These cheesy spinach and sriracha pinwheels are one of those appetizers everyone loves! Flaky, savory, and with just enough heat to tingle the taste buds, these oven baked pinwheels can be served as a snack or as a party food.
This isn’t your classic cream cheese pinwheels recipe. These pinwheels are lighter and flakier than the classic recipe because I’m using puff pastry instead of flour tortillas. I can see them being sold in a bakery in Japan or France, displayed between a row of croissants and spinach puff pastry rolls.
Flaky, buttery, cheesy, and a little spicy.
It’s a very simple recipe that only takes about 20 minutes to prep, that anyone can make at home. It’s a fun party appetizer that looks beautiful served in a basket covered with a kitchen towel like they just came out of the oven. These pinwheels also pair nicely with a side salad and soup, should you want to eat them – I say them because it’s impossible to just have one – as part of a meal.
- Puff pastry: Leave the puff pastry to thaw overnight in the fridge. The one I’m using is from Pepperidge farm and the size of each puff pastry sheet is 10″ by 15″. However, you can use any puff pastry brand you like, so long as it’s not puff pastry shells.
- Sriracha sauce: 1/4 cup might seem like a lot of sriracha sauce but it’s just enough to give each pinwheel a nice kick of peppery heat.
- Baby spinach: You will need 2 cups of baby spinach or feel free to use regular spinach if you already have some in the refrigerator. Just make sure it is properly shredded so it’s easy to spread on the puff pastry.
- Grated cheese: You can technically use any type of firm cheese to make these pinwheels but the ones I personally like are cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and Gruyère cheese. I highly recommend you do the grating yourself as opposed to buying pre-grated cheese. The reason being that pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well because it is usually dusted with potato starch or natamycin to keep the strands from sticking together.
- Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper is optional but will help add extra flavor to your pinwheels.
How To Make Pinwheels (Instructions)
Scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full recipe.
- Start by prepping your ingredients.
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Place the frozen puff pastry in the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
- Take your plastic wrap and cut a piece that’s a few inches longer and wider than the puff pastry, wide enough to fold the ends once the puff pastry is filled and rolled into a log.
- Place the puff pastry sheet in the center of the plastic wrap gently flatten the pastry with a rolling pin, going over it a few times. We are not looking to flatten it completely! This is so the puff pastry doesn’t get too puffy and airy when we put in the oven.
- Add half of the sriracha sauce and spread it with a brush or the back of a spoon. Leave half and inch bare around the edges. Top with half of the cheese and half of the shredded spinach.
- Roll the pastry into a log and wrap it tightly with the plastic wrap.
- Follow the same steps for the second log and place them in the fridge to chill for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
- Take the logs out of the fridge and slice them into 1/2-inch thick pinwheels.
- Lay them on a large baking sheet covered with nonstick foil or parchment paper. Leave a little space between each pinwheel to prevent them from sticking together. Bake in the over for 17 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the pinwheels are a golden color.
- Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before eating.
Tortilla Roll Ups
If you are having trouble finding puff pastry (believe it not I actually had to order mine from Amazon Fresh because all 3 of my closest grocery stores didn’t carry any!) you can make this recipe using flour tortillas. In fact, it’s even easier to make than with puff pastry!
Here’s how to make these simple pinwheel sandwiches using tortilla wraps.
- Grab two 10″ flour tortilla wraps and lay them on a flat surface.
- Divide the sriracha between the two tortillas and spread the sauce, leaving about half and inch clear around the edges.
- Layer with grated cheese and spinach.
- Roll the tortillas tightly and wrap them in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8. This step is important so that your pinwheels keep their shape.
- Take the logs out of the fridge and unwrap them. Use a serrated knife to cut the log into 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick pinwheels.
Tortilla Pinwheels Variations
Pinwheels are extremely versatile. You can virtually use any combination of ingredients to make this fun appetizer. Here are some of the most popular tortilla rolls to try:
- Mexican pinwheels: Mix 2 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1/2 tablespoon of taco seasoning, 8 pitted and finely chopped black olives, and 1 finely chopped jalapeno, until the ingredients are combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture on 2 10″ flour tortillas. Top with 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Then follow the steps in the recipe card (rolling, wrapping, refrigerating, slicing) and serve with salsa as a dipping sauce.
