Jalapeno popper pinwheels meld creamy cheese, crispy bacon, and spicy jalapeno, delivering an unforgettable flavor burst that’s ideal for any special occasion.
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Table of Contents
- About Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels
- What’s in jalapeno popper pinwheels?
- Flour tortillas vs. Corn tortillas
- Can you make these pinwheels spicier?
- Can you make them in advance?
- How long are they good for?
- Can they be frozen?
- How long can you leave out pinwheels?
- What to serve with these pinwheels
- Notes & tips for jalapeno popper pinwheels
- More delicious finger foods
- Other spicy recipes
- How to make jalapeno popper pinwheels
- Recipe Details
About Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels
Merging the creaminess of cheese, the crispy delight of bacon, and the kick of jalapeno results in a dish that stands out on any table:
Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels.
These flavorful spirals deliver an irresistible burst of flavors, making them an impeccable choice for gatherings, potlucks, or just a twist on snack time.
What’s in jalapeno popper pinwheels?
Before you can serve up a whole tray of these tasty pinwheels, you’ll need to collect the following ingredients:
- Cream cheese and sour cream – Form the base of these pinwheels’ creamy filling. You can substitute the sour cream or plain yogurt or mayonnaise.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – Because almost every tasty pinwheel has a bit of cheese. Sharp cheddar pairs very well with the cream cheese and spiciness of these pinwheels, but feel free to use other types of cheddar (medium, mild) or even different types of cheese (Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, pepper jack, swiss, gouda, etc).
- Pre-cooked bacon bits – A touch of protein that adds some savory flavor. If you’d rather cook and crumble your own bacon, you’d need about 5-6 strips to make the 1/3 cup required for this recipe.
- Jalapeno – The star of the show! Adds a spicy kick to the mellow creams and cheeses.
- Green onion – Adds a bit of crunch and flavor. This can also be omitted if you’d like.
- Flour tortillas – Used for wrapping the pinwheels and creating their iconic look of layered filling.
Flour tortillas vs. Corn tortillas
Both flour and corn tortillas can be used for pinwheels, but they have distinct characteristics that make one preferable over the other depending on the desired outcome and taste. Here’s a breakdown:
- Flexibility – Flour tortillas are more pliable than corn tortillas, making them easier to roll without breaking or cracking. This is especially beneficial for pinwheels, where a tight roll is crucial.
- Size – Flour tortillas generally come in larger sizes than corn tortillas, allowing for more fillings and larger pinwheels.
- Flavor – Flour tortillas have a neutral taste that can complement a wide range of fillings without overpowering them.
- Texture – They have a softer, more chewy texture, which can be preferable for pinwheels.
- Flavor – Corn tortillas have a distinct, earthy taste that can add an extra layer of flavor to the pinwheels.
- Gluten-Free – Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, making them a suitable choice.
- Texture – They tend to be more crumbly and can easily break or crack when rolled, especially if they aren’t properly warmed.
- Size – Generally smaller than flour tortillas, making them suitable for mini or bite-sized pinwheels.
In most cases, flour tortillas are often the go-to choice for pinwheels because of their flexibility and neutral flavor. However, if you’re aiming for a gluten-free option or want the distinct taste of corn to complement your fillings, corn tortillas can be used with extra care to prevent breaking. If using corn tortillas, it’s advisable to warm them slightly to increase their flexibility before rolling.
Can you make these pinwheels spicier?
These pinwheels are designed to have smooth flavor with a delicate kick, but if you’d like a little more fire, it’s easy to adjust this recipe to your tastes:
- Add more jalapeno peppers. This recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped jalapeno (roughly one or two peppers), but you could easily go up to 1/2 cup without changing the flavor too much.
- Include the jalapeno seeds and ribs. There’s a lot of spice in those little seeds and the white fleshy parts of a jalapeno, so if you’re looking for a more firey finger food, the easiest way would be to chop the jalapenos whole without removing the seeds.
Can you make them in advance?
