Pesto Pinwheels with Sun-dried Tomatoes

If you want a colorful, crunchy appetizer to make and share, these Pesto Pinwheels are perfect for you! All you need are fresh pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan and a few more ingredients to make this delicious puff pastry appetizer that’s great for sharing.

Close up of pesto pinwheels on a platter next to a container of pesto

2024 update: These Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Pinwheels originally appeared on My Cooking Spot, where I was a contributor. I have updated and changed the recipe, rephotographed it, as well as included more tips and tricks in the post.

Real talk: pinwheel appetizers are fun to make AND share… and also eat.

I love a recipe that’s simple to make, but packs a punch, flavor-wise.

While these are not the tortilla roll ups people know and love, I like to think these are even more incredible because these pinwheels are wrapped in a layer of puff pastry, which crisps up as it bakes and adds another dimension to this bite-sized appetizer.

Why I love this recipe:

Earlier this year, I (re)shared my recipe for Bruschetta Puff Pastry Pinwheels, and this recipe is verrrrrrrry similar to those.

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    We’re just swapping out a few ingredients for others and changing the flavor profile a bit. 😉

    Much like those other savory pinwheels, I love that this recipe doesn’t require a ton of ingredients AND uses a few storebought shortcuts to make life easy as pie.

    You’re going to love this recipe because…

    • Store-bought shortcuts, like frozen puff pastry dough, elevate this appetizer with minimal effort.
    • You can customize it to your own tastebuds. This means you can use the pesto that makes YOU do a happy dance, not just any ‘ol pesto recipe.
    • It bakes up quickly and relatively easily.
    • You can roll it in advance to bake off before sharing with the people you love.

    Quite honestly, I’m always in the market for a simple, super flavorful appetizer like this one, and these Pesto Pinwheels are the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

    More easy appetizers to make and share: Cucumber Bruschetta (Easy Cucumber Appetizer) | Classic Deviled Eggs | Baked Brie Bites | Caprese Skewers

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    You’ll need to grab the following at the grocery store:

    • Puff pastry — you need half of a package of store-bought puff pastry sheets or a single sheet of puff pastry. Be sure to thaw it in the fridge so that it’s not rock solid. That said, you do not want it to be room temperature because it will fall apart on you.
    • Pesto sauce — this brings the BEST flavor to these pinwheels and the oil in the pesto helps the pinwheels crisp up beautifully. I love to use homemade basil pesto, but any kind works.
    • Sun-dried tomatoes — drain and chop them before adding them to this bite-sized snack. They bring intense tomato flavor without adding a ton of liquid to the pastry.
    • Parmesan cheese — shredded or grated works here. Use the kind of parmesan that isn’t in a shelf-stable bottle. The flavor will pop better if you use the fresh kind.
    Pesto smeared on a sheet of puff pastry on a stone surface
    Roll out the puff pastry and smear on the pesto

    How to make Pesto Pinwheels

    First and foremost, thaw the puff pastry in the refrigerator. Set it on a tray or a plate uncovered. This might take a few hours, depending on how frozen solid yours is.

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

    Place the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll it with a rolling pin to flatten it out. I like to roll mine out into a 9″x16″ rectangle.

    Brush with the pesto. Spread this out in an even layer with an offset spatula or a butter knife.


    Top the pesto layer with the sun-dried tomatoes, then parmesan. Be sure to leave about 1/2″ on each side of the puff pastry so the filling won’t fall out when you roll it.

    A rolled sheet of puff pastry with pesto filling before slicing
    Roll the puff pastry

    Roll the pinwheels. Roll from the end of the short side to the other in a tight log to make the pinwheel shape.

    When almost nearly rolled, seal with egg wash so that it does not fall apart when you slice it.


    Slice with a serrated knife into ½” pinwheels.

    Gently transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between the pinwheels so they can expand as they bake.

    Pesto pinwheels on a sheet pan before baking

    Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

    Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy!

    How to store:

    Store leftover pinwheels in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

    The flaky puff pastry will not be as crisp after storing in the fridge, but you can heat it up in a toaster oven or an air fryer crisp it back up.

    Baked pinwheels with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes on a sheet pan

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    We love to entertain with easy recipes like these pinwheels. Why? They’re simple to make and put together, they taste amazing AND they call for some store-bought shortcuts, which make life easier.

    Here’s how I would make these for a crowd:

    • Make a double batch if you’ve got several people you know who will enjoy ‘em.
    • Roll them early, and pop the pesto pinwheels into the freezer to keep them in shape. Bake from frozen until golden brown, flaky and delicious. They will take a little longer since they’ll be frozen.
    • Add different cheese! I love parmesan here since it feels classic, but you could saw it out with provolone cheese, mozzarella or even cream cheese, if desired.
    A hand holds a bitten-into pesto pinwheel above a sheet pan

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can pinwheels be made the night before?

    Yes. You can make these the night before… so long as you don’t bake them. Assemble the pinwheels and freeze them on the baking sheet. Bake from frozen the next day.

    Will pinwheels get soggy overnight?

    If you bake them and store them in the fridge overnight, they will get soggy because the puff pastry does not store well.

    How do you get pinwheels to stay together?

    We seal it with egg wash. You need to be gentle with the pinwheels when moving them because they can and will fall apart.

    A hand dunks a pesto pinwheel in a container of tomato sauce

    Tips and Tricks to the BEST Pinwheel appetizers

    • Don’t forget to thaw the puff pastry! This part takes the longest, and it can’t be rushed. Also, you can’t roll a frozen pastry.
    • Make your pesto in advance… or purchase the premade goodness from the grocery store. Ours sells fresh pesto in the deli section, which is magical.
    • Have fun with the flavors! While I love the classic combination of pesto, tomato and cheese, you can add a different type of cheese or even a protein to these roll-ups.

    Here’s how you make these fun appetizers…

    Close up of pesto pinwheels on a platter next to a container of pesto

    Pesto Pinwheels with Sundried Tomatoes

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    If you want a colorful, crunchy appetizer to make and share, these Pesto Pinwheels are perfect for you! All you need are fresh pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan and a few more ingredients to make this delicious puff pastry appetizer that’s great for sharing.
    No ratings yet
    Servings 16 pinwheels
    Calories 110 kcal
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 sheet puff pastry ½ package, thawed
    • ½ cup pesto homemade or store-bought (130g)
    • 8 oz. sun-dried tomatoes drained and chopped (100g)
    • ½ cup shredded parmesan 56g
    • 1 egg for an egg wash
    • 1 tablespoon water

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    • Thaw the puff pastry, and place it on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out a bit to flatten the tabs and make it thinner. It should be about 9"x16".
    • Brush the puff pastry with the pesto. Sprinkle on the sun-dried tomatoes, then the parmesan. Be sure to leave about ½" border on each side of the pastry so the filling won't fall out when you roll it up.
    • Roll the pinwheels slowly, and when completely rolled, seal with the egg wash.
    • Slice into 1/2" pinwheels, and gently transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between the pinwheels.
    • Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
    • Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy!

    Notes

    How to store: Store leftover pinwheels in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
    The flaky puff pastry will not be as crisp after storing in the fridge, but you can heat it up in a toaster oven or an air fryer crisp it back up.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1pinwheelCalories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 168mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 209IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword appetizers, baby shower finger food, Christmas appetizer, easy appetizer, easy finger food, easy NYD appetizer, finger food, finger foods, handheld appetizer, New Year’s Day appetizer, Tthanksgiving appetizer
    Course Appetizers & Starters
    Cuisine American Italian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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