Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

While I’d be flattered if you assumed that my go-to appetizer is a beautifully styled combination of bespoke produce, a homemade fancy sauce, and some kind of European cured meat, let me tell you a little secret: it’s actually these four-ingredient Ham and Cheese Pinwheels.

Easy Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just FOUR ingredients! Everyone loves this simple and delicious appetizer recipe. Easy to make ahead and perfect for holiday parties too! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Yes, that is correct. This full-time food blogger’s #1 party appetizer is a combination of deli meat, cheese, mustard, and puff pastry that I buy in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Wait! Don’t go!

As borderline embarrassingly simple as this Ham and Cheese Pinwheel appetizer recipe is to make, the reason I keep coming back to it again and again (and again and again) is the way my friends react every time I pull a pan of these roll ups out of the oven.

People go CRAZY!

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels. Puff pastry, crispy ham, melty cheese, and Dijon. This is the ultimate easy and delicious appetizer! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Maybe it’s the melty, gooey cheddar cheese.

Maybe it’s the way the outside edges of the ham crisp just so.

Maybe it’s the zip of the Dijon mustard.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s that mindbogglingly buttery yet light and flaky puff pastry that enriches every bite.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. So simple and delicious! Puff pastry, crispy ham, and melty cheese. The best party appetizer! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Puff Pastry Ham and Cheese Pinwheels—A Classic Make-Ahead Appetizer, All Grown Up

I like to think of these Ham and Cheese Pinwheels as the elevated version of the ham and cream cheese tortilla roll ups (and their cousin, ham and cheese pinwheels crescent rolls) that were paramount fixtures at our family reunions growing up. Pinwheels are easy, everyone loves them, and you can make them in advance. What’s not to adore?

Making the Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with puff pastry, however, elevates the more classic tortilla and crescent rolls appetizers to a new level. I’d be as comfortable serving these Ham and Cheese puff pastry appetizers for a game day party as I would a holiday brunch or dinner.

If you’ve never had puff pastry, it’s a marvelous dough that you can purchase as sheets in the freezer section of just about any grocery store (my favorite brand is Pepperidge Farm<—not sponsored, I just really do like theirs the best).

Its flavor and texture is a bit like a croissant, crescent roll, and pie crust all got together to create a golden, glorious pastry baby. While you can make puff pastry dough from scratch, I’ve honestly never felt the need.

Unlike my favorite homemade whole wheat pie crust (which is a little tricky but completely doable and worth it), homemade puff pastry dough is…intense. Too intense for me. I’m happy to take the shortcut and stick with the frozen kind, which is good quality anyway.

Easy Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just four ingredients! Everyone loves these baked roll ups! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Frozen puff pastry is my most faithful entertaining BFF. It lends itself perfectly to make-ahead and freezer-friendly recipes, which can be a lifesaver if you are hosting a holiday gathering, whether it’s Christmas dinner or Easter brunch.

Further, it’s universally adored. Buttery, flaky dough? SIGN ME UP.

Puff pastry is also ultra versatile, because you can easily cut it into different shapes and vary the fillings. Not a fan of ham? Make turkey and cheese pinwheels instead. Looking for something even more tiny and bite size? Try Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites or Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites. Want to make a simple, perfect spring tart? Try this Easy Asparagus Tart with Puff Pastry).

To make the Ham and Cheese Pinwheels, smear the puff pastry with a light layer of Dijon mustard, top with good-quality ham and any rich, melty cheese you love (cheddar, gruyere, Swiss, or fontina would all be fabulous), then roll, slice, and bake. That’s it!

In the oven, these four little ingredients transform into appetizer magic. The puff pastry becomes golden and flaky, the ham savory and crispy, and the cheese bubbly and ooey-gooey. The mustard provides zip and is the little somethin’ somethin’ that will keep you reaching back to the plate.

