Garlic Cheese Biscuits
Garlic cheese biscuits are the perfect savory side dish to any meal! They’re buttery, cheesy, packed with flavor, and a variation on my popular classic butter biscuits.
Similar to Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits, these garlic cheese biscuits are wonderfully flavorful – a little salty, delightfully cheesy, and all around delicious. Fresh herbs kick them up a notch – dare I say they’re even better than the Red Lobster original?
Quick, easy, and so flaky, these homemade biscuits are a welcome addition to any meal.
What makes these biscuits so delicious and easy
- These biscuits are packed with flavor! There’s so much to love about each salty, cheesy, garlicky, herby, buttery bite.
- There is nothing quite like the tender texture of cheesy biscuits. They’re flaky, soft, and melt in your mouth.
- This quick side dish only takes about 20 minutes of prep before going into the oven.
INGREDIENT FUNCTIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS
Butter: I like making all-butter biscuits because of the delicious flavor. Technically, you can make this biscuit recipe using any type of fat: butter, shortening, lard, or even non-dairy butter for vegan biscuits. Butter also has a higher water content compared to the other types of fat, so the biscuits rise more when made with butter.
Use a non-dairy butter to make it vegan.
Flour: Flour gives these biscuits structure. I recommend all-purpose flour, but you can also make biscuits using self-rising flour (try my recipe for self-rising flour biscuits).
For gluten free biscuits, substitute the same amount of all-purpose flour with a gluten free flour blend. I have had great success with this 1-to-1 gluten free flour blend.
Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the biscuits rise and adds fluffiness.
Baking Soda: While baking powder does the heavy lifting in terms of leavening, baking soda is needed to balance out the acidic ingredients.
Salt: Salt adds flavor.
Buttermilk: My favorite biscuits are always made with buttermilk! Buttermilk adds moisture and binds the ingredients together. And, because buttermilk is cultured, it’s acidic and adds a delightful tang to these biscuits. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, make your own with this DIY buttermilk substitute.
DIY Buttermilk Substitute: Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Pour in enough whole milk until it measures 1 cup. Stir together and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes before adding it to your biscuit dough. You can follow this same process with non-dairy milk.
Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese is what gives these biscuits the most incredible flavor! Use any type of cheddar like mild cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese. Or, switch it up completely and use another kind of cheese like pepperjack or colby.
For a vegan alternative, use the same amount of a non-dairy cheese.
Rosemary & Thyme: Fresh herbs are optional but they add a bright, earthy flavor. If fresh herbs aren’t available, use any combination of dried herbs like dried oregano, Italian seasoning, or sage.
Fresh vs. Dried Herbs: As a general rule, one tablespoon of fresh herbs is equivalent to about one teaspoon of dried herbs. Here’s a link to more information about using fresh and dried herbs.
HOW TO MAKE GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS
These cheesy garlic biscuits are a variation on my popular recipe for classic butter biscuits.
Biscuit recipes utilize the Biscuit Mixing Method. The purpose of this method is to reduce gluten development which keeps the biscuits light and tender while also working to create flaky layers in the dough.
COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and herbs together.
CUT IN THE BUTTER
Add the diced, cold butter to the mixing bowl and cut it into the flour mixture.
To do this, press down on the fat with the wires of the pastry blender or the tines of a fork as you move it around the bowl. Continue cutting the fat into the flour until most of the pieces of fat are about the size of peas with some pieces being about the size of a walnut half.
Add in the shredded cheese and toss to combine evenly.
MIX IN THE BUTTERMILK
Pour all of the cold buttermilk into the bowl at once and use a wooden spoon to gently combine. Stir just until the mixture becomes one mass, but not until smooth. The dough should be pretty lumpy.
SHAPE THE DOUGH
Flour a clean work surface and your hands. Gently gather all of the dough and place it on the lightly floured surface. Using your hands, pat the dough into a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick disc. You may need to dust a bit of flour on top of the dough. Fold the dough in half and then turn it 90 degrees. Pat it out and fold it again, repeating the process for a total of 6 times.
This “pat and fold” process forms layers that will create flaky biscuits.
CUT OUT THE BISCUITS
Pat the dough so it’s 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut each biscuit. When cutting the biscuits, dip the cutter in flour, press straight down into the dough, and pull it back up without twisting it.
