The Best Southland Cheese Rolls Recipe Ever

By: Nikki and Jordan Shearer

Presenting the best ever recipe for Southland cheese rolls by Masterchef NZ runners up Nikki and Jordan Shearer...

Southern -Cheese -rolls -recipe

Makes 12

If you spent anytime in Southland or Otago during your childhood there is no doubt that you would have had a Cheese Roll. Sometimes referred to as Southland Sushi, cheese rolls are commonly found at a lot of cafes, served as snacks or delicious as dippers for soup. Almost everyone has their tried and tested family recipe.

These two versions of cheese rolls use the same base cheese mix… with jalapenos in one, black garlic in the other. Black garlic is a caramelised garlic, slowed cooked for several weeks, that results in a sweet molasses type flavour with tangy undertones, that will blow you away! You can’t find it in your average grocery store, but it is truly worth seeking out.


  • 3 ½ cups grated cheese (we used smoked colby from The Fridge)
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp black garlic, finely diced
  • 100g butter, softened (for spreading)
  • 12 pieces of white sandwich bread


  1. Heat oven to 200°C bake.
  2. In a bowl add grated cheese, softened butter and boiling water. Mix together well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Divide the mixture into two separate bowls, add jalapenos to one and black garlic to the other (you will need to do do a little more mixing with the black garlic to combine thoroughly).
  4. Spread jalapeno cheese mix generously over 6 flat pieces of white bread (getting right to the corners).
  5. Roll bread into logs and place on baking tray.
  6. Repeat for the black garlic cheese mix.
  7. Spread softened butter over the top of the cheese rolls and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Flick oven to grill, and grill for a further 1 minute, until golden.
  9. Demolish!

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