Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

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  • The moral of this story is that I like to roll any delicious dip recipe in tortillas, slice it into pinwheels and serve it as an easy appetizer. Buffalo Chicken Dip was no exception.

    close up plate of buffalo chicken tortilla roll ups on a serving plate

    Pinwheels bring the best of two appetizer foods- dip and finger foods. Delicious Buffalo chicken pinwheels are a marriage made in heaven. Bonus points for being no-cook and make ahead.

    stack of buffalo chicken pinwheels on a small appetizer plate

    Pinwheel Recipe

    Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels always go over like wildfire in my house. Probably even faster than buffalo chicken dip, seriously. It is just so easy to grab one and go. They are ideal for any season and any event like watching sports, BBQs, potlucks and any general party.

    I also like to only make half of the recipe and then also make half of my Bacon Ranch Chicken Pinwheels and sometimes even Turkey Club Pinwheels. They are super colorful, tasty and everyone loves them- the perfect party appetizer.

    pile of buffalo chicken pinwheels with scallions

    Ingredients for Tortilla Roll Ups

    A short and sweet ingredient list is the perfect kind for your busy lifestyle and the perfect finger food.

    • Cream Cheese– Choose full fat or reduced fat, but either way make sure it is very soft (close to room temperature) before trying to mix everything together and spread. Some folks also add sour cream, but it is not necessary as long as the cream cheese is soft enough.
    • Hot Sauce– Just plain hot sauce (opposed to buffalo sauce), our favorite brands are Frank’s Red Hot and Diamond Crystal. Tabasco can also be used.
    • Sharp Cheddar Cheese– Do yourself a favor and freshly shred the cheese. Pre Shredded cheese are tossed in starch, which can create a grainy texture and make your creamy dip gummy.
    • Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt- If using a fine salt, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon.
    • Cooked Chicken– This recipe is great for using up leftover chicken breasts or chicken thighs. To save time, you can grab cooked chicken in the meat department or even frozen foods sections and finely chop it, or my favorite kitchen hack, shred a rotisserie chicken from the store.
    • Scallions (green onions)– These give crunch and freshness. Chives can also be used, or if you just aren’t a fan of onions, omit them.
    • Tortillas– Any type of tortilla, size or flavor, will work, but I find the bigger ones are easier for making pinwheels since you’ll have to trim off the edges. It creates less waste and a fuller pinwheel. Smaller tortillas might only get one and a half rolls in and these will have a tougher time staying rolled. Consider using toothpicks to help them stay formed if you pick the smaller ones.
    no cook buffalo chicken roll ups for a party

    How to Make Chicken Pinwheels

    Making them is super easy, even get the kiddos to help.

    1. Make the filling by blending the cream cheese, hot sauce, cheese,and salt, make sure it is good and mixed with no hot sauce streaks. Next, fold in the chicken and scallions by hand. Doing this keeps these larger items in bigger pieces instead of breaking apart.
    how to make buffalo chicken filling
    1. Evenly divide the cream cheese mixture between four large flour tortillas. Having a super softened cream cheese filling is important in this step, otherwise it will be challenging to spread and could possible rip the delicate tortilla. Spread out evenly all the way to the edges and then tightly roll up the tortilla. To help it mold and keep its shape, wrap it firmly in plastic wrap and then chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can keep it at this stage for up to 2 days if you are making it ahead.
    2. For the cleanest cuts without crushing your perfect pinwheels, use a super sharp knife, or even better yet, a serrated knife, to make 10-inch slices on the rolled tortillas. Discard the ends with no filling that are uneven.
    how to make buffalo chicken tortilla roll ups
    1. If desired, serve with a side of blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

    Variations

    The beauty of any tortilla roll up is the wide variety of customizations. Here are just a few, but we’d love to hear your creative ideas in the comments.

    • Add green chiles or jalapenos! Just 1-2 tablespoons of canned chopped green chiles or jalapenos gives these a kick. Drain before adding.
    • Salsa also provides pizazz, use a thick and chunky version and add 1-2 tablespoons.
    • Swap chicken for turkey. No one said you had to use chicken!
    • Bacon makes everything better- Doesn’t it? Add 1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled bacon to the buffalo chicken filling.
    • Get cheesy– Sharp cheddar gives full flavor, but try using a blend of cheeses including pepper jack, monterey jack, smoked gouda or even white cheddar. A habanero laced cheese will really bring on the heat.
    • Add ranch! Adding a packet of dry ranch seasoning to the mixture will also pack and punch before the base is both seasoned and has powdered buttermilk for a little tang. If you do this, omit the additional salt.
    • Blue Cheese Crumbles– I left these out before some folks aren’t big fans of chunky soft cheese, but feel free to blend in 1/2 cup of feta or blue cheese crumbles with the chicken so they stay fairly whole.
    • Tortilla Flavors– Have fun with the flavors and grab green spinach or red tomato tortillas. I’ve even seen some jalapeno laced ones.
    • Vegetarian– Make them just buffalo cream cheese pinwheels (vegetarian pinwheels) by doubling the cream cheese. 
    close up of chicken and cheddar roll ups

