Puff Pastry Pinwheels
Published Feb 10, 2021•Updated Dec 06, 2023
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Puff Pastry Pinwheels are an easy appetizer made with store-bought puff pastry, cheese, and prosciutto or any ham. They can be made ahead and served at room temperature for one of the best elevated holiday snacks.
Looking for an easy appetizer for your next party? Store-bought puff pastry is the key! Keep it in the freezer, pull it out to defrost about an hour ahead of time, top it with any delicious ingredients you have in the fridge, and bake it until golden.
In the case of these pinwheels, top them with cheese and prosciutto or ham for savory snacks that are perfect with cocktails, mocktails, or any drinks you’re serving before dinner.
These are so simple to make! Here’s all you need to know. to make pinwheel pastries.
How to Make Puff Pastry Pinwheels
- Defrost pastry – Don’t forget this step. Most puff pastry needs about 40 minutes at room temperature to defrost.
- Heat oven – Heat oven to 375°F.
- Prepare puff pastry – Unroll the puff pastry and gently roll it out with a rolling pin just to give it an even surface.
- Fill puff pastry -Top the puff pastry with a thin layer of cheese, fresh thyme leaves, and Prosciutto. Leave 1-inch open at the top without any of the filling. Brush the open top inch with egg wash.
- Roll and slice – Roll up the puff pastry to enclose the filling, pressing it tightly at the top so that the egg wash will help it to stick together. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer to parchment-paper lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them.
- Bake pinwheels – Bake the pinwheels until golden brown and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes.
Ingredients for Puff Pastry Pinwheels
- Frozen Puff Pastry – Buy this in the freezer section (often under “desserts”, even though it works for savory recipes as well). Just check the box for the best way to thaw it before baking.
- Prosciutto – Savory, buttery, and so tender, this adds a savory element to the pinwheels. Ham works too.
- Grana Padano Cheese – This is savory, rich, and turns slightly creamy when melted. Take the time to grate the cheese yourself instead of buying pre-grated. Parmesan cheese works well too!
- Fresh Thyme – For a hint of herb flavor, add some fresh thyme leaves to the pinwheels. Dried thyme will work just fine, or you can skip this if you prefer.
- Egg and Water – An egg wash helps the pinwheels to stay together and get a golden color while they bake.
More Filling Ideas
Ham and cheese is classic, but the sky is the limit when filling these! Try some of these other fillings, but the rest of the instructions are just the same.
- Ham and cheese
- Red Pepper Jelly and cheese
- Mediterranean fillings like finely diced artichokes, roasted bell peppers, and feta
- Caramelized onions
- Mushrooms (saute them in butter and season with salt first)
- Cream cheese and herbs (or Boursin)
- Sun-Dried tomatoes and lemon zest
- Spinach and cheese
How to Freeze Puff Pastry Pinwheels
To freeze: Form and fill the puff pastry pinwheels as described in the recipe. Place the unbaked, sliced pinwheels out on a parchment-lined sheet pan (no need to leave space in between). Transfer to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake: Spread frozen pinwheels out on a parchment-lined sheet pan and leave at room temperature for about 20 minutes while the oven heats to 375°F. Bake according to recipe directions.
They are best served the same day as you bake them, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want to work ahead, just assemble them and freeze
Yes! These are amazing in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F and then bake the pinwheels until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
More Puff Pastry Appetizers
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Puff Pastry Pinwheels
- 2 Sheet Pans
- Parchment Paper
- Cutting Board
- Serrated Knife
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (18 oz)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional; sub dried thyme, but use 1/2 teaspoon)
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or ham
- Before you get started, make sure that your puff pastry is thawed according to package directions.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Whisk together egg and water. Set aside.
- Unfold both sheets of puff pastry out on a clean counter. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the puff pastry out just to flatten any bumps.
- Top the pastry with cheese, thyme leaves, and a single layer of Prosciutto, leaving about 1 inch free along the top edge of the pastry. Brush the top inch with egg wash.
- Starting with the end closest to you, roll the puff pastry up into a log, enclosing the filling. Pinch closed at the top. If the pastry doesn’t feel cool to the touch, transfer the log to the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes (it will be easiest to slice and will produce the most flaky pinwheels if it is cool when baked).
- Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
- Use a serrated knife to slice the pastry logs into 1/4-inch rounds (you should get about 20 rounds from each log). Spread out on prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each pinwheel. Gently reshape the pinwheels into circles if they were compressed during slicing.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Let cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Garnish with a few extra thyme leaves, if you'd like. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.