Slow Cooker-Friendly Garlic Dinner Rolls Recipe

Many people shy away from making homemade, from-scratch dinner rolls out of fear of messing them up. While your typical roll recipe isn't necessarily too complex or ingredient-heavy, there is the chance that you'll put in hours of work just to end up with tough rolls, or worse yet, discover that your yeast didn't properly activate. As a result, some folks opt for storebought rolls, which aren't a terrible option, but they certainly aren't as delicious as freshly-baked ones.

Luckily, there is a way to enjoy freshly-baked dinner rolls and eliminate nearly all of the guesswork, and we can thank recipe developer Jessica Morone for creating this recipe, which uses a slow cooker to make homemade dinner rolls foolproof. These slow cooker-friendly garlic dinner rolls cleverly don't require any rise time thanks to the unique cooking method. 

"One of my least favorite things about making bread normally is all the waiting time for the dough to rise," Morone says. "Usually you would have to make the dough, let it rise, then form it into rolls, then let it rise again, and then bake it." Thanks to the slow cooker, the whole bread-making process is much quicker because, as Morone explains, "The rolls are actually rising at the same time they are baking." 

Gather the ingredients for slow cooker-friendly garlic dinner rolls

You'll need some pretty standard bread ingredients for this recipe, including flour, sugar, warm milk, instant yeast, salt, and melted butter. To give the rolls an ultra-savory finish, you'll need a bit more melted butter along with garlic powder, fresh parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese.

While the slow cooker method is a unique one when it comes to making rolls, there's another unique component of this recipe at play: instant yeast. "Using instant yeast is a special ingredient here because it makes this recipe quicker and easier to make than using active dry yeast," Morone explains. "You get to skip the proofing step completely and just make the dough straight away. Instant yeast also causes the dough to rise more quickly than using active dry yeast."

Prep the slow cooker and make the dough

Pull out your slow cooker and line it with parchment paper, then lightly grease it with cooking spray for extra nonstick protection. Turn the device on and allow it to warm up as you make your dough.

Add 3 cups of flour, the sugar, yeast, warm milk (make sure that it's about 110 F so it's not too cold and not too hot), salt, and ¼ cup of melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on and allow it to run until a smooth, elastic, and cohesive dough forms. If the dough seems a bit sticky, add flour ¼ cup at a time until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Cut out the rolls and place them in the slow cooker

Remember, there's no resting or rising time needed in this recipe, so you can skip straight to cutting out the rolls. Divvy up the dough into nine to 12 equal-sized pieces, depending on how big or small you want your rolls to be. Use your hands to shape the chunks into more spherical, roll-like pieces, then place the rolls into the parchment-lined slow cooker.

Slow-cook the rolls

Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow the rolls to sit for 10 minutes on the warm setting before cranking the heat up to high. Cook the rolls for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, just until the edges become nice and golden. And, if you want your rolls to look extra golden, you could heat them under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes once they're fully cooked, but this step is optional. 

Brush the rolls with garlic butter and enjoy

Once the rolls are done cooking, mix together the remaining melted butter, garlic powder, minced parsley, and Parmesan. Brush this savory mixture across the tops of the rolls then break them apart, serve, and enjoy.

While these rolls pack plenty of garlicky goodness on their own, they are best enjoyed as a side dish amongst a bigger spread. "These would be great with any dinner, but something about garlic always makes me think it pairs perfectly with Italian food, especially big pasta dinners," Morone says. "Spaghetti and meatballs and these dinner rolls on the side would be my idea of a perfect dinner."

Slow Cooker-Friendly Garlic Dinner Rolls Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
It might surprise you, but a slow cooker takes all the guesswork out of making homemade dinner rolls. These rolls rise as they bake, making them foolproof. 
Prep Time
Cook Time
herb and cheese-covered rolls
Total time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (2 ¼ teaspoons) packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110 F)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup melted butter, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Line a slow cooker with parchment paper and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the slow cooker to warm and set aside while you make the dough.
  2. Add 3 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, milk, salt, and ¼ cup melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix together until the dough clings to the hook and is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour ¼ cup at a time until it is no longer sticky.
  3. Divide the dough into 9 to 12 even pieces, depending on your desired roll size and the size of the slow cooker. Roll dough into round shapes with your hands. Add the rolls to the prepared slow cooker.
  4. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and let it sit in the slow cooker on warm for 10 minutes. Then turn it to "high" and cook for 1½ to 2 hours, until the edges of the rolls are golden. (Note: If you would like the rolls to be more golden on top heat them under your broiler for 2 to 3 minutes).
  5. In a small bowl mix together the remaining ¼ cup butter, garlic powder, parsley, and Parmesan. Brush the butter on top of the rolls. Break the rolls apart and serve warm.
Calories per Serving 292
Total Fat 12.1 g
Saturated Fat 7.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 31.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 7.0 g
Sodium 210.7 mg
Protein 6.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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