Cheesy Pesto Rolls

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Cheesy pesto bread rolls are the perfect side dish to soup and salad meals. They tuck perfectly inside lunch boxes, look amazing on holiday buffets, and more.

As these are a yeasted bread dough roll, they take some time to make but the actual hands on time is small. They are completely worth the wait.

A cheesy pesto roll sliced in half on a white plate with text overlay.

Any Pesto

This is an ideal way to use up those jars of pesto sitting in your freezer waiting for some kind of tasty use.

Use whatever pesto you have on hand – traditional basil, dandelion, lemon balm oregano pesto, etc.

Admittedly this is an amazing way to make those various jars of pesto you made during the rush of harvest season shine. However, if you don’t have any homemade pesto on hand go with your favorite type purchased from the store.

If you want to try something new, check out my adaptable pesto recipe to use whatever herbs, greens, nuts or seeds you have on hand.


The combination of cheddar and pesto is quite nice. However, I’ve made these rolls with mozzarella with great results, too. Use whatever cheese is your favorite.

You could skip the cheese too, the flavor will be different but still wonderful and worth making.

A cheesy pesto roll sliced in half on a white plate sitting on top a napkin in front of an entire pan of rolls on a wood cutting board.

Basic Bread Dough

The recipe includes a very basic bread dough. However feel free to use some other dough if you prefer. You want something that would yield about one regular sized bread loaf.

Make it with sourdough if you prefer. Use rye or more whole wheat flour for a heartier whole grain texture and flavor.


The recipe has the rolls divided up into 6 rather large rolls. This is fine for a small family dinner. They are large and might even need to be split in half.

However, you could slice the dough into smaller rolls and bake them on a baking sheet to have multiple rolls for holiday feasts or pot lucks.

Crispy Bottom

The oil in the pesto has a tendency to separate and sink to the bottom of the baking dish as the rolls rise and bake. Because of the bottoms of the rolls almost fry in the oil in the oven giving them a very nice crunchy texture while the rest of the roll is soft.

A cheesy pesto roll sliced in half on a white plate sitting on top a napkin in front of an entire pan of rolls on a wood cutting board.

Serving Ideas

Don’t overthink it. Serve it with any meal where you would serve homemade bread on the side. These are a hearty roll so they go especially well with salads or soups.

However, they are great served alongside steaks or hamburgers.

Use them instead of garlic bread.

A cheesy pesto roll sliced in half on a white plate sitting on top a napkin.

Cheesy Pesto Rolls

Yield: 6 Large Rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Hearty and full of flavor cheesy pesto bread rolls make the ideal side dish for simple meals and feasts alike.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoos Dry, Active Yeast
  • 1 1/4 Cups Warm Water, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup Prepared Pesto


    1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/2 cup of the warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
    2. Whisk in the remaining water and salt. Mix in the whole wheat flour and about 1 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour. Mix until a dough forms, adding flour a little at a time as necessary.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until a soft and elastic dough forms.
    4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
    5. After risen, punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured board. Knead slightly and then roll the dough out into a sheet about 13x17 inches.
    6. Spread the pesto across the dough, leaving about ½” edge all around. Just like topping a pizza. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the pesto.
    7. On the short end of the dough, roll it up like a cinnamon roll. Keep it tight. Slice the loaf into 6 even pieces. Place these slices into an oiled casserole dish, about 2" apart.
    8. Let rise 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    9. Bake the risen rolls for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
    10. Allow to cool slightly before pulling apart to serve.


You could skip cutting them dough into rolls and just roll up and tuck into a loaf pan. Allow the bread dough to rise and bake about 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 590Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 866mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g

I try but cannot guarantee this nutritional information is 100% accurate.

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