Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups (Pinwheel Sandwiches)

If you’re craving a flavor-packed snack or appetizer, make a batch of Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups! These delicious pinwheel sandwiches are stuffed with incredible ingredients like cheddar cheese, green onions, and chili powder. Warning – you won’t be able to just have one! 

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tortilla rollups on a plate

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Easy Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups

These rollups are so tasty, I’m always looking for an excuse to make them! Football parties, potlucks, and after school snacks are all perfect occasions to make these bad boys. No matter where you end up serving these spicy pinwheels, make sure to keep this recipe handy – people will definitely ask for it!

These handheld tortilla rollups are everything you’re looking for in an appetizer or snack. They’re perfectly portioned, savory, and oh so cheesy! Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream come together to make each bite creamier than the last. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese?! 

So, what makes these rollups spicy? A delicious combination of chili powder and chopped green chilies give this snack that extra kick of flavor and heat that makes them simply irresistible! No matter where I bring these, I always make sure to make a little extra. They’re so good, they usually fly off the tray.

rollup sandwiches on a wood board

How To Make Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

You only need 7 simple, inexpensive ingredients to whip up a batch of these spicy snacks. You know what’s even better than that? You won’t believe how easy to follow the steps are to creating them!

As long as you have about 20 minutes to make them and 3-4 hours to let them chill, you’ll be good to go! The hardest part is letting them chill for that long… It’s so tempting to take them out of the fridge earlier, but you must resist! The texture and flavors need time to develop in the fridge. 

 

toritilla roll ups how-to-make photo collage

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  • Start off by placing the cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Then, use an electric mixer to combine both ingredients until they’re blended. 
  • Next, stir in the cheddar cheese, green onions, green chilies, and seasonings. Keep mixing until everything is fully combined.
  • Once your mixture is ready to go, tightly roll each tortilla up jelly-roll style and wrap each in plastic wrap. You want to make sure the roll is very tight! If it’s too loose, it will lose its desired shape and fall apart. 
  • Are your rolls nice and tight? Perfect! Then you’re ready to refrigerate overnight (or at least 3-4 hours). When you’re ready to serve them, use a serrated knife to slice the tortilla roll into 3/4 inch rounds, and arrange on your favorite serving plate.
  • You can serve these spicy tortilla rollups plain, or with a spicy tomato salsa! Either way, they’re going to be amazing. Enjoy!

tortilla pinwheels on a plate

Pinwheel Sandwich Recipe Tips

If you want your pinwheel appetizers to be even spicier, you can add ingredients like cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, freshly chopped jalapeno, or even your favorite hot sauce! While I personally like my tortilla rollups to just be spiced with the chopped green chilies and chili powder, there are certainly more ways you can deliciously turn up the heat. 

Be sure to cut the spicy tortilla rollups into even pieces! It may seem simple, but making sure to cut each piece evenly is so important for presentation. When they’re all the same size, they look so much more impressive than they would if cut unevenly. Plus, that way, everyone experiences the same perfect bite every time.

 Speaking of slicing, don’t slice too far in advance. I recommend slicing the rollups right before you want to serve them. The tortillas tend to dry out a bit if the rolls are unwrapped or sliced too early. However, if you need to slice the rollups ahead of time, that’s okay! Just make sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

dunking a pinwheel appetizer in red sauce

Storage and Variations

Do these rollups need to be refrigerated? As previously mentioned, these spicy snacks stay freshest when they’re in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve them, they can be transferred to the serving platter at room temperature. They should stay fresh for the whole party!

Can I freeze tortilla roll ups? You sure can! If you plan on freezing them, I recommend leaving the tortilla roll uncut, then slicing the pieces once it’s thawed. The tortilla rollup will stay good in the freezer for about 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, simply let the rollup thaw in your fridge overnight. It should be ready to slice the next day! It’ll be as delicious as the first day you made it. 

pinwheels on a wood board

Variations

If you’re making these roll ups for picky little ones (we’ve all been there before), you can take out the chopped green chilies and chili powder. While the rollups won’t be as spicy or flavorful, they’ll still be tasty, especially for your picky eaters. 

Wanna sneak in some veggies? This Southwest-inspired pinwheel sandwich pairs well with corn! Just toss in about half a cup of cooked corn to the mixture with the other ingredients. The texture will be a bit bumpier, but it’ll still be delicious.

For presentation, don’t be afraid to sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, or garnish with freshly cut cilantro. Those are two tasty ways to present your rollups!

Craving More Spice? Look No Further

Sweet Heat BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites – Get your taste buds ready! With a touch of chipotle chili powder and sweet BBQ sauce, this appetizer is mouth-watering delicious!…. and yes, it’s as good as you think it is!

Spicy Coconut & Lime Grilled Shrimp Scampi – This spicy coconut & lime grilled shrimp scampi recipe blends coconut and lime while adding a touch of spice with Sriracha sauce to shrimp scampi. Serve with freshly cut cilantro over a bed of rice!

Spicy Ranch Goldfish Snack Mix – Spicy ranch goldfish snack mix is crunchy, savory, and a cinch to make. It’s perfect for a party, football watching, movie night, or any night! No one can resist a big bowl of this spicy goodness.

 

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tortilla roll ups on a wood board and white plate

Tortilla pinwheels are a must for holiday appetizers or game day snacking.

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Originally posted in January 2009. UPDATED January 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

tortilla rollups on a plate

Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups

Yield: 60
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

If you’re craving a flavor-packed snack, make a batch of Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups! These delicious pinwheel sandwiches are stuffed with incredible ingredients like cheddar cheese, green onions, and chili powder. Warning - you won’t be able to just have one!

Ingredients

  • 5 large flour tortillas, room temperature
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese or Monterey jack – shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese – softened
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 6 green onions chopped – stems and all
  • 4 ounces chopped green chilies- drained
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer combine until blended. Stir in cheese, green onions, green chillies, and seasonings.
  2. Lay out the tortillas and divide the mixture evenly in the center of each one. Spread mixture fairly thin and evenly on tortillas to within 1/8 inch of edge.
  3. Tightly roll each tortilla up jelly-roll style and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 3-4 hours). When ready to serve, slice in 3/4 inch rounds and arrange on serving plate.
  5. Serve plain or with salsa.

Notes

  • The chill time allows the ingredients to "blend together" and makes them easier to slice.
  • I recommend slicing when you are ready to serve the roll-ups. The tortillas tend to dry out if rolls are unwrapped and sliced to early. If you do slices them ahead of time, be sure to keep them air-tight and in the refrigerator.



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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 2 roll ups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 138mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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pinwheels on a white plate