Pinwheel Sandwiches are Rolled Sandwiches using tortilla wraps with a tasty filling. For this recipe I focus on a chicken cream cheese layer. Simply combine the ingredients, spread on the tortilla sheets, wrap and cut. They work as appetizers, lunch box fillers or game day snacks.
What are Pinwheel Sandwiches
Pinwheel Sandwiches are sandwiches made with a tortilla wrap which gets layered with filling and then rolled.
They are then cut into individual portions and served as such.
Also known as rolled sandwiches, they can be made from bread with the crusts removed.
There is an enormous array of fillings that can be used for these sandwiches.
Popular choices are deli meats, salad ingredients, pickles, spinach, cheese and sauce.
They can be made in advance and it is best to avoid wet ingredients that will make them soggy!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
There are a million reasons why you will love this recipe. Here are a few that I think you will enjoy the most:
- Quick, easy and no bake: we simply combine the filling, stir it and dollop on the tortillas. Then we roll them, there is no oven or microwave involved!
- Fuss free and effortless: party planning doesn't have to get complicated. With a few handy recipes like this up your sleeve, you will be able to whip them out as needed.
- Easy to find ingredients: each of the ingredients can be easily sought at your local grocery store. The best thing is that none are so perishable that you have to run out and grab them on the day!
- Kid Friendly and Popular: these roll ups are suitable for all ages and enjoyed by all ages at the same time!
- Filling and Healthy: these sandwiches offer an alternative to pastry based appetisers. People love having variety and these deliver that big time!
- Taste and texture: the filling for these roll ups has it all. A soft, creamy texture, but also firmer chewy bits. They offer a lot of variety!
- All Cook Levels: Be it your kids, your teenage son or juniors leaving home for the 1st time, these roll ups can be made by all levels of cooking ability!
Top Tip 1: This is a great recipe to make in advance. Be organised and stress less knowing that they are in the fridge, ready to go as needed!
Everything you need to make these sandwiches is shown in the photo below. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, please refer to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Tortilla Wraps: I am using large wholegrain wraps. Feel free to use white, wholemeal or spinach flavoured wraps. The key is to get the large size in order to fill and roll them.
- Chicken meat: you can use left over chicken or store bought chicken. Instead of a thin deli meat, try using a thicker portion of chicken. You can always use kitchen scissors to chop them into small pieces if needed.
- Cream Cheese: this is the ingredient that holds the filling together. It is best to work with at room temperature as it will have softened enough to stir it.
- Gherkins: these bring both taste and texture to the recipe. As they come in a jar of brine, it is best to both drain these and use paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. This will ensure that your pinwheels don't go soggy if made in advance.
- Red onion: we only use a small amount of this, however it brings flavour and texture to the recipe, so try not to skip it!
- Salt and pepper: we use these to season the filling. you might also like to sprinkle some cracked pepper on the sandwiches as you serve them.
Top Tip 2: Grab the cream cheese out of the fridge as soon as you are ready to make these. It is much easier to work with if it is at room temperature.
Here are the step by step instructions to bring this recipe together. We start by combining the filling ingredients, you will need a mixing bowl to start.
- Combine all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl (Photo 1)
- Use a spoon to stir till consistently combined (Photo 2)
- Spread filling onto tortilla in one thick layer (Photo 3)
- Roll tortilla into a long wrap (Photo 4)
The filling is quite thick, so you will need a little robustness to stir it together.
If the cream cheese is at room temperature, this will be easy to do.
It will be easiest to work one by one when filling the tortillas. Place them on a chopping board to give you a solid basis to work on.
- Roll the tortillas, wrap in glad wrap and place in the fridge (Photo 5)
- Remove, discard wrap and cut into portions (Photo 6)
The reason why we roll, wrap and place in freezer is to give the filling ingredients a chance to firm up.
This makes them cutting them easier and less messy!
If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, but there might be a little cheese mixture oozing out.
When ready to serve the pinwheels, simply place on a plate, pop a small bowl of sauce on there and you are all set!
They will disappear quickly, flying off the plate!
When you are plating the pinwheels, you have the option to use toothpicks to ensure they stay together.
As the filling for these is so thick and firm, you will likely find that they are not needed. Keep them in mind however, if any start to unravel.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store the sandwiches in a sealed air tight container.
They will last 2 to 3 days.
How to Freeze
Some pinwheel recipes can be frozen, however, due to the cream cheese filling and soft tortilla wrap, this recipe is best served fresh, unfrozen.
How to Reheat
This is a no bake recipe.
It does not require reheating.
