Soft Cheesy Breadsticks with Red Onion

These cheesy homemade breadsticks make the perfect snack to take out for picnics. They have enough flavour to be eaten alone, but are also great with a dip or soup too.

There is something about the aroma when making homemade bread that makes the house feel all cosy and homely, I love the lingering scent of baking dough in my kitchen.

But, it can’t always be about a loaf of bread. The great thing is, there is so much versatility when making yeast breads and doughs. You can make doughballs, honey bread for breakfast, Italian focaccia and more.

These soft homemade breadsticks are one more recipe you can try, on your breadmaking journey.

Having the flavours right there, mixed in the dough, make these cheesy breadsticks delicious with each bite and kids love them too. They are the perfect breadsticks for babies when you begin to wean, especially when served with a dip like this hummus . You can make them the right size to suit your baby and a low sodium cheddar if you’d prefer. The breadstick shape is ideal for little ones hands to hold and the chewy, soft texture is great for them too.

The red onion has a milder taste than brown or white onions, so this won’t overwhelm the flavour, but is a good place to start when introducing new flavours to your baby.

breadstick dough topping with cooked, chopped onion and grated cheddar

Breadsticks Like Olive Garden

If you’re a fan of Olive Garden, you will know that one of their more popular items on the menu are the soft breadsticks. The texture of the ones in this recipe are very similar but flavoured with cheddar and red onion to make them a bit more special.

The soft, fluffy centre makes these homemade breadsticks a perfect dipping tool for soups. You can try them with a simple potato and leek soup or a roasted garlic soup, they will go well with both.

prepared breadstick dough laid out in the breadstick shape

Making Your Own Breadsticks

Strong white bread flour has a higher protein content than regular flour and the two aren’t completely interchangeable. I would definitely recommend sticking with bread flour as the results might differ when using regular plain flour in this recipe. The breadsticks won’t have the same chewy texture to them.

When baking with yeast, make sure you are using fresh, in date, dried yeast for this recipe and that the water isn’t too hot. Hot water will kill the yeast and prevent the breadsticks rising, which is what gives them their soft, fluffy texture. Don’t omit the sugar either, the yeast feed on it. You can, however, replace the sugar with honey if you’d rather have an unrefined sweetener in your dough.

If you want to save your arms, you can knead the breadstick dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook. You can also prepare this dough using a bread maker with a dough setting. Just follow the instructions on your machine as to whether you need to add the dry or wet ingredients first.

Give your dough time to rise, your homemade breadsticks might need a little longer if the atmosphere is cooler or a little less time if you’re in the middle of summer, when making these.

You can make your cheese filled breadsticks any size you like. Feel free to make smaller ones or even change the shape. Join the two ends to make little bread rings. If you make them thicker, be aware that they will need longer to cook so that they aren’t doughy in the middle. Increase the cooking time to about 30 minutes in this instance.

Egg wash is the product that helps the breadsticks turn a nice golden colour upon baking. If you prefer to omit the egg, you can brush with milk instead.

breadsticks being brushed with a beaten egg

Recipe FAQ

Are these breadsticks freezable?

Yes they are. Once baked and cooled, pop them in the freezer. They will keep for about 3 months. You can reheat them straight from the freezer in the oven, for 5-10 minutes and they will be soft and fluffy again.

How do I store them?

Once they have cooled, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If you find they have gone a little stale, a few minutes in a warm oven will soften them back up again.

breadsticks piled up with the top one cut in half to show the middle.

Soft Cheesy Breadsticks with Red Onion

Author: Becky
These cheesy homemade breadsticks make the perfect snack to take out for picnics. They have enough flavour to be eaten alone, but they also go great with a dip or soup too.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Plus Rising Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, starter
Cuisine British, Italian
Servings 15
Calories 143 kcal


  • 500 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Dried Yeast
  • 300 ml Lukewarm Water
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 60 g Cheddar Cheese


  • Place the flour in a bowl and add the yeast and sugar to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side.
  • Add the water gradually and using your hands, knead to form a dough.
  • Continue to knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes elastic. Knead for approximately 10 minutes to achieve this.
  • Put in a bowl and cover with a tea towel, place in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
  • Chop the red onion finely and fry until soft in a little oil.
  • Once the dough has risen, place on a floured surface and knock back to remove the air.
  • Add the onion and cheddar and knead through the dough.
  • Divide the dough into balls somewhere between the size of a golf ball and tennis ball.
  • Stretch out each piece into a long tube and place on baking trays lined with baking paper with some space between each one.
  • Put each try into a plastic bag and place back into a warm area to rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 200C
  • Remove plastic bags from the trays and brush each stick with beaten egg.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  • Serve warm or store in airtight container once cooled.

Recipe Notes and Guidance

See How to Make Breadsticks in the Post for More Details
  • You can use a stand mixer or bread maker to prepare the dough.
  • Don’t make your water too hot, it will kill the yeast. 
  • Experiment with different sizes and shapes, but if you make them thicker, increase the baking time to 30 minutes, to ensure they are baked all the way through. 
  • You can substitute the egg wash with milk if you’d prefer. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 181mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cheesy breadsticks, fluffy breadsticks, olive garden breadsticks
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