Absolutely! Pinwheels are great for making in advance. I recommend making them at most 24 hours in advance to ensure the best presentation.
How long are they good for?
Once prepared, these jalapeno popper pinwheels can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three or four.
Can they be frozen?
Yes, they totally can! To do this, follow these instructions:
- Once fully prepared, wrap each pinwheel in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
- Transfer the rolls to a sealed container or freezer bag.
- Rolls can be frozen for up to two to three months.
When ready to eat, allow the pinwheels to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
How long can you leave out pinwheels?
Whenever you serve a finger food for your guests to enjoy, you should always keep track of how long it sits at room temperature.
For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone,” this is usually at or just above room temperature. These jalapeno popper pinwheels will likely still be chilled when served, and this should give you an extra 30 minutes beyond the two-hour window, depending on the room’s temperature and how long ago the pinwheels left the refrigerator.
As the party goes on, you can return the pinwheels to the refrigerator once you get past the two-hour mark. If your guests still want more snacks, let them chill for at least 30 minutes before bringing it back out again.
What to serve with these pinwheels
When serving up this grab-and-go appetizer, consider adding some of these options to your serving tray:
- Dips – Pinwheels are extremely dippable and pair well with guacamole, salsas like pico de gallo, or creamy dips like aioli or cilantro lime ranch.
- Salads – Easy serve-yourself options like coleslaw, broccoli salad, or spaghetti pasta salad would be good fits.
- Easy Sides – Consider milder side dishes like Mexican street corn or cilantro lime rice.
Notes & tips for jalapeno popper pinwheels
- If you love these pinwheels, be sure to check out these bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, jalapeno popper puffs, and jalapeno popper dip.
- To get clean cuts on pinwheels, use a serrated knife.
- You can use 10-inch tortillas instead. If you do, you’ll only need 4 of them to make this recipe.
- When preparing jalapenos, be sure to wear food safety gloves while handling them and avoid any contact with your eyes while you work. Also, you have a crucial choice to include the jalapeno seeds or remove them. The seeds are where this pepper gets its trademark fire, so only include them if you want the extra kick. For a full tutorial on cutting jalapeno peppers, check out How to Cut a Jalapeno Pepper the Right Way.
- For another flavor twist, add 1/2 teaspoon of ranch seasoning or serve with ranch dressing for dipping.
More delicious finger foods
Other spicy recipes
How to make jalapeno popper pinwheels
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 2 – After mixing, fold in the cheese, bacon, jalapeno, and scallions into the cream mixture.
Step 3 – Lay out a tortilla on a clean surface. Spread roughly 1/5 of the mixture over it, ensuring a 1/2 inch border remains clear. Neatly roll up the tortilla. Repeat this step with the remaining tortillas.
Step 4 – Each rolled tortilla should be wrapped securely in plastic wrap. Pop them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight.
Step 5 – When it’s time to serve, unwrap the tortillas and slice them into 1/2 inch rounds. You should get about 9 or 10 pinwheels per tortilla.
Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!
Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup pre-cooked bacon bits
- 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 5 8-inch flour tortillas
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + medium bowl), whip together cream cheese and sour cream on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.8 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup sour cream
- Remove bowl from mixer. Add cheese, bacon, jalapeno, and scallion to bowl. Use a spatula to gently fold them into cream cheese mixture.1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup pre-cooked bacon bits, 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno pepper, 2 scallions
- On a clean work surface, lay a tortilla. Take 1/5th of cream cheese mixture and spread it evenly across tortilla, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Tightly roll tortilla to form a log. Repeat this step for remaining 4 tortillas.5 8-inch flour tortillas
- Wrap tortilla logs tightly with plastic wrap, folding the ends of plastic wrap underneath to secure. Place wrapped tortillas in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
- When ready to serve, bring wrapped tortillas out and remove plastic wrap. Cut into 1/2 inch slices, creating roughly 9 or 10 pinwheels per tortilla.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.