These pinwheel sandwiches are just as perfect for parties as they are for tucking into lunchboxes! With cream cheese, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes, each bite of these vegan tortilla roll-ups is packed with flavour.
Pinwheel sandwiches—also known as tortilla roll-ups—are a staple of baby showers, bridal showers, and other parties where you need finger foods for pairing with Peach Bellinis and other cocktails. Although simple, they’re also delicious and easy to make—I mean, what’s not to love?!
I’m such a big fan of pinwheel sandwiches that I make them on the regular. A batch will last me several days for an easy grab-and-go lunch or snack since they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
This recipe for pinwheel sandwiches pairs cream cheese with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes for a Mediterranean-inspired flavour combination that is simply irresistible. But you can feel free to get creative and experiment with different fillings too—I share some ideas below!
Why You’ll Love This Pinwheel Sandwiches Recipe
- Practically effortless. While I love hot appetizers like Corn Nuggets and Sambusas, pinwheel sandwiches are a no-cook recipe that can be assembled in minutes.
- Make-ahead friendly. Prepare these in advance for a stress-free party or pack them up for a quick lunch. They’re even better after a day in the fridge!
- Customisable. Get creative with the filling and make these tortilla roll-ups your own! This is a recipe where it’s hard to go wrong.
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
Vegan Pesto (or Use My Easy 10-Minute Basil Pesto Recipe):
- Cashews – I use raw cashews for this recipe.
- Fresh basil – Standard Genovese basil is best in this recipe.
- Olive oil – A fruity, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil will really take the pesto to the next level!
- Nutritional yeast – For a cheesy flavour without adding cheese.
- Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice adds a bright note.
- Salt and pepper
- Vegan cream cheese – You can use homemade vegan cream cheese or store-bought.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – I use the kind that comes in oil. If you’d like, you can use the oil from the jar to make the pesto.
- Grated vegan Parmesan – Both store-bought or homemade vegan Parmesan will work for these pinwheel sandwiches.
- Tortillas – Flour tortillas are best; this is also a great recipe for using flavoured tortillas like spinach or sun-dried tomato.
How to Make Pinwheel Sandwiches
- Make the pesto. Pulse the cashews and garlic in a food processor until crumbly. Blend in the basil, then drizzle in the oil while the food processor runs. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, processing until smooth.
- Whip the cream cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the vegan cream cheese on high speed until it’s light, fluffy, and easy to spread.
- Finish the cream cheese filling. Fold the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, and vegan Parmesan into the whipped vegan cream cheese.
- Fill and roll. Divide the filling onto the tortillas. Roll each tortilla tightly.
- Chill. Wrap the rolled tortillas in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Slice. Remove the tortilla roll-ups from the refrigerator and unwrap them. Use a sharp knife to cut them into pinwheels, then serve.
Tips for Success
- Soften the cream cheese first. To make sure the cream cheese whips easily for that light, fluffy texture, let it soften at room temperature before using it.
- Use fresh tortillas. Stale tortillas are prone to tearing and crumbling when rolled or sliced, so use fresh ones for best results. They should feel pliable when you bend them.
- Don’t overfill. Too much filling can lead to messy and difficult-to-roll pinwheel sandwiches. If you need to, use a fifth tortilla rather than overfilling four.
- Roll tightly, but not too tight. If you use too much pressure, the cream cheese filling will spill out of the sides. Roll tightly to keep everything together, but not so tight that you’re squeezing filling out.
- Chill before slicing. Letting the pinwheels chill in the refrigerator allows them to firm up, making them easier to slice through neatly.
Can Pinwheels Be Made the Night Before?
Yes, pinwheels can be made the night before! In fact, it’s best to let them chill in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and serving. Not only does this make them easier to slice, but it also allows the flavours to meld together, making for a more delicious pinwheel sandwich.
- Swap the cream cheese for hummus. For a slightly different flavour, replace the cream cheese with hummus.
- Add in some more veggies. Very thinly sliced cucumbers, minced bell peppers, or shredded carrots would make great additions to these pinwheel sandwiches.
- Try another variety of pesto. Parsley pesto, pea pesto, or even kale pesto would be delicious in this recipe.
Pinwheel sandwiches make a delicious addition to a vegan charcuterie board to give it a little more variety than your standard plant-based meats and cheeses. For school lunches, thread them onto small skewers with cherry tomatoes for some colour and fun.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep leftover pinwheel sandwiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you need to stack them, place parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, you can freeze pinwheel sandwiches! Just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before serving. (Note that the texture isn’t quite as good after freezing, so I only recommend this method of storage if you have a lot of leftovers on hand and can’t eat them all within a few days.)
More Vegan Appetizer Recipes
- Loaded Potato Skins
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Vegan Cranberry Meatballs
- Strawberry Salsa
- Vegan Dumplings With Dipping Sauce
Enjoy friends! If you make this pinwheel sandwiches recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
For the vegan pesto:
- ⅓ cup cashews, 37 grams
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 ½ cups packed fresh basil, 57.5 grams
- ¼ cup quality olive oil, 59 ml
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 21 grams
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 5 ml
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the pinwheels:
- 24 ounces vegan cream cheese, 680 grams
- ¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped, 177 ml
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 2 cups grated vegan parmesan, 200 grams
- 4 tortillas
- In a food processor, blend the cashews and garlic until crumbly. Blend in the basil until nicely chopped. Keep the food processor running and drizzle in the olive oil. Blend in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the vegan cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Fold the vegan pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, and vegan parmesan into the whipped vegan cream cheese until well incorporated.
- Spread ¼ of the vegan cream cheese mixture over a tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling (but not so tightly that the filling squishes out). Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Wrap the rolled tortillas in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Slice into 1-inch pinwheels and serve.
- To store: Keep leftover pinwheel sandwiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Wrap the pinwheels tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.