Bakery-Soft Butternut Spinach Rolls

Posted by on September 28, 2010 | 21 Comments

A quick plea for another quick vote from y’all! This is my second entry in the Everyday Cooking Challenge from Pacific Foods. It just takes one click to vote … no registration required!

Please Vote Here! (see vote button at the bottom of the page and just click!)

Now onto that recipe. Come now, I know you can’t get “something for nothing,” so in exchange for your vote, I have the entry recipe to share with you …

The second challenge required using a creamy soup from Pacific Foods and spinach. I had an extra “challenge” since my options were limited. Pacific offer a wide range of creamy soups, but only four are dairy-free, and from this selection, my local grocer only carries one – Butternut Squash Soup. To be honest, the other three are more my taste, but fortunately this soup lends itself rather easily to recipes.

I saw other soups, chilis, and pastas in the entries, but decided to go for something a little different … soft rolls.

Really, the pictures cannot show how soft, squishy and tender these rolls really are – you will just have to take my word for it.

Like in smoothies, the spinach imparts a light green hue and some nutrition, but it doesn’t affect the flavor. Trust me. Would I lead you astray? The butternut soup has a mild sweetness and a nice rich texture that actually works beautifully as both the liquid in this recipe and as a subtle flavor enhancer.

These rolls can be shaped and made free form to use as buns, or you can do like I did and go for pull-apart style. We used them as breakfast rolls (with a little Earth Balance and jam for my husband), sandwich buns (they are gently sweet, not over the top), and dinner rolls. Those of you with allergies, an unstocked fridge, or who are vegan, will appreciate the spot on texture of these rolls sans eggs!

Oh, and did I mention how wonderfully tender these are? Think you can’t make bakery-soft buns? Think again …

Bakery-Soft Butternut-Spinach Rolls

Please vote for this recipe here!!! Thank you!

For a sweeter or less sweet roll, feel free to adjust the sweetener up or down to your liking. As is, they come out subtly sweet and are quite versatile.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.

  • 1-1/2 Cups Butternut Squash Soup (can use homemade if you prefer)
  • 3 Ounces Spinach Leaves (1 cup somewhat packed)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, or Shortening (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast or 2-1/4 Teaspoons (1-1/4-Ounce Package) for higher altitude
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (can sub evaporated cane juice / sucanat or coconut sugar for an unrefined option)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • 2-1/2 to 3 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose (Plain) Flour (I used bread flour)

Warm the soup a bit (you want it to be pretty warm to activate the yeast, but not too hot, which could kill the yeast). Place it in your blender and blend with the spinach until smooth.

Place the soup mixture, oil or shortening, yeast, sugar, salt, and wheat flour in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Gradually add in the bread or all-purpose flour until the dough reaches a nice soft, pliable consistency that you can handle. As it gets thick, you will want to knead it with your hands. I used just over 2-3/4 cup flour. 

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to lightly coat it with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour. I actually use a pyrex bowl that has a lid – it works great!

If making pull-apart rolls, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Divide the dough into 12 or 18 equal pieces and form each piece into rounds. Place the rounds in your prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise again, until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. If the air in your kitchen is too cool, preheat your oven to warm, turn it off, place the dish with your dough in the oven, and leave the oven door propped slightly open.

When the dough is almost done rising, preheat your oven to 400º F (205º C). Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops take on a golden hue.

No butternut soup? To make rolls just as deliciously soft and bakery-like as these, try the Tender Squash Dinner Roll recipe in Go Dairy Free. It uses mashed squash (or pumpkin) for perfect rolls every time.

Makes 12 fairly large (think sandwich size) rolls or 18 smaller dinner rolls


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Comments (21)


  1. Andrea says:

    You’ve got my vote!

  2. Scrumptious rolls, yum! Will vote!

  3. Katie says:

    Wow. You’ve outdone yourself, Alisa. Off to vote!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alisa Fleming and Sarah West, Alisa Fleming. Alisa Fleming said: Bakery-Soft Butternut Spinach Rolls […]

  5. Holy cow, Alisa! THese sound fabulous! I am already trying to figure out the best flour combination to make these gluten free. These would go so wonderfully with so many fall dinners!!! Will be trying these for sure. I will tell you what ratio of gluten free flours work for it.

  6. Noelle says:

    Yum!!! I want some and then make a soup! Great recipe!

  7. Shannon says:

    totally trying these 🙂 off to vote!!

  8. Katie says:

    these look amazing! Can’t wait to try them…already voted for you! 🙂

  9. Marianne says:

    What a great idea, using the soup for rolls. They sound great.

  10. Joanne says:

    Not only am I going to vote, but I’m also going to make these. I need them in my life.

  11. Heather says:

    This looks phenomenal! I was just commenting how excited I am for autumn and squash season! I’ll be making these this weekend.

  12. Ricki says:

    What a wonderfully inventive recipe–and it sounds absolutely delectable. They do, indeed, look incredibly tender! Wishing I could have one right now. . . great, great recipe! I’m off to vote! 🙂

  13. Tymber says:

    When I saw this recipe, I was so excited to try it that I immediately went out and looked for butternut squash soup. Lucky for me, Target had the exact Pacific Foods soup (on sale!) that you use in your recipe, so I bought a few.
    As I was reading the ingredient label, however, I noticed that the soup contains soymilk, so this recipe is actually NOT soy-free (as long as that particular brand is used). Just wanted to mention that in case anyone has a real concern about the soy.
    Thanks for the recipe, and I look forward to trying more of them in the future! 🙂

  14. Libby says:

    Of COURSE you have my vote! Thanks for the support with Project Food Blog. I’m not sure if I’ll be more relieved if I do or don’t make it to the next round. That’s a seriously high pressure contest with only about 48 hrs between announcing who makes the cut and when the next challenge is due. STRESS!!!!

    P.S. The rolls look delectable!

  15. I love this recipe! This is similar to the one I used potato in from Go Dairy Free!!! They look so fluffy and delicious! I went immediately and voted for you! Have a great weekend Alisa!

  16. i love when people make things that look worlds above anything a bakery could!! <3 fantastic buns girl hehe, very squishy and soft <3

  17. aquariann says:

    I’m your 57th vote! The rolls sound delicious. *tummy growls*

  18. So dreamy! That last shot with the buttery goodness on top of that perfect crumb is awesome. Thank you for the recipe! And YAY, it’s vegan! I’m off to vote…

  19. Mmmm I am so trying these out! Hope they become a thanksgiving star 🙂 Bookmarked!

  20. Erica says:

    wow! These look and sound fantastic. What a fun combination of flavors.

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