Delicious Pinwheels served on a plate. pinit

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Discover the perfect party appetizer or snack with our delightful pinwheel recipe. These savory and flavorful treats are not only easy to make but also incredibly versatile, allowing you to experiment with a variety of fillings and flavors. Whether you’re hosting a gathering, packing a lunchbox, or simply looking for a delicious bite, pinwheels are a fantastic choice. Join us as we explore the world of pinwheels, providing step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, and variations to cater to your taste buds.

Pinwheels are a versatile and delightful appetizer or snack that can be customized with a variety of fillings, making them a favorite for gatherings, picnics, and parties. The origins of pinwheels are a bit challenging to pinpoint, as they’ve evolved over time and can be found in various forms across different cultures.

One of the earliest references to pinwheels can be traced back to the Middle Eastern dish known as “sambousek.” Sambousek are savory pastries often filled with ingredients like minced meat, cheese, or vegetables, and they are folded or rolled into a pinwheel shape. These tasty treats have become popular in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.

In Western cuisine, pinwheels have been adapted into a wide range of recipes, from savory versions with cream cheese and smoked salmon to sweet pinwheels filled with cinnamon and sugar. They’ve become a versatile canvas for culinary creativity, allowing cooks to experiment with different flavors and ingredients.


Pinwheels are bite-sized snacks that feature a delightful combination of ingredients rolled up in a tortilla and sliced into attractive spirals. These savory treats are perfect for parties, potlucks, or any occasion where you want to impress your guests with a visually appealing and delicious appetizer. With endless filling options, such as vegetables, cheese, deli meats, and spreads, pinwheels can be customized to suit a variety of tastes. Plus, they are incredibly portable and convenient, making them an excellent choice for on-the-go snacking.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 20 mins Rest Time 30 mins Total Time 50 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 24 Calories: 120.76 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined and smooth.

  2. Lay out one flour tortilla on a clean surface, and spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the entire surface.

  3. Add your chosen fillings on top of the cream cheese layer, arranging them in a single layer for even distribution.

  4. Starting from one end, tightly roll up the tortilla into a compact log. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and fillings.

  5. Wrap each rolled tortilla log tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper to hold their shape.

  6. Place the wrapped rolls in the refrigerator and let them chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

  7. Once chilled, remove the wraps and slice the rolls into 1/2-inch to 1-inch thick pinwheels.

  8. Secure the pinwheels with toothpicks if desired, and arrange them on a serving platter.

  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Servings 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 120.76kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6.91g11%
Saturated Fat 2.84g15%
Trans Fat 0.11g
Cholesterol 9.54mg4%
Sodium 251.96mg11%
Potassium 44.6mg2%
Total Carbohydrate 12.13g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.87g4%
Sugars 1.23g
Protein 2.53g6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Experiment with different tortilla flavors such as spinach, whole wheat, or sun-dried tomato to add extra flair to your pinwheels.
  • Mix and match fillings to create a variety of flavor combinations. Consider using ingredients like smoked salmon, sliced turkey, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, pesto, or hummus.
  • To make vegetarian pinwheels, use a combination of fresh vegetables, cheese, and spreads.
  • Customize the seasoning of the cream cheese mixture by adding additional herbs, spices, or minced garlic.
  • Add a tangy twist by incorporating pickled vegetables, such as pickled jalapeños or banana peppers.
  • If making pinwheels in advance, wrap them tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. They can be prepared a day ahead.
  • For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free tortillas or substitute with lettuce leaves for a lettuce wrap variation.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve pinwheels as an appetizer at parties, potlucks, or game nights.
  • Pack them in lunchboxes or enjoy them as a quick and satisfying snack on the go.
  • Pair pinwheels with a side of fresh salad, vegetable sticks, or fruit skewers for a well-rounded meal.
Allergen Information:

The allergen information for pinwheels can vary significantly depending on the fillings and dough used. Here are some common allergen considerations:

  • Dough: Traditional pinwheels use puff pastry or crescent roll dough, which typically contain wheat (gluten). Look for gluten-free alternatives if needed.

  • Dairy: Many pinwheel recipes include cream cheese or other dairy-based ingredients. Dairy-free alternatives can be used for lactose-free or vegan options.

  • Nuts: Some sweet pinwheel recipes incorporate nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. If you have nut allergies, ensure that the chosen recipe and fillings are nut-free.

  • Meats: Savory pinwheels may contain meats like ham, bacon, or sausage, which can be allergenic for some individuals. Opt for vegetarian or vegan alternatives if necessary.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing beverages with pinwheels can enhance the enjoyment of these appetizers. Here are some suggestions:

  • White Wine: A crisp and refreshing white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, complements the buttery, savory flavors of many pinwheels.

  • Red Wine: For pinwheels with heartier fillings like sausage or bacon, consider a light red wine like a Pinot Noir or a fruit-forward Merlot.

  • Beer: Beer lovers can opt for a cold lager, pilsner, or even a fruity wheat beer to balance the richness of the pinwheels.

  • Non-Alcoholic Options: If you prefer non-alcoholic pairings, sparkling water, iced tea, or a citrusy lemonade can be delightful choices.

Storage and Leftovers:

Properly storing and reheating pinwheels can help maintain their freshness and flavor:

  • Storage: Store leftover pinwheels in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you've made a large batch, consider separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

  • Reheating: To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the pinwheels on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until they're heated through and the pastry is crispy.

  • Freezing: Pinwheels can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Reheat from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Keywords: Pinwheels, Party Appetizer, Snack Recipe, Easy Finger Food, Tortilla Roll-Ups, Crowd-Pleasing Recipe

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