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Biscuits Without Butter

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Make homemade chive-speckled drop biscuits without butter for a fast and simple treat with all the layers and flakes of your favorite savory biscuits. 

Biscuits are always a good idea. Served alongside any of your favorite meals, from meaty dishes like pulled pork to light salads to vegetarian favorites like velvety soups and chowders. It’s hard to find a meal that doesn’t shine with a biscuit by its side. 

And you don’t need stick upon stick of butter to make flakey, light and layered biscuits at home.

In fact, these butter-free biscuits have all the same flavor and moisture, without the fussiness of keeping butter cold and working it into the dough correctly. 

Butter-free Biscuit Ingredients

These drop biscuits take a savory spin, with minced chives and olive oil. A hint of sweetness makes treats that are packed with flavor, moisture, and tenderness. 

Here’s what you need to make a quick batch of your own chive drop biscuits:

  • All-purpose flour, which you can substitute with gluten-free all-purpose flour if you can’t eat gluten. 
  • Baking powder, to leaven the biscuits and give them a bit of rise in the oven. This reacts with the acid in buttermilk to release carbon dioxide, which brings airiness and flakes to your biscuits, even without butter. 
  • White sugar, which enhances the flavor and tenderness of the treats. A little bit of sugar also means that the biscuits have a longer shelf life, as sugar is a natural preservative. 
  • Minced chives, for color, flavor, and to give the biscuits a distinct, savory lean. You can substitute chives with another favorite flavoring, such as other minced fresh herbs, garlic, nuts, or even grated cheese.
  • Olive oil, the delicious cooking fat that adds a subtle nutty flavor and plenty of moisture to your baked goods. You can also use canola oil or avocado oil in place of olive oil for a more mild-tasting biscuit. 
  • Buttermilk, a tangy, rich, and creamy dairy product that moistens and flavors the dough. Substitute buttermilk with whole milk, or even dairy-free options like almond or soy milk (check that it’s unsweetened) to make 100% dairy-free biscuits that are also vegan. 

I like to brush the biscuits with a little extra olive oil and dust them with a sprinkle of flaky salt, such as Maldon, just before baking. This gives the rolls a bit of extra color on top, plus crunch and flavor.

You can also brush yours with cream, more milk or a beaten egg for the same effect. 

Making Biscuits Without Butter

Where regular butter-based biscuits require careful attention to the batter and ingredient temperatures, butter-free biscuits are the opposite.

They’re the laid-back, easy-to-make version that you’ll rely on again and again. 

To make the biscuits, you’ll need one mixing bowl and a baking sheet. I recommend lining the sheet pan with parchment paper to make for easier cleanup. 

Then, simply mix together the dry ingredients. Fold in the wet ingredients until you have a moist, stretchy dough.

Avoid stirring more than is absolutely necessary, as overmixing can cause tough biscuits. 

Shaping Drop Biscuits

To prepare your biscuits for baking, use a large spoon to scoop up balls of dough, and drop them onto the sheet pan. Leave about 2 inches of space between each ball of dough on the pan, as they do rise a bit. 

Simply dropping the biscuits, you might end up with some funnily-shaped buns, but that’s part of the fun of making drop biscuits.

If you’re a fan of a more nicely shaped roll, however, you can gently reshape the dough to something a little more attractive.

Again, avoid handling the dough more than is necessary. You certainly don’t want to roll the dough into balls. 

Storing Drop Biscuits

Because these butter-free biscuits have a bit of sugar and less dairy than other recipes, they tend to stay fresher for longer.

They’ll be at their tastiest right after they come out of the oven, but you can let the biscuits cool and store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. 

If it’s very humid out, the biscuits will stale faster. In which case, it’s best to keep them in the freezer, where they’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, allow the biscuits to thaw at room temperature overnight. Then you can warm them in a 350°F oven for 5-7 minutes until heated through. To keep them from drying out, wrap the thawed biscuits in aluminum foil before going into the oven. 

How to Eat Biscuits

These flavorful treats need little additional flavor. You can eat them as-is, enjoying the savory chive taste and olive oil tenderness.

Or, you can smear the biscuits with butter, honey, or dip them in even more olive oil if you like. They go great alongside soups, salads, and meat dishes alike.  

How to Make Biscuits Without Butter

Step 1: Gather your ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Step 2: Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and chives in a mixing bowl. 

Step 3: Stir in the oil and buttermilk until just combined. 

Step 4: Drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet in 1½ -inch rounds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. 

Step 5: Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. 

Biscuits Without Butter

Biscuits Without Butter

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These flaky biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious without the butter!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Flaky salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and chives in a mixing bowl. 

Stir in the oil and buttermilk until just combined. 

Drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet in 1½ -inch rounds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 biscuit
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 684mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

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One Comment

  1. I have never had chives, but I have substituted in minced garlic with some garlic powder. They still turn out amazing. I can say hands down that these are my favorite biscuits.

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