Tortilla Pinwheels

Tortilla Pinwheels |

Oh, Tuesday after Labor Day.  I have a serious love-hate thing going with you right now.

Our summer was magnificent.  The weather was just about perfect ALL summer.  Our grass never did turn that icky late-summer brown color, it’s still a gorgeous bright green.  We sat on the porch almost every evening and just enjoyed the weather while the kids played.  I was fortunate to be able to work from home this summer, so I got a lot of quality time with my kids.  The first day of school was a success, my daughter loves her new teacher, and my youngest jumped full-speed ahead into her first year of dance and gymnastics.  A GREAT summer.

But I am a TOTAL autumn girl.  September is my birthday month (yes, the whole month), the weather starts to cool, I shop for mums and pumpkins and straw bales to decorate my front porch.  Pumpkin and cinnamon aromas fill my kitchen, pumpkin-spice lattes replace my normal coffee, and football games become a part of almost every weekend.

Normally, the day after Labor Day feels like another holiday to me, but this year I’m actually kind of sad to let go of summer.  So what did we do today?  We baked with pumpkin (recipe later this week!) AND we made tortilla pinwheels.  I’m not sure that tortilla pinwheels really scream “summer” but let’s just pretend.

Tortilla Pinwheels |

You’ve had tortilla pinwheels before, right?  I’m not sure if they’re popular everywhere, or they’re just a Midwest-thing.

This seems like a bit of a cop-out post, but SO many people ask me for this recipe that I knew at some point it would have to make an appearance here on the blog.  This is one of those recipes that isn’t really a recipe – or at least I don’t really follow one when I make them.  I know everyone around here has their own variation, but these are simple, just about five ingredients, and they are pretty tasty dipped in your favorite salsa.

This recipe makes about 60 pinwheels – five tortillas cut into 12 pieces each.  It’s an easy recipe to double though, and trust me when I tell you that they’ll go fast.

Tortilla Pinwheels |

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day holiday, and while summer is definitely on it’s way out, I’m completely excited about fall.  And stay tuned for some awesome new pumpkin recipes!


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Tortilla Pinwheels
Prep time
Total time
This popular, quick and easy (make-ahead!) appetizer is perfect for entertaining, pot-lucks or a scrumptious snack!
Serves: Approximately 60 pinwheels
  • 5 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ of 1 small can (4oz) chopped black olives
  • ½ of 1 small can (4oz) green chilies
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces finely grated colby monterey jack cheese
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine cumin, cream cheese, olives and green chilies.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat until well combined.
  3. Spread about ½ cup of mixture on to a flat tortilla.
  4. Use a knife or offset spatula to spread it evenly across tortilla.
  5. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  6. Roll tightly, and repeat with 4 more tortillas.
  7. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but up to 24 hours.
  8. Before serving, cut each roll into 1-inch pieces.
  9. Serve with salsa, and enjoy!

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  • w. van

    I make these several times a year. All my kids LOVE them so they have become a staple at family get togethers. I have used the very large tortillas but mostly use the actual aram bread which resembles an even bigger tortilla! I generally make three rolls , each with a layer of cream cheese , dejon mustard . Then i mix it up from there and make roast beef/chedder , turkey/ swiss , and ham / american . I tend not to put veggies in these when feeding allot of people , however I have added tomatoes , artichoke hearts and green onions . I use 1lb each of the meats and 6 slices of good cheese (did i mention we have a big family?) . I also serve them with a ranch dip available . Either way you make these they come out great !

    • lemonsugar

      Those variations sound great! Y-U-M!

  • Lois Simpson

    Will try these ,Thanks Lois Simpson

    • lemonsugar

      Let me know what you think, Lois! :)

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    I love tortilla pinwheels! I’ve only ever made salmon and cream cheese ones but I can’t wait to add this delicious looking version to my repertoire!

  • Stagegirl1

    California girl here and this is an all time favorite in my family. Every gathering/Holiday, either I make them or my Grandma does and it’s even been passed over to my my best friend’s family now. We use Lawry’s Taco Seasoning (to taste) instead of the Cumin and no grated cheese. I might throw in some Kraft Mexican blend cheese next time I make them though to see how they taste. Sometimes I make a huge batch and just freeze the extra rolls so I can have some ready in a jiffy.

    • lemonsugar

      Love ’em! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)