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Course » How to make Pinwheel Sandwiches

Pinwheel sandwiches (or wraps), are a simple lunch, appetizer and party snack. Kids and adults love these delicious one-bite, finger foods.

Learning how to make pinwheel sandwiches is quick and easy! They only require a handful of ingredients and can be whipped up quickly.

Pinwheel wraps are my favorite packable party snack. They roll up tightly and are easily stored in plastic wrap. They don’t take up hardly any space in a cooler this way and can be cut up when you are ready to eat them.

Pinwheel sandwiches can be customized in an unlimited number of ways. I am going to show you how to make a Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese pinwheel and a Salami & Pesto Cream Cheese pinwheel.

Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks so that you can learn how to make pinwheel sandwiches like a pro!

  • Cream Cheese – I think a layer of cream cheese spread is a must. Cream cheese acts like a glue that holds the sandwich bites together.
  • Seam side down – When cutting the wraps, place the seam side down. This is another way to ensure that your wrap doesn’t fall apart when cutting.
  • Less = more – Do not overdo it with your fillings! The pinwheel rolls will be much harder to cut, eat and keep together if they are stuffed full of ingredients. A few simple ingredients is perfect.
  • Refrigerate – Chilling the wraps in the fridge before cutting them is another tip that helps hold the pinwheel pieces together. This hardens the cream cheese back up and further seals the ends of the wrap together.
  • Toothpicks – If you are still struggling with keeping your pinwheels together, use some toothpicks! You can even find some fun & festive toothpicks like these ones here, on Amazon.
  • Storage – If you plan on packing your pinwheels in a cooler for the day, I suggest waiting to cut them. They will take up far less room in your cooler if you individually wrap them in plastic wrap instead of cutting them into bites and storing them in Tupperware. What I do is wrap each full-size pinwheel wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Then I put all the pinwheel sandwiches into a zip top gallon size plastic bag. I bring a knife with me and cut them when I am ready to serve them.
  • Allergy friendly – Pinwheels are easily modified to be allergy friendly! If you want to make them gluten free, swap out the wheat based wraps with a gluten free wrap. If you want them to be dairy free, simply use a non-dairy cream cheese. Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese is my favorite!
  • Flavor – Don’t be afraid to use dried herbs, fresh herbs and seasoning blends! Most people will eat each pinwheel slice in one single bite. This means, you need to have every single bite infused with flavor!

Ingredients Needed

Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese Ingredients

Ingredients needed for Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese Pinwheels. Ingredients shown are tortilla wraps, green onions, ranch dip mix, cream cheese and ham slices.
  • Tortilla Wraps – I used 10-12 inch tortilla wraps for this recipe. If you use the same size wrap, this recipe will yield 4 full size wraps, as shown below in the photos.
  • Cream Cheese – Softening your cream cheese is easy! Simply put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Ranch Dip Mix – Ranch dip mix is the powdered seasoning blend found in the salad dressing section of the grocery store. You can choose name brand or store brand. I used a generic store brand and it tasted great.
  • Ham Slices – I chose Black Forest Ham from the deli section of the grocery store and had it sliced thin.
  • Green Onions – Chop the long green ends of the green onion and discard the white bottoms for this recipe.

How to make Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese Pinwheels

  1. Soften & Mix – Soften the cream cheese in the the microwave and mix the ranch dip mix into the cream cheese.
  2. Start– Place a wrap/flour tortilla down onto your work surface.
  3. Spread – Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the wrap. Go all the way to the edges!
  4. Layer – Start layering the ham onto the cream cheese.
  5. Layer – Add a layer of diced green onions.
  6. Roll – Tightly roll your pinwheel sandwich into a long, thin roll.
  7. Roll – Finish rolling and seal the end of the wrap with the cream cheese from the cream cheese layer inside of your wrap.
  8. Repeat – Repeat this process with 3 more tortillas. This recipe will make a total of 4 pinwheel rolls.
  9. Refrigerate – Wrap the tortilla rolls tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into small pinwheel slices. This step cools the cream cheese back down and helps meld the ingredients together so that the wraps stay tightly rolled up after cutting.
  10. Cut – Cut the roll ups into 1 inch thick slices to make your pinwheels!

Here’s a close up shot of the pinwheels cut into slices!

Close up image of the pinwheels cut into 1 inch thick slices.

Serve pinwheels with Pesto Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes, Summer Tortellini Salad with Arugula or Roasted Dijon Chicken Thighs with Crispy Skin!

Ingredients needed

Salami & Pesto Cream Cheese Ingredients

Ingredients labeled for Salami and Pesto Cream Cheese pinwheels. Photo shows tortilla wraps, sundried tomatoes, pesto, cream cheese and salami.
  • Tortilla wraps – If you want your recipe to yield four full-sized rollups, then you need to use a 10-12 inch tortilla wrap. Any flavor of wrap will work! I used plain white, spinach and sundried tomato. All were delicious!
  • Sundried tomatoes – Sundried tomatoes have an intense umami flavor. Due to the savory & rich flavor, a little goes a long way! I used sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil. You can also find sundried tomatoes that are in a plastic bag and not packed in oil. These tomatoes need to be rehydrated with a little bit of water before using.
  • Pesto – If you enjoy making your own pesto then by all means, whip up your own batch of fresh basil pesto for this recipe. I don’t always have the ingredients on hand for homemade pesto sauce though, so I always have a jar of DeLallo Simply Pesto Traditional Basil in my kitchen cabinets. DeLallo brand basil pesto can be found in the grocery store in the pasta aisle near the marinara sauces.
  • Cream cheese – I used blocks of cream cheese for this recipe. If you choose to use a soft or whipped variety of cream cheese, then you might be able to skip the softening step.
  • Salami – Genoa thin sliced salami from the deli counter is what is needed for this recipe. When in the deli section, you usually have the choice between Genoa salami and hard salami. Genoa salami is softer and less chewy than hard salami.

