Try our go-to pinwheel sandwiches featuring flour tortillas, cream cheese, deli meat, cheese, and fresh green onions. Simple to whip up, ideal for picnics or serving as a hassle-free appetizer.
Are you looking for delicious and easy appetizers for your next party? Something to take on a picnic? Or maybe something to pack into your kid’s lunch box? Some little bites for game day? These pinwheel sandwiches are what you are looking for!
You could also make cucumber wraps and alternate the two sandwich pinwheel sorts on a serving platter.
🥪Why will you love these sandwiches?
- Easy and quick to make, and you can make them a bit ahead of time.
- Perfect finger food, no need for cutlery or plates.
- You can scale the recipe as much as you want.
- Versatile: You can change them to suit your taste. You can also make them vegetarian by leaving out the deli meats and the Parmesan and using cheese slices and veggies instead.
Perfect to take on a picnic:
- You can make them in advance.
- They are easy to transport; you can place them in an airtight container or a sandwich bag.
- You can eat them with your hand.
Great for the lunch box:
- No picky eaters would say no to these delicious pinwheel sandwiches.
- 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.
- Tip: I would leave out the garlic if taking the rolls to school or work
Perfect Game Day snack:
- These easy tortilla pinwheel sandwiches are healthier than many other game day snacks; they are not fried, not particularly fatty, and have relatively low carbs. You will have a super healthy combination if you serve some fresh veggie sticks on the side.
- They go well with any other bites you might want to serve.
- Flour tortillas: The 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).
- Whole wheat tortillas are also great.
- Deli meats: Pepperoni and slices of turkey.
- You can replace the pepperoni with salami and the deli ham with chicken for turkey slices.
- Cheese: Cream cheese and Parmesan. You can use different spreads, maybe something with herbs or dried tomatoes.
- Add a thin slice of Gouda or Cheddar cheese to the roll-up. Provolone cheese also tastes good- any cheese you want is excellent.
- Vegetables: 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.
- Leave out the deli meats and Parmesan cheese. Use vegetarian hard cheese and a slice of your favorite cheese.
- Replace meats with roasted vegetables like red bell pepper, zucchini, eggplants, and onions.
- If using deli-roasted veggies kept in olive oil, make sure you pat them dry very well before adding them to the wraps. Then, remove as much of the excess oil as possible.
- Make a veggie pinwheel with fresh vegetables such as grated carrots, sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red bell peppers, red onions, green onions, and so on.
- My favorite ingredients are mashed avocado mixed with lemon juice, salt and pepper, sliced black olives, and roasted or fried eggplant slices.
Add more protein:
- Canned tuna in water or oil. Drain it well and pat a bit with kitchen paper to remove the excess moisture.
- Smoked salmon is a great option as well.
- Use leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken, roast beef, 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, taco seasoning, jalapenos, or a little bit of spicy sauce, like sriracha or any other hot chili sauce you like. Use to taste.
🥬More filling ideas
Today’s bites are Italian pinwheel sandwiches. But you can make different other kinds as well.
- Club sandwich: Spread mayonnaise on the tortillas and add deli meats, cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon, tomato slices, and lettuce.
- Blt pinwheel: Spread with a mixture of cream cheese and mayo. Layer with chopped green leaf 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.
- Cream cheese pinwheels with pesto: Spread cream cheese and pesto on the tortilla; add mozzarella cheese, crumbled feta, sliced cheese, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkle of chili flakes. These are my daughter's favorite roll-ups.
👩🏻🍳How to make pinwheel sandwiches?
Cream cheese filling: Combine cream cheese with grated Parmesan, grated garlic, finely sliced green onions, basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
Place one tortilla on the cutting board. Spread the creamy mixture evenly across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch (1 cm) free all around.
Top with lettuce leaves.
Add deli turkey slices.
Add pepperoni, slightly overlapping each layer of ingredients.
Roll up tightly.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer. This will help the pinwheel sandwich fillings set slightly so that cutting the bites won’t get messy at all.
- Slice: 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 pinwheel sandwiches. I cut 7 pieces out of each tortilla, so I had 21.
- Use a serrated knife to slice the rolled tortillas between the toothpicks.
- Arrange on a platter and serve.
Remember to soften the cream cheese before using it. Mix the cream cheese with the other ingredients until it blends smoothly before spreading it on the tortilla. It will be tough to blend if it is too cold from the fridge.
Try not to overstuff them. That will make it difficult to roll them tightly and neatly.
Don't forget to chill the prepared pinwheels. Chilling helps them stick together. If you don't chill them, they might unroll and become harder to handle when sliced and served immediately.
Be creative! Check out all the various filling ideas!
Choose large, soft flour tortillas or wraps as they are flexible, making rolling easy. Their larger size accommodates a generous filling without the risk of overfilling. Whole wheat or regular are all great. I tried corn tortillas; they’re okay when it comes to taste, but I find they get too soft after a short while.
Chill the assembled rolls, use the toothpicks as instructed, and use a sharp knife to slice gently. Tightly rolling and sealing the tortilla also helps maintain its shape when cutting.
The filling mixture can be made well in advance; you can keep it 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 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 container in the fridge.
Pinwheel sandwiches can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can store them on a serving tray or cutting board, wrapped in cling wrap. This storage method keeps them fresh for 2-3 days.
I don't recommend freezing them.
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Easy Pinwheel Sandwiches
- Toothpicks Note 1
- Serrated knife
- 3 large tortillas about 10 inches/ 25 cm, Note 2
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 2 tablespoons green onions finely chopped
- 5 large basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 lettuce leaves more if necessary to cover
- 5 slices deli turkey or as required
- 5 pepperoni slices or as required
- Spread: Mix cream cheese with grated Parmesan, grated garlic, finely sliced green onions, finely sliced basil, salt, and pepper to taste.½ cup cream cheese + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan + 2 garlic cloves + 2 tablespoons green onions + 5 large basil leaves + ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt + ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 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, and pepperoni, slightly overlapping each layer of ingredients.3 large tortillas + 8 lettuce leaves + 5 slices deli turkey + 5 pepperoni slices
- 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. Use a good knife to slice the roll in between the picks. Arrange on a platter.
- Toothpicks: Use as many as necessary; it depends on the desired thickness of the pinwheels. I cut 7 pieces out of each tortilla, so I had 21.
- Tortillas: The size is not super important; use what you have and fill as desired. Both regular and whole wheat tortillas are great. Corn tortillas tend to get soggy faster.