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Taco Pinwheel Recipe

5 from 8 votes
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posted: 02/23/24

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This simple Taco Pinwheel Recipe is going to be your new go-to appetizer. An easy party snack with tons of great flavor and you make them ahead of time!

up close overhead view of taco pinwheel recipe

One of my very favorite food groups is appetizers. Now before you go talking about that not being a food group, I’m going to stop you right there. Because it totally is. Listen. There are whole restaurants dedicated to small plates.

Even better than appetizers is when they are easy to make. These Taco Pinwheels are just the ticket. I love pinwheel recipes because they come together with a few simple ingredients, can be made ahead of time, and are absolutely delicious!

Reader Review

Made these for a class, everyone loved them, they were a huge hit!

How to Make Pinwheels

This is a brief overview of how to make this delicious recipe. For the full recipe with all of the details, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Create the base of the filling. Mix together cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning.
  2. Round out the filling. Mix in green onions, black olives and pickled jalapeños.
  3. Make the pinwheels. Divide the mixture between five tortillas. Roll them up. Refrigerate them for 4 to 24 hours.
  4. Cut and serve. Remove the plastic wrap from the pinwheels, and cut each roll up into six equal pieces.
overhead view of a clear bowl with the filling for mexican pinwheels plus scallions, diced jalapeños, and sliced olives

Homemade Taco Seasoning

One of the things I love about this recipe is the great flavor that comes from my homemade taco seasoning. While I have absolutely zero judgement if you decide to buy your taco seasoning, it is truly so easy to make at home.

You likely have all of the ingredients already in your pantry. Beyond that, I have the exact measurements to replace that packet from the grocery store as well as measurements to make a large batch. If you make the large batch, just pull out 3 tablespoons every time a recipe calls for a packet of taco seasoning. Such an easy way to elevate your recipes.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

This Homemade Taco Seasoning comes together fast with measurements for one pound of meat or for a whole container to keep in your pantry! Make it extra spicy or keep it mild. We use this recipe weekly!
bottle of spice jar with homemade taco seasoning
the filling for taco pinwheel appetizer spread out on a tortilla shell sitting on a cutting board

Pickled Jalapeños

One of the other things that brings great flavor to this recipe is pickled jalapeños. They are one of my favorite condiments. And they are really easy to make too! I have a great recipe for them with instructions on how to make them less hot if that’s what you are looking for.

If, even with modifications, pickled jalapeños are too hot for you, you can leave them out. You could also consider replacing them with mild canned green chiles.

Pickled Jalapeños

This Pickled Jalapeño recipe is a fast and easy condiment that you will love having in your refrigerator.

pin wheel recipe wrapped up with saran wrap on a cutting board

Cheese for Pinwheels

Realistically, you can use any cheese you would like for this recipe. I chose Colby Jack because it is what we have so often on hand, but cheddar would also be a great choice for this recipe.

Unlike most of my other recipes, I am not going to begrudge you if you use pre-shredded cheese in this one. While pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt well because of the preservatives on it, we aren’t melting here! So if that is a short-cut that would make this recipe easier for you, have at it.

Tortilla Shells for Pinwheel Recipes

What tortilla you use for this recipe is only important in terms of how many you will need to make the recipe. I used flour tortillas that I bought at the grocery store that are labeled “burrito size.” These shells are 10 inches in diameter and will yield the number of pinwheels listed. That being said, small tortillas are fine, it will just mean more to roll.

a mexican pinwheel appetizer being cut up on a cutting board

Making Ahead

One of the things I love most about this recipe is that you make these the day before. While the cream cheese needs to be soft to mix up well with the other ingredients, it needs to chill again to make those nice pretty slices that you see.

These need at least four hours in the refrigerator, but can be kept wrapped up in their plastic wrap for as long as 24 hours. Take them out and slice them right before serving.

