Looking for tortilla pinwheel recipes? Take a twirl through this collection of fun and easy tortilla roll ups, perfect for parties, potlucks, lunches, and after school snacks.
Then check out my tips and tricks to learn how to make your own tortilla pinwheel recipes.
Tortilla pinwheels are always a huge hit anywhere they go, and for good reason. They're so creamy and flavorful -- I mean, you can stir almost anything into cream cheese, roll up into a tortilla, and it'll be absolutely delicious.
They look pretty on a party platter, so you know they'll get devoured! And when I set them out with these delicious Pancetta-Wrapped Apples, Corn in a Cup, and Cucumber Pico de Gallo -- whoa, stand back!
How to Make Pinwheels Sandwiches
Making tortilla pinwheel sandwiches is fun and easy to do! And the best part is you can come up with a million creative ideas by mixing and matching all your favorite ingredients.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Chose your fillings
When selecting what you’re going to roll up into your tortilla, look for ingredients that don't have too much moisture. Anything with too high of a water content can lead to soggy pinwheels.
- Meat & beans: rotisserie chicken, deli meat slices, pepperoni, canned tuna, leftover turkey or ham, any type of canned beans
- Shredded cheese, cheese slices, or cheese crumbles
- Crunchy fruit and veggies. Stick to firm fruits and vegetables. Anything too moist and juicy can make the pinwheels soggy.
- Crisp greens like romaine, kale, spinach, or green leaf lettuce
- Dried fruit for chewy sweetness
- Nuts and seeds for crunch
2. Create the cream cheese mixture
You can make pinwheels with a plain old block of cream cheese or add herbs, spices, and other flavor enhancers:
- Creamy condiments: mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, creamy dressing, Greek yogurt
- Herbs and spices, dry ranch mix, salsa, pesto
3. Select a wrap
Extra large flour tortillas work well for pinwheels because you can cut each one into 8-10 slices.
Choose from flour tortillas, whole wheat tortillas, or flavored tortillas like spinach herb, sun-dried tomato, or jalapeno cheddar
4. Assemble the pinwheels
1. Mix softened cream cheese with herbs and spices, flavorings, or creamy condiments.
Stir shredded or chopped meat, chopped vegetables, and shredded or crumbled cheese into the cream cheese mixture.
2. Lay the tortillas on a flat work surface.
3. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over a tortilla, to within about a half-inch of the sides and top of the tortilla.
4. Layer toppings like slices of meat and cheese, lettuce leaves, and other large pieces in a thin layer over the cream cheese mixture. Too many fillings will keep the tortillas from rolling up into a tight roll.
5. Roll the tortillas into a tight roll.
6. Wrap the tortilla rolls in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for several hours to let the cream cheese firm up.
7. With a sharp serrated knife, use a sawing motion to gently cut the tortilla roll into 8-10 slices. If desired, serve with your favorite dipping sauces.
For best results, serve pinwheels within 24 hours.
- Softened cream cheese will be much easier to mix and spread. To soften cream cheese, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Resist the temptation to “overfill” the tortillas. A thin layer of filling will make it easier to wrap the tortilla into a tight roll.
- Wrap the tortilla rolls in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to firm up for a few hours.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to gently slice the rolls into pinwheels.
You can wrap pinwheels with tortillas, flatbread, or lavash.
Yes, you can make tortilla pinwheels a day in advance. Keep the tortilla rolls tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator overnight, then slice them the next day.
To keep tortilla pinwheels from getting soggy, limit the moisture in the filling ingredients. Fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content can release water and add moisture to the filling. If you are making the tortilla roll ups in advance, keep the tortilla rolls wrapped in plastic until it is time to serve them. Then unwrap the plastic, slice, and serve.
Yes, refrigerating the tortilla rolls before cutting them allows the softened cream cheese to firm up again so the pinwheels will hold together when you slice them.
Store leftover cream cheese roll ups tightly wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.