I have yet to meet a pinwheel I didn’t like. Cream cheese has magical, flavor transforming powers. I mean, what can’t you make better by adding cream cheese? And tortillas are the perfect delivery mechanism for whatever cream cheese concoction you want to devour.
Plus, bonus points for a pleasing presentation with minimal effort.
What are Pinwheels?
Pinwheels (or maybe you call them roll-ups) are a snack/appetizer that consists of a cream cheese-based filling that is rolled up in a tortilla. The rolled up tortilla reveals a pinwheel shape as they are cut into "coins" and served as bite-sized snacks.
At a minimum, a pinwheel should consist of:
- A large flour tortilla
- Cream cheese
- Extras, like shredded cheese, vegetables, etc.
As a lover of all things pinwheel, taco seasoned, and coated in ranch dressing, these Salsa Ranch Pinwheels check a lot of flavor boxes for me. They are incredibly addictive, the savory snack you didn’t know you needed until you take your first bite.
If your pantry and refrigerator look anything like mine, you have all of the necessary ingredients to make Salsa Ranch Pinwheels on hand - tortillas, cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, taco and ranch seasonings, and black olives (optional, but highly recommended) - pretty much all the time. Because in the case of a flash flood/blizzard/zombie hoard, I want to make sure I have what I need to make Mexican(ish) food regardless of what’s going on outside.
How do you make Salsa Ranch Pinwheels?
To make these Salsa Ranch Pinwheels, all you have to do is whip up the filling, spread it on a tortilla, sprinkle some extra cheese on top, then roll it up and refrigerate. Playing the waiting game until the filling has firmed up enough to cut into pinwheels is really the most challenging part.
One of the best things about making Salsa Ranch Pinwheels is being the person who makes them. Because when it comes time to slice and serve, well, you can’t serve the wonky ends can you? Nope, your guests deserve the prettiest ones. But they can’t go to waste so.... you get to sample each roll x 2, in the guise of quality control. Lucky you.
How long do Pinwheels last?
For best results, eat within 3 days. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator.
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Salsa Ranch Pinwheels
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup salsa (use a chunkier salsa, for texture - I used Pace)
- 2 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 15-20 large black olives, roughly chopped
- 4 large tortillas
- Soften cream cheese. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, and ranch and taco seasonings together with an electric mixer.
- Add salsa, ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, and black olives. Stir until just combined.
- Lay out a tortilla and spread the delicious mixture in a thin layer, leaving about a half-inch of the tortilla un-slathered around the edges (to prevent it from squishing out when rolling).
- Sprinkle a quarter of the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Roll the tortilla up, pressing firmly yet gently as you roll.
- Wrap the rolled tortilla securely in plastic wrap to help it keep its shape. Repeat 3 more times, or until you've used up all the filling.
- Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours (or until firm) before cutting into approximately ½ inch pinwheels.
- Sample the ends. Serve the pretty ones.