Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits Recipe

These copycat Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits are made from scratch (no baking mix here!), are buttery, cheesy, light and flaky, and loaded with garlic-herb flavor – even better than the original! They’re ready in less than 30 minutes, which means that these are an easy addition to any weeknight meal.

Cheddar bay biscuits in a bowl.

I haven’t been to a Red Lobster restaurant since I was in high school, but my taste buds have a stellar memory. They won’t allow me to forget cheddar bay biscuits. If you’ve never been to a Red Lobster, cheddar bay biscuits are placed on the table prior to your meal arriving. They’re the equivalent of the basket of bread at other restaurants. Except that these aren’t any ordinary biscuits; they are warm, flaky, loaded with cheddar cheese and garlic, and have a little kick. Utterly and hopelessly addicting.

The great news is, because they are drop biscuits, making the Red Lobster biscuit recipe requires very little effort. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be enjoying warm, buttery, fluffy, cheesy biscuits fresh from the oven.

Baked Red Lobster biscuits on a baking sheet.

If you’re like me, you may have wondered why Red Lobster biscuits are called “cheddar bay biscuits”; as it turns out, when they were originally introduced they were simply referred to as “freshly baked, hot cheese garlic bread”. That’s a mouthful!

Five years later they were renamed “Cheddar Bay Biscuits” as a nod to the seaside atmosphere of the restaurants.

The essentials for delicious Red Lobster biscuits

You’re likely to have everything you need for these amazing biscuits in your pantry and refrigerator already, so let’s run down the list!

Ingredients for cheddar bay biscuits prepped and labeled.

  • All-purpose flour – This recipe has not been tested using other types of flour.
  • Baking powder – To help the biscuits rise, you need to use a leavener.
  • Baking soda – Another rising agent, but this one also assists in making the biscuits tender.
  • Sugar – A small amount to provide flavor balance.
  • Salt – Standard table salt is used.
  • Garlic powder – If you don’t have any garlic powder on hand, garlic salt will work. However, omit the extra salt in the recipe.
  • Cayenne pepper – This offers a tiny kick of heat; the biscuits are not spicy, but you can leave it out if you want.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – For the best results, shred a block of cheese rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. You can also use mild cheddar if you prefer it.
  • Buttermilk – Be sure to chill the milk; you want it as cold as possible.
  • Unsalted butter – Melt the butter and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before using it.
  • Minced fresh parsley – You can substitute ¼ teaspoon dried.

How to make Red Lobster biscuits from scratch

Dry ingredients mixed together for cheddar bay biscuits.

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne. Then, stir in the cheddar cheese and set the bowl aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. It’s important to mix gently with a rubber spatula, just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain.
  5. Scoop and portion the dough: Be sure to leave an inch or so between each scoop.
  6. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  7. Prepare the garlic butter: While the biscuits are in the oven, make the garlic butter to brush over the warm biscuits.
  8. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture.

Cheddar bay biscuit dough mixed together.

The secret to light and flaky biscuits

The number one tip to creating biscuits that are light and flaky and never tough or dry:

Do not overmix the dough!

You should mix it gently and only until the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Continuing to mix or stir will overwork the gluten and result in subpar biscuits.

Red Lobster biscuits on baking sheet before baking.

No need to head out to a restaurant to get biscuits in a basket; you can whip them up in your own kitchen just as easily!

Recipe tips

Below are some extra tips for making sure your copycat cheddar bay biscuits turn out perfectly every single time:

  • Cheese: You can use your favorite type of cheddar cheese. I think sharp is best in these particular biscuits and I always advocate for shredding yourself versus using pre-shredded cheese. I find it tastes better and melts into the biscuits much better.
  • Buttermilk: If you are out of buttermilk, you can use this substitution hack – put 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup + enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Storage: The biscuits will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, though you can if you prefer it.
  • Reheating Instructions: To use an oven, wrap biscuits in foil and reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes, or until warmed through. To use a microwave, wrap the biscuits in a damp paper towel, place on a clean plate, and microwave on 50% power for 45 seconds.
  • Freezing Unbaked Biscuits: To made the biscuits ahead of time, prepare the biscuit dough and place them on a baking sheet as directed in the recipe. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until the biscuits are frozen solid. Transfer the frozen biscuits to an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake as directed, though you may need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time.
  • Freezing Baked Biscuits: Ensure that the biscuits are completely cool, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature and reheat as desired, using the instructions above.

More Biscuits!

If you are as enamored with biscuits as I am, then you’ll love these other varieties:

Bowl of cheddar bay biscuits with one broken in half.

If you make this recipe and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits Recipe

Servings 10 biscuits
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

These copycat Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits are made from scratch (no baking mix here!), are buttery, cheesy, light and flaky, and loaded with garlic-herb flavor - even better than the original! They're ready in less than 30 minutes, which means that these are an easy addition to any weeknight meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2
    cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 2
    teaspoons
    baking powder
  • ½
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • 1
    teaspoon
    granulated sugar
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    salt
  • ½
    teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    cayenne pepper
  • 4
    ounces
    sharp cheddar cheese
    (shredded (about 1 cup shredded))
  • 1
    cup
    buttermilk
    (cold)
  • ½
    cup
    unsalted butter
    (melted and cooled for 5 minutes)

For the Topping:

  • 2
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
    (melted)
  • ½
    teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • 1
    teaspoon
    minced fresh parsley
    (or ¼ teaspoon dried)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar cheese; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top back at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes:

  • Cheese: You can use your favorite type of cheddar cheese. I think sharp is best in these particular biscuits and I always advocate for shredding yourself versus using pre-shredded cheese. I find it tastes better and melts into the biscuits much better.
  • Buttermilk: If you are out of buttermilk, you can use this substitution hack – put 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup + enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Storage: The biscuits will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, though you can if you prefer it.
  • Reheating Instructions: To use an oven, wrap biscuits in foil and reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes, or until warmed through. To use a microwave, wrap the biscuits in a damp paper towel, place on a clean plate, and microwave on 50% power for 45 seconds.
  • Freezing Unbaked Biscuits: To made the biscuits ahead of time, prepare the biscuit dough and place them on a baking sheet as directed in the recipe. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until the biscuits are frozen solid. Transfer the frozen biscuits to an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake as directed, though you may need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time.
  • Freezing Baked Biscuits: Ensure that the biscuits are completely cool, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature and reheat as desired, using the instructions above.

Nutrition:

Calories: 256kcal
Fat: 16g
Saturated fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 44mg
Sodium: 327mg
Potassium: 151mg
Carbohydrates: 21g
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 6g
Vitamin A: 530%
Calcium: 150%
Iron: 1.3%

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[Photography by Ari of Well Seasoned]