If you want to toast leftovers, you can do that in the sandwich press. Line with parchment paper (top and bottom) so that any excess cheese can be easily cleaned up.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
There are plenty of things you can do to switch in, switch out or modify this recipe to your preferences. Try any of the following:
- Use green (spinach flavoured) tortilla wraps.
- Add some chopped red pepper (capsicum).
- Use turkey meat instead of chicken.
- Add some cooked bacon pieces.
- Substitute celery for the gherkins (similar crunch factor).
- You can use Greek Yoghurt instead of cream cheese, however, you will need a lot less. We don't want to filling to be too wet, so only use ¼ cup.
- Add some cheese slices to the tortilla instead of the parmesan cheese in the filling mixture.
- Place a layer of spinach leaves onto the tortilla before adding the chicken mixture.
- Alternatively use a green leaf lettuce and layer it, spreading the cream cheese mixture on top.
💡 Tasty Tips
These are the best of my tips and tricks for this recipe. I want to share them with you so you succeed from the get go:
- Dollop the filling onto the tortillas with a spoon and then spread with a butter knife.
- Don't go all the way to the edges, keep a slight border.
- Roll the tortillas, quite firmly, this will ensure there is no gaps when cutting them.
- Cut the end bit off each rolled tortilla and discard these bits.
- If making in advance, keep them rolled in plastic and cut when ready to serve.
- If the pinwheels are unrolling a little, use toothpicks to pin them together.
- If you are more of a fan of grilled cheese than rolled sandwiches you might like to try the Brie Grilled Cheese, Havarti Grilled Cheese or the Ham And Cheese Toastie.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What are pinwheel sandwiches made of?
Pinwheel Sandwiches are made from a tortilla or bread base, filled with a high protein combination of ingredients.
Can you make pinwheels the night before?
Yes, you can make these the night before.
If making in advance, it is recommended to keep them rolled and wrapped in the cling wrap. When ready to serve, simply remove from the fridge, discard the plastic and slice into individual portions.
How do you keep pinwheels from getting soggy?
To avoid soggy pinwheels, steer clear of very wet ingredients or thin sauces. You can also use dryer ingredients such as lettuce or spinach in between the bread layer and inner filling.
Is pinwheel sandwich is hot or cold?
This recipe however, is best served at room temperature, or straight from the fridge.
What is the best sandwich ever?
It is hard to name just one sandwich as the best ever as there is a lot of personal preference involved. However, over the years these are commonly some of the most popular sandwiches:
- Grilled Cheese
- BLT Sandwich
- Roast Beef Sandwiches
- Cucumber Sandwiches
- Egg and Lettuce
- Grilled Chicken
- Salad Sandwich
😍 More Easy Game Day Recipes
Everything you need to get your party started is right here on the blog. I've got the sweet, I've got the savory and both cold and hot appetizers.
Some ideas for you to try are:
- Air Fryer Sausage Rolls
- Brie Croissant
- Marinated Lamb Ribs
- Easy Air Fryer Party Pies
- BBQ Lamb Ribs
- Pecan Pinwheels
- Slow Cooker Lamb Ribs
- Jalapeno Pinwheels
- Peanut Butter Pinwheels
- Nutella Puff Pastry
Get your tortillas and roll them up my friends!
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1 Soup Spoon
- 1 Butter Knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Cling Wrap
- 1 Sharp Knife
- 4 large tortilla wraps Note 1
- 4 cups shredded chicken meat Note 2
- 250 grams/ 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 tbs diced red onion
- 7 gherkins roughly chopped, Note 3
- ½ cup parmesan cheese Note 4
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add chicken pieces, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, gherkin pieces, diced onion, salt and pepper to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Use a soup spoon to consistently combine.
- Working 1 at a time, place tortilla wrap onto chopping board. Dollop chicken cheese mixture onto the wrap and use a butter knife to spread into 1 thick layer.
- Start at one edge of the tortilla and roll tightly into a long wrap.
- Wrap cling flim around filled tortilla and place in the fridge (optional).
- After 30 mins, remove from the fridge, unravel plastic wrap, discard a slight empty piece from either end and cut into portions.
- Serve immediately.
- Note 1 You can purchase white, wholegrain, wholemeal or spinach flavours. Any of these will be fine, but make sure you get a large size!
- Note 2 I use a 500 gram bag of store bought chicken pieces and kitchen scissors to chop them into smaller pieces.
- Note 3 The gherkins are the wettest of the ingredients being added to the sandwiches. So it is important to both drain them as well as blot them dry with paper towel. This will ensure that the pinwheels don't get soggy as we are not putting extra moisture into them.
- Note 4 Choose a parmesan cheese that has a sharp bold flavour to it. The bite of the cheese will contrast nicely with the soft creaminess of the cream cheese.