Cheese Pinwheels with Crispy Prosciutto make a fun snack or appetizer. They can be made ahead and served at room temperature for an elevated snack that lets the flavors of savory Grana Padano cheese and rich Prosciutto di Parma shine.
Today’s post comes to you in partnership with our friends at Honest Cooking. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and ramblings on food are entirely my own.
Store-bought puff pastry is a true secret weapon when it comes to making snacks or appetizers that feel special without a ton of work. 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.
Or, in the case of these pinwheels, top it with delicious ingredients and roll it into crispy bite-sized rounds. The pinwheels you see before you are filled with two rich and savory classic Italian ingredients that make these particular pinwheels taste like something truly special. Something special that only the flavors of real-deal PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) Prosciutto di Parma and Grana Padano cheese can provide.
Surely someday we’ll be able to travel to Europe again. But in the meantime, let these crispy, flavor-packed pinwheels take you there.
These are so simple to make! Here’s all you need to know.
- 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 di Parma – Savory, buttery, and so tender, this adds a savory element to the pinwheels. Look for “PDO” on the Prosciutto di Parma which lets you know it’s the good stuff.
- Grana Padano Cheese – As with the Prosciutto, we’re using the authentic PDO variety that is savory, rich, and turns slightly creamy when melted. Take the time to grate the cheese yourself instead of buying pre-grated. It will melt best when grated right before using and will help the pinwheels to hold their shape.
- Fresh Thyme – For a hint of herb flavor, add some fresh thyme 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 hold together while baking.
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.
- Bake Prosciutto – Bake Prosciutto on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Crispy Prosciutto adds extra texture and flavor to the pinwheels. It just takes 7 to 10 minutes in the oven to lightly crisp the thin slices of meat.
- Fill puff pastry – Unfold puff pastry sheets and brush with egg wash. Top with Grana Padano cheese, fresh thyme leaves, and Prosciutto.
- Roll and slice – Roll up the puff pastry to enclose the filling. Cut into thin slices. Transfer to parchment-paper lined baking sheets.
- Bake pinwheels – Bake pinwheels until golden brown and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes.
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.
More Ways to Use Puff Pastry
- Puff Pastry Bites with Caramelized Onions and Gouda
- Easy Apple Tart
- Plum Tarts with Sweet Basil Honey
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hand Pies
- Batten Down the Hatches and Make Baklava
- Half Sheet Pan
- Parchment Paper Sheets
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls
- Cutting Board
- Silicone Basting Brush
- Serrated Knife
- Cooling Rack
Cheese Pinwheels with Crispy Prosciutto
- 2 Sheet Pans
- Parchment Paper
- Cutting Board
- Serrated Knife
- 4 oz Prosciutto di Parma
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 2 sheets Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed according to package directions (18 oz)
- 1 cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese
- 2 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (sub dried thyme, but use half as much)
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread Prosciutto out in a single layer on top. Transfer to the oven and bake until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes (this will vary depending on thickness; take it out as soon as it looks dry / crisp - be careful not to overcook).
- While Prosciutto bakes, whisk together egg and water. Set aside.
- Unfold both sheets of puff pastry out on a clean counter or cutting board.
- Brush the entire surface of the puff pastry with whisked egg (you may not need all of it). Top with cheese, thyme leaves, and a single layer of crisp Prosciutto, leaving about ½ inch free along the top edge of the pastry.
- Starting with the end closest to you, roll the puff pastry up into a log, enclosing the filling. Pinch closed at the end. 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 sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets (remove and discard the parchment used to bake the Prosciutto).
- 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!
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