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Send me to a deserted island with a lifetime supply of these Red Lobster Homemade Cheesy Garlic Biscuits and I’d be happy.
They’re a homemade copycat version of the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, but I think these ones are even better.
I’ve been making these for years. They’re incredibly quick to make and smell like the best thing ever while they’re baking. They’re also super easy to whip up. Probably one of my most favorite copycat recipes ever.
They’re perfectly savory. The biscuit recipe is buttery, flaky, and crisp and is made with shredded cheddar. Then the biscuit gets topped with a butter mixture with the best garlic flavor. SO. GOOD.
I’d much rather enjoy these copycat Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits at home than at a chain restaurant. I actually have a bad memory attached to Red Lobster.
When I first started carrying around a purse regularly as a tween, I thought I was so grown up. Until I left it behind at our booth at the restaurant and didn’t realize until we had driven 20 minutes home. Oops. Let’s just say my parents made sure I learned my lesson before wasting 40 minutes to get my $10 purse with $5 cash, chapstick, and my school I.D. inside.
This all reminds me of another seafood restaurant story where I saw a woman stuff the biscuits into her purse. I actually have been tempted to stuff some of these homemade Red Lobster biscuits in my purse just to have as a snack for later in the day. They’re that good!
How to Make Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits
Tips for Perfectly Tender, Flaky, and Soft Cheesy Garlic Biscuits:
- Be super gentle with the dough. Making these biscuits by hand with a pastry blender, instead of a mixer or food processor, means you’re less likely to overwork the dough – and it’s still super quick and easy. Be sure to mix the buttermilk in gently, and only just until the dough comes together. Overmixing will result in tough biscuits.
- Make sure to MEASURE CORRECTLY. Too much flour will result in dense, dry, and tough biscuits. I recommend using a digital kitchen scale for best results.
- Use real buttermilk. The acid in buttermilk activates the baking soda (baking powder actually contains baking soda) in these biscuits to leaven, lighten, and tenderize the end result. A DIY substitute will work, but the results won’t be as tender and tasty. More on this below.
- Make sure your ingredients are COLD. Your butter and buttermilk must be very cold when mixing. The cold little pieces of butter in the dough will release steam once they hit the heat of the oven. That steam puffs up and helps to create those mouthwatering flaky layers.
- Use fresh baking powder. Yes, baking powder can expire – and it can lose its effectiveness before the expiration date printed on the packaging. Check out my Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder article to learn how to test for freshness.
Do I Have to Use Buttermilk?
To create the best flavor AND texture, yes. I’d highly recommend using real buttermilk in these cheesy garlic biscuits. I’ve done extensive side-by-side testing on buttermilk vs. regular milk vs. buttermilk substitutes (including powdered buttermilk). Take a peek:
You can read more about my science of baking & buttermilk experiments here: Buttermilk 101.
At the end of the day, I find nothing quite compares to the tangy taste and thick texture that real buttermilk provides. If you can’t use real buttermilk, you can use this substitute: 1 scant cup whole milk + 2 teaspoons distilled vinegar or lemon juice – but please be aware that the flavor and tender texture won’t be as good, compared to using the real thing.
The Garlic in Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
We’re using garlic powder in these biscuits. Using garlic powder better mimics the flavor of the original biscuits than using fresh garlic. Feel free to experiment with using fresh minced garlic instead, but just note that the flavor will deviate from Reb Lobster’s version.
The Cheese in Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
Using a freshly shredded sharp cheddar will give a strong cheesy flavor, great texture, and mimic the flavor and consistency of the original biscuits. Pre-shredded cheeses don’t bring the same flavor and don’t melt as nicely, so shred your own if you can. Tip: the shredding attachment on your food processor makes for quick shredding!
Do I Need to Roll Out the Dough and Cut it?
No! Unlike traditional biscuits or scones, these Red Lobster cheddar biscuits are even more simple as you just portion the dough out and drop it right onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This makes for a more rustic look, making them perfect to bring to a dinner party or Sunday family dinner. This spring-loaded ¼ cup scoop will make this job even easier, but you can also use a measuring cup. If the batter sticks, just spray your scoop or cup with nonstick cooking spray.
Can I Make Cheddar Garlic Biscuits in Advance?
If you have to prep these ahead of time, I recommend following the freezing instructions below – or making them the day before, and just popping them back in the oven (instructions below) to reheat them, before serving.
How to Store Cheesy Garlic Biscuits?
These biscuits are best served the day they are made, but they’ll still taste great for 3 days if stored at room temperature, in an airtight container. Just refresh in the oven (instructions below).
How to Reheat Red Lobster Biscuits
To reheat, wrap cheesy garlic biscuits in foil and bake for 5-10 minutes at 350°F, or until warmed through.
Do Homemade Cheddar Biscuits Need to be Refrigerated?
Storing cheesy garlic biscuits in the fridge will dry them out quickly. I recommend keeping these cheesy garlic biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature.
Can You Freeze Cheesy Garlic Biscuits?
- Portion the cheesy garlic biscuits out on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and freeze for a couple hours, until solid, and then move to a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to a month.
- To thaw, move the biscuits to the fridge overnight, then bring them to room temperature and allow them to get a little puffy before baking.
- Alternatively, bake as directed straight from the freezer, adding an additional 5 minutes to the baking time, or until golden brown.
More Recipes You’ll Love:
- Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Garlic, Herb & Cheese Bread Rolls
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese
- Jalapeño Cornbread with Bacon & Cheddar
Want to make perfect biscuits every time? Check out my Biscuits Cheatsheet here!
For the biscuits:
- 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces / 170 grams) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup (178 ml) buttermilk, very cold
For the butter:
- 3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter forms pea-sized crumbs. Mix in the cheese. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined.
- Drop the dough by scant 1/4-cup portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 16 to 17 minutes.
- While the biscuits are baking, combine the melted butter, parsley, and garlic powder. Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter and serve warm.
This post was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2023 with new photos and more recipe tips. Photos by Joanie Simon.