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Turkey Cream Cheese Pinwheels

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A platter of cold-cut roll-ups is a well-received appetizer at any event! These step-by-step instructions will show you how to make turkey pinwheels, soft tortillas filled with zesty cream cheese, tender turkey slices, and a medley of peppers, then rolled up and sliced into perfect pinwheels.

turkey and cheese pinwheels on a platter.
Delicious and easy to make turkey pinwheels

Love these pinwheels? Try my Broiled Chicken Kabobs and my Air Fryer Sweet Plantains for more delicious recipes!

I used to buy deli roll-up platters from big-box stores and divvy them up for lunches. While convenient, there’s no way to adjust a prerolled pinwheel, so I started making my own.

These turkey pinwheels are filled with savory cream cheese, lean turkey, and sweet & smoky peppers. I use low-fat cream cheese for fewer calories, but use whatever works!

Turkey sandwiches tend to get soggy quickly, but these turkey pinwheels hold up during storage, so they’re the perfect make-ahead party appetizer and grab-and-go healthy snack or lunch. Adults and kids agree these are the BEST pinwheels!

turkey roll ups on a plate.
Plate of turkey roll ups

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Turkey roll-ups are a high-protein & delicious meal on the go.
  • Making turkey cream cheese roll-ups is less expensive than buying platters from Costco or Walmart.
  • Great make-ahead appetizer for parties, holiday gatherings, game day tailgates, and more!
  • The customization options are endless!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Flour Tortillas – 6″ tortillas (enchilada/taco size depending on the brand) make the perfect one (or two) bite-size roll-ups. You can use 8″ or 10″ tortillas -be sure to accommodate for the extra space with extra filling!
  • Dry Ranch Mix – From a packet, or use your favorite homemade blend.
  • Cream cheese – Cream cheese is essential to mimic traditional party platter turkey pinwheels. Feel free to use low-fat or regular.
  • Deli turkey – Freshly sliced turkey from the deli counter or your favorite packaged turkey cold cuts. Use any flavor; oven-roasted, honey-roasted, smoked, or Cajun.
  • Red bell pepper – Or pimentos, sliced thin for a pop of sweet, mild heat and subtle crunch.
  • Jalapeño pepper – Diced small or diced green chilis for less of a kick.

How To Make This Recipe

six image process making turkey cream cheese pinwheels.
Turkey cream cheese pinwheels process.

Step 1: Mix ranch seasonings & cream cheese.

Add the dry ranch dip mix and cream cheese to a small bowl. Mix well with a sturdy spoon.

Step 2: Spread seasoned cream cheese.

Lay the tortillas out on a sanitized, flat surface. Then, divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the tortillas and spread it out, leaving a 1/2″ of space around the edges.

Step 3: Layer the filling.

Place the turkey slices, red bell peppers, and jalapeño slices on the tortilla and wrap it Next, layer the turkey slices, sliced red bell pepper (or pimentos), and jalapeno (or green chiles) on top of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each tortilla.

Step 4: Roll up into pinwheels.

Roll the tortilla upwards towards the filling securely, but not so tight that the tortilla tears. Use toothpicks to keep everything in place if you need to.

Step 5: Chill.

Set the roll-ups in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

Step 6: Slice and serve.

When you’re ready to serve, trim the ends of each roll-up and slice into 1″ rounds.

platters of turkey pinwheels.
Healthy turkey pinwheels

Recipe Tips

  • Tortilla wrap tips – Most importantly, they must be soft and fresh! To make them more pliable, wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  • Place fillings towards the middle – So they stay tucked inside the tortilla as you roll.
  • Wrap the tortillas securely – Wrap tightly, but not so tight that you rip the tortilla.
  • Chill the roll-ups before slicing – Setting the roll-ups in the fridge firms the tortillas and helps keep them from unraveling. Don’t skip this step!
  • Use a sharp knife – Your knife should be sharp enough to glide through the roll-up without much pressure. Securing both ends of the roll-up with toothpicks will make slicing easier.

Variations

Almost anything can be added to pinwheels! Use this turkey pinwheel tutorial as a guide, and roll up your favorite meat, cheese, and veggies. See below for ideas.

  • Instead of turkey, use another cold cut like sliced ham, roast beef, or chicken.
  • Use Italian cold cuts like salami, pancetta, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mortadella.
  • Wrap creamy chicken salad in tortillas.
  • Add a layer of fresh sliced avocado, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, or spinach.
  • Use your favorite sliced cheese. Try with cheddar, swiss, or provolone.

