Jalapeno Pinwheels are crispy, flaky and delicious! With store bought puff pastry, bacon and a cream cheese filling, they make the best ever appetizer. Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels need to be at every party!
I have summarised the reasons why you will love (love, love) this recipe and make it (many times):
- Cream cheese, bacon and pastry, does it get any better!
- Quick, easy and versatile.
- Work as a snack, appetizer, game day food or finger food.
- They smell seriously amazing when cooking!
- Easy to find ingredients.
- Budget friendly recipe (no super expensive ingredients).
- Can be oven baked or air fried.
- Minimal prep time needed.
- Savory snack food that doesn't take hours to prepare.
- Creamy, cheese filling with bacon throughout.
- Increase heat by leaving the seeds in.
- Decrease heat by removing the seeds.
The photo below is to give you a visual guide for what you need to purchase. The recipe card at the bottom of the post has detailed measurements and instructions.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- store bought frozen puff pastry sheets: this is different to short crust or phyllo pastry. In Australia, it is sold in the freezer section in square sheets. You can get a packet of 6 sheets or more. It works well for many recipes and is budget friendly. For the recipe, we need to thaw the pastry, so grab it out of the freezer to start whilst you prepare the filling.
- cream cheese: this versatile ingredient forms the base of the recipe in that we add the other ingredients to it for filling the pinwheels. You can purchase a spreadable type or buy a regular block and let it sit at room temperature for a little bit as it will soften and be easier to work with.
- jalapenos: these are a large green chilli pepper that bring great flavour to many recipes. We will be removing the seeds and chopping them into fine pieces, so that they are not too hot. If however, you want to maximise the heat factor, leave the seeds in.
- bacon: I recommend using store bought diced bacon. This saves time and effort as it can be simply added to the rest of the ingredients without chopping or dicing. We cook the bacon in the pinwheels, so it is not necessary to cook it separately.
- parmesan cheese: this brings additional cheese flavour to the pinwheels and a contrasting flavour to the cream cheese. Use a sharp, bold cheese with plenty of bite to it. This will usually be shown on the packet with a scale of cheese strength.
- dried onion: this saves time and tears, involves no chopping and still brings the onion flavour to recipes. You will find it in the herbs and spices section of the supermarket. It is a great ingredient and one of my all time favourites to use.
- salt and pepper: we use these to season the filling that goes into the pinwheels.
Top Tip 1: Many of these ingredients you can keep in the fridge or pantry on a regular basis. Simply grab and throw together if you know someone will be dropping in!
The photos below are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. For specifics, such as the oven temperature, check the recipe card.
- Add filling ingredients to mixing bowl (Photo 1)
- Stir to combine (Photo 2)
- Spread cream cheese jalapeno mixture onto pastry (Photo 3)
- Roll into tight long (Photo 4)
I use a standard soup spoon to mix the filling, as it has a short handle, it allows for a vigorous motion. If you use a long handled spoon and don't hang onto the bowl, you can loose your grip on it.
The cream cheese is quite thick, so keep stirring for a couple of minutes to ensure that the filling ingredients are mixed in consistently.
Dollop the mixture onto the thawed pastry and use a butter knife to spread into one layer.
Top Tip 2: You will find that the pastry is soft and easy to accidently put a hole in. Avoid this by being gentle and using short, soft strokes with the knife. (It is all in the technique of application).
- Wrap pastry log and place in freezer (Photo 5)
- Remove and slice into individual portions (Photo 6)
- Place pinwheels onto lined baking tray (Photo 7)
- Bake for 25 to 30 mins (Photo 8)
Jalapeno Pinwheel Method
Wrapping the pastry log with plastic wrap and placing it into the freezer for 30 mins is an optional step.
The reason I recommend that you do this as it is less messy (the ingredients firm up in the freezer) so when you cut the log less of the filling will spill out from the pastry.
When placing the pinwheels onto the baking tray if any have unwound, simply use your finger tips to push them back into a scroll.
Top Tip 3: I recommend using a silicon baking mat if you have one. This is because the pinwheels won't get a soggy base as the mat doesn't get wet the same way baking (parchment paper) does.
As you can see from the photo above, I like to serve the pinwheels with a small bowl of yogurt.
This works both to pacify any heat from the pinwheels at the same time as allowing people to get their dip and dunk on.
Working perfectly as finger food, an appetizer or snack, they will fly off the plate as soon as they hit the table!
I have mentioned in the substitutions and variations below that you can if you wish, brush the pastry with a beaten egg. This will give the pastry a more golden colour.
You can also spray them with olive oil before baking if you want. Whilst these are not essential steps you can do them if you choose to.
If you are in a huge rush, skip freezing the log, don't brush them with egg or spray with oil and simply pop them in the oven.
How to Guide
How to Store
Pinwheels are best stored in a sealed, air tight container.
They can last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze
To freeze the pinwheels, allow them to cool after baking.
Once cooled, transfer them to a sealed air tight container.
Place in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to Reheat
You can reheat the cooked pinwheels in the oven or air fryer.
Simply place on baking tray or into the basket.
The oven will take 10 -15 mins to reheat the pinwheels and the air fryer will do them in 5 to 10 mins.
I recommend serving the pinwheels hot (warmed) with a bowl of dipping sauce.
All of my homemade sauces might give you inspiration for a pairing.
You can also chop some fresh herbs and sprinkle over as well as a touch of grated parmesan cheese if you wish.
If you want to take the pinwheels to work or a picnic, you can also serve them cold.
Due to cheese filling, it is best to keep them in the fridge until serving and remove not long prior to consumption.
