9 Ways To Make Canned Biscuits Taste Like They Were Made From Scratch

Can't spend the time making buttery biscuits from scratch? No worries. With a little love and the following hacks, your canned biscuits will rise to the occasion and satisfy anyone's cravings for the soft, flaky pastries.

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While iconic to the American South, biscuits can be traced back to ancient Europe, with early versions appearing in Roman and Egyptian cultures as unleavened bread. These tough little mounds were made simply of flour, salt, and water and resembled something like biscotti. (Baking soda and baking powder didn't come onto the scene until the mid-1800s.) Makes sense then that the word biscuit comes from the Latin word "biscotus," which translates to "twice baked." The recipe and double-baked method didn't give them much flavor, but it did make them durable for long sailing journeys.

Depth of flavor and texture came much later as biscuits started improving — first as Europeans started populating American colonies and gained access to greater supplies of flour, lard, and buttermilk. As baking methods continued to advance in the 19th century, a greater variety of sweet and savory biscuits appeared on dining tables everywhere.

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Today, baking up a batch of fluffy Southern biscuits from scratch is a labor of love, but not everyone has the time to perfect them. By focusing on fresh ingredients like savory fillings, sweet spreads, spices, and plenty of butter, you can skip the challenging prep work and still enjoy a delicious semi-homemade treat with canned biscuits.

Bring on the butter

Butter makes everything better when making biscuits (or any baked goods), even if you're not whipping them up from scratch. You have a couple of options for incorporating even more butter into canned biscuits to boost their overall flavor and texture.

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Before baking: Lightly brush your biscuit dough with melted butter to give them an extra golden brown crisp on top, or place thin pieces of cold butter between slices of dough to create extra flaky, buttery layers once baked. In fact, cold butter is the preferred go-to when baking from scratch anyway; as the butter melts, it releases steam and traps just enough air inside the dough to make it super airy and flaky on the inside.

After baking: Brush melted butter or olive oil over the biscuits for added richness. Or go one step further and spread on a herby compound butter, which is super easy to whip up on your own using a simple method for making compound butter. As the butter melts atop your freshly baked biscuits, it will infuse them with subtle hints of herbs from your compounded creation (and make your kitchen smell amazing). You can also mix up some sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce) with honey and butter and slather it on for a sweet-hot kick.

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Stuff them with savory or sweet ingredients

While it's tempting to rush baking your biscuits, taking a moment to stuff them with your favorite savory fillings can help elevate both their appearance and flavor. For the ultimate stuffed breakfast sandwich, try filling them with cooked ham, your choice of cheese, and scrambled egg. Or pack them with cooked broccoli, corn, chopped red peppers, and cheddar cheese for a veggie-packed option.

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If you're craving lunch or dinner instead, stuff your biscuits with shredded cooked brisket and a homemade BBQ sauce (add a little before and after baking) to make a juicy, tender BBQ biscuit bomb. You can create something similar using shredded cooked chicken, cooked bacon, and mozzarella or provolone cheese; stuff your biscuits with the ingredients, gently seal the dough shut, and drizzle some butter on top before baking for a savory, filling meal.

Stuffed biscuits can satisfy your sweet tooth as well! Simply separate the layers in half before baking and spoon some of your favorite sweet spreads onto the center, like jam, Nutella, or chocolate. Pinch around the edges to seal them up, brush some butter on the outside, and sprinkle with sugar before baking. You'll end up with a rich, gooey-centered sweet treat that's sure to placate your craving for something indulgent and homemade.

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Go for the gravy

When you're dying to serve up a steaming plate of homemade biscuits but time isn't on your side, focus on making a delicious, comforting homemade gravy like the one featured in this simple buttermilk biscuits and sausage cream gravy recipe. In roughly 10 minutes, you can brown some savory pork sausage, add your flour, milk, and spices, and let it thicken to create a creamy, delectable topping. For an even richer flavor profile, consider whipping up this herbed sausage gravy recipe.

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A classic Southern sausage gravy is worth mastering anytime, but don't be afraid to dabble in different sauces to switch things up. This rustic chestnut and mushroom gravy delivers earthy notes and a robust texture that's just as satisfying as your standard gravy. This tomato gravy, made with just four simple ingredients — tomatoes, bacon grease, flour, and water — offers a zesty, subtly spicy kick to your biscuits, thanks to optional touches of red chili flakes and smoked paprika. Drizzle it over some warm cheddar biscuits, or pour it over a traditional eggs Benedict recipe where you've swapped out the English muffins for canned biscuits, and you're sure to create some instant brunch fan favorites.

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Sweeten them up

Looking to satisfy your love of homemade biscuits AND your sweet tooth? Luckily, the options for transforming your biscuits into delightful desserts and giving them homemade appeal are bountiful. One simple method is to dust the biscuits with cinnamon sugar or drizzle them with honey right after baking, adding a sweet, caramelized layer that complements the buttery flavor of the biscuits.

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Another option is to whip up a simple glaze using powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle this over the warm biscuits for a sweet finish that hardens as it cools, adding a lovely texture similar to a classic cinnamon roll glaze. Or, you can go for a full sugar bomb experience and turn your biscuits into donuts or monkey bread by adapting this cinnamon roll monkey bread recipe. The result is a pull-apart bread that's gooey, sweet, and perfect for sharing. Or, top your biscuits with homemade jam for a fruitier but super simple twist. When making your own jam, keeping things simple is key. 

Finally, you can elevate your biscuits by layering them in a pan, topping them with a creamy Nutella spread (or simple hazelnut butter), and baking until golden brown. Frost them with a classic cream cheese recipe or drizzle some melted dark chocolate on top for a rich, indulgent treat.

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Make them your savory breakfast star

Nothing beats a warm, homemade meal to start your day. Transforming canned biscuits into a mouthwatering masterpiece for breakfast or brunch is easier than you might think. Start by baking the biscuits until they're golden brown and fluffy. Once they're out of the oven, you can get creative with your toppings and fillings to take them to the next level.

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For a savory twist, whip up some perfect scrambled eggs and load them onto each half of your freshly baked biscuit. Crumble some creamy chèvre cheese over the eggs and sprinkle them with fresh herbs like chives or parsley for added texture and freshness. Top the whole thing off with thin slices of creamy avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt to bring out the dish's flavor.

If you're in the mood for something even more indulgent, try using canned biscuits to replace traditional bread in your favorite breakfast casserole. For example, swap out the bread topping for baked biscuits in this classic breakfast sausage strata or this overnight eggs benedict casserole. The flaky biscuits will soak up all the flavors of these decadent casseroles, giving you a deliciously rich and satisfying dish.

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Experiment with seasonings

Classic Southern biscuits owe their flavor mostly to butter, buttermilk, and a hint of sugar, so it might be blasphemous to suggest adding additional seasonings, but trust us — even a simple sprinkling of herbs and spices can go a long way in taking your biscuits from clearly canned to ..."these clearly can't be canned."

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It's worth experimenting, but we suggest starting simple: For extra flavor, chop some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, and sprinkle them on the dough with a touch of coarse sea salt before baking. When you're ready to ramp it up, spices like paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper will give your biscuits an extra kick, while a sprinkle of briny Old Bay seasoning is the perfect companion to hearty cheddar biscuits.

Garlic and onion powder can also add a depth of savory flavor, but if you really want to turn your biscuits into a flavor bomb, oven-roast some fresh garlic instead and smear it on top of your freshly baked biscuits. Finish them with a drizzle of olive oil and pair them with a simple creamy hummus for a rich Mediterranean-inspired snack. Finally, it sounds a bit nutty, but topping your biscuits with sunflower seeds, crushed pistachios, almonds, or walnuts, or roasted pumpkin seeds before baking can add an earthy texture and flavor not often associated with canned biscuits.

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Spread it on thick

You've likely enjoyed your biscuits with sweet toppings like jams and jellies, but biscuits also make the perfect canvas for various savory spreads. One delightful option is to pair your buttery biscuits with a slow cooker artichoke and spinach dip. The cheesy flavors of the dip perfectly complement the warm, flaky texture of the biscuits, creating a comforting and satisfying snack or appetizer.

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For a Mediterranean twist, try spreading your biscuits with homemade red pepper hummus and drizzling them with olive oil. This combo gives your biscuits a burst of flavor and a subtly spicy kick, making it an excellent choice when you're craving something light and fresh but still a bit decadent. On the flip side, if you're in the mood for something super indulgent, consider tearing off layers of your warm biscuits and drenching them in a crab rangoon dip. The rich dip, packed with chunks of crabmeat and bursting with garlic, creates a luscious snack that will have you reaching for seconds (we'll even forgive the double-dip on this one).

Finally, mushroom lovers might dig this earthy mushroom pâté. Savory mushrooms meet aromatic herbs to create a rustic yet refined combination that's perfect for spreading on freshly baked biscuits.

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Turn them into sandwiches

Canned biscuits are a versatile ingredient that, when layered with your favorite sandwich toppings, can transform into a gourmet meal perfect for lunch, dinner, or even a special brunch. One easy way to do this is to swap slider buns for canned biscuits. There are countless slider recipes, but you can start with these 8 delicious options. Whether you prefer classic cheeseburgers, pulled pork, or vegetarian varieties, changing the buns for biscuits adds a unique and savory twist.

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Or you can pay homage to the rich history of fried chicken and biscuits by putting together a plate of fried chicken biscuits with hot honey butter. This Southern-inspired sandwich tucks crispy fried chicken inside a warm, fluffy biscuit, drizzled with a spicy-sweet hot honey butter. As if that weren't hearty enough, there's also the savory French dip biscuit sandwich to consider. Imagine biscuits stuffed with thin layers of tender roast beef, melted provolone cheese, and a generous smear of horseradish sauce. Serve these sandwiches with rich, savory au jus for dipping, and you've created the ultimate comfort food that will give all the "homemade" vibes.

Toss them in the air fryer

Our final tip is all about taking advantage of the tools you have in your kitchen to create the most delectable biscuits possible. Air fryers have only become popular within the past decade, but they've quickly earned their culinary chops for their versatility and ease of crisping up just about everything, from meat to seafood to sides and desserts.

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Air-fried biscuits are just one of the many delights that home bakers rave about, swearing that their air fryers work wonders to magically transform canned biscuits into perfectly golden, crispy, fluffy treats in as little as 5-10 minutes — ideal for when you're tasked with a bountiful brunch spread but pressed for time to prepare everything from scratch.

Cooking times vary depending on your particular air fryer, so be sure to follow manufacturer instructions. Otherwise, air-fried biscuits are one of the most straightforward recipes out there: Simply coat your machine with cooking spray, evenly arrange your biscuits, and cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes to ensure even cooking (some frequent friers claim you can simply cook them on one side for 6-8 minutes), and remove! Dress them up with some of the other hacks we've mentioned here, and you'll leave everyone wondering how you managed to whip up homemade biscuits without even a wisp of flour across your face.

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