Gently pat the scraps together and repeat the process until all biscuits are cut out and no dough remains.
For really tall biscuits, place them very close together in your baking pan (or cookie sheet). I like to use a buttered cast iron pan. Sprinkle some additional shredded cheddar cheese on top.
Once the biscuits are in the oven, do not open the oven door for at least the first half of baking time. The steam trapped in the oven helps with the rise, and if the door is opened, the steam releases.
Once the biscuits are baked, use a pastry brush to brush on melted garlic butter and sprinkle with flaky salt. Totally optional but these two extras really elevate these cheddar biscuits!
What main dish goes with garlic cheese biscuits?
These savory biscuits are a delicious addition to any meal. I particularly love to serve them with a hearty meal like soup, pot roast, or seafood boil, and they’re a staple on my Thanksgiving and Christmas menus.
PREP & STORAGE
How to prep ahead: Make the biscuit dough the day (or 2-3 days) before serving. Prepare the biscuits as directed, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or in a buttered cast iron pan), and wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and bake directly from the refrigerator.
How to store in the refrigerator (or at room temperature): While biscuits are best enjoyed fresh, wrap completely cooled leftover biscuits in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 2 days.
How to store in the freezer: Freeze the biscuits raw and bake straight from frozen at 425°F/220°C for 18-21 minutes, until baked through. I go into more details about how to freeze biscuits (before or after baking) in this post.
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh minced thyme
- 200 grams (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top if desired
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
- 240 grams (1 cup, 240 milliliters) buttermilk, cold
- Position an oven rack to the center position and preheat to 450°F/230°C. Spray a cast iron pan (or cake pan) with non-stick spray or line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Measure out all ingredients. Dice the butter into small cubes. Keep the butter and buttermilk in the refrigerator until ready to use.
TO MAKE THE BISCUITS:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour (240 grams/ 2 cups), baking powder (1 tablespoon), baking soda (¼ teaspoon), salt (1 ¼ teaspoon), garlic powder (½ teaspoon), rosemary (1 ½ tablespoons), and thyme (1 ½ tablespoons).
- Add the cold diced butter (85 grams/ 6 tablespoons) to the mixing bowl and cut it into the flour mixture. To do this, press down on the fat with the wires of the pastry cutter or the tines of a fork as you move it around the bowl. Continue cutting the fat into the flour until most of the pieces of fat are about the size of peas with some pieces being about the size of a walnut half.
- Add in the cheddar cheese (200 grams/ 2 cups) and toss to combine.
- Add the cold buttermilk (240 grams/ 1 cup) into the bowl and stir with a spoon or a silicone spatula just until combined. This should only take a few turns. The dough will be pretty wet and sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Dust flour over the top of the dough. With floured hands bring the dough together into one mass.
- Pat the dough out (do not roll with a rolling pin) until it is about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a bench knife (or a metal spatula can be helpful if you do not have a bench knife), fold the dough in half and then turn it 90 degrees. Pat out and fold again for a total of 6 times. This process is creating layers that will create flaky biscuits.
- Press the dough out to about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick and use a round cutter that is about 2.5-inches (6 cm) in diameter to cut out your biscuits. When cutting out, dip your cutter in flour, press straight down, and pull it back up without twisting it. Twisting can seal the edge of your biscuit, not allowing it to rise fully. Gently pat the scraps together to cut out the rest of your biscuits. Alternatively, you can pat the dough into a rectangle and use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 8 rectangular-shaped biscuits.
- Place the biscuits in the prepared cast iron pan or baking sheet with the edges touching so they will rise up against each other. If desired, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.
- As an optional step, place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. This will ensure that your biscuits will not spread too much and will allow your oven to fully pre-heat.
- Bake at 450°F/230°C for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven door for at least the first half of baking time. You want the steam to stay trapped in the oven to help with the rise.
- Optional: Brush biscuits with 2 tablespoons melted butter mixed with ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
Gluten-Free Biscuits: swap the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
Vegan Option: swap the cheese and butter for a non-dairy alternative. For the buttermilk, swap it for a non-dairy cream and stir in 5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) lemon juice.