Substitutions and Variations
There are a few (zillion) things that you can do to switch this recipe up a little. You might like to try one of the following:
- Brush the pinwheels with egg prior to cooking.
- Spray the pinwheels with olive oil prior to cooking.
- Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on 5 mins before the end of the cook time.
- Keeping the seeds in the filling (hot, hot, hot).
- Add a pinch of garlic powder.
- Adding a teaspoon of sriracha (hot chilli sauce) if you want more heat!
- Use shredded cheddar cheese instead of parmesan cheese.
- Throw some finely diced capsicum (bell pepper) into the filling mix.
- Substitute diced ham for the bacon.
- Use either pancetta or prosciutto instead or as well as the bacon.
- Swap out the bacon and in some shredded cooked chicken.
- If you want to do this as a rolled tortilla recipe you can, but you will need to cook the bacon 1st.
- Omit the bacon for a vegetarian alternative.
Top Tip 4: If you want to do the vegetarian alternative that I have mentioned above, do add chopped red capsicum as it will give the contrasting colour that the bacon would have provided. Or you can use the vegetarian fake bacon alternative.
These are my top tips and tricks to get the recipe right from the 1st time and every following time you make it!
- Grab the pastry out of the freezer as a starting point so it has a chance to defrost.
- Chop the jalapenos as finely as you can.
- Ensure that the cream cheese filling is consistently mixed through by stirring until there are no parts of white cream cheese lumps.
- Imagine a slight border on the pastry and don't go all the way to the edges.
- Roll the pastry as tightly as you can into a log.
- When removing from the freezer, cut each end off (the bit with no filling).
- Ensure the oven is preheated so that the pinwheels start cooking straight away.
Best Tip: If you look at the step by step photos, you will see that some of the filling will seep out (the cheese melts) as they are cooking. A silicon mat ensures that the base stays dry and not soggy as the cheese firms up as they cool. Baking paper/parchment paper won't have the same effect. Definitely don't use alfoil (tin foil). There is too much risk of all of the good stuff sticking to it and not staying in the pastry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are jalapeno peppers hot?
Jalapeno peppers can be hot if the seeds are consumed.
They can be made much more mild if the seeds are removed.
Whilst they do have a little heat, they are by far not the hottest pepper available.
What does jalapeño taste like?
Jalapenos taste much like a bell pepper or capsicum, the main difference being their potential spice/heat if the seeds are left in.
They have a thicker, firmer texture that chillis which are similar in appearance.
Jalapenos tend to be shorter and thicker than green or red chillis.
Can I make pinwheels the day before?
Yes you can make pinwheels the day before. When doing so, it is best to store them in a sealed, air tight container.
If wanting to make more than a day in advance, it is best to bake them, let them cool and store in the freezer.
How do I keep pinwheels from getting soggy?
A silicon baking mat is a better choice than parchment paper or baking paper when making pinwheels.
This is because any moisture from the filling does not sit at the base of the pastry and make it soggy.
Once the pinwheels have cooled, allow to cool slightly before transfering them to a cooling rack.
This will ensure that the pastry has the chance to crisp up.
Whether you love jalapenos, bacon, cheese or pastry, these will appeal to you and your savory taste buds. Parties can do with a little sweet and savory though, so here are a few of each you might like to get cracking on trying:
- Ham Cream Cheese Roll Ups
- Beef Mince Sausage Rolls
- Air Fryer Party Pies
- Coco Pop Crackles
- Golden Syrup Cornflake Cakes
- Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- Mini Sausage Rolls
- Chicken Sausage Rolls
- Air Fryer Frozen Samosa
Or have a read through my entire appetizer recipes in one spot!
Get a roll on on my friends!
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- `1 Chopping board
- 1 Knife
- 1 Medium sized Miixing Bowl
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Baking Mat
- 1 Butter Knife
- 1 Cling Wrap (Glad Wrap)
- 2 sheets puff pastry Note 1
- 2 jalapenos Note 2, remove seeds and dice finely.
- 200 grams/7 oz diced bacon Note 3
- 250 grams/9 oz grams cream cheese Note 4
- 2 teaspoon onion powder Note 5
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese Note 6
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Remove puff pastry from freezer and leave on bench (or in fridge over night prior) to thaw.
- Use a sharp knife and chopping board to cut jalapenos in half, remove the seeds (discard), then chop into fine pieces.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl add cream cheese, bacon, diced jalapeno, parmesan cheese, dried onion, salt and pepper. Stir till consistently combined.
- Working one by one, place thawed puff pastry sheet onto chopping board. Spoon cream cheese mixture onto pastry and use a butter knife to spread into a layer. Leave a slight uncovered bit at each of the 4 sides.
- Start at one edge and roll the pastry into a tight log. Wrap in glad wrap (cling wrap) and place in the freezer (optional) for 30 mins.
- Remove pastry from freezer, unwrap and discard plastic. Use a sharp knife to cut each end off (discard) and the log into individual portions.
- Place pinwheels on baking tray, scroll side up.
- Transfer baking tray to oven and bake pinwheels for 25 to 30 mins.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Serve warm with Greek Yogurt (optional).
- Note 1 Store bought from the freezer section is fine. This is a different ingredient to short crust pastry and phyllo pastry.
- Note 2 If you are a huge fan of jalapenos, increase this quantity to 4.
- Note 3 Store bought diced bacon will save you chopping your own.
- Note 4 Grab this out of the fridge so it has a chance to soften as you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Note 5 This will be in the herbs and spices section of the store.
- Note 6 Or you can use shredded cheddar cheese.