Gramma’s Potato Rolls

5 from 3 votes

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These soft, pillowy Potato Rolls are just like a hug from your gramma! Made with love, super tender and ready to be slathered with butter or honey, too. These are perfect for the dinner table, and with the holiday’s here, are ready for your table!

Gramma's Potato Rolls

After reminiscing about family and old times in San Francisco where I grew up recently while visiting my dad with my brothers, it reminded me of my mom’s recipes and my dad’s mom’s cooking. So I thought I’d share with you my Irish Gramma’s Potato Rolls.

While potatoes are almost synonymous with the Irish, these bread rolls are not only nostalgic for me, but simply delicious. Granted, when my family would go to my gramma’s for Sunday dinner she would cook her veggies to death. I remember we were laughing about how when I tried to pick up a piece of zucchini with my fork all I got was a green ring, the insides completely mush. But her baking was always spot on.

I remember her taking these out of the oven in round cake pans and I would think they were the biggest, fluffiest rolls I had ever seen! Anyways, so I do too, but feel free to freeform and place on baking sheets.

potato roll dough close up

See the difference in the above left photo and the right, how the dough is loose on the left? See below recipe instructions “if too sticky still add other 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour until dough is no longer sticking to sides of bowl” Flour can be tricky. I just wanted to show you the fix.

prep shot of Gramma's Potato Rolls

Look at how much the bottom middle image above shows the rise! 🙂

prep shot of Gramma's Potato Rolls dough rising

Now I love my Honey Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls and just about anything sourdough, heck I did a 6 part series on it a couple years ago, but these Potato Rolls are special.

Made using mashed potatoes in the dough with an old fashioned baking staple like vegetable shortening, these come together in no time and rise up. Way up!

Gramma's Potato Rolls

I often times will substitute brown sugar for the regular sugar in these for a sweeter and slightly darker version.

I think of these dinner rolls if there are any mashed potatoes leftover from a Sunday meal, typically that would be a no, and after making my Whipped Potatoes with Cilantro Pesto the other day, not to mention my family reunion of sorts last week, I decided to check the site and yes, I needed to share this one with you.

Gramma's Potato Rolls with butter

On some of these I sprinkle sesame seeds because I love the flavor, but poppy seeds or anything you prefer would be fine to to add a little flavor boost. Gramma would just keep these plain though.

These potato rolls are minimal in effort to make and I’m sure your family will enjoy some fresh from the oven baked bread like this for dinner tonight.

By the way, there really is nothing better than the aroma of fresh bread baking. Just sayin’. Enjoy!

close up of a Gramma's Potato Rolls with melted butter

A close up of bread on a plate

Gramma's Potato Rolls

5 from 3 votes
Potato Rolls like my gramma used to serve, made with mashed potatoes, shortening and a sweet yeast dough that rises to create soft, pillowy dinner rolls.
Servings: 16
Prep: 2 hours 42 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 3 hours 7 minutes


  • 2 cups warmed whole milk (See Note 1)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (See Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar
  • 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour (See Note 3)
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)


  • In a bowl, whisk together the warm milk, melted shortening, eggs, mashed potatoes and sugar until blended and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a mixer with the dough hook, add the flour yeast and salt. Mix for a minute and slowly add the wet ingredients on low, kneading until dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
  • Bump the speed up to medium and knead for 6 minutes and if too sticky still add other 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour until dough is no longer sticking to sides of bowl. Knead another 4 minutes more for a total knead time of 10 minutes.
    potato roll dough close up
  • Turn dough on to floured surface and knead gently for a minute or two into a ball. Place in a large (dough really rises) bowl greased with cooking spray. Cover with a light towel or plastic wrap and allow to double in size at room temperature for 90 minutes.
    prep shot of Gramma's Potato Rolls
  • Grease two or three 8" or 9" round cake pans. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form/roll into a long roll, about two feet long. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut into 16 to 24 pieces, depending on the size you prefer.
  • Take each piece of dough and turn it onto itself forming a ball and then place the dough on a flat surface. Cup your hand and cover the dough and in a circular motion form it into a smooth roll. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and place 8 to 6 per pan in a circle or put one in the middle and remaining surrounding the center one.
    prep shot of Gramma's Potato Rolls dough rising
  • Spray tops with cooking spray or olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional). Let rise at room temperature, uncovered, for 60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake on lower rack until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Brush with butter or honey if you like and allow to cool slightly. Carefully loosen with a knife or spatula and remove from pan. Serve with butter or honey.


  1. I heat the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes, watch so it doesn't boil over.
  2. I use Crisco shortening. Gramma's recipe has this written as a heaping half a cup, so I add 2 to 3 tablespoons more along with the 1/2 cup then melt it in the microwave with the milk.
  3. If the dough is too sticky, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour more depending on who wet the mashed potatoes are when mixing the dough.


Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2.9mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Irish, Western
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    I want to reach through my screen, Kevin! These rolls look absolutely heavenly and I love recipes that are good enough to passed down from one generation to the next. Absolutely a must try recipe!

    1. Warm, pillowy rolls in need of butter stat I’d say Marissa! My gramma’s notes were “oleo or lard, like shortening” Crisco it was then! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These look so good, Kevin! I can only imagine how lovely they taste smeared with butter! And I agree with ya about the aroma of freshly baked bread – can’t beat it!