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Buttery, Crunchy Cheesy Garlic Bubble-Up Bread

This buttery, crunchy Cheesy Garlic Bubble-Up bread is not only delicious, it’s easy!  Just put frozen dinner rolls in your refrigerator to thaw overnight and you’ll be enjoying it in no time.  The Parmesan cheese forms a wonderful crunchy crust and the top is basted with garlic butter.  What’s not to love?  This quick, easy and delicious cheesy bubble-up bread has only 4 ingredients, 15 active minutes prep time and is irresistible!  See how good it looks in the pictures?  It tastes even better.

Cheesy Bubble-Up Bread

Have you ever noticed how the smell of yeasty, delicious baking bread locks in to some primitive settings in your brain to produce feelings of safety and comfort and home?   I was in getting my annual mammogram this morning (if you’re a gal, have you gotten yours lately?  If not, please stop right now and call to make an appointment.  It’s important to squeeze in a little time.) and the imaging center is located adjacent to the hospital in one of the campus buildings – where, apparently, they bake the bread for the hospital cafeteria.  I don’t particularly enjoy getting mammograms (who does?), but that smell fills me with a sense of peace and comfort every year I go in there.   I find I don’t mind it nearly so much…

That wonderful smell inspired me to create this delightful Cheesy Garlic Bread Bubble-Up recipe.  I’ve been wanting to update my bread recipe on the Large Group Lunch menu section of AlohaDreams for some time.  And man, was it worth the wait.  I served a similar bread and salad combo to a local ladies networking lunch and it was gone in seconds. This one’s even better.

It’s easy too, using frozen roll dough.  Just let the rolls thaw overnight in the refrigerator, give them a quick bath in some butter and garlic salt, followed by a quick spin in the Parmesan, then set them aside in a skillet to rise.  Your bread will look like this before it rises.


Cheesy Bubble-Up Bread

When it’s ready to go in the oven It should look like this.  See all that wonderful Parmesan cheese goodness on those rolls?  Well, when it’s done baking that Parmesan cheesy goodness gets wonderfully crunchy and delicious around the bottom and edges.

Cheesy Bubble-Up Bread

Like this.

Cheesy Bubble-Up Bread

Combined with a nice salad, it’s a terrific large group lunch recipe for girls camp or for a ladies event.  It will produce 24 rolls, although I guarantee you that many people will want seconds, so I’d plan on it serving 20.  You can assign it out to volunteers to make in advance and re-heat it, wrapped in aluminum foil, for 10-15 minutes in a 200 degree oven at the event and it’s just as good.  The handy recipe’s at the end of the post.

Cheesy Bubble-Up Bread

Mixed Salad for a Crowd

And speaking of salads, here’s everything you need to know to pull together a great mixed salad for a large group!

Tossed Green Salad for a Large Group

Serving Size for Salad as one of your Main Dishes

Lettuce seems like such an easy ingredient.  But when you’re cooking for a crowd, the question is more one of ‘how much’ than ‘how to’.  (In the midst of planning a meal for a large group, that question has kept me awake at night.) (Yeah, I know, I need a vacation!)  But seriously, it helps to know.  So here you go.  When serving salad as one of your main dishes, plan on 2.5 – 3 ounces of lettuce per person if you’re going to also have add-ins, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. (which you totally should!).  Here is 2.5 ounces of lettuce.

Salad Serving Size

Just pick yourself up some mixed lettuce.   Sam’s Club offers either Tossed Salad or Chopped Romaine, both in 2 pound bags.

1 (2 lb. bag) Tossed Salad/Chopped Romaine serves 16 (young women) to 25 (combo of adults & children as part of a buffet).


A standard serving of salad dressing is 2 tablespoons, which equals 1 ounce.

1 (2 pack – 40 ounce each (80 ounces total)) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing SERVES 85 – 100.  (I have actually SERVED 120 with 80 ounces since, on average, the guests (an even mix of men, women, teens and children) really only took approximately .75 ounce per person.)   For faster serving, mix dressing with milk,until it’s reached a thinner consistency of your liking, then pour thinned dressing into 2-4 squeeze bottles or pour it back into the original dressing bottles.


1 (2 pack – 20 ounce each (40 ounces total) Olive Garden Italian Dressing = 40 – 50 (2 tablespoon) SERVINGS.   

Salad Dressing Quantities to Purchase

2 Tbsp 1 1/2 cups 3 cups 1 1/2 qt



1 (32 ounce) bag Olive Garden Seasoned Croutons will serve about 35 people.  Not every one will take some, an average serving is about (1 ounce) .   That’s this much.

Salad Serving Size


NOTE: You can probably find folks who have an abundance of vegetables and would be happy to provide them at no cost (trust me, toward mid-summer they are looking for someone to take their extras).


Salad Serving Size


15 (medium tomatoes), sliced or chopped, mixed in with the tossed lettuce = approximately 150 servings.



Salad Serving Size

6 (sliced cucumbers) mixed in with the tossed lettuce = approximately 150 servings


Salad Serving Size

10 (carrots, sliced) mixed in with the tossed lettuce = 150 servings


Bell Peppers

Salad Serving Size

20 (bell peppers, sliced) mixed in with the tossed lettuce = 150 servings

Pin for Later.

Cheesy Bubble Up Bread

Or Make Now.


Cheesy Garlic Bubble-up Skillet Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Part of the charm of this recipe is the contrast in textures. The soft, fluffy interior of the rolls combines wonderfully with the crunchy buttery bottom. Add bits of savory parmesean cheese through out and a cheesy toping and it doesn’t get much better! To accomplish the crunchy, buttery exterior these rolls need to be cooked in a Dutch oven or heavy high sided skillet or pot.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 people
Makes 24 rolls, serving 20 - 24 people
  • 1 (12 roll bag) Rhodes dinner rolls
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 4 1/2 ounces
To baste the rolls:
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large cast iron skillet
  • Basting brush
  1. Thaw desired number of rolls overnight in the refrigerator. It can be kept in the refrigerator up to 48 hours before using. (Do not refreeze once it’s thawed).
  2. In a small bowl, add the butter and the garlic salt and microwave 30 seconds to melt. Stir and set aside.
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into the skillet. Roll the skillet around to distribute the butter evenly across the bottom.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese to a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Using kitchen sissors or a knife, cut each roll in half to form 24 balls. They will mangle a bit when you do this. It’s not a problem, just reform each dough half into a new ball.
  6. One at a time, roll each of the balls in the seasoned butter mixture, making sure to cover completely. Then roll the dough ball in the parmesean cheese, pressing slightly to thoroughly incorporate the cheese.
  7. Nestle each roll into the prepared skillet or pot. They should just fit, keep them 1 layer deep only.
  8. Allow the dough to rise for about 30 - 45 minutes (it takes less time in a warm kitchen than in the dead of a cold winter.

  9. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  10. When the dough has risen, place the skillet in the oven for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes remove, cover with aluminum foil to stop further browning and bake for another 10 minutes.
  11. Let the bread cool for a couple minutes.  While cooling, microwave the butter and garlic salt for 30 seconds.

  12. Slide rolls out of pan, brush with the melted butter mixture and enjoy warm.

Recipe Notes

NOTE on Rhodes Rolls: Before you buy your rolls, make sure:

  1. Rolls should be separate, not stuck together
  2. There are no ice crystals in the bag
  3. Dough should be frozen solid
  4. Make sure the “Best By” date has not passed



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Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

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