These cheese and onion rolls with puff pastry are an easy recipe for leftover mashed potato that kids absolutely love (and adults too!). Quick and simple to make, they are a favourite in lunch boxes and great for picnics.
What is a cheese and onion roll?
Crispy puff pastry is folded around a soft cheese, onion and potato filling. It’s a little on the carb heavy side, but a mouthwatering combination, and a delicious vegetarian sausage roll. If you grew up in England, a bite of these rolls will be sure to bring back memories!
Why we love this recipe
- This cheese and onion roll recipe with puff pastry taste like the cheese and onion rolls from Greggs, the British bakery chain. If you are not aware of them, they taste like cheese and onion pasties!
- This vegetarian sausage roll recipe is loved by kids and toddlers as well as adults. If your family is anything like my family, they love puff pastry rolls, whether it’s traditional pork sausage rolls, or vegetarian ricotta rolls.
- An easy leftover mashed potato recipe that can easily be doubled up to feed a crowd.
- They can be made ahead – bake a batch and put some rolls in the freezer for later.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Puff pastry – You can use any brand of puff pastry you like: Pampas, supermarket own brand, Jus roll. In Australia I use two 24cm x 24cm frozen puff pastry sheets, weighing about 160g each, but if you are in the UK you can use a block of puff pastry and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ cm thick or a box of ready rolled puff pastry.
- Onion – a brown onion. You can use red onion or a couple of spring onions/ green onions instead if you prefer.
- Cheese – I prefer to use block tasty cheese and grate it myself, not only is it cheaper but it doesn’t have the cellulose coating on it. You can use cheddar cheese or another hard cheese.
- Mashed potato – this recipe is made with a mashed potato that isn’t runny. If you have a super creamy mash then the filling may ooze out of the ends slightly. They will still taste great, but may look a little messy!
- Egg – this is important to holding the filling in the rolls, otherwise it has a tendency to leak out. If you want to make these rolls egg free then you can leave it out – I have tested making them without egg and the filling does tend to leak out quite a bit so be prepared for the possibility of a lot of filling on the baking tray. It goes lovely and crispy and tastes delicious, so if you aren’t worried about the look of your cheese onion roll then go for it!
How to make these cheese rolls
- Preheat the oven.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment / baking paper.
- Cook the onion in the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat until soft. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the mashed potato, grated cheese, dijon mustard, cooled onion, beaten egg and season with salt and black pepper. Mix to combine.
- Take a sheet of puff pastry and cut in half. Place a quarter of the cheese potato mixture down the centre of one half and taking one long edge, roll up into a sausage roll shape. Cut and place on to the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with the other half of the pastry, then repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry.
- Brush the tops of the onion cheese rolls with the beaten egg in the bottom of the cup / bowl you used to beat it. (This step is optional, and you can of course use another egg to brush the rolls with if you want to.)
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown.
Instead of leftover mashed potato, cut 1 small potato weighing around 100g into cubes and cook in boiling water for 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and cool then mash with a fork and use as per the recipe.
Yes you can! Which makes them a great recipe for lunchboxes or picnics.
If your ready roll puff pastry has been frozen, make sure it is defrosted before use. If it’s chilled, you can take it straight out of the fridge and use it. The pastry should feel cold, if it is too warm it will be difficult to work with so pop back in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to cool down.
Yes you can freeze potato cheese rolls for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
My recipe tips
- Make sure your oven is preheated before you place the cheese rolls in to cook.
- rolling the pastry around the potato filling. If they are still slightly frozen the pastry can crack, causing the filling to leak out of the cracks when cooking.
- Cut through the pastry with a sharp knife, don’t drag the knife along as this will cause the pastry to tear.
- Serve these savoury cheese rolls alongside a bowl of soup like this pumpkin carrot soup or spiced carrot soup for a filling lunch on a cold day.
- Pack into a lunchbox or take along to a picnic or pot luck.
- Serve alongside baked beans for an easy kid and toddler friendly dinner.
- Fridge – store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer – cool completely then freeze on a baking tray and transfer to a zip bag of container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge overnight.
- Chutney – a spoonful of your favourite onion chutney would be a tasty addition. Mix with the grated cheese or spread along the middle of the pastry before you add the cheese and potato filling.
- Herbs – add a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh chives, or a little fresh thyme.
- Spices – add a pinch of paprika or chilli powder instead of the mustard.
More puff pastry recipes for you
Cheese and Onion Rolls
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped ($0.45 / £0.10p)
- ½ tablespoon oil – vegetable oil, sunflower oil or olive oil ($0.04 / £0.02p)
- 180g (6.3oz) grated cheddar cheese / tasty cheese ($2.08 / £1.44)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard ($0.07 / £0.02p)
- 1 egg, size large ($0.35 / £0.18p)
- 275g (1¼c) mashed potato. see note 1 below if making without leftover mashed potato ($0.56 / £0.11p)
- 2 puff pastry sheets ($0.76 / £0.86p)
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C / 356 °F convection / 400 °F
- Line a baking tray with baking paper / baking parchment.
- Chop the onion and fry in the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the onion is soft. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the mashed potato with grated cheese, mustard, beaten egg and add the cooked onion. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Lay out one sheet of puff pastry and cut it in half.
- Spread a quarter of the mashed potato mixture down the centre of one half, seal one of the long edges with water, milk or a little of the egg in the bottom of the cup/bowl you used to beat it in.
- Fold one long side over to the other side, pressing gently to seal.
- Cut into thirds to make three potato rolls and place on the lined tray, seam side down.
- Repeat with the other half of the pastry. Then repeat with the other sheet of pastry.
- Optional: Using a pastry brush or bit of kitchen roll, wipe out the last of the beaten egg from the cup / bowl you beat it in to brush over the cheese and onion rolls. This helps give them a lovely golden shiny top.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
- Leave on tray for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy warm at room temperature or cold. Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
- Making these rolls without using leftover mashed potato: Instead of leftover mashed potato, cut 1 small potato weighing around 100g into cubes and cook in boiling water for 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and cool then mash with a fork and use as per the recipe.