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These Italian Pinwheels with Cream Cheese are as easy as they are delicious! Filled with savory meat and cheese layered on a flavorful cream cheese spread, they’re the perfect party appetizer or finger food for any gathering.
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Italian Pinwheel Recipe
We love pinwheels in my house, mainly because they’re as much fun to make as they are to eat. These tasty Italian pinwheels start with a simple herb, cream cheese mixture that’s spread onto flour tortillas. Load them with your favorite Italian meats and cheeses, then just roll and slice them into these irresistible pinwheel bites.
These pinwheels make a perfect appetizer for any party. You can also just leave them whole and enjoy them as an Italian pinwheel sandwich for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. They’re also great for lunch boxes or packing up for a picnic or day at the beach.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy: These Italian pinwheels are so easy to assemble with deli Italian meat and cheese.
- Delicious: They have all the same flavors of an Italian sub but in fun bite-sized pinwheels.
- Great appetizer: Pinwheels are perfect finger foods for parties and game day snacking.
- Flour tortillas
- Cream cheese, softened
- Italian seasoning
- Tomato, diced
- Romaine lettuce, chopped
- Red bell pepper, chopped
- Sliced ham
- Sliced mozzarella cheese
- Sliced Pepperoni
Exact ingredients, instructions, and nutritional information is provide in the recipe card below.
How to Make Italian Pinwheels
Step 1. Add softened cream cheese and Italian seasoning to a small mixing bowl. Mix until ingredients are well combined.
Step 2. Add diced tomato and red pepper and stir well.
Step 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 4. Lay your tortilla on the lined baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over over the 4 tortillas.
Step 5. Sprinkle the lettuce in an even layer over each one.
Step 6. Add a layer of mozzarella (3 slices) across the middle of each, with edges overlapping to cover the tortilla.
Step 7. Repeat with 3 slices each of salami and ham.
Step 8. Add pepperoni slices along the side so that each tortilla is fully covered.
Step 9. Using your hands, gently roll the tortilla.
Step 10. Repeat steps 4-8 for each tortilla and place the cooking sheet into the refrigerator for an hour to chill.
Step 11. Just before serving, remove from fridge and slice into ¾ -1 inch pieces to make the perfect appetizer sized-bites.
Tip: If the tortillas start to unroll, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating them. You can also use toothpicks to hold them together.
Refrigerator: For unsliced pinwheels, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. If you’ve already sliced them, just refrigerate them in an airtight container. They’re best when eaten within a day or two because otherwise the tortilla will begin to get soggy.
Freezer: If you want to freeze them, it’s best to do so before slicing. Again, wrap them well with plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag. They can be frozen for up to a couple of months.
Italian Pinwheels Recipe Variations
- Cheese: Swap out the mozzarella with sliced provolone cheese if you prefer. You can also use white cheddar or pepper jack cheese.
- Meats: We used genoa salami, but you can use prosciutto, capicola or even Italian roast beef from the deli.
- Seasonings: Instead of dried herbs, you can make the cream cheese mixture with a tablespoon of dry Italian dressing mix. Add extra flavor by mixing in a pinch of onion and garlic powder.
- Cream cheese: We use block cream cheese but whipped garlic and herb Italian cream cheese spread also works great with these pinwheels. You can even use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese.
- Peppers: Instead of raw peppers, try these with roasted red bell peppers or chipotle peppers.
- Other veggies: Give these a little kick of heat by adding sliced pepperoncini peppers. Or for a little sweetness you can add diced sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh ones to the cream cheese or use spinach instead of lettuce.
You can make these pinwheel appetizers up to a day in advance. I prefer to make mine just a few hours before serving because the tortillas will start to get soggy the longer they sit.
These Italian pinwheels are the perfect appetizer to serve alongside other hearty bites. How many you will need depends on what else you are serving. Generally, if serving with other finger foods, you should plan on 2-4 pinwheels per person. If serving them as a meal, plan on 1/2-1 tortilla per person.
Because of the amount of fillings, we use the large burrito size tortillas. This is also a great recipe to serve as a wrap using 8-inch taco size tortillas.
Though best when freshly made, you can freeze these for up to a couple of months.
Want More Tasty Appetizer Recipes?
Looking for more delicious appetizers for parties? These delicious finger foods are always a hit!
- Mini Cheese Balls
- Sausage Balls without Bisquick
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
- Baked Jalapeno Poppers
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tomato medium sized, diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 4 10" flour tortillas
- 3 leaves romaine lettuce chopped
- 12 slices mozzarella cheese
- 12 slices salami
- 12 slices ham
- 32 pepperoni slices approx. one bag
- Add softened cream cheese and Italian seasoning to a small mixing bowl. Mix until ingredients are well combined.8 ounces cream cheese, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Add diced tomato and red pepper and stir well.1 tomato, 1 red bell pepper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay your tortilla on the lined baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over over the 4 tortillas.4 10" flour tortillas
- Sprinkle the lettuce in an even layer over each one.3 leaves romaine lettuce
- Add a layer of mozzarella (3 slices) across the middle of each, with edges overlapping to cover the tortilla.12 slices mozzarella cheese
- Repeat with 3 slices each of salami and ham.12 slices salami, 12 slices ham
- Add pepperoni slices along the side so that each tortilla is fully covered.32 pepperoni slices
- Using your hands, gently roll the tortilla.
- Repeat steps 4-8 for each tortilla and place the cooking sheet into the refrigerator for an hour to chill.