These vegetarian tortilla pinwheels are fun, quick, easy to make, and always a hit! Loaded with fresh vegetables, cream cheese, and spinach, these bite-sized veggie pinwheels can be served cold or warm (baked or air-fried). Perfect as an appetizer, school lunch, or snack!
I made these Vegetarian tortilla pinwheels as appetizers for my daughter's first birthday and everyone loved it.
I served them baked as I personally prefer the baked one over the cold but they taste delicious either way!!
If you are looking for an easy appetizer that you can make ahead of time, these tortilla pinwheels are the perfect recipe for you.
I've another Pinwheels recipe which is using a crescent dinner roll instead of a tortilla. Both recipes have their own unique taste and texture due to the base used. Whichever you try am sure you will like both.
What is Tortilla Pinwheels
Tortilla Pinwheels or tortilla roll-ups are tortillas filled, rolled up, and cut into thin slices. They make the perfect appetizer/snack recipe for any party or potluck.
Today I am sharing a vegetarian tortilla pinwheels recipe with you all that is a huge hit with all age groups.
To make these veggie tortilla pinwheels, we take a tortilla and layer it with a filling made of cream cheese, veggies (green onions, carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper), and spices, then sprinkle with cheese and a final layer of spinach.
Roll up the tortilla tight and then refrigerate before slicing and serving. The sliced tortilla roll-ups are called Tortilla pinwheels and are excellent finger foods for parties or even for afternoon tea. My kids love it for their school lunch.
I am sharing two ways you can serve these veggie pinwheel appetizers, cold or warm by baking or air-frying them. They taste delicious either way!
Serve these vegetable pinwheels with your favorite dipping sauce and see them get devoured in minutes.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's super simple and easy to make
- Can be made ahead of time,
- Looks pretty, tastes delicious,
- Can be made vegan and gluten-free
- Perfect as an appetizer, snacks, or for school lunch
- Crow pleaser for game day, picnics, parties, and potlucks
- Bonus: You can serve it two ways: hot (baked/air fried) or cold.
For the Filling
Cream cheese: Use softened cream cheese, at room temperature, so it is easy to combine with the other ingredients. You can also use vegan cream cheese to keep it vegan or use flavored varieties like garlic & herb, chive onion, or spicy jalapenos.
Veggies - I prefer using green onion for mild onion flavor but you can also use red onion. Along with that some red and green bell pepper, shredded carrots, and broccoli. You can also add corn or cabbage to this filling.
Spices: Salt, pepper, dry oregano, garlic powder, parsley flakes to flavor the filling.
For the pinwheels
Tortillas: For this recipe, use flour (not corn) as they are easier to roll and don't tear that easily. I have used a regular 8-inch soft flour tortilla, you can also use whole wheat or any of the flavored ones like spinach.
Spinach leaves: I have used fresh baby spinach as is. You can chop and add if needed.
Shredded cheese: I have used a shredded Mexican cheese blend. Use your favorite cheese. Cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack are some of my favorites to use.
Red chili flakes: Added to taste and optional.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How To Make Tortilla Pinwheels (Stepwise Method)
Make cream cheese veggie filling
1 & 2 - In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese (softened) with spices (salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley flakes). Mix well. You can also microwave the cream cheese for 10-15 seconds or until soft enough to mix.
3 - Next add the veggies - green onions, carrots, broccoli, red and green bell pepper.
4 - Mix well and divide the cream cheese mixture into 4 equal portions.
Make Veggie Tortilla Pinwheels
5 - Warm up the tortillas for 15 seconds in the microwave or on the stovetop (this helps make the tortilla soft and easy to roll). Place one portion of the cream cheese mixture and spread it evenly making sure you get as close to the edge as you can.
6 - Layer it with a generous amount of cheese, sprinkle red chili flakes (optional).
7 - Top it with an even layer of spinach leaves in the center only. Avoid sides.
8 - Starting from one side, roll the tortilla tight until you reach the opposite side. Apply cream cheese to the end (if more is required) to act as glue and help the tortilla stick.
9 - Take a plastic wrap and place the tortilla seam-side down on it. Roll it so that the wrap covers the entire tortilla tightly. Tuck the sides inside. Repeat this procedure for the other roll too. Store in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight.
These cream cheese veggie tortilla pinwheels can be served cold or warm (baked or air-fried). When ready to serve, get the rolls out of the fridge and unwrap. Slice off the edges that way you get clean cuts and then slice each roll into 6-7 evenly sized about ½ inch pinwheels (pieces).
10 - For the Cold Tortilla Pinwheels: Simply serve sliced pinwheels with your favorite dipping sauce.
