Made with just 4 ingredients, these Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are great for entertaining. They’re always a hit at parties and can even be turned into an easy (kid-approved) meal as well.
Easy Pinwheels Party Appetizer
These Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are so easy to make that it’s hard to believe they’re so good. Serving this up at a party almost feels like cheating. Everyone loves them and they disappear quickly but they take just 4 ingredients and 30 minutes to make. I think what makes them stand out is the flaky puff pastry dough used. So good!
While these are typically served as an appetizer or party snack, they can easily be turned into a light meal. The kids definitely love these as lunch, especially when served with their favorite dipping sauce.
What You’ll Need
This easy pinwheel recipe comes together with just 4 ingredients plus an optional garnish. Scroll down to the recipe card for full measurements.
- Puff pastry – Frozen but thawed overnight in the fridge.
- Dijon mustard – Adds a sweet-spicy flavor to the pinwheels.
- Deli ham – Ask for it thinly-sliced so the pinwheels roll easily and be sure to use a good brand.
- Cheese – I like Swiss cheese but Gruyere and cheddar are also great options. Freshly grated is ideal for the best melting.
- Parsley – An optional garnish.
There are so many different pinwheel appetizer variations. You can basically roll whatever you’d like up in the puff pastry dough. Ham and cheese is my favorite because pretty much everyone loves it but here are some other alternatives:
- Pizza pinwheels. Use marinara sauce instead of dijon, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni or other favorite pizza toppings.
- Pesto pinwheels. Pesto also makes a great sauce with some mozzarella or even sundried tomatoes.
- Try other proteins. Pepperoni, salami, turkey, chicken, roast beef, and pretty much any other meat can be layered on these.
- Use pizza dough instead of pastry. Pinwheels are also commonly made with Pillsbury pizza dough instead of pastry dough. I like the light, flaky pastry dough but feel free to try them with pizza dough.
How to Make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
Pinwheels are a quick and easy appetizer (or light lunch). Here’s how to make them in just a few easy steps.
- Assemble the pinwheels. Roll the puff pastry into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Spread the mustard on first, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Top with ham slices and cheese.
- Roll and refrigerate. Roll the puff pastry into a tight log and press the edges to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Bake. Slice the puff pastry log into 1/2-inch slices. Place 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
Ham and Swiss pinwheels are best served warm, though allow them to cool a bit when they come out of the oven.
You can offer extra dijon for dipping or other dipping sauces like marinara sauce, cheese sauce, Alabama white sauce, or fry sauce. Some sauces, like marinara, I find are better if I omit the dijon in the pinwheels.
Can I Make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels the Day Before?
You can assemble the pinwheel log a day before, keep it wrapped in the fridge, and slice and bake the day of. Pinwheels are also great served at room temperature so no worries if you baked them a few hours before you’ll be enjoying.
How to Store, Freeze & Reheat
Any leftover pastry dough pinwheels can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, either in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
While you can reheat them in the microwave, personally I find the best way to reheat pinwheels is in the oven at about 350 until they’re heated through and the cheese is melted again.
Baked ham and cheese pinwheels can also be frozen. Once they cool completely, freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to another container or ziploc. Reheat from frozen in the oven at 375F.
More Party Appetizers:
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed overnight in the fridge
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard divided
- 12 slices deli ham thinly-sliced, good quality
- 2 cups freshly grated Swiss cheese (or Gruyere or cheddar)
- chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the puff pastry into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Place 6 ham slices on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
- Starting at a long end, roll the puff pastry into a tight log using the parchment as support. Press the edges together to seal. Wrap the log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it, seam side down, for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F with racks in the upper and middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry log into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange the rolls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1-2 inches apart.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm.