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Easy Party Tortilla Pinwheels - Appetizers Recipe

Updated on July 6, 2015

What are pinwheels?

As far as appetizers go, pinwheels consist of a rolled-up cream cheese mixture (with other ingredients) in flour tortillas, sliced and served with a dip or alone. I make them just about every year for my nearly annual Christmas party. Salsa makes a great dip for them. This appetizer is a favorite for my guests, and I rarely have any left by the end of the night.

Pinwheels are easy to make, versatile with ingredients that can be used, and are loved by virtually any and every guest.

Ingredients for Pinwheels

I package burrito size tortillas

2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 4 oz. can chopped black olives

1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies

¼ cup chopped green onions

1 jar of your favorite salsa

Optional: 1 small package wafer thin ham, chopped in tiny pieces

An Appetizer of Pinwheels

I'm going to show a picture of my own as soon as I make them for my next holiday party!
I'm going to show a picture of my own as soon as I make them for my next holiday party! | Source

Rate what you think about this recipe!

5 stars from 1 rating of Pinwheels


Combine cream cheese, garlic, black olives, green chilies, and green onions in mixing bowl. Add ham if desired. When I first started having my annual Christmas party, my best friend was a vegetarian, so I left out the ham. That was fine with me, as I never desired to add it after she moved away. The pinwheels are great without the ham--you decide!

Mix ingredients well. This can be made ahead the day before needed and refrigerated. Actually, the flavors blend better as they set, so letting the mixture set the day before is not too long at all.

Place a few large spoonfuls of the mix on tortilla and spread all over. Roll up tightly. Use as many tortillas as you need to use up cream cheese mixture. Place in refrigerator and allow to set for a couple of hours, (or overnight if you wish), as tortillas will slice more easily. When ready, slice them up—about ¼ to ½ inch thick—and arrange on a serving tray with a small bowl in the middle. Fill bowl with your favorite salsa. These pinwheels with salsa are a great combination. You won’t be disappointed in this appetizer, whether for Christmas or any other time of year. And neither will your guests!

Optional Ingredients for Party Pinwheels

Here are some other possible additions you can mix and match in your cream cheese pinwheels:

  • green olives
  • red pimentos
  • chopped chives
  • chopped dried beef
  • bacon bits (preferably freshly cooked and crushed)
  • capers
  • finely chopped green, red, orange, or yellow bell peppers

Really, anything you like that you can chop and mix in with a few other ingredients will work in a cream cheese roll-up.

A really easy pinwheel: Pimento Cheese Pinwheels

Another tasty and extremely easy pinwheel is the pimento cheese pinwheel. Just buy a tub of pimento cheese and spread it on a flour tortilla. Chop it up and voila--you're done!

Add extra pimentos or green olives if you wish. I have also spread pimento cheese on different flavored flour tortillas such as tomato basil or spinach tortillas.

Since I love pimento, and these pinwheels are so easy, I get the ingredients for pimento cheese pinwheels from time to time just for me. Party or no party, these are great snacks or lunchtime food!

Make great party appetizers!

Whether you have a lot of time to plan a party or very little, making pinwheels is a fast an easy appetizer. You can make cream cheese roll-ups in no time, adding a few of your choice items to the mix. To make things even easier, opt for the pimento cheese roll-ups.

Whatever you decide, you're sure to love any pinwheels you try! Experiment--and enjoy!

These look great!


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    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      They are good, alocin! thanks for reading and voting!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Visually interesting and tasty as well. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yeah, randomcreative, I feel, too, that this recipe would be great for any situation. They're so tasty!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      So easy and delicious! Perfect for just about any kind of party. Thanks for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yes, they are addicting, Arlene. Can't stop at just one!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      It IS delish, carcro! Thanks for the vote up!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Prasetio--I love this recipe. Hope you do, too!

      JT--I do hope you try it. I'll have to make some myself soon!

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      7 years ago

      Victoria Lynn, someone put a plate of these in front of me, and I could not resist eating them. This was years ago, but they are so addicting! Simple and delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg

      That looks delish Victoria, thanks for the recipe. Looks easy to make and very tasty too. Voted Up!

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      7 years ago from Florida

      These look and sound awesome. I might have to try this recipe this season!!


    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was so delicious. I believe that Christmas party will looks so great. Thank you very much!


    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      eye say--I bet they would be. Just make sure it's a lunchbox that's kept cool so the cream cheese doesn't run away! haha. I love these. Makes me want to make some real soon!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Try them, lady rain! They're pretty easy to make and can be eaten any time of the year!!

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 

      7 years ago from Canada

      these look like they'd be great for my kids lunches too!

      good hub!

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Looks so delicious! I don't think I can wait till Christmas to try this out!


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