Pinwheel Appetizers:
Tasty Tortilla Pinwheels Recipes

Pinwheel appetizers are easy to create... and because of their infinite versatility as a make-ahead appetizer, they're always going to be a popular party food.

Most often, this sort of appetizer is a tortilla pinwheels recipe-- that is, they're made with any flattened bread (generally a tortilla) rolled around tasty fillings which are either savory or sweet. These little treats are usually really quick to create and can, with the right ingredients, be surprisingly stunning to serve. And to eat!

Choosing your Tortillas. It's not just your fillings that will affect how your pinwheel hors d oeuvres taste... also pay attention to tortilla choice. Tortillas come in many flavors are a great way to add color and flavor to your dish.

Tortilla Alternatives. While tortillas are typically easy to get and use, it is important to remember that just about any bread can be used to create a rolled appetizer. Bakery breads and loaf breads, with crusts removed and flattened, also make great alternatives in tortilla pinwheels recipes.

Roast Beef Pinwheels Recipe with
Cream Cheese and Caramelized Onion

Roast Beef Tortilla Pinwheels Recipe- Party AppetizerIn this pinwheel appetizer recipe, the strong flavors of roast beef and horseradish are balanced out by the rich sweetness of caramelized onions. The addition of this one special ingredient really dresses up this otherwise simple appetizer-- your guests will really notice that you went the extra mile for extraordinary flavor.

This is one of my favorite beef and cream cheese pinwheels recipes, because it's flavorful yet fresh. It works just as well for a winter appetizer as for a summer one.

Recipes serves about 12.

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 pound of thinly sliced roast beef
1-2 tablespoons prepared Horseradish sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Cracked pepper and salt, to taste
8 large flour tortillas

Directions: 1. Cut onion in half from tip to root. Slice the onion into thin strips.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Toss the onions and garlic into the pan. They should sizzle but not pop. Stir the onions to coat with oil and stir frequently until onions turn a light brown color.

3. Reduce heat to medium low and continue stirring until the onions are a medium brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4. In a bowl, blend together Horseradish sauce, cream cheese, salt and pepper.

5. Lay a tortilla flat on a working surface and very lightly cover 2/3 of the surface with a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture. Layer a piece of roast beef and a sprinkling of the caramelized onions on top.

6. Roll tortilla up to form a log. Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or longer).

7. Remove plastic wrap from your pinwheel appetizers and slice into bite sized pieces. Serve flat so that the swirl design is visible.

Crab Salad Cream Cheese Pinwheels Recipe

The addition of crab meat (everybody loves crab!) turns these tasty but simple pinwheel appetizers into something a step above the average bite at a party. On a budget? Use imitation crab-- it's delicious! Really want to impress? Buy fresh or frozen lump crab meat, and use that. Or do a mix of different seafoods, suck as crab, lobster, shrimp, etc. This is definitely a flexible recipe!

The recipe below gives you a good start, but it's also fun to play around with different flavors and textures. You can dress these up even further with crisp lettuce, almonds or celery.

Check here for more great seafood appetizers!

Recipe serves about 12.

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1 1/2 C. real lump or imitation crab meat
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8 large flour tortillas

Directions: 1. Using paper towels, make sure the crab meat is free of excess water (not necessary if you're using imitation crab). If necessary, shred the crab.

2. In a bowl, thoroughly combine cream cheese, bell pepper, onions, mustard, parsley and lemon juice. Add Swiss cheese and crab meat and fold until well coated.

3. Spread the crab salad over most of a tortilla while leaving one edge plain.

4. Roll tightly and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Remove wrapping and cut the pinwheel appetizers into bite sized pieces. Serve flat so that the swirl design is visible.

Pint-Sized "Pizza Whorls" Tortilla Pinwheels Recipe

Pizza Cream Cheese Pinwheels Appetizer Recipe for a PartyAnything that tastes like pizza is bound to be a crowd pleaser at any party! These fun finger foods are easier to eat than traditional pizza and there are no crusts to get in the way.

Just like your favorite pizza, you can also customize these cream cheese pinwheel appetizers to suit your guests. Subtract the pepperoni and add sautéed mushrooms or bell pepper for your vegetarian friends. Pineapple and ham are very popular pizza toppings and would work well in this appetizer, or try:

  • Black Olives
  • Green Onions
  • Capers
  • Italian Sausage
  • Blue Cheese
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Chopped Artichoke Hearts

If you're looking for something to make the kids at the party happy, this appetizer will definitely do it. Or you can find more kid-friendly snacks right here!

Serves about 12.

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10 slices pepperoni, finely diced
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan (or a combination of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago)
1/4 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. minced onions
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano flakes
8 large flour tortillas

Directions: 1. In a bowl combine the cream cheese, Parmesan (or combination of other cheeses), onions, garlic salt, pepper, parsley and oregano. Stir in the pepperoni and tomato sauce.

2. Spread the mixture over the tortilla and roll tightly. Refrigerate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 2 hours before slicing into pinwheels and serving. Serve flat so that the swirl design is visible.

The flavor combinations are endless with pinwheel appetizers and your favorite foods might do well starring in these miniature bites. So get creative, experiment a little bit, and have fun with it!

More Goodies!

More Seafood Recipes

Looking for more simple appetizers to make for a party? When you're done with these pinwheel appetizer recipes, check out:

Quick and Easy Party Appetizers


Shrimp Salad Recipes




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