Pinwheel Sandwiches

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Pinwheel sandwiches are easy, charming appetizers perfect for brunch, picnics, potlucks and parties. We spread a flavorful cream cheese filling over a large tortilla, followed by layers of thinly-sliced deli meat, cheese, and lettuce. We roll it tightly into a log shape, then slice it into pinwheels, revealing eye-catching swirls of vibrant colors and enticing layers.

📌 Pin Pinwheel Sandwich Recipe

Pinwheel Sandwiches on a party platter.

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Why This Recipe’s a Keeper

  • Customizable. Pinwheel sandwiches are very versatile. They can be customized with a variety of ingredients (sweet or savory), and tailored to your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. They’re perfect for kids and picky eaters!
  • Visual Appeal: Their whimsical pinwheel shape makes them an attractive option for parties, gatherings or a simple meal.
  • Easy Recipe: Pinwheel sandwiches are easy to assemble. They’re perfect for busy days when you need a quick lunch or snack, or a tasty reliable dish for a potluck.
  • Great for Parties. Portable and finger-friendly, these bite-sized appetizers are eaten without utensils. This makes them a great option for events where convenience is important.
  • Popular Crowd-Pleaser. Pinwheel sandwiches are a classic, well-loved party dish. Their popularity ensures that they’ll be enjoyed by a diverse group of people with varying tastes.
Pinwheel sandwiches served on an appetizer tray with party picks.
Two pinwheel sandwiches strewn onto a sandwich pick.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Burrito-Size Flour Tortillas: These 12-inch flour tortillas serve as the base or wrap for the pinwheel sandwiches, providing a soft and flexible outer layer.
  • Spinach-Herb Tortilla Wraps (green): These 12-inch wraps add flavor and a touch of color to the pinwheel sandwiches, enhancing the overall visual appeal.
  • Block Cream Cheese: Acts as a creamy and rich binding agent for the filling, adding a luscious texture and flavor to the pinwheel sandwiches.
  • Mayonnaise: Provides additional creaminess to the filling, while also adding a subtle tangy flavor.
  • Ranch Seasoning: Infuses the filling with savory, herby, and slightly tangy notes, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the pinwheel sandwiches. I prefer using Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (dip & salad dressing mix).
  • Cooked Crispy Bacon Crumbles: We mix it into the cream cheese spread. It introduces a smoky and savory element, adding crunch and a distinctive bacon flavor to the pinwheel sandwiches.
  • Havarti Cheese: Contributes a creamy and mild flavor, as well as a smooth texture to the filling, complementing the other cheeses and meats.
  • Colby Jack Cheese: Adds a blend of flavors with its combination of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, providing a slightly tangy and mellow taste.
  • Deli-Sliced Roasted Chicken Breast: Offers a lean and protein-packed element to the filling, providing a meaty texture and savory taste.
  • Deli-Sliced Baked Ham or Pastrami: Adds a distinct flavor profile (ham’s sweetness or pastrami’s smokiness) and contributes to the overall meaty layers of the pinwheel sandwiches.
  • Sliced Salami: Introduces a salty and savory element, enhancing the overall flavor complexity of the pinwheel sandwiches.
  • Baby Spinach Leaves: Provides a fresh and slightly peppery flavor, as well as a vibrant green color, adding a nutritious and visually appealing component.
  • Butter Lettuce Leaves: Offers a mild and crisp texture to the filling, adding a layer of freshness and contrasting with the other ingredients.
Ingredients for making pinwheel sandwiches.

📖 Recipe Steps

  1. Cut each softened block of cream cheese into 6 pieces. This will make this ingredient more manageable. Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat the cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add mayo and ranch seasoning. Mix to combine. Add bacon bits to the bowl. Mix them in with a rubber spatula.
  2. On a clean work surface, lay out the 4 green tortilla wraps. Divide half the cream cheese mixture between the green tortillas (the other half will be used for the white flour tortillas). Spoon a large dollop onto each and then spread it out, into thin layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
  3. For each, arrange thin slices of deli chicken breast, slices of Colby Jack cheese, and 4 slices of salami, over the cream cheese spread. Don’t stack the meat and cheese in the center. Instead, spread the ingredients out.
  4. On the bottom half of each wrap (not in the center), arrange 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves on top of the meat and cheese.
How to make pinwheel sandwiches, step by step.
  1. On your work surface, lay out the 4 white flour tortillas. Divide the remaining cream cheese mixture between them, spooning it onto each. Spread the mixture into an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges of the tortillas.
  2. On each, arrange the ham (or pastrami), 2 slices of Havarti cheese, and 4 slices of salami over the cream cheese mixture.
  3. Place the butter lettuce on the bottom half of each tortilla (not in the center, and not on the top half).
  4. Working with one green or white tortilla at a time, starting at the bottom, tightly roll it up into the shape of a log. With a sharp knife, slice the log into 8 pinwheel sandwiches (about 1.5 inches per slice), or as wide as you’d like. If desired, secure each pinwheel with a sandwich/cocktail pick.

Expert Tip: If making ahead, arrange the assembled, unsliced tortilla wrap seam side down on a baking tray and refrigerate for up to 5 hours. Slice into pinwheel sandwiches when ready to serve.

