This easy Pesto Bread recipe combines a bright, garlicky homemade pesto with mozzarella and frozen dinner rolls. Cheesy and soft, these rolls are great served with soups, pastas, and salads.
Add these yummy basil pesto bread bites to your appetizer spread for your gathering or dinner party. They are easy to make, baked together in a pan for a fun pull apart bread that’s cheesy and full of flavor.
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Why We Love This Recipe
Easy to Make – They take a little time, but it’s mostly hands off while you let the dough rise for about an hour. Using premade rolls and easy to find ingredients keep this recipe accessible for anyone to make. No kneading, rising, or stand mixer needed!
Cheesy – Love the addition of Mozzarella cheese to this pesto bread. The flavors are so good together!
Sharable – The pull apart type bread is great for sharing! Pull off a piece or two and pass it around! I love that you can just pull the loaf apart – you don’t even have to slice it!
Ingredients For Cheesy Pesto Bread
- Dough – I used Rhodes frozen rolls to make the pull apart bread. You could also use your favorite yeast roll dough, or another frozen dough that you cut into small pieces. Even refrigerated biscuits will will work in a pinch.
- Pesto – Make your own pesto with my recipe (pinenuts, fresh basil, garlic cloves, olive oil and parmesan cheese). Or to keep it simple you can buy a premade pesto at your local grocery store.
- Mozzarella Cheese – freshly grated off the block for best results.
- Melted Butter – for brushing over the rolls.
How To Make Pull-Apart Pesto Bread
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
- Prep the frozen rolls. Thaw rolls, cut them in half, then roll each piece into a small ball, about the size of a golf ball.
- Make the pesto. Add pine nuts, basil, garlic, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all ingredients and combined and form a loose paste. Add parmesan cheese and pulse for 10 more seconds.
- Mix and Arrange. Toss balls of dough in the pesto and cheese, then arrange in a round cake pan. They won’t completely fill the pan, so there’s room for the rolls to rise.
- Bake. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the rolls with melted butter and bake until the top is golden brown. Brush with more butter after they’re done baked and drizzle with more pesto.
- Serve with pesto, marinara sauce or even ranch for dipping.
While you can enjoy this little snack at room temperature, I highly recommend eating them right out of the oven. They are at their best when enjoyed fresh.
Serve then with a fun dipping sauce, like marinara or ranch. They go great with soups and pastas, but as an appetizer, they pair well with Mozzarella Bruschetta, Tomato Jam, and Chicken Pesto Flatbread Pizza.
- Want your bread extra cheesy? Add another generous handful of mozzarella to the pan during the last 3 minutes of baking.
- Pesto Tomato Bread – Try adding ½ cup of chopped sundried tomatoes with the pesto and cheese!
These are best served right away. You can store them covered at room temperature for up to 1 day. Reheat in the oven at 350℉, covered tightly with foil, until warmed through.
Homemade pesto can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It is best if used within 3 days though.
- If you have a Cuisinart food processor, the plunger you use to push food through the chute has a small hole in the bottom of it. This is for streaming in oil! You can fill the plunger with the olive oil, turn on the food processor, and it will stream in the oil for you at the perfect rate.
- If you do not have a 9” cake pan, you can use a 9 or 10” deep dish pie pan, or a 1 quart baking dish.
- This recipe doubles well, just split between 2 equal size pans. You may need to rotate the pans halfway through cooking, depending on your oven.
- Store leftover pine nuts in the freezer, tightly wrapped.
- For a nut-free and seed-free pesto, try Classico Pesto Sauce. I use it for my son who has a lot of allergies.
More Bite-Sized Recipes
Cheesy Pesto Bread
- 10 frozen dinner rolls like Rhodes
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves about 4 heaping handfuls
- 3 garlic cloves rough chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper fresh ground
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ⅔ cup coarsely grated parmesan
- Thaw rolls at room temperature on a greased sheet pan, covered with plastic wrap, just until you are able to cut them in half, about 45 minutes to an hour. Roll each half into small balls, 20 in total.
- Meanwhile, add pine nuts, basil, garlic, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse ingredients until finely chopped, about 8-10 times. With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil in through the top, until mixture comes together and forms a loose paste. Scrape sides, add parmesan and process 10 seconds more. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Grease a 9” round cake pan, set aside.
- In a medium bowl add ½ cup pesto, toss each dough ball to coat. Add mozzarella and parmesan and gently toss gently. Place each dough ball in the pesto and place into the pan. They will not completely fill the bottom of the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm area of your kitchen until rolls double in size and nearly fill the pan, about 1 hour.
- Brush each roll with some of the melted butter. Bake rolls for 18-25 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350℉ if they are browning too quickly. When rolls are finished baking, brush the rolls with more melted butter, and drizzle with a bit more of the pesto. Serve immediately with marinara sauce, and any remaining fresh pesto.