Looking for a new quick and easy appetizer or side to throw in the mix? These Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels come together in just 25 minutes and are always the first to go at any party I’ve served them at. Cream cheese, olives, fresh herbs, heat, and spice…all packed into one delicious irresistible bite!
Everyone loves Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels! I mean, what’s not to like right? You really can’t just stop after eating a few. You’ll either find yourself hoovering over them or casually strolling back for more. Trust me, I’m an expert tortilla pinwheel eater 🙂
Here’s Why I Love Tortilla Pinwheels:
- Variety of different fillings
- Fun to eat
- Perfect for the entire family
- Easy to make-ahead for parties
Tortilla pinwheel recipes are very easy to prep and make, but there are a few basic things you need to know to get them perfect and disaster-free.
How to assemble tortilla pinwheels. I’m all for layering ingredients on a flat tortilla and simply rolling it up as tight as possible, but to me, that’s more of a wrap, not a pinwheel. Pinwheels need to stay assembled and tight as you cut them. Ingredients should not be falling out as you pick them up, and they should be relatively mess-free when serving. In other words, there should be some type of consistent “glue” holding them together as they’re rolled so that they don’t fall apart (i.e. cream cheese).
I prefer to keep the layer of ingredients quite thin so that they are bite-sized, but substantial enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re just eating rolled up plain tortilla. So instead of layering all the ingredients onto the tortilla (as my husband used to do), my ideal way of assembling them is to combine all the finely chopped ingredients with the cream cheese, and then spread that mixture onto the tortilla before rolling it up. That way, the tortilla has some place to stick and stay together as you roll and cut it up into small pieces. The key is to not over-stuff.
How to make tortilla pinwheels ahead of time and keep them from getting soggy. I’ve made this recipe countless times for large parties. So making them 1-2 days prior to serving is key! But at the same time, who wants to eat soggy rolled up tortilla right? So here’s my make-ahead method.
Prep all the ingredients using a chopper and make the cream cheese mixture 1-2 days prior, thereby also allowing the mixture to ‘marinate’ together for a longer time. The day before you plan on serving them, simply take out the mixture, spread a thin layer on each tortilla, roll them up tightly, stack them in a lined 9×13″ baking pan, cover completely with foil to avoid having them dry out, and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, cut each rolled tortilla into pinwheels using a sharp non-serrated knife. This makes it easy to prep ahead of time while keeping them from getting soggy. Leftovers taste great even the day after!
So how exactly do you make these irresistible cream cheese pinwheels that I’ve been talking about this entire post? Check out the recipe below and try them out for yourself! You’ll not only find out that they’re easy to make, but also that they’re customizable and the perfect party plate (Cinco de Mayo is coming up!). And one of the best part about making these easy Mexican roll ups yourself, is that you get to “try them out” at the same time. You know those end pieces that don’t roll quite right? Yep…they end up going straight in my mouth! 🙂
Try this vegan Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels recipe and let me know what you think! Be sure to tag me on Facebook or Instagram, @vegetariangastronomy #vegetariangastronomy, with your re-makes so I can share them on IG for my “RE-MAKE FRIDAYS“. And if you need some more last minute recipe ideas for Cinco de Mayo, check them out here. I’d love to know your favorite tortilla pinwheel filling in the comments below!
These vegan pinwheels are the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer! They're easy and quick to make ahead of time, and the first to go at any party.
- 3.8 oz. vegan cream cheese , I use Toffuti brand
- 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
- 4.25 oz. black olives , finely chopped from can
- 1/2 cup green onions , finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup jarred jalapenos , finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp juice from jalapeno jar
- 1/2 teasp garlic powder
- 1/4 teasp salt
- 1 teasp taco seasoning , see notes below
- 8 large tortillas , see notes below
- Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature.
- Combine all the ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl.
- Taste the mixture and adjust if needed with additional salt, taco seasoning, and/or jalapeno for extra spice.
- Place one tortilla flat on a large cutting board.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread a single layer of the cream cheese mixture on the tortilla. Make sure it's thick enough to just cover all of the tortilla surface (but not too much so that it comes out the side when rolling).
- Starting at one end, using both hands at each side, slowly roll the tortilla as tightly as possible without squeezing out the cream cheese layer.
- Repeat with the remaining tortilla until you run out of the cream cheese mixture.
- Stack up the rolled tortilla in a 9x13 baking tray, and cover with foil to completely seal.
- Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight so it's cool and easier to cut.
- Working with one rolled tortilla at a time, use a sharp knife (not serrated), and cut about 3/4" thick rounds. You should end up with 8-10 pinwheels per roll-up.
- Repeat with the remaining tortilla roll-ups.
- Serve immediately, or layer the pinwheels (cut side up) back in the baking pan and cover completely with foil. Place back in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Enjoy as is or with your favorite salsa!
I prefer to use Tofutti Brand Vegan Cream Cheese, and Follow Your Heart Vegan Sour Cream.
I like to use a chopper for the olives (if not using canned) and jalapenos.
For the tortilla, try to use ones that are as thin as possible. I always use Trader Joe's large flour tortillas, but you can use your favorite brand. For a gluten-free version, I recommend softened corn tortilla or Follow Your Heart Gluten-Free Tortilla.
Make-Ahead Tip - You can make the cream cheese mixture and/or the tortilla roll-ups the day before. Simply store in air-tight container (or seal with foil) in the fridge and cut into pinwheels prior to serving. If you make the cream cheese mixture ahead of time, allow it to come to room temperature so that it's spreadable.
Kid-friendly Tip - omit the jalapenos.