    Make Ahead & Storage

    Like we mentioned above, you can make buffalo pinwheels ahead up to 24 hours, although I strongly suggest not slicing them until you are ready to serve. Anything slices means more air and surface space which leads to them drying out. Store leftovers wrapped or covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    We do not suggest freezing these pinwheels. Cream cheese has the tendency to get a weird, cakey consistency when thawed.

    buffalo chicken pinwheel recipe for pinterest

    Check out these easy buffalo recipes:

    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
    spoon with cheesy mac and cheese
    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is a quick and spicy baked mac and cheese recipe the whole family will love. Perfect as a potluck recipe or for a BBQ side dish!
    Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
    black bowl of buffalo chicken dip
    Searching for the BEST dip recipe? EASY Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip comes together easily with just a few ingredients! Easy to make in the crock pot!
    Buffalo Chicken Nachos
    Buffalo Chicken Nachos is an easy nachos recipe that is perfect for a quick Tex Mex meal or game day appetizer. Ready in minutes with few ingredients! #buffalochickennachos #buffalochicken #nachosrecipe www.savoryexperiments.com
    Buffalo Chicken Nachos are loaded with all of your favorite chicken nachos ingredients and topped with delicious buffalo chicken for extra flavor and spicy. Perfect for game days, holiday parties, or a Tex-Mex dinner.
    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a quick and easy appetizer that will spice up any party! Simmered in spicy wing sauce and blue cheese, these will be a winner! #buffalochicken #partymeatballs #buffalochickenmeatballs www.savoryexperiments.com
    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a quick and easy appetizer that will spice up any party! Simmered in spicy wing sauce and cooling blue cheese, these will be the winning party appetizer!

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    bowl of buffalo chicken dip with text overlay
    close up of a chicken tortilla roll up
    overhead of buffalo chicken pinwheels on a serving platter
    Print Recipe
    5 from 8 votes

    Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

    Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are creamy, spicy buffalo dip rolled in tortillas. The perfect no-cook and make-ahead appetizer for any event!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Chilling Time30 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: buffalo chicken pinwheels
    Servings: 30 pinwheels
    Calories: 71kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Blend together the cream cheese, hot sauce, cheese,and salt until fully mixed.
    • Add the chicken and scallions, folding by hand.
    • Evenly divide the spread between 4 flour tortillas. Spread out evenly all the way to the edges. Roll the tortilla tightly and wrap in plastic wrap to help it keep its shape.
    • Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to reform.
    • Using a sharp knife or a serrated knife, cut into 1-inch slices. Discard the ends with no filling that are uneven.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

    Notes

    Make these ahead of time up to 24 hours in advance! 
    • Add green chiles or jalapenos! Just 1-2 tablespoons of canned chopped green chiles or jalapenos gives these a kick. Drain before adding.
    • Salsa also provides pizazz, use a thick and chunky version and add 1-2 tablespoons.
    • Swap chicken for turkey. No one said you had to use chicken!
    • Bacon makes everything better- Doesn’t it? Add 1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled bacon to the buffalo chicken filling.
    • Get cheesy– Sharp cheddar gives full flavor, but try using a blend of cheeses including pepper jack, monterey jack, smoked gouda or even white cheddar. A habanero laced cheese will really bring on the heat.
    • Add ranch! Adding a packet of dry ranch seasoning to the mixture will also pack and punch before the base is both seasoned and has powdered buttermilk for a little tang. If you do this, omit the additional salt.
    • Blue Cheese Crumbles– I left these out before some folks aren’t big fans of chunky soft cheese, but feel free to blend in 1/2 cup of feta or blue cheese crumbles with the chicken so they stay fairly whole.
    • Tortilla Flavors– Have fun with the flavors and grab green spinach or red tomato tortillas. I’ve even seen some jalapeno laced ones.
    • Make them just buffalo cream cheese pinwheels (vegetarian pinwheels) by doubling the cream cheese. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
    overhead platter of tortilla roll ups

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