You just need 2 ingredients to make these easy Pesto Pinwheels! They’re an easy and impressive appetizer for your next get-together.
Puff pastry is super versatile. Pigs in a blanket, chicken pot pie, danishes, and these Pesto Pinwheels all use the extra flaky dough to create a crisp, buttery result.
It’s the base of these Pesto Pinwheels, and the only other ingredient that you need (besides the puff pastry) is pesto!
The pinwheels are simple to make, and look really impressive when lined up on a serving platter.
Choosing the pesto
I chose a jarred basil pesto from the Italian aisle at my grocery store. You could also make your own or opt for another type of pesto.
I saw a sundried tomato pesto and an artichoke pesto that would also be tasty!
Avoid any pesto that is super oily here though, as the oil will seep through the pastry and create a mess. I skimmed some of the oil off the top of mine to solve the issue.
How to get maximum “puff”
While you’re making the pinwheels, you’ll return the pastry to the refrigerator TWICE.
The first time is so that you can cut the logs into pinwheels easily.
The second time is to ensure that the pastry gets maximum “puff” when it hits the oven.
Basically, when the cold pastry gets met with a blast of heat from the oven, it’ll expand quickly and get super flaky.
How to make pesto pinwheels
Start by defrosting the puff pastry according to package directions. This usually involves putting it in the refrigerator overnight or leaving it on the countertop for about 45 minutes.
Next, place the puff pastry on a clean work surface, and cut down the middle into two pieces.
Spread the pesto evenly between the two pieces. I like using an offset spatula for this.
Place the long edge facing you, and tightly roll each piece into a cylinder. Place the cylinders in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Cut each cylinder into ½ inch pieces. Place each piece spiral side up on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes (this ensures maximum “puff” to the puff pastry).
Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the pinwheels are golden brown.
Pesto Pinwheels are easily customizable to your taste!
- Use sun dried tomato pesto instead of basil pesto
- Sprinkle the tops with shaved parmesan before baking
- Substitute black olive pesto in place of the basil pesto
- Add shredded cheese (such as provolone) before rolling the pinwheels
Storing the pinwheels
Pesto Pinwheels are best eaten on the same day that they’re made. If you have leftovers, store them in a covered container on the countertop. They may be softer and not as crisp the following day.
More puff pastry appetizers
Puff pastry makes some seriously good appetizers! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pigs in a blanket
- Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups
- Puff Pastry Appetizers with Goat Cheese and Jam (this is a reader favorite!)
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
- 1 sheet puff pastry (½ of a 17.3 oz box)
- ⅓ cup prepared pesto
- Optional: 1 egg
- Defrost the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, let it sit out on the kitchen counter for 30–40 minutes or until it unfolds easily.
- Place the puff pastry on a flat surface and cut horizontally into 2 pieces. Spread the pesto evenly over the two pieces.
- Starting with the long end of one of the pieces of puff pastry, roll the pastry tightly into a log. Press gently on the seam with your thumb to seal. Repeat with the other piece of puff pastry. Refrigerate the logs for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into ½ inch pieces. Place each piece spiral side up on a baking sheet, using your fingers to gently reshape into a circle if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator.
- Optional: in a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush on the tops of the pinwheels.
- Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the pinwheels are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before serving. Pinwheels can be served warm or at room temperature.