Easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto

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easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto

This easy cheese & onion bread with herbs and red pepper pesto is so delicious. Made with self-raising flour and no yeast it’s a quick bread recipe that comes together in minutes. Perfect with a cheese board or to serve with soup.

I stumbled across this recipe for an easy cheese and onion bread with herbs and red pepper plus the image I took and then realised I hadn’t shared it with you here. I developed it for Pesto Princess a few years back. I love their range of Pestos which are widely available in South Africa and I always have a few stashed in my freezer for when a quick sauce is required. The red pepper pesto is one of my favourite variants.

If you are living in another country, hopefully, you will find a delicious red pepper pesto or you could make your own by following my recipe here (it’s so easy I even made a video to who you how). The alternative would be to use basil pesto, or really any pesto of your choice. It adds so much flavour to this bread.

You can also leave the pesto out completely and just add the cheese, onion, and chopped fresh herbs as I have done in the past. It’s also delicious. 

This bread is a no-knead and no-yeast recipe and makes a lovely addition to a table with salads and other nibbly bits.  

easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto

Easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto

A delicious and easy no-knead and no-yeast loaf of bread with cheese, herbs and red pepper pesto.
Print Recipe
cheese and onion bread with red pesto recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Total Time:3 minutes


  • 3 brown onions peeled and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2- star anise pods optional
  • 500 g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 cup mature cheddar grated
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp finely chopped herbs any mix eg Parsley, chives,, rosemary, thyme
  • ¼ cup / 3Tbsp Pesto Princess Red Pepper Pesto
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup / 250ml buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F and line a medium bread loaf pan with baking paper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onions and star anise over a gentle heat for around 8 – 12 minutes until they are soft and just start turning golden. season with salt & pepper. You do not want to brown them. Set them aside and allow to cool slightly.
  • Sift the flour and add the salt, cheese and herbs. Add the cooled onions and mix. Add the red pesto to the buttermilk and stir. Add this along with the water to the flour and gently mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough.
  • Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown on top. You will know your bread is done when you insert a sharp knife or skewer into the thickest part and it comes out clean.


* to prevent the top from over-browning it may be necessary to loosely cover it with a piece of foil from about 40 minutes into the baking time
Servings: 1 medium loaf
Author: Sam Linsell


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  1. This looks so good Sam. I love breads like this that just need a slather of butter, or a slice of cheese. I have to try this recipe. I see you don’t use any yeast, what is the texture like?

  2. Hi Angela, Yes, no yeast and the texture is quite fine. More of a quick bread

  3. can `i use milk instead of buttermilk?

  4. Hi Holly – no buttermilk is necessary here.

  5. I tried the recipe – and it was still “raw” after the 1.5 hours – the taste was nice. Not sure what went wrong in the baking but I followed the recipe and used all ingredients as shown above.

  6. Hi Sam.

    I just love trying out all of your recipes!

    I tried this one out today but had the same problem as Holly – the bread was still raw after 1.5 hrs. Not too sure why this happened?

  7. Hi Megan, I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you and I have just made it again today (you can see the process on my Instagram stories today). It worked out perfectly. It’s a tried and tested recipe based on my cheese and onion bread. I used. over 2 cups of onions. It’s hard to know exactly what you did wrong but it could be that your oven is running a little cold or you measured some of the ingredients incorrectly (perhaps too much liquid). It is a very moist loaf due to the onions but it should not be raw at all.

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