Skip to Content

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels – Quick Appetizer

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are a delicious two bite appetizer made in a flash with puff pastry! The filling is a combination of cream cheese, cheddar, ham and dijon mustard.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels Recipe

All the classic flavors of a ham and cheese deli sandwich turned into bite sized appetizer pinwheels. These are so cute and easy to put together. They make the perfect 2 bite appetizer!

These pinwheels are a perfect Super Bowl snack, movie night appetizer or brunch bite! They are so simple to make using store bought puff pastry. The filling of these pinwheels is a one bowl 5 ingredient filling that comes together in a flash!

If you love entertaining but get stressed about spending too much time in the kitchen that cuts into your socializing time, these pinwheels are just for you! They can be prepped in advance so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests.

Be sure to check out my flavor variations below (Spoiler alert – Reuben and Philly Cheesesteak pinwheels!) and get creative turning your favorite deli sandwich into a crispy 2 bite baked pinwheel!

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

What are Pinwheels?

There are a 2 main types of pinwheel appetizers with endless filling possibilities – baked pinwheels and cold pinwheels. Both are often filled with a cream cheese base and a mix of cheeses, vegetables, deli meats and more.

Cold pinwheel appetizer bites are made with tortillas (most commonly flour tortillas). The filling is spread on the tortilla and then they are rolled up to create the pinwheel shape. Then they are sliced into bite sized pieces.

Baked pinwheels can be made with puff pastry or tortillas (most commonly flour tortillas). I prefer to make my baked pinwheels with puff pastry as the dough puffs up creating a light and crispy pastry. If you use tortillas they get crispy on the outside.

What is in Ham and Cheese Pinwheels?

ingredients to make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board

  • Deli Ham – I love using a honey baked deli ham or black forest smoked ham for these pinwheels. You can use your favorite variety. If you are using leftover baked ham be sure to slice the ham as thin as possible or it will be difficult to roll the pinwheels.

  • Cheddar Cheese – the classic combo of ham and cheddar cheese will always have my heart. However, you can swap for any cheese you love. Add a little spice with a spicy jalapeno Havarti or pimento cheese!

  • Dijon Mustard – this mustard has a bit of spice and tang that compliments the ham and cheese very well. You can also use honey dijon mustard, a grainy mustard or a hot mustard for some added spice. I just love the classic Dijon mustard flavour!

  • Cream Cheese – the base of the filling. The cream cheese keeps everything together and helps the pinwheels hold their shape when baked… and of course who doesn’t love the creamy texture and flavor of cream cheese!

  • Everything Bagel Spice Blend, optional – I love everything bagels so any appetizer that I can add a pinch of everything bagel seasoning on is a win in my books. Since these pinwheels mimic a deli sandwich this seasoning pairs perfectly.
    • Swaps – sesame seeds (white, black or roasted), poppy seeds, Italian Seasoning, or your favorite bread topping/seasoning
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

How to Make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels?

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

steps to make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Prepare the Filling

1 In a medium sized bowl combine all of the filling ingredients. Mix until evenly combined and set aside. Season to taste with additional mustard, salt and/or pepper.

2 On a lightly floured surface unroll the thawed puff pastry. Evenly spread half of the filling on the pastry leaving a 1/4-inch border on all edges. (Tip: dollop the filling mixture over the puff pastry and then spread it out. This will make it easier to spread.)

steps to make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Roll the Pinwheels

1 Starting at a long end of the pastry rectangle, tightly roll the into a tight log to create the pinwheels. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.

2 Transfer both logs to a sheet pan or cutting board. Cover the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. This will help the filling harden making it easier to slice the pinwheels.

steps to make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Slice and Bake

1 Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F or preheat oven to 375˚F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 Remove the chilled log from the fridge. Slice the the puff pastry log into 1/2 inch slices, 16 slices per log. (Tip: use your knife to gently mark the top of the roll to evenly measure out the 16 cuts before actually starting to slice. Use the marks as a guide to then evenly slice the 16 pinwheels.)

3 Optional: if using Everything Bagel seasoning add a pinch of seasoning on each pinwheel.

4 Cook the Pinwheels:

AIR FRYER COOKING METHOD

Working in batches, transfer the sliced pinwheels to Air Fryer basket or tray. Space the pinwheels 1-2 inches apart to allow the puff pastry to evenly puff. Air Fry for 5 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining pinwheels until all pinwheels are cooked.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a air fryer basket

OVEN BAKING METHOD

Transfer the sliced pinwheels onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Space the pinwheels 1-2 inches apart to allow the puff pastry to evenly puff. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Transfer the pinwheels to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before serving. The cream cheese filling will be very hot. Serve and enjoy!

How to Reheat and Freeze Pinwheels

Reheating Pinwheels

  • Air Fryer – Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F. Add the pinwheels to air fryer basket or tray and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Oven – Preheat oven to 375˚F. Add the pinwheels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Microwave – microwave pinwheels for 30 seconds. Note this method will not result in crispy reheated pinwheels.

