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Pinwheel Sandwiches – Healthy Little Foodies

Pinwheel sandwiches are sandwiches that have been rolled up and cut into rounds. They are typically made with soft tortilla wraps, flat bread or sandwich bread. Like regular sandwiches, the filling choices are endless.

Vegetarian Pinwheel Sandwiches on Board

Reasons to Love Pinwheel Sandwiches

  • Lunchbox friendly: Their size and shape make them perfect for popping into the lunchbox and they hold up really well. Sandwiches can get boring every day and sometimes just changing the shape can keep things a little more interesting. 
  • Versatile: Just like regular sandwiches, the filling ideas are limitless and you can find a combination to suit all tastes. Try one of the suggested filling ideas or get creative and make your own.  
  • Easy: No fancy skills needed. Easy and quick to prepare. 

Watch How to Make Them (Video)

Ingredients You Will Need

Flat Lay of Choice of Ingredients Needed to Make Pinwheel Sandwiches Split into 3 Sections (Base, Spread and Fillings)

What you need will really depend on the sandwich filling you choose. Generally, I make sure to include:

  • Tortilla Wraps or Sliced Bread
  • A spread to add flavour and help hold the pinwheel together. E.g Cream cheese, hummus, mayo, white bean spread, peanut butter, nut butter, guacamole. I find cream cheese works the best and is an excellent moisture barrier.
  • A Protein-Rich Filling, this could be the spread (hummus, cream cheese cheese, peanut butter) or an extra filling such as grated/ thinly sliced cheese, tuna, chicken, deli meat, egg etc)
  • Produce Filling (grated or shredded carrots, lettuce leaves, spinach, avocado, thinly sliced or finely chopped cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, pickle slices etc) This adds some crunch, colour and veggie goodness. 

See filling ideas below.

How to Make Pinwheel Sandwiches

You can make pinwheel sandwiches with either tortilla wraps or sliced bread. 

Using Tortilla Wraps

Use nice soft wraps to make the rolling easier, if too hard they will crack when rolled. Fresh wraps at room temperature, or slightly warmed, are easier to roll than stale or cold ones.

White, wheat, flour, corn, flavoured, low carb, gluten free wraps will all work if soft enough to roll. Any size works too. I like to use medium sized (approx. 8″/21cm diamater) as I fee that they produce a good sized pinwheel for little hands and lunchboxes.

  1. Cover the wrap surface with chosen spread. 
  2. Add the desired fillings to cover around 2/3rd of the wrap
  3. Roll it up.  Tuck in the sides and tightly roll the tortillas up
  4. Cut off the ends and the cut the wrap in half and half again.
Collage of Four Images Showing How to Make Pinwheel Sandwiches Using Tortilla Wrap. (Spread wrap, add fillings roll up, cut)

Using Sliced Bread

Using bread is slightly trickier than wraps as the bread is smaller in size. You generally need to combine two slices before rolling. Any soft sliced sandwich bread will work (whole grain, wheat, sourdough, rye or white bread) Avoid overly seeded bread or artisan bread as this will not roll as well.

  1. Remove the crusts from the bread. If making a large number stacking them before slicing will help to save time
  2. Flatten the slices of bread Slightly overlap two slices of bread to make one long verticle piece. Flatten together using a rolling pin.
  3. Cover bread surface with chosen spread (suggestions above)
  4. Add the desired fillings to fill around 2/3rds of the bread. Do not overfill as it will be difficult to roll and the fillings will come out of the end.
  5. Tightly roll-up but be gentle, taking particular care with the bread join.
  6. Cut in half and then cut each half in half again. (Or cut to desired size)
Collage of 6 Images SHowing How to Make Sandwich Roll Ups Using Bread

Variations (Filling Ideas)

Try one of these filling ideas using the “how to” instructions above to form your wrap or sandwich bread pinwheels. Amounts of fillings will vary depending on size of wrap or bread used.

  • RAINBOW– Spread with cream cheese or hummus, add colourful grated/shredded/finely sliced vegetables (purple cabbage, red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, spinach)
  • ITALIAN – Mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with 1/2 tsp of dried Italian herbs. Spread with cream cheese mixture, add slices of ham, salami, sliced or grated cheese and top with lettuce and finely diced tomato.
  • AVO & EGG– Spread with a little mayonnaise and then avocado egg salad, top with lettuce and thinly sliced bell pepper and cucumber.
  • HUMMUS & CARROT – spread with hummus and add grated carrots. 
  • TUNA SALAD – Spread with a little mayonnaise and then some tuna salad, top with lettuce, thinly sliced bell pepper and cucumber
  • SALMON & CREAM CHEESE – Mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with some finely chopped dill. Spread and top with slices of smoked salmon and finely sliced cucumber.
  • CHICKEN & PESTO – Mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with 1 tsp of pesto (or to taste). Spread and top with thinly sliced chicken (or shredded chicken), lettuce and finely diced tomato.
  • CREAM CHEESE & STRAWBERRY – Mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with a pinch of cinnamon and drop of vanilla. Spread and top with finely chopped strawberries.
  • TURKEY & CRANBERRY – Mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with 2 tsp of cranberry sauce (or to taste). Spread and top with thinly sliced turkey, grated or sliced cheese, lettuce and finely diced tomato.
  • PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY – (works best with the sandwich bread) Spread with peanut butter and top with some chia jam.
Collage of 6 Flavours of Pinwheel Sandwiches showing Before and After Rolling and Slicing

