Red pesto & mozzarella savory dinner rolls |

Red pesto & mozzarella savory dinner rolls

I was thinking long and hard on what to make for 4th of July. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? But it was.

First I thought of making something sweet. But let’s be honest here, there are tons of food bloggers out there that are coming up with way more creative 4th of July sweets than I can ever think of. Sooo. I started to think of a yummy, savory roll that I could make.

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
Can you spot the red, white and blue?

I needed something red.. Sundried tomatoes? No matter how much I love them, I felt like I use them too often. You guys want variation, right? Good. So do I. So I came up with red pesto! I sent my husband to the store with the mission to find the most delicious red pesto ever. He found it. It was sooo good. Good enough to just spread on crispbread and enjoy as is.

Let’s just pretend that it wasn’t made of sundried tomatoes.

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
You’ll want to make these rolls. If not for your family, then at least for yourself.

The white ingredient was a no-brainer – I want mozzarella in my rolls!

But the blue thing… I thought of purple cauliflower, cabbage and eggplant – but couldn’t think of anything blue except for blue potatoes, and blue, edible flowers. And I wasn’t really sure how well those would go with pesto and mozzarella. If I would have had more time (which I didn’t), I might have thought of something.

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
They might not be the most obvious 4th of July treats, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I had no choice but to go with Plan B – blue baking cups. That’s not cheating, right? Never mind that the blue color is the wrong blue color. And that they’re also green. Or that the mozzarella turned out more brown than white when the rolls were baked (yes, I know, I was shocked). Despite the tiny little details, they were still delicious. If I may say so myself. Soft, cheesy, pesto-y, nutty… All my favorite adjectives.

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
Not the healthiest of treats. But delicious. Oh, did I say that already?

Red pesto & mozzarella savory dinner rolls
Total time: 2.5 hours. Makes about 30 dinner rolls.


  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 0.5 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 550 g all-purpose flour

340 g (12 oz) fresh mozzarella
80 g red pesto (3 oz)
1 egg
pine nuts
sea salt

Heat up the milk to about 110°F. Mix in the active dry yeast and the honey and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast is starting to foam up. Mix in sea salt, 1 egg and the flour and knead to a dough. Use more flour if you need to, you don’t want your dough to be unmanageable. Let the dough rise in the bowl for 1 hour, covered with a kitchen towel, or until it’s doubled in size.

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
Put them in the freezer as soon as they have cooled down, if you’re not planning on eating them the same day.

Take the dough out of the bowl and put in on a floured surface. Roll it out to a thin, rectangular pancake, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the pesto evenly over the dough. Cut the mozzarella in thin slices and spread them out evenly over the pesto (the mozzarella will not cover the entire rectangular). Roll the dough together, just like when you’re making cinnamon rolls, starting by folding in the edge of the long side. Cut the roll it slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Place in baking cups on oven trays. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise another 30 minutes to 1 hour, until they have doubled in size. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 460°F.

When the rolls have risen, brush them with egg and sprinkle pine nuts and sea salt on top. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a rack covered with a kitchen towel.

Enjoy and have a wonderful 4th of July!

Red pesto & mozzarella cheese savory dinner rolls |
Happy 4th of July everyone!

This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.

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    24 thoughts on “Red pesto & mozzarella savory dinner rolls

    1. Korena

      A bakery in my hometown makes these pizza twists that are TO DIE FOR – they literally used to make announcements in my high school at lunch time as to whether they were sold out or not (it was a small town, lol!). These look just like those – ie, delicious! And much more interesting than another berry flag cake 🙂

      1. Yvonne Rogell Post author

        They made announcements even?? That’s so cool!! Oh boy, this is probably the best comment I’ve ever gotten! I wanna visit this bakery! 🙂 (and yeah… I’m sure they taste great, but there are just too many of the berry flag cakes floating around! 🙂 )

    2. foodienewz

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    3. Barbara | Creative Culinary

      So who cares if they don’t scream ‘red, white and blue?’ They look amazing…that’s all that really matters.

      I did make a red, white and blue cake but it was an effort because I worried about the blue component. Blue is just not a typical food color so I’m not sure it ever adds much to the mix!

      1. Yvonne Rogell Post author

        I know, right?! Taste above everything else, I totally agree 🙂 I saw your 4th of July cake, it was beautiful! It looked super delicious. I wish I would have had that for dessert…

    4. Julia |

      These rolls look so delicious! I love savory breads with interesting flavors, and you seemed to have achieved just that in this recipe! It’s so creative to top them with red pesto and then with pine nuts!

    5. Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron

      This sounds delicious, I imagine they’re kind of like a pizza in the form of a dinner roll. If that’s the case then I need one bad! Love pizza… love dinner rolls, especially fresh and homemade dinner rolls! Yum!

    6. laurasmess

      Oh YUM. Healthy or not, these rolls look absolutely divine. I love the combination of pesto, cheese and bread. It’s a match made in heaven. Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with overuse of sundried tomatoes. Those things pack an amazing flavour punch! xx

      1. Yvonne Rogell Post author

        Thanks Laura! Pesto, cheese and bread is a combination that’s hard to resist most times.. And about the sundried tomatoes – they really are a little flavor bomb, and I’m glad to have it in my life 😉

    7. Jill

      These look absolutely delicious, I’ve never had anything like it before but can just imagine the flavours, really looking forward to making them!


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