How to make pinwheel sandwiches, step by step.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • How to keep pinwheel sandwiches from getting soggy: Ensure that any wet ingredients (like mayo or dressings) are spread thinly. Consider placing a layer of dry ingredients (like lettuce or spinach) between wet ingredients and the tortilla to create a moisture barrier.
  • How to prevent pinwheel sandwiches from unraveling: After rolling the tortilla into a log, refrigerate it for 1 hour to let the cream cheese (the binding ingredient) set. When ready to serve, slice the log into pinwheels with a sharp knife. Secure with sandwich picks.
  • How to make pinwheel sandwiches for a large crowd: Make a variety of flavors to cater to different taste preferences and dietary options. At the market look for ingredients like gluten-free tortillas, vegan cream cheese, etc. Serve the different types of pinwheels on separate trays, labeling each tray with a list of ingredients.
  • How to make holiday-inspired pinwheel sandwiches: For Easter, use green tortilla wraps, a whipped dill cream cheese spread (with capers folded in), smoked salmon slices, and baby spinach leaves. Or make pinwheels with egg salad mixture and romaine lettuce. For a Thanksgiving-inspired twist, try turkey with cranberry spread, cream cheese, and spinach.
A party platter of pinwheel sandwiches.

👨🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQs

Yes, pinwheel sandwiches are great for preparing ahead. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Yes, you can use various tortilla sizes based on personal preference. Smaller tortillas create bite-sized pinwheels, while larger ones make more substantial servings.

It’s not recommended to freeze assembled pinwheel sandwiches, as the texture of certain ingredients may change upon thawing.

Replace meat with vegetarian alternatives like hummus, roasted vegetables, or a variety of cheeses. Ensure a flavorful spread or sauce for added taste.

Pinwheel sandwiches on a serving plate.

🧀 Our Favorite Small Bites

A hand lifting a pinwheel sandwich with a cocktail pick from a serving tray.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST pinwheel sandwich recipe. They loved the savory cream cheese spread, the use of 2 types of tortillas, and the specific combinations of meats and cheese. They said these were even better than Costco pinwheel sandwiches.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share this appetizer with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Pinwheel Sandwiches on a party platter.

Pinwheel Sandwiches


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 17 reviews

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 56 Pinwheel Sandwiches 1x
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Description

Pinwheel sandwiches are made by spreading a flavorful combination of ingredients onto large tortillas, which are then tightly rolled and sliced into spirals. Often served as appetizers, they’re perfect for potlucks, parties, picnics, lunch, or on-the-go snacks.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 (12-inch, white) burrito-size tortillas, soft
  • 4 (12-inch, green) spinach-herb tortilla wraps
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons (or 2 packets) Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
  • 1 pound cooked crispy bacon, finely crumbled
  • 8 slices Havarti cheese
  • 8 slices Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 pound deli chicken breast, thinly-sliced
  • 1 pound deli baked ham or pastrami, thinly-sliced
  • 16 large slices deli salami (or 32 slices small salami)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 8 butter lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Cut the softened blocks of cream cheese into chunks. Add the pieces to a large mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat the cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add mayo and ranch seasoning. Mix to combine. Add bacon bits to the bowl. Mix them in with a rubber spatula.
  2. On a work surface, lay out the 4 green tortilla wraps. Divide half the cream cheese mixture between the green tortillas. Spoon a large dollop onto each and then spread it out, into thin layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
  3. For each, arrange thin slices of deli chicken breast, slices of Colby Jack cheese, and 4 slices of salami, over the cream cheese spread. Don’t stack the meat and cheese in the center. Instead, spread the ingredients out.
  4. On the bottom half of each wrap (not in the center), arrange 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves on top of the meat and cheese.
  5. On your work surface, lay out the 4 white flour tortillas. Divide the remaining cream cheese mixture between them, spooning it onto each. Spread the mixture into an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges of the tortillas.
  6. On each, arrange the ham (or pastrami), 2 slices of Havarti cheese, and 4 slices of salami over the cream cheese mixture. 
  7. Place the butter lettuce on the bottom half of each tortilla (not in the center, and not on the top half). 
  8. Working with one green or white tortilla at a time, starting at the bottom, tightly roll it up into the shape of a log. With a sharp knife, slice the log into 8 pinwheel sandwiches (about 1.5 inches per slice), or as wide as you’d like. If desired, secure each pinwheel with a sandwich/cocktail pick.

Notes

How to prevent pinwheel sandwiches from unraveling: After rolling the tortilla into a log, refrigerate it for 1 hour to let the cream cheese (the binding ingredient) set. When ready to serve, slice the log into pinwheels using a sharp knife. Then secure each pinwheel with a sandwich/cocktail pick.

If making ahead: Arrange the assembled, unsliced tortilla wrap seam side down on a baking tray and refrigerate for up to 5 hours. Slice into pinwheel sandwiches when ready to serve.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Pinwheel Sandwiches 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Are you excited to make this easy recipe? Which set of pinwheels do you think you’ll enjoy most – the ones made with white tortillas or green tortillas? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to know if you’re making these for a picnic, a party or lunch!

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