Easy No-Knead Onion Rolls

Soft, sandwich-style rolls speckled with caramelized onions inside and out. The best thing about them? They need no kneading. Just a big bowl to mix them up and then they are left to rise in the very same bowl. It can’t get any easier than that.

These are like the bakery-style onion buns that some chain markets sell. The same chain markets that brag about having a fresh bakery and yet put a ton of chemicals and preservatives in their breads. Why even bother having an in-store bakery if you’re going to do that? Duh. Like we’re not going to notice the mile long list of hard to pronounce, unnecessary ingredients.

Anywhoo. . . Forget about those industrial bakeries! Frauds. Now you can make them at home with only a few minutes of hands on time and an hour and a half of rising time for which you will be greatly rewarded.

Tender airy rolls with mildly crusted tops and moist little bits of sweetly caramelized onion will emerge from your oven along with the most unforgettable aroma. That of yeasty bread wrapped around fragrant onions.

It’s perfectly ok to slather butter on one hot from the oven all for the sake of taste testing. There will be plenty left for making sandwiches. Maybe.

The original recipe makes sixteen rolls – I cut it in half for eight. Big mistake. Follow the recipe link below if you would like the big batch recipe.

No-Knead Onion Rolls

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 8 rolls

 No-Knead Onion Rolls

Soft, sandwich-style rolls speckled with caramelized onions inside and out.


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
coarse salt
.25 ounce package active dry yeast
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for working with the dough


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown 20 - 25 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in a couple pinches of salt. Allow to cool.
  2. Place 1 cup warm tap water (105° to 115° F) in a large bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Into the yeast water whisk in the egg, 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon coarse salt.
  4. Stir in the flour and three-quarters of the onions, mixing until a sticky dough forms. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining tablespoon of oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size about 1 hour.
  5. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Gently punch the dough down. With well-floured hands form the dough into 8 equal-sized balls and place in the greased pan, spacing them apart evenly.
  6. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place until doubled in size 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 400° F. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter then sprinkle the remaining onions over top.
  8. Bake until the rolls are golden 18 to 22 minutes (cover the pan with aluminum foil if the tops brown too quickly). Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


Adapted from Real Simple

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  1. says

    Ohmigosh! What a simple recipe yet it comes out looking so good! And not too many ingredients either. I want to try this out, but whenever I make yeasted breads, they always end up so dense. I don’t have a stand mixer or a bread maker. I mean, it’s most likely due to the whole wheat flour I incorporate and the extra flour that gets kneaded in when I try to knead it on some flat surface…I dunno, I need practice to get them as nice looking as you do! Which is why, I suppose, it’d be good for me to try these no-knead rolls from you first!

    • says

      Hi Pauline! These are definitely a good one for you to try! If you want to use whole wheat flour instead of white just cut it back a little – maybe a tablespoon per cup. I’m really not very good at making yeast breads either but I also had good luck with this Scandinavian White Bread.

  2. says

    OK, I’m laughing here because I work in a grocery store bakery. We do make onion rolls from a frozen dough too. All I know is they smell sooooo good when they come out of the oven. I’m going to have to give this one a try at home

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