These super simple Vegan Pinwheels are spinach artichoke flavor and perfect for a packed lunch, picnic, party appetizer, or an easy snack. This recipe is super customizable and takes just 10 minutes to prepare.
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Hey Internet, I’ve been daydreaming about making vegan pinwheels for so long. I don’t know why I waited! These are super easy and totally delicious.
I’m adding these ones to my ever growing list of snacks + apps, like my vegan stuffed mushrooms, bang bang cauliflower, vegan pierogi, vegan ceviche, baked vegan brie, etc. I just love appetizers and snacks!
Anyway, my hubby and I met in art school and many of our dates consisted of going to art shows and dining on the free food, which often included pinwheels.
Those weren’t vegan pinwheels though--we weren’t vegan back then.
So I’ve been struggling with whether to use traditional pinwheel fillings like cold cuts and cream cheese. While some stores now offer vegan deli meats like Lightlife and cheeses like Violife, not everyone can access them.
And I prefer to make recipes that are super accessible even if you live in the sticks with no specialty vegan food around!
So these spinach artichoke vegan pinwheels are made with a homemade cream-cheese-like spread, artichokes, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes. And oh my goodness, they are delicious.
Why This Recipe Works
It’s pretty easy to put pinwheels together. All you do is take a tortilla, spread something on it (like hummus or the spread I use in this recipe!), add some other thin and flexible ingredients, roll it up and slice it.
There are a few important things to remember to make sure this recipe works.
Make sure your spread is thick. If it’s runny, it may make your tortilla soggy, it won’t stick together, and you won’t get the spiral that a pinwheel is known for.
Don’t overfill your pinwheels so much they can’t be rolled, but don’t underfill them because if you do, they won’t stay together once rolled. I like to put on a generous layer of the creamy filling and add a few layers of spinach and one row of sun dried tomatoes.
Finally, they can be a little soft to cut right away, so I recommend wrapping them in plastic wrap or parchment paper and freezing them until firm, about 30-60 minutes.
Make sure to wrap the whole plate in a plastic bag or foil though, so nothing gets freezer burnt.
You can also refrigerate them overnight, but I have best luck freezing them.
- Raw sunflower seeds: I love using raw sunflower seeds because they are inexpensive and allergy friendly for folks who can’t have nuts. If you can have nuts, raw cashews also work perfectly here.
- Nutritional yeast: To keep the filling pale, I used non-fortified nutritional yeast but either will work fine.
- Agave: For a touch of sweetness.
- Lemon: The juice of a medium lemon--fresh is best but 2-3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice will also work.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sea salt: If you only have table/iodized salt, use half the amount and taste before adding more.
- Artichoke hearts: I like the jarred marinated artichoke hearts for this recipe, but the ones packed in water/brine will also work.
- Tortillas: Use any large tortillas you like. Siete Foods makes a great gluten-free burrito size tortilla.
- Baby spinach: Or adult spinach will work but I’d trim the stems.
- Sun dried tomatoes: You can use the kind in oil or without. I think the kind in oil works best for this recipe.
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How to Make Spinach Artichoke Vegan Pinwheels
- Note: If you do not have a particularly high powered food processor such as a Breville food processor or blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, you may want to soak the seeds (or nuts) in hot water for 20-60 minutes.
- Start by making the filling. In a food processor or blender, combine the raw sunflower seeds, water, nutritional yeast, agave, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt. Blend until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice.
- Drain the artichoke hearts and gently pulse them in. It’s nice to have the filling a little chunky. Makes for more interesting vegan pinwheels.
- Spread some of the filling (about a third--I found that this amount of filling is perfect for three 12-inch tortillas/wraps) over the entirety of the tortilla with a spatula, trying to keep the layer as even as possible. Your layer should be around ⅛-¼” thick.
- Add spinach in a few layers to the wrap. You don’t want so much that the tortilla won’t roll up, but you don’t want so little that the pinwheel won’t stay together because it doesn’t have enough filling. I found that 2-3 layers of spinach was perfect.
- Add a row of sun dried tomatoes, overlapping them slightly.
- Roll up the pinwheel tightly and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining rolls until you’ve used up all your filling.
- Place the rolled up vegan pinwheels on a plate and cover with a plastic bag or foil and freeze for 60-90 minutes. This makes them easier to cut. Alternatively, refrigerate for several hours or overnight. But I personally have best results when I freeze for about an hour.
- To cut, wet your sharpest knife and make a confident cut through the center of the rolled up pinwheel, like cutting a burrito. Slice the remainder of each roll in 1-inch sections. You may find that the end of each roll falls apart a little. This is what we call the chef’s snack.
- Serve on a platter and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days. These are perfect for picnics, packed lunches (for kids or adults), party food, vegan New Year’s Eve Hors d’Oeuvres, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Make pinwheels at least an hour in advance before you need them so they have time to firm up in the freezer, making them easier to slice. You can make them up to 4 days in advance, but for the freshest taste, make between 1 and 24 hours in advance.
I recommend storing your pinwheels in an airtight container to protect them from getting smushed.
Serve them on a large platter--they themselves are the decoration! You could always place a sprig of parsley as a garnish in between each piece. Also, if you have a bit more space, stick a fancy toothpick through each and line up on a platter.
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Pro Tips for Success
- If your blended filling is runny or not thick enough, add more sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, or some beans. Too runny and it will make your pinwheel soggy.
- Thoroughly drain the artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes so they don’t make your pinwheel soggy.
- If using adult spinach (hah), chop off the stems.
- Make sure your filling is fully blended before pulsing in the artichoke hearts. It’s easy to chop them up too much, and then you don’t really notice them as much.
- Don’t skip freezing your vegan pinwheels for an hour. It really makes them much easier to cut and hold their shape better. Just make sure they’re fully covered before freezing.
- Use your sharpest knife to cut through the pinwheels, and make sure to wet it for a clean cut. I like to rinse my knife every few cuts.
Ideas for more vegan pinwheels:
- Vegan deli meat and cheese with vegan cream cheese filling
- Hummus and julienned vegetables
- Hummus with roasted red peppers and kalamata olives
- Guacamole or refried beans and fajita veggies
- Vegan mushroom pate
More Recipes Like This
Like vegan finger foods and appetizers? Here are some of my favorites:
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Vegan Charcuterie Board
- Cut Wedges from Vegan Cheddar
- Vegan Brie with crackers
- Vegan Teriyaki Cauliflower Wings
- Bang Bang Cauliflower or Bang Bang Tofu
- Vegan Crab Rangoon
- Vegan Pigs in a Blanket