Easy Italian Pinwheels With Cream Cheese

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1 hour 15 minutes

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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 roll ups on a plate.

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.

If you love pinwheels as much as we do, you’ll also want to try these BLT Pinwheels, Pizza Pinwheels and these Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels.

Italian pinwheels with toothpicks on a wooden cutting board.

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.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Italian pinwheels
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Italian seasoning
  • Tomato, diced
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salami
  • 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.

A bowl with cream cheese and italian seasoning
A bowl with cream cheese and seasoning mixture

Step 2. Add diced tomato and red pepper and stir well.

A bowl of chopped red peppers and tomatoes with cream cheese mixture
A bowl filled with cream cheese mixture for pinwheels

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.

A tortilla on a baking sheet next to a bowl of cream cheese mixture
A person using a spoon to spread cream cheese on a tortilla.

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.

A tortilla on a baking sheet with lettuce on it.
A tortilla with cheese and other ingredients on a baking sheet.

Step 7. Repeat with 3 slices each of salami and ham.

A tortilla with meat and cheese on a baking sheet.
A baking tray with meat and cheese on a tortilla

Step 8. Add pepperoni slices along the side so that each tortilla is fully covered.

Step 9. Using your hands, gently roll the tortilla.

Ham, pepperoni and cheese on a tortilla
Pinwheel with pepperoni and ham on a tray.
Wraps on a baking sheet next to a bowl of cream cheese mixture
Italian wraps on a baking sheet.

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.

Ham and cheese roll ups on a plate.

Storage Instructions

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 rolls stacked a white plate.

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.
Italian pinwheels on a plate.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make Italian roll-ups ahead of time?

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.

How many pinwheels per person do I need?

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.

What size tortilla is best to make pinwheels?

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.

Can you freeze pinwheels?

Though best when freshly made, you can freeze these for up to a couple of months.

A hand holding an italian pinwheel on a toothpick

Want More Tasty Appetizer Recipes?

Looking for more delicious appetizers for parties? These delicious finger foods are always a hit!

Italian pinwheels on a plate.
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Italian Pinwheels


Course Appetizer, Appetizers/Party Foods, Main Course, Snacks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
These Italian Pinwheels with Cream Cheese make the perfect party appetizer or a super easy dinner for the family. With savory meat and cheese layered on a flavorful cream cheese spread, they're as easy as they are delicious!

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

If the tortillas begin to unroll, try wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating them. Toothpicks also work great for holding them together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 729IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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