Puff Pastry Ham and Cheese Pinwheels. Easy and DELICIOUS appetizer that everyone will love! Easy to make ahead, so they are perfect for entertaining. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These Ham and Cheese Pinwheels can be baked ahead and frozen up to a month in advance and taste great both warm and at room temperature, so they’re ideal for entertaining. Whether you nibble them in your finest cocktail attire or shovel them fist-over-fist in your lucky jersey (or the reverse), you won’t believe how wonderful four little ingredients can taste.

Easy Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just FOUR ingredients! Everyone loves this simple and delicious appetizer recipe. Easy to make ahead and perfect for holiday parties too! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated
5 from 9 votes
Leave a Review »

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Yield: 48 pinwheels
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just FOUR ingredients! Everyone loves this easy, delicious appetizer. Freezer friendly.

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry — thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard — divided
  • 12 slices thinly-sliced, good-quality deli ham — about 10 ounces
  • 2 cups freshly grated gruyere — Swiss, fontina, sharp cheddar, or similar melty cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • Chopped fresh parsley — thyme, or chives (optional, for serving)

Instructions

  1. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter (I pressed two long sheets together at the edges to create a single larger sheet). Unfold the first sheet of puff pastry in the center of the plastic, then roll it into a 10x12-inch rectangle. Spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Lay 6 ham slices on top, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
  2. Starting at the long (12-inch) edge, roll the puff pastry into a log. Trim the ends so that they are even, then tightly wrap the log with the plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and remaining mustard, ham, and cheese. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  3. Once the log has chilled, using a sharp, serrated knife, carefully cut each log into 1/2-inch-wide slices. (If each log is 12 inches, you will get 24 rolls from each one). Arrange the rolls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the puff pastry is light golden brown and the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 18 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with chopped thyme, parsley, or chives as desired. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • To make this recipe ahead: Fully bake the pinwheels, then let cool. Arrange in a flat layer on the baking sheet and freeze completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 1 month. Reheat on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 degrees F until warmed through. You could also try freezing the pinwheels unbaked, but be careful of the grated cheese coming loose. Baking the pinwheels first, then freezing, is the easiest route.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Appetizer Recipe, Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1pinwheel) — Calories: 60, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 65mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 5g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

48 comments

  1. These will be the hit of the party, Erin! They look absolutely scrumptious and like they’d be so fun to make!

  2. How can anything be yummier than Thai food????  That said,  these pinwheels sound very good.  Too bad I don’t need party food…

  3. hey girl this makes me want a midnight snack! Yummy!

  4. This looks the perfect easy and flavorful appetizer for the holidays! I love that it’s not too many ingredients, I would even let me toddler help me make them :) Thank you for sharing!

  5. Do you think it would be okay to make these the night before or the morning of a party and leave the in the refrigerator until I am ready to bake them? Puff pastry novice. ;)

    • Hi Brandy! Sure, that would work! You could assemble and refrigerate as a whole log, then slice and bake when you’re ready, OR you could slice and arrange on a baking sheet, then refrigerate the whole baking sheet until you’re ready to bake. I hope you love them!

      • Thank you, Erin! I was able to hoard a few (okay…ten) boxes of puff pastry at Trader Joe’s last night. Can’t wait to make these!

  6. Going to make these for my JL meeting tomorrow night! :)

  7. Hi Erin,
    Great recipe!! :) Thank you! I’m making these today for a party we are attending tomorrow. Do you think they will keep in an air right container until tomorrow?  Or is it best to freez them and reheat when we arrive? 

    • Hi Amy! I’m so glad you loved them. I think for one day, you can save them in an airtight container in the fridge, then reheat them quickly in the oven right before serving.

  8. Hi Erin,

    These look delicious and I would like to make these for a bridal shower this weekend. I would have to bake them 3 hours before serving. Will these be good at room temperature? Which puff pastry brand do you recommend. Thanks :-)!

