Our favorite sandwich pinwheels recipe with flour tortillas, cream cheese, salami, cheese, and green onions. Super easy to make, perfect for picnics or as an easy appetizer.
Are you looking for an easy and delicious, easy appetizer? Something to take on a picnic? Or maybe something to pack into your kid’s lunch box? Some little bites for game day? Or perhaps you live in the UK and would like to make a fun appetizer for the afternoon tea? These sandwich pinwheels are what you are looking for!
Why is this pinwheel recipe perfect as:
- Easy to make
- You can make them in advance and refrigerate them until needed
- They feed a crowd. You can scale the recipe as much as you want
- You can be sure everybody will love them
- Perfect finger food, no need for cutlery or plates
- Quite cheap
- Versatile, so you can make different sorts to satisfy different tastes. You can also make them vegetarian by leaving out the deli meats and the Parmesan and using cheese slices and veggies instead.
- Easily made in advance
- Easy to transport
- They keep well in a box
- You can eat them with the hand
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- No picky eaters would say no to these delicious pinwheels.
- They make a filling yet light lunch.
- You can make them the night before and store them directly in the box, ready to take to school or work the next day.
- Not messy
- Versatile – easy to change the recipe to fit the taste of each of your family members
- I would leave out the garlic if taking to school or work
- Perfect snack
- Healthier than many other game day snacks, it’s not fried, not particularly fatty, and relatively low carb. If you serve some fresh veggie sticks on the side, you will have a super healthy combination.
- It goes well with any other bites you might want to serve
- Enough reasons for you to start making these delicious pinwheels immediately?
What do you need for the sandwich wraps?
- Size is not so important; use what you have. I suppose a large tortilla is easier to deal with, but otherwise, it won’t matter; stuff as many of them as needed to use up the ingredients.
- My soft tortillas are relatively large, with a diameter of 10 inches (25 cm).
- Pepperoni and deli turkey.
- Subs: salami for pepperoni. Deli ham or chicken for turkey.
- Cream cheese and Parmesan. You can use a ready-made cream cheese spread if you like, maybe something with herbs or dried tomatoes.
- You can add a thin slice of Gouda or Cheddar cheese to the roll-up if you like. Provolone cheese tastes good as well. Actually, any kind of cheese you want.
- Lettuce leaves, fresh garlic, one green onion (maybe two, depending on size), fresh basil. You can substitute basil with other chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, a little cilantro, or a combination of herbs. Dried Italian seasoning works well too.
Alternative fillings for roll-ups
- Leave out the deli meats and Parmesan cheese. Replace with vegetarian hard cheese and a slice of your favorite cheese. We love Gouda or Cheddar, but anything else you like is perfect!
- Replace meats with roasted vegetables. You can roast the veggies yourself; I love red bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, onions.
- If using deli roasted veggies kept in olive oil, make sure you pat them dry very well before adding to the tortilla roll-up. Then, remove as much of the excess oil as possible.
- Or fill with fresh veggies: grated carrots, sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red peppers, red onion, green onions, and so on. Some of my favorite ingredients are mashed avocado mixed with a bit of lemon juice, some salt and pepper, sliced black olives, roasted or fried eggplant slices.
Make something with fish:
- Canned tuna is perfect for this kind of sandwich. I prefer tuna canned in water, but oil tuna is fine as well. Make sure you drain it well and pat a bit with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
- Smoked salmon is a great option as well.
- Use some leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken, roast beef, leftover turkey, or pulled pork to fill the tortilla wraps.
Make them spicy:
- Add thinly sliced, fresh red or green chilies or dried red pepper flakes, chili powder or cayenne pepper, jalapenos, or a spicy sauce, like sriracha or any other hot chili sauce you like. Use to taste.
Today’s bites are Italian pinwheels. But you can make different other kinds as well.
- Club sandwich: Spread mayonnaise on the tortillas, layer with deli meats, cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon, tomato slices, and lettuce.
- BLT-style: Spread with a mixture of cream cheese and mayo. Layer with chopped lettuce and tomatoes, cooked and crumbled bacon.
- Cuban sandwiches: Spread mustard on the flatbread; I often use Dijon mustard. Layer with Swiss cheese, cooked ham, and pickles.
- Buffalo chicken pinwheels: Mix cream cheese, hot sauce, grated garlic, cooked and shredded chicken, thinly sliced green onions, and grated cheese. Spread on the tortillas and roll them up.
How to make pinwheel sandwiches?
- Cream cheese mixture: combine cream cheese with grated Parmesan, grated garlic, finely sliced green onions, basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
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- Place one tortilla on the cutting board. Spread the creamy mixture evenly across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch (1 cm) free all around. (1)
- Top with lettuce leaves (2), deli turkey (3), pepperoni (4), slightly overlapping each layer of ingredients.
- Roll up tightly. (5)
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer. This will help the cream cheese set slightly so that cutting the bites won’t get messy at all.
- Once ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap. Use toothpicks or wooden picks to secure the roll-ups. Use as many picks as necessary; it depends on the desired thickness of the pinwheels. I cut 7 pieces out of each tortilla, so I had 21 in the end.
- Use a good serrated knife to slice the roll in between the picks.
- Arrange on a platter and serve.
Can I make them in advance?
The cream cheese mixture can be made well in advance; it keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 3 days.
The sandwiches can be made up to 24 hours in advance. If you keep them for longer, the tortilla will get a bit soggy. Keep wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator and slice shortly before serving.
If preparing them for the lunch box or picnic, you can slice them and keep them in the box in the fridge.
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Easy Sandwich Pinwheels
- 3 tortillas large, about 10 inches/ 25 cm
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 leaves basil large
- 2 tablespoons green onions chopped
- 8 leaves lettuce more if necessary to cover
- 5 slices pepperoni or as required
- 5 slices deli turkey or as required
- Spread: mix cream cheese with grated Parmesan, grated garlic, finely sliced green onions, finely sliced basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Build: Lay the tortillas on the working surface. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch (1 cm) free all around. Top with lettuce leaves, deli turkey, pepperoni, slightly overlapping each layer of ingredients.
- Roll up tightly. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer.
- Cut: Remove the plastic wrap. Secure the roll-ups with toothpicks or wooden picks (Note). Use a good knife to slice the roll in between the picks. Arrange on a platter.