How to Store Pinwheels

  • Store cooked pinwheels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to Freeze Pinwheels

  • Cooked pinwheels can be frozen for up to 3 months in an air tight container or Ziploc bag. If freezing in a container, add a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent the pinwheels from sticking together. Allow pinwheels to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat with the above steps.
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Pinwheels Flavor Variations

My personal favorite is the combination of ham and cheddar with a hint of Dijon mustard! It mimics flavors of a classic deli sandwich.

  • Reuben – follow the recipe measurements as per usual but with these swaps:
    • Ham -> Corned Beef
    • Cheddar Cheese -> Swiss Cheese
    • Dijon Mustard -> Thousand Island Dressing
    • Add 4 tbps of chopped sauerkraut
  • Philly Cheesesteak – follow the recipe measurements as per usual but with these swaps:
    • Ham -> Deli Roast Beef
    • Cheddar Cheese -> Provolone Cheese
    • Dijon Mustard -> Ranch Dressing
    • Add 4 tbps of finely diced bell peppers
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Looking for More Easy Appetizers?

I love using puff pastry. It’s my secret weapon for quick and easy appetizers for entertaining. Checkout some of my most popular appetizers!

  • Sausage Rolls – a classic snack that are very easy to make with this shortcut recipe. Light and airy puff pastry wrapped around crispy sausage, topped with your favorite toppings and baked until golden brown!
  • Cranberry Brie Bites – the perfect cute and fancy appetizer to serve during the holidays. Light puff pastry baked until golden brown stuffed with brie, cranberry sauce and walnuts!
  • Ham and Cheese Puffs – a delicious and savory delight to enjoy with your family or friends. The recipe is very simple and quick to make.

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels on a marble cutting board with wood

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are a delicious two bite appetizer made in a flash with puff pastry! The filling is a combination of cream cheese, cheddar, ham and Dijon mustard. These pinwheels are a perfect Super Bowl snack, movie night appetizer or brunch bite! They are so simple to make using store bought puff pastry. The filling of these pinwheels is a one bowl 5 ingredient filling that comes together in a flash!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 32 Pinwheels
Calories 133 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, store bought frozen variety, thawed
  • 2 tbsp Everything Bagel Seasoning, optional, or sesame seeds

Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, 1 brick, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices ham, deli sliced black forest or honey ham, or leftover spiral ham, cut into squares,
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, or Swiss, mozzarella, marble
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized bowl combine all of the filling ingredients. Mix until evenly combined and set aside. Season to taste with additional mustard, salt and/or pepper.
  • On a lightly floured surface unroll the thawed puff pastry. Evenly spread half of the filling on the pastry leaving a 1/4-inch border on all edges. (Tip: dollop the filling mixture over the puff pastry and then spread it out. This will make it easier to spread.)
  • Starting at a long end of the pastry rectangle, tightly roll the into a tight log to create the pinwheels. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.
  • Transfer both logs to a sheet pan or cutting board. Cover the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. This will help the filling harden making it easier to slice the pinwheels.
  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F or preheat oven to 375˚F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the chilled log from the fridge. Slice the the puff pastry log into 1/2 inch slices, 16 slices per log. (Tip: use your knife to gently mark the top of the roll to evenly measure out the 16 cuts before actually starting to slice. Use the marks as a guide to then evenly slice the 16 pinwheels.)
  • Optional: if using Everything Bagel seasoning add a pinch of seasoning on each pinwheel.
  • AIR FRYER COOKING METHOD
    Working in batches, transfer the sliced pinwheels to Air Fryer basket or tray. Space the pinwheels 1-2 inches apart to allow the puff pastry to evenly puff. Air Fry for 5 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining pinwheels until all pinwheels are cooked.
    OVEN BAKING METHOD
    Transfer the sliced pinwheels onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Space the pinwheels 1-2 inches apart to allow the puff pastry to evenly puff. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Transfer the pinwheels to a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before serving. The cream cheese filling will be very hot. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Reheating Pinwheels – AIR FRYER
Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F. Add the pinwheels to air fryer basket or tray and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
Reheating Pinwheels – OVEN
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Add the pinwheels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until warmed through.
Reheating Pinwheels – Microwave
Microwave pinwheels for 30 seconds. Note this method will not result in crispy reheated pinwheels.
Storing Pinwheels
Store cooked pinwheels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing
Cooked pinwheels can be frozen for up to 3 months in an air tight container or Ziploc bag. If freezing in a container, add a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent the pinwheels from sticking together. Allow pinwheels to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat with the above steps.
FOLLOW ON PINTERESTFollow @fedbysab
SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE!Subscribe Fed by Sab!

NUTRITION

Calories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 166mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 114IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating




Allison

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

This is was a hit as an appetizer. Love the other combination suggestions and will try them all! Thanks.