Gluten-free – Use pliable gluten-free wraps instead of flour tortillas. The remaining ingredients are inherently gluten-free!

Dairy-free – Use non-dairy cream cheese and ranch dressing mix.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Turkey pinwheels are best within 24 hours after making. Keep extra in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Freezing: To freeze pinwheels for later, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze solid. Then, transfer the frozen rounds to a container and keep them frozen for a month. Thaw in the fridge.

FAQ

Can you freeze pinwheels?

Yes, pinwheels can be frozen and thawed for later. However, do not freeze if they contain lettuce or leafy greens, as they will wilt and release moisture.

How far in advance can I prep a platter of homemade deli pinwheels?

You can assemble the roll-ups up to a day in advance and slice them before serving.

Can I use ranch dressing instead of ranch seasoning?

No. Ranch dressing will make the cream cheese sauce-like when it should be thick and spreadable.

Yield: 2 Servings

Turkey Cream Cheese Pinwheels

turkey roll ups on a plate.

A platter of cold-cut roll-ups is a well-received appetizer at any event! These step-by-step instructions will show you how to make turkey pinwheels, soft tortillas filled with zesty cream cheese, tender turkey slices, and a medley of peppers, then rolled up and sliced into perfect pinwheels.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 - 6" flour tortillas
  • 2 teaspoon dry ranch dip mix
  • 4 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
  • 2 slices deli turkey
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin

Instructions

  1. Add the dry ranch dip mix and cream cheese to a small bowl. Mix well with a sturdy spoon.
  2. Lay the tortillas out on a sanitized, flat surface. Then, divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the tortillas and spread it out, leaving a 1/2" of space around the edges.
  3. Next, layer the turkey slices, sliced red bell pepper (or pimentos), and jalapeno (or green chiles) on top of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each tortilla.
  4. Roll the tortilla upwards towards the filling securely, but not so tight that the tortilla tears. Use toothpicks to keep everything in place if you need to.
  5. Set the roll-ups in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
  6. When you're ready to serve, trim the ends of each roll-up and slice into 1" rounds.

Notes

  • You can also use 4 ounces of diced green chilies in place of the jalapeño pepper.
  • Tortilla wrap tips: Most importantly, they must be soft and fresh! To make them more pliable, wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  • Place fillings towards the middle so they stay tucked inside the tortilla as you roll.
  • Wrap the tortillas securely: Wrap tightly, but not so tight that you rip the tortilla.
  • Chill the roll-ups before slicing: Setting the roll-ups in the fridge firms the tortillas and helps keep them from unraveling. Don’t skip this step!
  • Use a sharp knife: Your knife should be sharp enough to glide through the roll-up without much pressure. Securing both ends of the roll-up with toothpicks will make slicing easier.
  • Storing: Turkey pinwheels are best within 24 hours after making. Keep extra in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze pinwheels for later, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze solid. Then, transfer the frozen rounds to a container and keep them frozen for a month. Thaw in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 786mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

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Party Appetizers You’ll Love

Are you looking for more delicious make-ahead appetizers? You’ll love these!

Michelle

Thursday 18th of July 2019

I can't wait to make these myself. I've only had store bought. I'm a new blog subscriber and looking forward to more recipes to try.

simplylowcal

Thursday 18th of July 2019

Thanks Michelle! I hope you enjoy them.

Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

Sunday 14th of July 2019

Pinwheels are so easy and delish, they make a perfect app too! Love these😍

simplylowcal

Monday 15th of July 2019

Thanks! :) I love how simple they area and they would be great as an appetizer.

Karen Moore

Friday 12th of July 2019

This would be amazing done with a Gluten-free tortilla. Guess what I'm taking for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the great idea!

simplylowcal

Monday 15th of July 2019

You're welcome! This would be awesome with a gluten-free tortilla. I hope you enjoy!

Tamara J

Friday 12th of July 2019

This is an awesome alternative to traditional sandwiches!

simplylowcal

Monday 15th of July 2019

I think so too. It's great to mix things up from time to time!

Colleen | Bakes & Blunders

Friday 12th of July 2019

Great idea! If my son ever gets over his pb&j rut, I'm definitely going to try this. It's nice to change up the standard sandwich.

simplylowcal

Monday 15th of July 2019

I agree! I love to have several different options so I don't get too bored of the same things.

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