- Italian pinwheels: Mix 3 ounces cream cheese, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, and spread the mixture between 2 10″ flour tortillas. Top with deli ham (2 per tortilla), salami (4 per tortilla), provolone cheese (2 per tortilla), and 2 small romaine lettuce leaves (2 per tortilla). Then follow the steps in the recipe card (rolling, wrapping, refrigerating, slicing) and serve.
- Classic pinwheels: Mix 3 ounces cream cheese with 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons finely chopped black olives and 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion. Mix well and spread the mixture between 2 10″ flour tortillas. Add a few deli turkey slices, or chicken, or ham, and top with slices of swiss cheese or cheddar cheese. Then follow the steps in the recipe card (rolling, wrapping, refrigerating, slicing) and serve.
Can I Freeze Pinwheels?
Yes you can and for both puff pastry and tortilla wrap!
For puff pastry pinwheels:
- Bake the pinwheels first and let them cool to room temperature.
- Leave the pinwheels on the baking sheet, or transfer them to a platter, where they can fit in one layer and aren’t touching each other, and freeze for 2 to 3 hours until they are frozen.
- Transfer the pinwheels to an airtight freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 weeks.
- To warm them up, bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.
For tortilla pinwheels:
- Place the tortilla roll-ups on a baking sheet or platter where they can fit in one layer and aren’t touching each other, and freeze for 2 to 3 hours until they are frozen.
- Transfer the pinwheels to an airtight freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 weeks.
How To Serve The Pinwheels
These cheese pinwheels are delicious on their own, especially when they are fresh out of the oven. They are so flaky and light it’s impossible to just have a bite. I think Ben and I ate half of them the first time I made these!
And because they are so flaky they can break apart quite easily. Because of that I recommend serving them with something light like sour cream or ranch dressing.
The bamboo basket used in the images, which you can find here, is from Musubi Kiln.
Musubi Kiln is an online store specializing in high quality handmade Japanese tableware and dinnerware. Each product is made by Japanese craftsmen using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Received 10% off your purchase when using the code CAROLINE at checkout.
Other Appetizers You Might Enjoy
Did you like this cheese pinwheels recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Cheesy Spinach and Sriracha Pinwheels
Flaky, savory, and with just enough heat to tingle the taste buds, these oven baked pinwheels can be served as a snack or as a party food.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes passive time + 25 minutes baking
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 26 to 30 pinwheels 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, refrigerated and thawed overnight
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 2 cups baby spinach, shredded
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar, parmesan, or Gruyère cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut a piece of plastic wrap that’s about 3 to 4 inches wider and longer than the puff pastry, and lay it on a flat surface.
- Place one puff pastry sheet in the center the plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to lightly flatten the pastry. This is to prevent the puff pastry from getting too airy and puffed up. Gently (do not press too hard) roll over it a few times until the puff pastry is slightly longer and wider.
- Brush 2 tablespoons of the sriracha sauce on the puff pastry, leaving ½ an inch clear around the edges.
- Next, add half of the spinach on top of the sriracha sauce, leaving ½ an inch clear around the edges.
- Finally, sprinkle half of the cheese on top, leaving ½ an inch clear around the edges. If you need to, turn the pastry so the longer side is facing you.
- Starting from the bottom of the long side, begin to roll the pastry. Keep rolling until you have reached the other end and the pastry looks like a log.
- Tightly wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place it in the fridge, making sure it sits flat, and refrigerate for 25 minutes. Repeat the same steps for the other puff pastry and remaining ingredients.
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF and prep one large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Take the logs out of the fridge and unwrap them.
- Using a bread knife or other serrated knife, cut ½-inch thick pinwheels, which should give you about 26 to 30 pinwheels.
- Gently place the pinwheels on the cooking trays, leaving about 1 inch of space between each pinwheels, so they don’t stick together during the baking process.
- Bake in the oven for 17 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese melted and bubbling.
- Turn the oven off, take the pinwheels out and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the pinwheels to a serving tray and enjoy!
Leftovers: Store the leftovers in an airtight container and leave them on your countertop for up to 2 days. You can also store the container in the fridge for up a week and reheat the pinwheels for a few minutes in the oven at 375ºF.
To freeze the pinwheels, please refer to the section in the post about freezing.
- Serving Size: 1 pinwheel
- Calories: 133
- Sugar: 0.5g
- Sodium: 139.6mg
- Fat: 9.5g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 8.7g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 3.3g
- Cholesterol: 8mg
Keywords: Hors d’oeuvres