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Cream Cheese Tortilla Pinwheels or Lettuce Wraps

Flavorful Cream Cheese Pinwheels are well loved low carb appetizers. Make them as tortilla wraps or lettuce wraps.

Pinwheels are easy to make for large groups. These are simple appetizers that can be put together quickly. Pinwheels can be made with a variety of ingredients to suite specific tastes and dietary restrictions.

We have added instructions for making these pinwheels as lettuce wraps for a low carb keto appetizer option. This post also has some tips for storing and freezing pinwheels.

Tortilla Pinwheels On A Party Tray With Fresh Cilantro
Pinwheel appetizers filled with cream cheese, bacon and vegetables.

We love simple healthy appetizers for our family functions. Easy appetizer finger food like this with a healthy filling and low carb wrap fit right in.

Cream cheese pinwheels are full of fresh ingredients. You can make them very quick and easy with a food processor.

Watch Me Make Cream Cheese tortilla Pinwheels

We videoed this process the long way so you can see each step.

Follow the food processor instructions if you have one. That’s a very quick and easy method to make this filling.

Looking for more Appetizer Recipes? Visit our complete Appetizer Section.

Single Cream Cheese Bite With Loaded Tray Behind
Low carb wraps with a flavorful cream cheese, bacon and veggie filling. So good!

Do you Refrigerate Pinwheels before Cutting?

Pinwheels should be refrigerated before cutting them. This will help keep the ingredients and wrap together when slicing the pinwheels. Use a sharp knife when cutting the pinwheel shapes to avoid smashing them down.

How Long Are Cream Cheese Pinwheels Good For?

If properly stored in an airtight container, cream cheese pinwheels can last up to 4 days. Always place pinwheels in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Lay them in a flat layer and do not stack them on top of each other. This will help keep the shape of the pinwheels during storage. Pinwheels can also be frozen for longer storage.

Can Tortilla Pinwheels be Frozen?

Tortilla Pinwheels can be frozen. Freezing pinwheels is a great way to make these appetizers ahead of time. To defrost pinwheels, put them in the refrigerator overnight and they will slowly come up to temperature.

How to freeze pinwheels:

  1. Lay pinwheels flat on a baking sheet
  2. Place baking sheet in freezer
  3. Flash freeze pinwheels until they are frozen solid
  4. Remove frozen pinwheels from the freezer
  5. Wrap each pinwheel tightly in plastic wrap
  6. Put frozen, wrapped pinwheels in an airtight container or freezer bag.
  7. Label freezer container with the date
  8. Add the freezer container with pinwheels back into the freezer.
  9. These pinwheels will last up to 2 months in the freezer
  10. Defrost by putting them in the refrigerator overnight.

Cream Cheese Pinwheel Recipes-Two ways

These easy appetizers can be made as either cream cheese tortilla wraps or lettuce wraps. They are cute and easy to handle in either form.

Tortilla Pinwheels On A Party Tray With Fresh Cilantro
Pinwheel appetizers filled with cream cheese, bacon and vegetables.

Tortilla Pinwheels Party Appetizers:

Tortilla pinwheels are versatile and there are SO many options! Our pastrami Wraps tortilla pinwheel recipe and these Italian Sub Sandwich tortilla Pinwheels by Lets Delish Recipes are also great party food or lunch options.

You can easily pack this delicious low carb recipe into a picnic cooler or set them out by the grill. Eat them for lunch or snacks. They are great anytime.

For this appetizer recipe we wanted cute one inch rolls of yummy cream cheese filling rolled in a tortilla and cut into bite sized pieces.

The Ingredients Used For These Easy Tortilla Pinwheels
The ingredients used for these easy tortilla pinwheels

Tortilla Pinwheels are a delicious cold appetizer that will stay food safe for several hours at room temperature.

TIP: The flour tortillas are durable and easy to manipulate on a party tray. For best handling choose white flour low carb tortillas.

Whole wheat low carb tortillas will work if fresh. However, they are more delicate than the white flour tortillas.

What are Pinwheel Sandwiches Made of?

Pinwheel sandwiches are made of tortillas, cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, green chiles, olives, celery, sweet red pepper, and diced bacon. These are versatile sandwiches and the ingredients can be substituted for taste and dietary restrictions. The base of pinwheel sandwiches is usually cream cheese. The vegetables can be swapped out to make different flavor varieties.

Lettuce Wraps:

Lettuce Wraps With Cream Cheese Filling
Lettuce wraps with cream cheese filling

Lettuce wraps are surprisingly satisfying keto (very low carbs) version of the tortilla pinwheel.

The extra bit of crunchy texture and light lettuce flavor is refreshing and so much lighter than a tortilla.

Romaine lettuce is one of the lowest carb vegetables. Choose Romaine for a KETO cream cheese lettuce wraps recipe.

Romaine lettuce has .9 grams of carbs in one of the large outer leaves. For our recipe we use 1/2 of a large leaf per lettuce wrap. So each wrap has less than half a carb gram per wrap.

For the Low carb tortillas: One of the low carb tortillas has about 6 net carbs. We chop them into one inch bites so you will get about a gram per tortilla pinwheel.

If eating low carb is your focus. Romaine lettuce wraps win over low carb tortillas.

The cream cheese filling works fabulously for lettuce wrap pinwheel appetizers.

These wraps are a good finger food idea. Sticking a toothpick through the top makes them very easy to grab off a tray.

These lettuce wraps are gluten free appetizers. They need to be chilled (in a cooler is fine, covered) if not serving immediately so they won’t wilt.