I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe as it will change the consistency of the cream cheese.

pile of taco pinwheel recipe on a blue and white patterned plate from above

Other Great Pinwheel Recipes

If you make this taco pinwheel recipe or any of the other appetizer recipes I listed, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know! I love hearing from you!

up close overhead view of taco pinwheel recipe
5 from 8 votes

Taco Pinwheel Recipe

Serves: 30 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
This simple Taco Pinwheel Recipe is going to be your new go to appetizer. An easy game day snack with tons of great flavor and you make them ahead of time!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature (226 grams)
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese shredded (113 grams)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (113.5 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 green onions diced 1 inch into the green
  • 1/2 cup black olives sliced (67.5 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños diced
  • 5 flour tortillas (10 inch tortillas)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, with a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning until well combined and smooth.
    8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Stir in the green onions, black olives, and jalapeños.
    2 green onions, 1/2 cup black olives, 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños
  • Spread the mixture evenly over 5 flour tortillas. Roll up the tortillas tightly and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least four hours or up to 24 hours.
    5 flour tortillas
  • Before serving, take off the plastic wrap. Slice each roll up in half, and then cut three one inch pinwheels, working from the cut end out. Discard the roll that is made out of the end of the tortilla. You should have 6 one inch thick pinwheels from each tortilla roll up.
Serving: 1pinwheel Calories: 75kcal (4%) Carbohydrates: 5g (2%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 12mg (4%) Sodium: 152mg (7%) Potassium: 17mg Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 25IU (1%) Calcium: 11mg (1%) Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern
up close overhead view of taco pinwheel recipe

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Taco Pinwheel Recipe

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. ColleenB.~Tx. says

    These look Wonderful and they make for such a great appetizer.

    In the Instructions you mention to add in black olives but no mention of olives in Ingredient listing.
    From looking @ your photo, looks like it may be right around a 1/2 – 3/4 cup sliced olives
    Have a great day and enjoyable weekend.
    ‘Today Is A Good Day To Have A Good Day.’

    • Lisa Longley says

      Look at you and your good eye! Thanks for catching that slip, yes, it is 1/2 a cup!

    • Lydia Winchell says

      5 stars
      made these for a class, everyone loved them, they were a huge hit!

      • Lisa Longley says

        So glad to hear that Lydia!

        • Caroline says

          How many pinwheels u get out of one. 6 inch roll ? I’m feeding 50 people thanks

          • Lisa Longley says

            As written it is 5 10 inch tortillas and they each yield 6 pieces for a total of 30 pinwheels. I haven’t made this recipe with 6 inch rolls, but the smaller the tortillas you use, the more you will be able to use. If I had to guess (and it is just a guess since I haven’t tested this), I would say 4 pieces per 6 inch tortilla and probably 12 tortillas, so 48 pieces. Again, just a guess.

  2. Vicki says

    Your recipes are great , and I love when you put the calories and serving suggestions along with the recipe . Definitely a help as my hubby and I are on diets and do count calories!
    Keep the yummy recipes coming 😊

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Vicki!

  3. Mark says

    Can you add any kind of meat to these? Hamburger? Turkey?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup. I don’t really think these need that, but yes, you for sure could. I would probably go with hamburger and not too much.

  4. Peg Pahti says

    5 stars
    I just made these for a get together and it was such a hit!! I substituted some mashed avocado for a bit of the sour cream. I sometimes have trouble with the texture of avocado, but these were OMG delicious!
    Peg
    Vancouver Island

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you like these!

  5. Janice says

    What can I substitute for jalapeño? We don’t like hot.

  6. Constance says

    I love reading your emails. I live in Western Australia.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear that!

  7. laura says

    9 will make this pinwheel tacos for my son bday thankyou!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope he loves them!

  8. Bruce says

    I’m making Taco pinnwheels for Christmas. Can I add beef or chicken in the recipe? If so how much

    • Lisa Longley says

      I have never added meat to this recipe, but it can be done. I would use about 1 cup. And keep in mind that you may need another tortilla shell as this will make more filling.

  9. Leslie says

    What can I substitute for the Colby Jack cheese?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Cheddar would be a great sub.

  10. Kathy says

    5 stars
    This sounds sooo yummy! Can’t wait to try !! Thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      You’re welcome, Kathy!

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