Parmesan Pesto Swirl Rolls Recipe

Kate Donahue | Food Babbles

Parmesan Pesto Swirl Rolls make a savory twist on the classic baked good. We're gonna dip ours in spaghetti and meatballs.

Parmesan Pesto Swirl Rolls Photo

I’m a total fiend for basil. It’s by far my favorite herb and I love using it in unexpected places. Basil in a cocktail? May I offer you a strawberry basil margarita?

Strawberries and basil are perfect partners in that unique cocktail. It’s become a summer deck staple around my house when entertaining. Basil also happens to be fabulous in desserts. Herbs with citrus is a natural pairing, so how about a slice of Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Cake? Making basil sugar for this lemon pound cake made it something truly unique and special.

More traditionally, I think that people tend to lean toward more savory than sweet applications when basil comes to mind. For me, if I’m going savory with my herbal additions, I love to make herbed bread. I think the most spectacular basil-kissed bread I’ve ever tasted was this pane bianco Italian bread recipe.

This loaf of bread is spectacular in presentation alone with its twisted “S-shape” that bursts open to reveal sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted garlic and cheese. I could eat that bread as a meal.

Parmesan Pesto Swirl Rolls Picture

Pasta dishes most times practically demand that basil be a part of them. Pesto anyone? Pesto is one of my favorite ways to enjoy basil. Fragrant basil with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and a touch of parmesan. Ooo la la! That sounds good. So with that savory delicious thought in mind, I set out to use pesto inside these savory rolls.

I love when bread makes a statement before it even enters your mouth and these parmesan pesto swirl rolls do just that. While they bake in the oven you’ll drool with the intoxicating smell of fragrant garlic and cheese that makes it hard to wait for them to finish.

Swirls of pesto and sun dried tomatoes make a bold statement about the tender rolls that are about to cross your lips. One bite of these warm rolls and you’ll know it was well worth the wait.

One of these days, I might even make them again with Julia’s kale pesto recipe. Talk about upping the flavor factor!

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Parmesan Pesto Swirl Rolls Recipe

      12 Servings


  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Eggs, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Milk, very warm but not hot
  • 1/2 cup Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together flour, yeast and salt.
  2. With mixer running on low speed, add 1 egg and butter then slowly pour in milk.
  3. Once incorporated, increase speed to medium and continue kneading dough for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough from bowl to a lightly oiled work surface.
  6. Deflate the dough then roll it to a 12x18-inch rectangle.
  7. Spread dough with pesto up to 1-inch all around. Sprinkle sun dried tomatoes over pesto then sprinkle on 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
  8. Starting from the one long edge, tightly roll into a log. Pinch seam together to seal.
  9. Cut log into 12 even pieces and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and rest at warm room temperature for 1 hour or until puffed.
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  12. Whisk remaining egg with a teaspoon water. Gently brush rolls with egg wash and sprinkle tops evenly with remaining parmesan cheese.
  13. Bake in preheated oven 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and baked through. Serve immediately.


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Related Recipes:
Bread Recipes, Baking Recipes, Baked Recipes, Side Dish Recipes, Pesto Recipes, Basil Recipes, Cheese Recipes, Tomato Recipes
Recipe Yields:
12 rolls
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Cook Time:
Rising Time:
Total Time:
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Author: Kate Donahue
Recipe Yields: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 220 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 roll
Servings Per Recipe 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 82
Calories 238

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g
  Saturated Fat 4g
Sodium 455mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 1g
Protein 8g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Kate Donahue

About Kate

Kate babbles about all things food on her own blog, Food Babbles, and about feeding her girls the best way. Here on Food Fanatic, she wows us with her commitment to homemade, fresh baking, week after week.

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