Pan yeast rolls are great for any holiday or event.


These pan yeast rolls will melt in your mouth.   I have made them for years and they are wonderful.  My family looks forward to these rolls during the holidays. I think this recipe was on a box of grits years and years ago.

Pan yeast rolls are a delicious, old-fashioned recipe.

1 cup instant grits or quick grits,  uncooked

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 cups hot water ( I just use hot water from the tap.)

1/3 cup vegetable oil  (I use canola oil)

6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 pkgs dry yeast (two 1/4 ounce packages or 4 1/2 teaspoons)

Combine instant grits, sugar, and salt in large bowl.  Add water, oil and 2 cups of the flour.  Beat 2 minutes on low speed with mixer.  Add 1 cup additional flour and yeast.  Beat 1 minute on low speed.  Stir in additional flour to make soft dough.  Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.  Add additional flour if needed.

Spray two round cake pans and divide dough in half.  Shape each half into 18 balls and place in pans. Cover and let rise 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  Brush with butter.  Makes about 36 rolls.  Serve warm.

Note:  I have also made the dough balls larger and placed in a 9 x 13 inch greased cake pan.   They will be more like sandwich rolls if made this way.   See photos below of rolls before they are cooked.

Rolls before rising.
 Rolls after rising for 2 hours.
Pan Yeast Rolls
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5 from 1 vote

Pan Yeast Rolls

These Pan Yeast Rolls made with grits are a special treat! Perfect for the holidays. 
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: bread
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Pan Yeast Rolls
Servings: 36 Rolls


  • 1 cup instant grits or quick grits uncooked
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups hot water I just use hot water from the tap.
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil I use canola oil
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 pkgs dry yeast two 1/4 ounce packages or 4 1/2 teaspoons


  • Combine instant grits, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add water, oil and 2 cups of the flour. Beat 2 minutes on low speed with mixer. Add 1 cup additional flour and yeast. Beat 1 minute on low speed. Stir in additional flour to make soft dough. Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Add additional flour if needed.
  • Spray two round cake pans and divide dough in half. Shape each half into 18 balls and place in pans. Cover and let rise 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter. Makes about 36 rolls. Serve warm.


I have also made the dough balls larger and placed in a 9 x 13 inch greased cake pan. They will be more like sandwich rolls if made this way.

If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Fabulous Yeast Rolls.
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  1. Wow! Awesome recipe. They almost taste like cornbread, but have a great, southern, feel. I actually double halved the recipe to make 9 large rolls. They were delicious, and will hopefully be part of our family traditions for years to come. God bless, and have a great day, fellow bakers.5 stars

  2. Hello I cook ll kind of grits for my family and mother. I mixed up rolls last night with the 5 minute grits like I fix for mother each morning. The tools rose beautifully but u could taste the grits not fully cooked. So I am wondering what was the issue?

    1. I have not had this happen, Caren. Maybe a difference in the brand of grits or something. You could try cooking the grits first and see how that works for you.

  3. One thing I seldom see for grits recipes is using yellow grits instead of white ones. They have a much better flavor and cook the same! Try them and you won’t go back!
    A Southern Man in the kitchen taught well by a loving Grandmother and of course MOM!!

  4. I was just making sure the TBSP of salt was correct? Just seemed like a lot. I can’t wait to try these!! I love yeast rolls and the idea of grits intrigue me!! Thank you!! 🙂

  5. For those who do not have grits, I use almost the same recipe but with mashed red potatoes and less water. I make them every Thanksgiving and they are delicious. I cannot wait to try these with grits!

  6. I used to make these 35 years ago (!) using the recipe on the instant grits bag. I guess I thought they’d have it forever and never wrote it down, but then it wasn’t there. I grieved! I cannot wait to make these again. By the way, I substituted half whole wheat flour, and the flavor was incredible. Thanks for giving this pre-family tradition back to me for me to share with the family now!

    1. I always made these the same day I cook them and have never tried making them ahead except making them, cooking them and freezing to reheat later. I put them in foil and reheat in the oven and they did well that way.

  7. Just a little humorous note. My nephew (by marriage) was from the south and, when asked what grits were he replied “corn after the “good stuff” was removed! I am a ‘way up north easterner, but I like grits. However, I make my southern friends cringe when I put them in a bowl with milk/cream and sugar – like hot cereal. O,well, I react the same way when they put fried chicken on waffles. I guess, to each his own. lol

  8. If you are making a large amount of rolls for a get-together & want to keep them warm during transport, here’s a tip: Take an ice chest/cooler, line with towels … place the rolls in the cooler straight from the oven, cover with a towel & close the lid. The towels absorb any moisture from the steam & keeps the rolls from drying out. I am almost 60, as a child I remember my Mom’s friend doing this. I have done this & I know it works.

  9. Is it necessary to put the sugar in? I really don’t like my bread sweet and that sounds like an awful lot of sugar. Otherwise, it sounds delish.

    1. That’s not a lot of sugar for the amount flour and grits. You need the sugar to feed the yeast for a good rise.

  10. Still looking for a response to my earlier question re: using “regular” (non-instant non-quick) grits in this recipe. Any thoughts?

    1. I only cook stone ground grits. But, I don’t think they would work in this recipe as they take much longer to cook. I think they would really uncompromised the texture of the rolls.

  11. For anyone who has asked–you can find grits and instant grits on the cereal aisle in most grocery stores. Hope this helps!

  12. Hi. How much is 2pkgs of yeast in terms of measurement? I only have yeast in a bottle. Can I use fast acting yeast? Thanks.

    1. There is 1/4 ounce in one package of yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons. Yes, I think you can use fast acting yeast.

  13. I made these this morning. I live in south GA, very humid today. I had to use 7 cups of flour just to get it out of the bowl. Which meant I should have added a tsp or so of salt. I cooked one pan before taking to family for fathers day and they are wonderful, fluffy and in need of a little salt. To compensate in the other pans, I will sprinkle with Kosher salt before cooking and brush with salted butter. I used quick grits which gave them an occasional crunch. Thanks for a quick, easy wonderful yeast roll recipe.

  14. Im from Down Under,
    Could you please tell me what grits are?… I would love to try the recipe, but in Australia we do not have anything called grits. What could I use instead?
    Thanks, look forward to trying this recipe…..

      1. Polenta is more finely ground than grits. But if you can use instant grits, then polenta should work.

  15. I’ve made different breads my entire life….but I’ve never thought to toss some grits in too. Can’t wait to try this. TFS

  16. This is amazing! Two of the best things on earth: yeast rolls and grits. I am a true Southener and I fear I should be ashamed for not having tried these. I am going to surprise my husband and mom on Thanksgiving with these. Question, do you feel the grit texture when eating these? Oh I do love grits. Now I am hungry for grits!

    1. There is a slight texture to these rolls but it is very slight. If you are looking for it, you will be able to feel the texture but it is not at all distinctive.

  17. wondering if they even sell grits here in Ontario, Canada. These look so yummy. Will be fun to try for Christmas.

  18. Just a small question, but is there an alternative to grits for this??? I am in Wisconsin and if ya ask for grits, you get this funny look like ya are from another planet… Unless they have been to the south, it isn’t heard of here…

  19. Any thoughts/experience at all on using “regular” (non-instant/quick) grits? Pre-soaking? Different rise/bake time? Forget about it?

    1. I used the quick grits the first time I made these rolls–came out a little gritty (pardon the pun!) on the tops, but tasted great. Made them with instant grits the second time–turned out perfectly. I’ve also prepared the dough and frozen them prior to rising. Then I took them out of the freezer the night before, let them rise overnight, and baked — same great taste! If you plan to have leftovers, better bake an extra batch!

  20. I make yeast buttermilk biscuits all the time and I also make a pretty mean grits pie. This sounds like the best of both worlds and they like absolutely delicious! I’m definitely gonna give this recipe a shot. Thanks, sweetie.

  21. I think there is a difference between quick-cooking grits and instant grits. Quick cooking cooks in about 5 minutes, and instant you just pour in some boiling water in the grits, no cooking. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thanks for the recipe, I’ll use instant, like the recipe states. 🙂 🙂

  22. Pingback: Pan Yeast Rolls « Jill's Place
  23. Just found out from my MIL who used to make yeast rolls, but no longer does due to health reasons, that if you want to make ahead and freeze, you freeze them before the 2nd rise, so it’s after you make the balls, she puts them in the pan, covers and freezes. My thoughts are to make them Sunday then take them out TG morning, let thaw, then rise and bake. Will let you know if it works out.

    1. Thanks so much Lori. Please let me know how this works for you as I get asked often. Have a great weekend.

      1. I experimented with freezing the grits rolls before letting them rise — turned out great! I just took them out of the freezer, covered with a towel, and let them rise overnight. Baked them the next morning. I’ve made these twice now — they are so easy to make! I used the quick grits, and the particles in the dough that was exposed to baking were noticeable. The interior particles were not. Kinda adds a good little crunch to the tops.

      2. Thanks so much Janet. That is good to know. I made them, too, and they were gone in a flash! Happy to know they will freeze well.

  24. Wow! These yeast rolls look amazing! And my husband loves grits! Will try these for Thanksgiving!

  25. Love this recipe for Pan Yeast Rolls. A great compliment to the Thanksgiving dinner table. Eager to try these!

    1. Penny, You can get them at any grocery store here. They might say quick-cooking instead of instant but it’s the same thing. Kroger and Walmart has them here.

      1. Quick grits and instant are NOT the same thing at all. You must cook quick grits and instant grits…… add hot water and eat. Big difference!

      1. I am sure that is because they don’t last too long in your house because they are devoured before they can be stored. Great recipe thanks!

  26. YES! Nothin’ says lovin’ like homemade rolls from the oven. =) Wish I could have a couple of warm ones this morning…MMMM!

  27. I have just read your blog for the first time. I love it. I am looking forward to making a lot of the recipes.

    BTW, I was born in Baltimore, MD, does this make me a Southern Woman?

    1. I have been looking for this recipe for over 18 years these are the best rolls you will ever eat. Thank you so much. Anyone have any ideas how to make ahead and freeze?

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