Skip to content

Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits

January 11, 2013

By Kath Dedon


It’s surprising to me that I haven’t shared Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits before today. I made these biscuits fairly regularly when I was cooking for my family of four. There’s no reason not to make them now that I’m mostly cooking for two. It’s easy to cut the recipe in half for fewer servings.

My recipe is adapted from the “Biscuits Supreme” recipe in the 1981 version of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It called for shortening; I can’t remember the last time I used shortening. Maybe I used shortening in this recipe back in the day.

I know I came up with Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits after seeing Rozanne Gold’s recipe for Olive Oil Biscuits in her Cooking 1-2-3. I loved the idea of using olive oil in biscuits. It’s certainly a healthier fat than shortening. Rozanne’s recipe uses self-rising flour, milk and olive oil. Since I never have self-rising flour on hand, I decided to tweak the Better Homes and Gardens recipe.

To make 10-12 biscuits, the recipe called for ½ cup shortening. I tried subbing ½ cup olive oil. The biscuits were way too oily. I cut back on the olive oil, and eventually settled on ¼ cup which gave the best results.

Are these the world’s greatest “to die for” biscuits? No. I think you need to search for a recipe with copious amounts of butter and/or cream for that. But Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits are very good indeed. My family has always eagerly gobbled them up whenever I have made them.

What do I love about them?

1. They are so quick, especially since I never bother to use a biscuit cutter. Over-handling the dough will produce tough biscuits, so I think it’s best just to cut the biscuits with a sharp knife.

2. I always have the ingredients on hand to make them at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to buy buttermilk. Or cream. You may have to add cream of tartar to your pantry, but once you have that you’re probably set.

3. Since they are made with a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil, I don’t feel so bad about slathering the biscuits with butter!

The next time you’re making a soup or stew that just begs to have a bit of bread for an accompaniment, give these Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits a try. I don’t think they’ll disappoint. They were perfect with last night’s Chicken and Rice Soup!


Yes, I couldn’t resist taking a bite out of this biscuit!

Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits


Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits

(Adapted from recipes in Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and Rozanne Gold’s Cooking 1-2-3)


Note about cream of tartar – It’s in the Better Homes and Gardens recipe and I’ve always used it. Joy of Cooking recipes for biscuits don’t call for it; they just use baking powder. Perhaps it isn’t necessary, which would make this recipe even simpler. 

Update, 1/12/13: In the interest of science, I made the biscuits again without the cream of tartar. They were just okay. The ones made with cream of tartar had a much better texture; they were “softer” and more tender.


(print the recipe)


Makes 6 small biscuits (Double the ingredients to make 10 – 12 biscuits)


1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (See note about cream of tartar above.)

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup milk (I have always used whole milk. It’s what we have in our refrigerator. I don’t know if it would work as well with reduced fat milk.)


1. Preheat the oven to 450˚.

2. Stir the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together in a medium bowl.


 Dry ingredients stirred together, milk, and olive oil

Dry ingredients, milk, olive oil


3. Pour the olive oil and milk into the dry ingredients and stir just until it comes together.

4. Put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead gently just 10 or 12 times.

5. Form the dough into a ball, and then flatten it so it’s about ½ inch thick.


Ball of dough


Flattened to 1/2-inch thick

Flattened to 12-inch


6. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 pieces.

Biscuits cut


7. Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden. (I found it took just a bit longer in my toaster oven – about 14 minutes.)

On the baking sheet


In the toaster oven


8. Serve warm with good butter.


Biscuits done_edited-1

41 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    January 11, 2013 11:49 am

    I think I’ve read there’s a way to make homemade cream of tartar if you don’t have it on hand… Maybe was a tip on Smitten Kitchen?

    • January 11, 2013 12:08 pm

      I’m not sure how to do that, Laura. I’ve had my little jar of McCormick Cream of Tartar for a long time. It has a pretty long shelf life, though I just looked and mine says “Best by Oct 22 12” so maybe I should replace mine.

      • January 11, 2013 1:17 pm

        I just looked through Joy of Cooking biscuit recipes and none of them use cream of tartar. Maybe it’s not necessary? I made them again without the cream of tartar and they weren’t as good.

        • buffalowrites permalink
          January 11, 2013 1:35 pm

          Oooh I just checked – it’s a tip for making homemade BAKING POWDER using cream of tartar. Nevermind! 🙂

        • January 11, 2013 2:12 pm


  2. January 11, 2013 12:03 pm

    Fabulous biscuits Kath! Love everything from Rozanne Gold’s cookbooks;-)

  3. Theresa Hopper permalink
    January 11, 2013 12:05 pm

    I have tried a dozen times to remove my name from this list. Can you please do it for me? Thanks, Kind regards, Theresa

    Sent from my iPad

    • January 11, 2013 12:25 pm

      I’m sorry, Theresa, but I’m not sure how to do that. I just searched for your name and email in my list of email subscribers and it doesn’t come up. If you received this post in an email, there’s a link on the bottom to “Manage your subscription”. If you signed up to receive posts through an RSS reader, I believe you need to open your reader and click on In the kitchen with Kath to unsubscribe.

      Maybe someone who is more tech savvy than I will have another idea.

  4. January 12, 2013 12:20 am

    Them seem came out from the oven of some Italian grandmother! Good!!! Have a nice weekend!

  5. January 12, 2013 11:08 am

    I made these vegan with unsweetened soy milk and cocunut oil and they turned out good but I think they could be better. I also used whole wheat flour and added 2tsps vital wheat gluten.

    I also made them with olive oil but they weren’t as good, though I don’t think it had anything to do with using olive oil but something else must have went wrong. I will keep trying to improve on these and make them more flavorful. I’d also like to get a little more flakiness and layering but the dough is very finicky and almost any amount of kneading is too much.

    • January 12, 2013 11:14 am

      I think butter is the ingredient that makes biscuits flaky. I don’t know what you could use to get a flaky vegan biscuit. My olive oil biscuits aren’t flaky, but they are tasty!

  6. January 12, 2013 11:09 am

    I think I may sub in Roasted Garlic Veganaise for the oil the next time I make them.

  7. January 20, 2013 8:36 am

    This really does sound quick and easy. And tasty…

    Love that Breville oven, by the way. It really does come in handy for small jobs like this!

    • January 20, 2013 8:42 am

      Thanks, Frank!

      I’ve had my Breville toaster oven for a little over a year and I just love it!

  8. Anna permalink
    May 18, 2013 5:02 pm

    I just made these into 8 pieces! They are so cute! My little girls are going to love them!

  9. November 2, 2013 5:37 am


  10. Phillip A Flusche permalink
    November 11, 2013 11:12 am

    When using Baking Soda in recipes you need something acidic to make the soda work. If you use sour cream or buttermilk with baking soda this will do the job and cream of tarter is not needed. If you use baking powder the cream of tarter is already in in the powder. Cream if tarter is not needed. If you use baking soda with no acidic ingredient then cream tarter is the acidic ingredient. Without the acid the soda does not release the CO2 to cause the rising. Soda in a bottle with water nothing happens. Add cream of tarter and bubbles will happen. I found this link to an item on Wikipedia which clarifies this.

    • November 11, 2013 11:33 am

      That’s interesting, Phillip. Thanks for the info and the link.

      Cream of tartar is indeed not necessary when using baking powder; most recipes don’t include it. I have just found that the addition of a bit of cream of tartar makes this recipe turn out better. 😉

  11. RightHereRightNow permalink
    March 14, 2014 12:01 am

    1/3 cup milk was definitely not enough liquid.

    • March 14, 2014 5:03 am

      Sorry it didn’t work for you. It works perfectly for me every time.

    • July 9, 2014 9:24 am

      Biscuits should be on the dry side. If you add more liquid then they don’t roll out and bake correctly. You can always add a bit more milk and make drop biscuits.

  12. Nicole permalink
    April 2, 2014 11:33 pm

    I just made a batch of these and they came out great! I used garlic/herb salt, lemon flavored olive oil, and almond milk. They are light, savory, and tender!!!

    • April 3, 2014 6:12 am

      Nice to know they work with almond milk and I love the flavors you added. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  13. July 9, 2014 9:23 am

    I made a quad batch last night (for the first time). I followed the recipe except I missed adding the salt. I barely kneaded – more like smooshed the dough into a ball. I split the dough in half and made two rounds for baking. My biscuits came out flaky and amazing. I don’t know what I did that was different than anyone else (except used soy milk instead of regular milk). I was so impressed. This is definitely replacing our former recipe.

    • July 9, 2014 9:32 am

      It’s such an easy recipe, isn’t it, Sara? I’m glad to hear that it works well with soy milk, too. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  14. Greer permalink
    July 31, 2014 10:56 am

    Great recipe! I found that by adding 1/2 baking soda, they were lighter & puffed a bit more. Greer

  15. Greer permalink
    July 31, 2014 12:59 pm

    I meant 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda… I have made these twice now as the shortcake part of strawberry shortcake!

    • July 31, 2014 1:06 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. You have me hungry for strawberry shortcake now!

  16. Hope Ingersoll permalink
    October 11, 2014 7:36 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this biscuit recipe. My husband loves them so much that I have mason jars set up with the dry ingredients, so we can make them anytime time.

    • October 15, 2014 2:20 pm

      I’m so glad your husband loves the biscuits. And I love your idea to keep the dry ingredients in mason jars ready to use. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  17. Audrey permalink
    November 29, 2014 7:01 pm

    Well, you just made a baker out of of me. *So* quick and easy to make these in the toaster oven to go with a soup or stew! I shake twice from my curry powder spice jar into the dry ingredients before mixing them, and sometimes a little pinch of powdered ginger, too.

    • November 30, 2014 11:18 am

      The curry and ginger additions sound very good! Thanks for your comment, Audrey.

  18. Audrey permalink
    November 29, 2014 7:01 pm

    P.S. Your pictures are very helpful, thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: