookie sheet? How many fit per sheet generally? Have you tried these on a baking stone?


  • Jeannie says:

    We made these a few weeks ago with all whole wheat flour. They were amazing with cinnamon-honey butter but were a little bitter when served with just butter. I plan to make them again and use mostly white flour- I will certainly try your recommendation of 1/3 wheat to 2/3 white! I made a full batch and froze 1/2 of the rolls just before baking. On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll just thaw them out and stick them in the oven!

  • Carrie says:

    Does anyone have an amazing bread machine recipe for rolls? Or know how to modify this one for the bread machine? It’ll be all hands on deck for the big meal, so there won’t be much space or time for kneading. I’m hoping someone out there has made these on the dough setting and can clue me in on how to modify it! {if so, could you email me at makinglemonadeblog at gmail dot com? THANKS!}

  • Lucky says:

    Yesterday’s Washington Post had a recipe for sweet potato rolls that were similar to this and it included directions for baking ahead. I thought it might be of interest because a lot of people were asking how to do this:
    (you may have to register, but it’s free)

  • Okalea says:

    Hi, I just want to let you know. I made these rolls tonight to go with our roast. They were wonderful. My husband ate so many I thought he would bust. I had so many left. I shared them with three of my neighbors. Next time I will have to make a half batch. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making these again. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    New to baking with yeast. Do you put the yeast in dry or do I need to mix with warm water as on yeast packet?

  • Amy J says:

    I made these for our early Thanksgiving and they were delicious! I always disliked making rolls because they were always dry- not these! They were the prettiest thing on the table! Thanks so much! I have many batches to make for Thursdays crowd of 40!

  • Donna S says:

    I made these for Thanksgiving this year and they were delicious! They will be a permanent addition to our holiday menus! thanks!

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