For lettuce wraps making them just before serving gives the best results.

Romaine Lettuce Wraps With Cream Cheese Filling-Top View
Romaine lettuce wraps

How to make Lettuce wraps:

I’ve written instructions for these lettuce wraps into the recipe card for you. Here is the breakdown of the steps.

  • Begin with large unblemished leaves of Organic Romaine lettuce.
  • Now lay the washed lettuce leaves flat on your cutting board.
  • Cut along each lettuce rib all the way down on both sides.
  • finish the cut so your leaf is two halves. Discard the rib.
  • For each half:
    • Lay the half leaf flat and spread thinly and evenly with your cream cheese filling.
    • Roll tightly from the narrow end up.
    • Pierce with a toothpick if desired. (It’s not necessary but easier for guests to handle.)

Lettuce wraps are a wonderful keto recipe. They make a tasty and healthy lunch recipe, healthy snack or appetizer ideas.

Ranch Dressing Cream Cheese Filling:

Gluten Free Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix is fabulous in this cream cheese pinwheel filling. The flavor blend with the cream cheese is very good.

Cream Cheese Tortilla Pinwheels On A Garnished Party Tray.
Cream cheese tortilla wraps on a party tray garnished with fresh cilantro.

Ranch dry mix and cream cheese are the basic flavors of this filling with whatever add in you prefer.

You can add SO many ingredients to this filling base with great results.

You can make the cream cheese filling ahead. Just cover it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until serving.

On party day just roll them up, cut and place them on your trays.

It’s easy to change up these pinwheels to suit your own preferences. You can remake this finger food recipe lots of different ways.

Add-in ideas for the cream cheese filling:

  • finely chopped Sun dried Tomatoes
  • minced green onions
  • diced water chestnuts
  • ground turkey
  • ground chicken
  • crab
  • diced ham and cheese (Try fresh parmesan )
Tortilla Pinwheels On A Tray Side Shot.
Cream cheese Tortilla pinwheels are a popular easy appetizer.

Food Processor Instructions:

To save quite a bit of time making the filling use your food processor for this recipe.

  • Start with the vegetables and olives.
    • drop your veggies into your food processor and pulse three times. Add in the olives and bacon. pulse until evenly chopped.
  • Add in the softened Cream cheese in quarters and ranch mix. Pulse between additions.
  • Using purchased real bacon bits rather than cooking your own bacon will also save you time.
  • If cooking your own bacon let it drain and then rough chop it before finishing it in the food processor with the other filling ingredients.
  • Add cilantro and pulse to complete the cream cheese filling recipe.

Do not over process this filling. It is not meant to be a paste. When it’s done it needs to spread evenly and easily onto your lettuce leaves or tortillas.

Single Cream Cheese Bite With Loaded Tray Behind
Yield: 50 tortilla bites

Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Flavorful Cream Cheese Pinwheels are well loved low carb appetizers. Make them as tortilla wraps or lettuce wraps.

Ingredients

  • 2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese-softened
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro (optional fresh minced)
  • 1/8 Cup chopped green chiles (4 oz. can drained or use jarred or fresh)
  • 1/8 Cup sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 celery rib- chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons real bacon bits (or diced cooked bacon)
  • 8 flour tortillas (10 inch size) Or one head of Romaine lettuce.

Instructions

To cook the bacon: Set a fry pan over medium heat. Cut the bacon up small and then pour it into the fry pan. Cook until crisp. Drain.

Dice all the vegetables and olives fine. Set aside.

Dice up the bacon fine.

In a medium deep bowl beat softened cream cheese and dressing mix until blended.

Add the finely diced green chiles, olives, celery, red pepper and bacon.

Tortilla Pinwheels On A Tray Side Shot.

Fill and roll Tortilla wraps:

Spread a small amount of filling evenly over a tortilla wrap.

Roll it up keeping the filling as even as possible out to the edge of the wrap. Repeat until all wraps and filling are used. (or as much as you need).

Chill the wrap in the refrigerator before cutting it into pinwheels. This will help keep the pinwheels together during slicing.

If making ahead store the wraps in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.Lettuce Wraps With Cream Cheese Filling

To Make Lettuce Wraps:

  1. Begin with large unblemished leaves of Organic Romaine lettuce.
  2. Now lay the washed lettuce leaves flat on your cutting board.
  3. Cut along each lettuce rib all the way down on both sides.
  4. finish the cut so your leaf is two halves. Discard the rib.
  5. For each half:
  • Lay the half leaf flat and spread thinly and evenly with your cream cheese filling.
  • Roll tightly from the narrow end up.
  • Pierce with a toothpick if desired. (It's not necessary but easier for guests to handle.)

At serving:

Cut each wrap into 1-in. slices.

Refrigerate leftovers.

QUICKER METHOD: Food Processor Filling Instructions:

  1. Start with the vegetables and olives.
  2. drop your veggies into your food processor and pulse three times. Add in the olives and bacon. pulse until evenly chopped.
  3. Add in the softened Cream cheese in quarters and ranch mix. Pulse between additions.
  4. Using purchased real bacon bits rather than cooking your own bacon will also save you time.
  5. If cooking your own bacon let it drain and then rough chop it before finishing it in the food processor with the other filling ingredients.
  6. Add cilantro and pulse to complete the cream cheese filling recipe.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

50

Serving Size

1 appetizer

Amount Per Serving Calories 63Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 9mgSodium 80mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 2g

For lettuce wraps the carbs will be cut in half or more.

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