  9. Has anyone tried using mayo instead of mustard?  I have some folks that don’t care for mustard. 

    • Hi Jeanette, I would simply omit the mustard if you’ve got eaters who aren’t a fan of the flavor! You could also try swapping marinara sauce, though that would be a very different flavor profile.

  10. Hi Lorraine, yes, you can serve these at room temperature! I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  11. Absolutely awesome! Brought a batch along this morning to a group of kids and parents. People took one bite and asked for another! They were demolished!

  12. Hi Erin. I made these today for a party tomorrow. I didn’t think the first log was tight enough, so I stopped half-way through and re-rolled the other half tighter. Both sheets came out fine. I used Pepperidge Farms puff pastry (which isn’t butter based). For whatever reason, they needed much longer (25-30 minutes) to achieve enough puff and browning. (I have a thermometer and know the oven is pretty accurate for temperature.) The second log went better (learning had occurred) but I still had trouble with the cheese falling out (I used shredded cheddar). Next time I’m going to try scattering the cheese on the mustard and then placing the ham. That way the cheese would be “stuck” in the mustard rather than sliding around on the ham. I also tried an egg wash on the second batch to try to get browner quicker, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. My first ‘well plated’ recipe … it won’t be my last. :-)

    • Dean, thanks so much for taking the time to leave this thorough review and sharing tips and how the recipe went for you! I hope they’re a hit at your party too!

  13. Erin … I made them ahead and then reheated them. They came out beautiful and were enjoyed by the crowd. Our only mistake was having too many food choices! (Is there really such a thing?) Cheese dip, sausage dip, wings, chili, meatballs, veg tray, … heck, I have a lot of food left over and I completely forgot to put out the guacamole!

  14. These look like the ultimate crowd pleaser!

  15. The recipe sounds great and will try it. However it is difficult to activate the video.

    • Hi Leona, I hope you enjoy the recipe! I’m sorry to hear you were having trouble with the video—were you able to get it to play? (It’s currently working on my computer, so unfortunately I’m not sure what the issue might be!)

  16. Love this!! nicely done Erin! (:

  17. shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- these pinwheels look so yummy! have a great week!

  18. Frozen puff pastry is the BEST. I absolutely love cooking with it because it’s so simple, yet you can end up with these amazing dishes. Like these ham and cheese pinwheels that BTW, sound AWESOME. I’m a pretty big fan of super simple recipes, so this is right up my alley.

  19. These were absolutely delicious!! Such a simple recipe too. My supermarket didn’t have frozen puff pastry so I used crescent roll dough instead and they still turned out great!

  20. We loved these!  I added some Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and salt to the Dijon for added flavor.  Also, I used an egg wash to seal the roll so the pinwheels wouldn’t unfurl too much.  I baked mine at 400 degrees, and they were absolutely scrumptious.  What a genius you are!  Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  21. I decided to make these for a post concert reception for our local  orchestra. .   People were diving into the container before  I could get them onto the serving platter.  Needless to say, they were a hit! Delicious….going to make them again soon!!!!

    • Cindy, I’m so glad the recipe was a winner! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  22. I tried it with vegitables n shredded cheese….but cheese was coming out after baked…its was not crispy as expected…plz any tips would ne appreciated.
    Thanku

    • Hi Mani! Did you measure the cheese? It seems like there might have just been too much—I know it’s easy to get carried away when you are sprinkling. As far as them not crisping, I’d suggest leaving the pinwheels in the oven a little longer. I hope they at least tasted delicious!

  23. I made these for office treats today and I watched co workers get up several times to get more. I used raclette as the cheese. It took closer to 20 minutes for me to get the browning just right. Really good and it looks fancy too. 😊

  24. Looks great! Going to make these and cook them and freeze. Should I reheat from frozen or thaw the night before and then reheat?

  25. this is for my school assignment they look deliscious

  26. This is a delicious starter.  Try substituting chutney for the Dijon, delicious and colourful!  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *