Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels are a delicious and easy appetizer to bring to your next gathering or special occasion. Just be sure to bring plenty -- they go fast!
Mexican tortilla pinwheels with cream cheese are a great way to capture the flavors of Mexican street corn, in an easy-to-make, easy-to-transport appetizer.
And they're so easy to make! Just stir together charred corn, jalapeno, fresh lime, cheese, and other yummy things, spread the filling over soft flour tortillas, roll them up, chill, and enjoy!
Mexican street corn tortilla roll ups are full of bright, fresh flavors and so creamy, they're perfect just the way they are. But a side of salsa never hurts :).
If you like these Mexican tortilla roll ups, check out my other easy pinwheel appetizer recipes:
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Delicious recipe for game day, Cinco de Mayo, or an afternoon snack.
All the bright and fresh flavors of Mexican street corn in one perfect appetizer
These Mexican pinwheels are an easy recipe with just a few minutes of prep time.
Charred corn. I usually use frozen charred corn that's thawed and drained of any excess liquid. You can also char fresh corn on the grill or in a cast iron pan. Fire roasted canned corn also works, just be sure to drain it really well.
Mayonnaise and sour cream. This creamy tangy combo will give these Mexican tortilla rollups that classic street corn flavor.
Softened cream cheese. Cream cheese is the glue that holds the rolled tortillas together. Use full-fat cream cheese that comes in a block. It has a thicker consistency than cream cheese spread in a tub and will do a better job of holding everything together.
Fresh parsley or cilantro. Cilantro is a classic in Mexican cuisine, but not everyone loves it (like me), so parsley is another great option.
Jalapeno. To keep the jalapeno from getting too spicy, remove the ribs and seeds before dicing. If it's still spicier than you want to go, stir in some canned green chilies instead.
Lime juice. These little roll-ups will taste best if you use fresh lime juice, not bottled lime juice. If all you have is fresh lemon, that also works!
Chili powder. Chili powder is a seasoning blend that includes ingredients like cumin, oregano, and garlic. If you like bolder flavor, add a little bit of cayenne pepper!
Cotija or feta cheese. If you can find Cotija cheese, use it. Otherwise feta cheese is a good substitute because it has a similar crumbly texture and salty flavor.
Green onions. Green onions add a bright and fresh onion flavor that helps cut through all the creaminess. You can use also use chives, chopped red onion, or one of these green onion substitutes.
Large tortillas. I use plain flour tortillas, but you can also use whole wheat tortillas or flavored tortillas. Red tomato basil tortillas would look pretty.
Step-by step Instructions
In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy.
To the cream cheese mixture, add the parsley, jalapeno, green onions, lime juice, chili powder, corn kernels, and cheese. Stir with a spoon until completely combined.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the flour tortillas, to within about ½ inch of the edges.
Roll up the tortillas and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
Place the wrapped tortillas in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until the cream cheese filling has firmed up.
With a serrated knife, use a sawing motion to carefully slice each roll into 8-9 1-inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
You can serve your pinwheel appetizers with your favorite salsa or dip, but they really don't need it -- they're so creamy on their own.
Make ahead. Mexican street corn tortilla roll ups are best served a few hours after they are made, but you can also make them a day ahead. To make them in advance, keep them tightly wrapped in plastic overnight and slice them the next day. The tortillas will be a bit softer, but they will still be very delicious.
Use softened cream cheese. Let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften it. Softened cream cheese will mix into a smooth consistency without lumps and blend easier with the other ingredients.
Keep the pinwheels from falling apart. Roll the tortillas as tightly as you can. Chill the tortilla rolls before slicing them to allow the cream cheese to firm up.
Yes, you can make your tortilla rollups a day in advance. Keep the rolls tightly wrapped in plastic overnight and slice them the next day. The tortillas will be a bit softer, but still very delicious.
There are a few tricks to keeping your tortilla pinwheels from unraveling.
1. Use full-fat block cream cheese, which is thicker than the tubbed cream cheese, and will serve as the glue to hold the rollups together.
2. Roll the tortillas up as tightly as you can.
3. Wrap the tortilla rolls in plastic wrap and let them chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the cream cheese firm up.
To keep from flatting the pinwheels when cutting them, with a serrated knife, use a gentle sawing motion to cut the rolled up tortillas into slices. This will keep from flattening the pinwheels.
Looking for more simple recipes?
If you are eyeing up my serving platter, I don't blame you. It's pretty cute, isn't it? I love my Fiestaware. Here's one in poppy.
An offset spatula is handy to have around the kitchen for more than just icing a cake. In this case, it's perfect for spreading the pinwheel filling over the flour tortillas.
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Mexican Street Corn Pinwheel Appetizers
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- juice from one lime
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 ½ cups charred corn kernels
- 1 cup Cotija or feta cheese
- 4 large flour tortillas
- Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a medium bowl with mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add the parsley, jalapeno, green onions, lime juice, chili powder, corn kernels, and Cotija or feta cheese. Stir to mix until completely combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto the flour tortillas, to within about ½ inch of the edges.
- Roll up the tortilla and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped tortilla in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Use a serrated knife to slice the roll into pinwheels.