Cheesy Popovers light and airy dinner rolls with a crispy, golden exterior. They’re irresistibly delicious and a perfect pairing with any meal.
What are Popovers?
Popovers are light and airy rolls made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding, typically baked in dedicated popover pans, which have straight-walled sides rather than angled like in a muffin tin. The name “popover” comes from the fact that the batter swells or “pops” over the top of the tin while baking. Popovers are made from an egg batter (no yeast, baking soda or baking powder), so no kneading or rising required.
One of my dearest friends gave me a popover pan years ago, and I can’t believe how long it took me to finally use it. When I finally made these Cheesy Popovers in it for the first time, I called to tell my friend how delicious they turned out. She took a few moments to guilt me (the way that only a good friend can for taking years to use a gift she gave you), and then wanted to know all about my recipe.
Popovers are super easy to make and when I say they are “kid friendly”, I really mean it. My kids have become obsessed with them. They love watching them puff up in the oven and then breaking them open when they are done to see the steam pour out of the big airy puffs. They’re perfect slathered with butter and jam for breakfast or as a side with dinner in place of rolls. My favorite part of Cheesy Popovers? You only need 5 ingredients that are pantry and refrigerator staples, so we can make these anytime we want!
Tips for Cheesy Popovers Success
These Cheesy Popovers are super simple to make, but here are some tips for getting the best, most light and fluffy popovers ever!
- Use a popover pan. While technically, you can make these in a muffin tin, they’ll be so much better if they’re made in a pan that’s intended for popovers. Trust me. It’s worth it!
- Bring your eggs and milk to room temperature before making the batter. This helps with producing a light and airy popover instead of dense and chewy.
- Let your batter rest at room temperature while the oven preheats. This also helps popovers rise better and make a fluffy popover.
- GENEROUSLY grease the popover pan. Every part of it. The inside of the wells and the rim. The popovers rise over the edge of the pan and you don’t want any part of it to stick!
- Make sure your popovers have enough room to rise and won’t hit the oven rack that’s above them. Reposition your oven racks if necessary.
- Don’t open the oven while the popovers are baking. This will cause them to deflate, and there’s nothing sadder than a deflated popover!
With all the Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking right around the corner, this is the kind of recipe that you can easily hand over to a relative while you are busy preparing the rest of the meal. It’s super easy. Right before you are ready to sit down to dinner pull these extra special puffs out of the oven and I guarantee these will garner rave reviews from all.
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, lukewarm
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Allow mixture to come to room temperature while oven preheats. This helps with creating a light and fluffy popover.
- Grease each popover tin with cooking spray or butter and fill 3/4 of the way up with batter.
- Bake for 35 minutes and do not open the oven door while cooking.
- Serve immediately.
I am excited to make these for Christmas dinner. Do you think the recipe will work with 1:1 gluten, free, all purpose, flour?
I haven’t tried it, but I think it would probably work!
I made these for our family Christmas dinner and also had a problem with the inside being raw- used a popover pan…
Oh what a bummer!! Did you use a popover pan or a muffin pan? I find the popover pan really does make a difference! Also, make sure your oven is fully heated before placing these in!
I was so excited to try these but I don’t know what I did wrong. The outside was wonderful and brown and crispy but the inside was still somewhat raw. I put them back in the over but the outside got browner and the inside wouldn’t cook. I’ll have to try again!
I just made these tonight but the insides are not fluffy at all…any suggestions?
i love popovers but have never had much success getting them to rise. any suggestion for high altitude cooking?
Um, YUM! That’s all I have to say. Ok, no it’s not. 🙂 I bought my MIL a popover pan for Christmas and showed her how to make these. They were the hit of Christmas dinner. Thanks, Catherine!
The butter is part of the recipe. You will need extra for greasing the pans. Enjoy!
Is the 2 Tbsp of melted butter part of the recipe or is it used to butter the pans? These sound amazing. Can’t wait to make them for Christmas breakfast.
How funny – another Juli with dairy allergies!! I make popovers all the time with soy milk and margarine. They are yummy – esp smothered with sausage/soy milk gravy! I find it works best to add about 1/2 a tsp of water to the bottom of each muffin hole to create more steam since butter contains more water than margarine does. 🙂
I’ve had the cheese breads. They’re amazing. My babysitter is from Brazil and makes them sometimes. Very similar, but these are a bit airier!
This is very similar to Brazilian Pao de Quiejo (cheese bread), which could be a good gluten free option because it uses tapioca flour instead of regular flour. It does also have a lot more oil and cheese, though. We use a mini muffin tin. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂
I made these tonight and they turned out amazing! I substituted Extra Sharp Cheddar for the Parmesan since that’s what I had. The only thing I did different that seemed to be the trick for me was to let the batter come to room temp, although only because I had to leave to pick up my son. Not sure if that was the trick but this recipe is a keeper. Thanks Catherine for another great recipe!!
I have never been very successful with popovers, even with a popover pan, but am going to give these a try tonight. They sound great!
the harder the cheese the less the dairy protein so parmesan has no lactose or casein. also romano any cheese that is hard. the softer cheeses like mozzarella have lots of protein. you should be ok with parmesan.
Yes, you can make these leaving out the parmesan, but it adds tons of flavor! You could try going to your local health food store and asking them they’re favorite non dairy parmesan for baking if you want to use some sort of cheese.
Here’s another substitute that would give them a boost of flavor!
2 C Sesame seeds
1/2 C Nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Salt
Would these taste good without the cheese? Or any ideas for a substitution? (dairy allergies). Thanks!
You can use a regular or mini muffin pan, but they may take a bit longer to bake and could come out more dense and not quite as airy and fluffy. The reason popover pans are designed the way they are is to ensure proper and complete heat circulation while these treats are in the oven. Experimenting is part of the fun though, isn’t it? Happy baking!
Can you use a regular or mini muffin pan and just not fill them very full?
According to Ina Garten’s cookbook, the secret to popovers isn’t a special pan, but rather sticking the pan in the oven while it preheats. That way the popovers get hot very quickly. I use a non-stick muffin pan and pour the batter right into the hot pan and then back into the oven.
I use a reg. muffin pan all the time!
But could you still try to make them in a regular muffin pan, and just use less batter?
My little guy just had his first Yorkshire Pudding (very similar to a popover, but made in a shallow, muffin-type pan) with our Sunday dinner yesterday while we’re in England visiting family. It was the first thing to disappear from his plate. I can’t wait to try this recipe when we get back!