How to make Salami & Pesto Cream Cheese Pinwheels

  1. Soften & Mix – Soften the cream cheese in the the microwave and mix the basil pesto into the cream cheese.
  2. Start– Place a wrap down onto your work surface.
  3. Spread – Spread the pesto cream cheese on the wrap. Go all the way to the edges!
  4. Layer – Start layering the salami onto the cream cheese.
  5. Layer – Add a layer of diced sundried tomatoes.
  6. Roll – Tightly roll your pinwheel sandwich into a long, thin roll.
  7. Roll – Finish rolling and seal the end of the wrap with the cream cheese from the cream cheese layer inside of your wrap.
  8. Repeat – Repeat this process with 3 more tortillas. This recipe will make a total of 4 pinwheel rolls.
  9. Refrigerate – Wrap the tortilla rolls tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into small pinwheel slices. This step cools the cream cheese back down and helps meld the ingredients together so that the wraps stay tightly rolled up after cutting.
  10. Cut – Cut the wraps into 1 inch thick slices to make your pinwheels!

Cut into pinwheels

After your wraps have refridgerated for at least 1 hour, remove them from the fridge. Place the pinwheel sandwich wraps onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the wraps into 1 inch thick slices. These slices will form your pinwheels! After you discard the end pieces you will have about 6 pinwheels per tortilla.

You will most likely discard the ends of the wraps. The ends do not hold together well and usually do not contain an equal distribution of all ingredients.

Photo shows how to cut wraps when learning how to make pinwheel sandwiches. The wraps are cut into one inch section on a wooden cutting board.
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Up close photo that will be used as the main image of my post titled, "how to make pinwheel sandwiches"

How to make Pinwheel Sandwiches


  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes to make
  • Cook Time: 1 hour to chill
  • Total Time: *
  • Yield: Aprox. 24 pinwheel slices per recipe

Description

Pinwheel sandwiches (or wraps), are a simple lunch, appetizer and party snack. Kids and adults love these delicious one-bite, finger foods.


Ingredients

Scale

Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese Pinwheel Wrap

  • 8 ounce brick cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning dip mix
  • (4) 10-12 inch tortilla wraps
  • 16 slices thin cut Black Forest deli ham (about 1/2 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons diced green onions

Salami & Pesto Cream Cheese Pinwheel Wrap

  • 8 ounce brick cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • (4) 10-12 inch tortilla wraps
  • 24 thin slices Genoa salami (about 1/2 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons diced sundried tomatoes

Instructions

Ham & Ranch Cream Cheese Pinwheel Wrap

  1. Soften the cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  2. Remove the cream cheese from the microwave and mix the ranch dip mix into the cream cheese until thoroughly combined.
  3. Start making your wraps. Place one wrap down onto your work surface. Evenly spread 1/4 cup of the ranch cream cheese onto the wrap, getting all the way to the edges of the wrap. 
  4. Layer 4 slices of ham evenly across the cream cheese wrap.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon diced green onion evenly onto the ham. 
  6. Starting at the bottom edge of the wrap, tightly roll the wrap.  Seal the ends of the wrap with the cream cheese that is spread onto your wrap. Set the wrap aside and repeat steps 3-6 with the remaining 3 wraps. 
  7. Wrap the 4 pinwheel wraps tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  After chilling, remove the wraps from the fridge.  Using a sharp knife, cut the wraps into 1 inch thick slices. 
  8. Serve & enjoy!

Salami & Pesto Cream Cheese Pinwheel Wrap

  1. Soften the cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  2. Remove the cream cheese from the microwave and mix the basil pesto into the cream cheese until thoroughly combined.
  3. Start making your wraps. Place one wrap down onto your work surface. Evenly spread 1/4 cup of the pesto cream cheese onto the wrap, getting all the way to the edges of the wrap. 
  4. Layer 6 slices of salami evenly across the cream cheese wrap.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon diced sundried tomatoes evenly onto the salami. 
  6. Starting at the bottom edge of the wrap, tightly roll the wrap.  Seal the ends of the wrap with the cream cheese that is spread onto your wrap. Set the wrap aside and repeat steps 3-6 with the remaining 3 wraps. 
  7. Wrap the 4 pinwheel wraps tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  After chilling, remove the wraps from the fridge.  Using a sharp knife, cut the wraps into 1 inch thick slices. 
  8. Serve & enjoy!

Notes

  • When cutting the wraps, place them seam side down. 
  • If you are still struggling with keeping your pinwheels together, use some toothpicks! 
  • If you plan on packing your pinwheels in a cooler for the day, I suggest waiting to cut them. They will take up far less room in your cooler if you individually wrap them in plastic wrap instead of cutting them into bites and storing them in Tupperware. 
  • To make gluten free, swap out the wheat based wraps with a gluten free wrap.
  • To make dairy free, simply use a non-dairy cream cheese. 
  • Category: lunch, appetizer, snack
  • Method: Wrap
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to make pinwheel sandwiches, pinwheel wraps, ham and cheese pinwheel

How to serve pinwheel sandwiches

  • Serve the pinwheels at lunch alongside a delicious soup or a garden salad.
  • Pinwheel sandwiches make an excellent appetizer! Display them on a plate over green leaf lettuce.
  • Kids love pinwheels for a snack! If I was serving these to kids only, I would eliminate the green onions and the sundried tomatoes. Kids usually don’t love strong flavors so eliminating these ingredients would make them more child friendly.

Have you made my sandwich pinwheels? Tell me all about it in the comment section below!