Italian Pinwheels

Pinwheel appetizers are some of my favorites to serve at parties. They’re easy to whip up and have so many variations. These Italian pinwheels have all the flavors or an italian sub wrapped up into the perfect appetizer!

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I love a good pinwheel recipe. In fact, I have several of them on the site because they’re just that good. What’s not to love about your favorite sandwich makings wrapped up into a soft tortilla and then sliced to finger food perfection?

It’s a great recipe for serving at baby showers or bridal showers, because guests can choose several different kinds without filling up. It’s also an easy recipe to prep ahead of time for parties and get togethers.

This Italian pinwheels recipe are delightful little italian roll-ups full of your favorite meats, cheese and Italian flavor. Great for a light lunch or delicious appetizer. 

close up angled shot of sliced italian pinwheels on cutting board

Why You’ll Love These Italian Pinwheels

A tortilla wrap with a seasoned cream cheese spread, full of Italian meats- what’s not to love!

  • Easy: This recipe rates at the top of the list of easy-peasy appetizers that may make a crowd swoon. Yet, it takes only a few minutes to prepare. Plus, all of the ingredients are a cinch to get at the grocery store.
  • Versatile: Make this as a super easy snack, a wildly-easy dinner, or an amazingly easy appetizer. 
  • Customizable: There are tons of ways to swap ingredients or add to this delectable dish.
overhead shot of platter of italian pinwheels

Italian Pinwheel Tips

A zesty no-bake appetizer option, there are a few tricks to making the best colorful and delicious pinwheel.

  1. Make-Ahead: Make them ahead of time, but not too far in advance. Ideally most pinwheel recipes are best enjoyed within 12-24 hours of making, otherwise you risk the tortilla getting soggy.
  2. Roll Tightly. Roll the tortilla as tight as you can. The cream cheese will act as a glue to hold it to together, but if you want a better secure connection, use toothpicks or wrap it in plastic wrap.
  3. Chill. Chill the whole roll before cutting. Letting it congeal and harden a bit will prevent it from collapsing when you cut them.
  4. Cut Using the Right Knife. Use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to cut the rolls without squishing them.
straight on shot of stack of italian pinwheels

Ingredients

The ingredients for these Italian pinwheels can easily be found at any local grocery store.

  • 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. 
  • Red pepper spread – You can make this yourself or buy it from the store. Like you would use as a sandwich spread.
  • Pepperoncini peppers or banana peppers – You can use either or both. I personally like to use the banana pepper rings chopped finely.
  • Seasonings – I used a blend of Italian seasoning , coarse kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder and ground black pepper. Classic spices that you would see on an Italian sub sandwich.
  • Provolone cheese – Make sure your cheese is thinly sliced to allow for easier rolling. You can request this at the deli. 
  • Salami or soppressata – You can use either genoa salami or hard salami. Make sure the meat is also thinly sliced. 
  • Flour 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.
overhead shot of italian pinwheels ingredients

How to Make Italian Pinwheels

You are going to love how easy it is to make these tasty pinwheels.

  1. Make spread. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sandwich spread, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a bowl. Mash to combine. 
  2. Spread cream cheese on tortilla. Spread a heaping ½ cup of the cream cheese mixture over each tortilla all the way to the edges. 
  3. Add cheese and meat. At one end of each tortilla, lay two slices of cheese and two slices of salami/soppressata. 
  4. Roll and chill. Roll each tightly into a roll and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight
  5. Slice. Using a serrated knife, cut into 1-inch slices and arrange on a serving platter. 

Variations

There are plenty of ways you can make these easy Italian pinwheels your own!

  • Add veggies – If you’d like to throw in some extra veggies, try something like red onion, romaine lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes or red bell peppers.
  • Different kinds of meat – Instead of hard salami, really any deli meats will work. Pepperoni slices, slices of deli ham, or whatever your favorite meat on an Italian sandwich is.
  • Tortilla – You don’t have to use regular flour tortillas. You could use spinach wraps instead to give this perfect finger food some color.
  • Cheese – I used slices of provolone cheese, but feel free to mix it up. You could use parmesan cheese or even sliced mozzarella cheese.
  • Make it spicy – Add some red pepper flakes to the wet ingredients to take the heat up a notch.
angled shot of plate of italian pinwheels

What to Serve with Italian Pinwheels

These pinwheels serve as a great party appetizer, but they would also make a great appetizer for game day or any other event you can think of. They’re best served with other finger foods like chicken tenders or caprese skewers.

​Italian pinwheel sandwiches are also great for a quick lunch. Prep them ahead of time and use to pack school lunches or a grab-and-go lunch for yourself. Pair them with a kale salad for a full meal!

angled close up shot of italian pinwheel

Storage and Freezing

Storage: You can make these ahead up to 24 hours, although I strongly suggest not slicing them until you are ready to serve. Anything sliced means more air and surface space which leads to them drying out. Store leftover italian pinwheels wrapped or covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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

collage of italian pinwheels for pinterest

More Easy Pinwheel Recipes

Pinwheel recipes are not only easy to make, they are just fun! Make several varieties and then create a beautiful platter full of color and flavor.

angled shot of plate of four pinwheels

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

These EASY Ham and Cheese Pinwheels have crusty, flaky dough that envelops hot ham and a melty combination of cheese! The perfect appetizer!
See The Recipe!
overhead of buffalo chicken pinwheels on a serving platter

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!
See The Recipe!
close up of cream cheese chicken pinwheel recipe

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pinwheels Recipe

This cream cheese chicken pinwheel recipe is the ultimate finger food, tortilla roll ups are perfect for entertaining.
See The Recipe!
angled close up shot of italian pinwheel

Italian Pinwheel Recipe

3.76 from 25 votes
These Italian pinwheels have all the flavors or an italian sub wrapped up into the perfect appetizer! Great for parties or a game day snack!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 60 pinwheels

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sandwich spread, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a bowl. Mash to combine.
  • Spread a heaping ½ cup of the cream cheese mixture over each tortilla all the way to the edges. At one end of each tortilla, lay two slices of cheese and two slices of salami/soppressata.
  • Roll each tightly into a roll and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight
  • Using a serrated knife, cut into 1-inch slices and arrange on a serving platter.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 54 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 9 mg, Sodium: 168 mg, Potassium: 31 mg, Fiber: 0.2 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Vitamin A: 106 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 49 mg, Iron: 0.2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 54
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian pinwheels
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
angled shot of platter of italian pinwheels with text overlay for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

3.76 from 25 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Love this Italian pinwheel recipe, so delicious and easy to make. Perfect for holidays or parties. Definitely will make them. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is fantastic! My favorite Italian sub flavors in a pinwheel. They are perfect for game day, an appetizer or even an on the go lunch.