Expert Tips

  • SOFT WRAPS /BREAD: Use nice soft wraps (or bread) to make the rolling easier, if too hard they will crack when rolled. Fresh wraps at room temperature, or slightly warmed, are easier to roll than stale or cold ones.
  • USE FILLINGS THAT WILL ROLL EASILY: To make it easier to roll the pinwheels tightly it is best not to overfill the sandwich and finely slice or grate the vegetables. I recommend using a julienne peeler for carrots and cucumber.
  • CLEAN SHARP KNIFE: When cutting the pinwheels use a clean sharp knife. Wipe the blade between each cut to keep the pinwheels neat. I find a serrated knife works best.
  • COLOURFUL INGREDIENTS: Roll up sandwiches are very visual so make sure you add lots of colourful ingredients. 
  • MOISTURE BARRIER: If using lots of wet ingredients (such as tomato) then create a moisture barrier between the bread and any ingredient that may make it wet. Lettuce leaves are great for this (just make sure they are completley dry).
  • REFRIGERATE: If you find your sandwiches start to unroll when cutting then pop your rolled sandwich in the refrigerator for a while. This helps to stick them together and should make cutting easier.

Storage Instructions

The shelf life quality of sandwich roll ups really depends on the filling used (pinwheels with lots of wet ingredients will not store as well). Personally I wouldn’t store for longer that 1-2 days in the refrigerator.

To preserve quality they should be wrapped in cling film and kept in an airtight container. If making the evening before (for lunchboxes) then it is best ro prepare up to the rolled stage and then cut into pinwheels in the morning. This will keep the wrap from drying out.

Vegetable Pinwheel Sandwiches Made Using Bread on Board with One at Forefront

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Vegetarian Pinwheel Sandwiches on Board

Pinwheel Sandwiches Recipes

Rolled up sandwiches, cut into rounds. Typically made with soft tortilla wraps but can also be made using sandwich bread. Like regular sandwiches, the filling choices are endless.

Instructions

Rainbow

  • Spread the cream cheese over the wrap

  • Add the vegetables in rows from the bottom of the tortilla. It should cover approx 2/3rds of the wrap

  • Tuck in the sides of the tortilla wrap and tightly roll from the bottom up. Slice the ends off, cut the wrap in half and then cut each half in half again. (Or cut to desired size)

Italian

  • In a small bowl mix the cream cheese and Italian herbs together. Spread the mixture over the wrap.

  • Layer the pepporoni, ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato onto the wrap. Try to cover the surface area with the meat and cheese and layer the vegetables in the centre

  • Tuck in the sides of the tortilla wrap and tightly roll from the bottom up. Slice the ends off, cut the wrap in half and then cut each half in half again. (Or cut to desired size)

Turkey & Cranberry

  • In a small bowl mix the cream cheese and cranberry sauce together. Spread the mixture over the wrap.

  • Layer the turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato onto the wrap. Try to cover the surface area with the turkey and cheese and layer the vegetables in the centre.

  • Tuck in the sides of the tortilla wrap and tightly roll from the bottom up. Slice the ends off, cut the wrap in half and then cut each half in half again. (Or cut to desired size)

Chicken & Pesto

  • In a small bowl mix the cream cheese and pesto together. Spread the mixture over the wrap.

  • Layer the chicken slices to cover the surface area of the wrap, add the chopped tomato and lettuce to the centre.

  • Tuck in the sides of the tortilla wrap and tightly roll from the bottom up. Slice the ends off, cut the wrap in half and then cut each half in half again. (Or cut to desired size)

Recipe Notes

  • WRAP SIZE: Smaller wraps are used in this recipe as they are a better size for little hands or for popping into lunchboxes. You can use larger wraps and increase filling amounts to suit. 
  • USING BREAD: Pinwheels sandwiches can also be made using sandwich bread. Remove crusts from two slices, lay the bread down on a hard surface and slightly overlap the two slices.  Using a rolling pin flatten the slices. Full instructions and process shots in the main post. Also demonstrated on video. 
  • VEGETABLES: Vegetables should be finely sliced to make rolling and slicing easier. I find a julienne peeler is perfect for carrots & cucumbers.
  • FILLING IDEAS: Four filling ideas are included in this recipe card other suggestions are given above, in the detailed post. Or choose your favourite sandwich filling. 
  • NUTRITION: Based on an average of the four fillings. It is a rough guide, calculated using an online nutrition calculator. 

Nutrition Facts

Pinwheel Sandwiches Recipes

Amount Per Serving

Calories 318
Calories from Fat 189

% Daily Value*

Fat 21g32%

Saturated Fat 11g55%

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 6g

Cholesterol 58mg19%

Sodium 774mg32%

Potassium 293mg8%

Carbohydrates 21g7%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 13g26%

Vitamin A 2752IU55%

Vitamin C 12mg15%

Calcium 192mg19%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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