11 and 12 - For the Baked Tortilla Pinwheels: Preheat the oven to 375°F, line the baking tray with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking oil. Place the cut tortilla pinwheels onto the sheet and bake for 10-15 mins until the cheese has melted and the tortilla edges are golden and crisp. Flip mid-way through.
Alternately you can air fry them for 6-8 mins, rotating halfway through until cheese has melted and edges are golden and crisp.
You can serve these pinwheels cold or warm (baked/air-fried) as appetizers, or snacks with your favorite dipping sauce. They are perfect for school lunch too.
I like to serve them with a mix of sour cream/mayo and sriracha sauce, Maggi hot and sweet sauce, or sweet red chili sauce but they will work great with ranch, Creamy Avocado Dip, or any dip of choice.
In the filling, you can add veggies of choice. Crunchy veggies like bell peppers, onion, grated carrots, green/purple cabbage, or broccoli make some great options. Makes sure to cut veggies into thin/fine pieces. You can also add sprouts or cooked beans for added nutrition.
Avoid using veggies like tomatoes or cucumber as they can make the wrap soggy due to their high water content.
I prefer to keep the filling neutral and instead serve with a spicy sauce so that it caters to everyone's taste. But you can add red chili flakes, red chili powder, or hot sauce to the filling based on your taste preference
Make sure to roll the pinwheels tightly and refrigerate them so they hold their shape when sliced. They may slightly expand and open when baked but still retain their shape. The melted cheese helps keep it together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, to make these vegan, simply use your favorite dairy-free cream cheese and shredded cheese.
Yes, because the wraps are covered with plastic wrap, they are a great make-ahead appetizer. You can easily make them the day before and then cut them just before serving. Don't cut them too far ahead of time or they will start to dry out.
Yes, you can freeze tortilla pinwheels for up to 2 months. I would skip the spinach if you plan to freeze them as it doesn't freeze well.
To freeze, cut the tortilla rolls into individual pieces and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for 2 hours. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe ziplock bag or container. Thaw and serve. I prefer baking my frozen pinwheels before serving.
To make these pinwheels gluten-free, replace the flour tortilla with gluten-free ones. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
More Easy Appetizers
More Recipes with Tortilla
Hope you enjoy these Veggie Tortilla Pinwheels!! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ in the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Vegetarian Tortilla Pinwheels
For the cream cheese filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese soft at room temperature
- 4-5 green onions finely chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper finely chopped, using mix of red and green
- ¼ cup carrots shredded
- ¼ cup broccoli finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper powder adjust to taste
- 4 flour tortillas
- cream cheese filling from above
- 1-2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup shredded cheese using mexican cheese blend
- Red chilli flakes optional and adjust to taste
For making cream cheese filling
- In a mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese followed by spices - salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley. Mix well. You can also microwave the cream cheese for 10-15 seconds or until soft enough to mix.
- Then add the veggies - green onions, red and green bell pepper, carrots, broccoli. Mix well and divide the cream cheese mixture into 4 equal portions.
For making the tortilla pinwheels
- Warm tortillas for 15 seconds in the microwave or on the stovetop (this helps make the tortilla soft and easy to roll).
- Place one portion of the cream cheese mixture and spread it evenly making sure you get as close to the edge as you can.
- Layer it with a generous amount of cheese, sprinkle some red chili flakes (optional).
- Top it with an even layer of spinach leaves. Make sure they are in the centre and not so much around the edges (for ease of tortilla sticking)
- Starting from one side, roll the tortilla tight until you reach the opposite side. Apply some cream cheese to the end (if more is required) to act as glue and help the tortilla stick.
- Take a plastic wrap and place the tortilla seam-side down on it. Roll it so that the wrap covers the entire tortilla tightly. Tuck the sides inside. Repeat this procedure for the other rolls too.
- Place these tortilla rolls in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight.
- These pinwheels can be served Cold or warm (baked or air-fried). When ready to serve, get the rolls out of the fridge and unwrap. Slice each roll into 6-7 evenly sized about ½ inch pinwheels (pieces).
For the Cold Tortilla Pinwheels:
- Simply serve the sliced pinwheels while they are still cold with your favorite dipping sauce.
For the Baked Tortilla Pinwheels:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, line the baking tray with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking oil. Place the sliced tortilla pinwheels on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is crisp and golden around the edges. Flip half-way through.
For the Air-fried Tortilla Pinwheels:
- Place the sliced tortilla pinwheels in the air fryer basket and air fry the pinwheels at 370°F for 6 to 8 mins, rotating halfway through or until cheese has melted and the edges are golden.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Apr 20, 2015, but was republished with, step by step instructions, updated photos, tips, and a video in Mar of 2022.