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 Appetizers

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 puff pastry ham and cheese pinwheels 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. (I even added these Pesto Pinwheels to my list of easy pinwheels recipes.)

Maybe it’s the melty, gooey cheddar cheese or 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. People will go CRAZY for them!

Easy puff pastry ham and cheese pinwheels with mustard and fresh herbs

How To Make Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

I like to think of these ham and cheese pinwheels as the elevated version of the ham and cheese pinwheels crescent rolls appetizers (the ham and cheese pinwheels with Pillsbury pizza dough) and the illustrious ham and cream cheese tortilla roll ups that were paramount fixtures at our family reunions growing up.

Making the ham and cheese pinwheels with puff pastry instead, however, elevates the roll ups 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.

The Ingredients

  • Puff Pastry. If you’ve never tasted or cooked with puff pastry, it’s a marvelous dough that you can purchase as sheets in the freezer section of just about any grocery store. Puff pastry tastes like a croissant, a crescent roll, and pie crust all got together to create a golden, flaky pastry baby. While you can make puff pastry dough from scratch, I’ve honestly never felt the need. Puff pastry is extremely challenging to all but the most accomplished pastry chefs and, unlike premade pie crust, the frozen version is outstanding.
  • Dijon Mustard. I love adding the mustard flavor with the ham and cheese.
  • Ham. A little bit salty, savory, and delicious with the cheesy, mustardy filling. Use thin slices of good-quality ham for this recipe.
  • Cheese. Any melty cheese you love! Cheddar, gruyere, Swiss, or fontina are all fabulous.
  • Parsley. For freshness and color.

The Directions

  1. Let the puff pastry thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then unfold one sheet on a work surface. Roll it into a rectangle.
  2. Smear the dough with a light layer of the mustard. Add the ham and cheese.
    Easy Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just four ingredients! Everyone loves these baked roll ups! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated
  3. Roll the puff pastry dough into a log, and trim the ends so that they are even. Cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
  4. Remove the logs and cut it into slices. Place slices on a lined baking sheet spiral-side up. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 18 minutes. Serve warm with fresh parsley. 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.

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

How do You Store Pinwheels?

  • To Store. Store your pinwheels in the refrigerator. These pinwheels taste great both warm and at room temperature, so they’re ideal for entertaining.
  • How Long will Pinwheels Keep in the Refrigerator? You can store pinwheels in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure to reheat them in the oven before serving so the pastry can crisp back up.
  • To Reheat. Reheat on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 degrees F until warmed through.

Can You Freeze Pinwheels?

Yes, you can freeze pinwheels! I recommend freezing AFTER baking the pinwheels.

  • To Freeze. Bake the ham pinwheels as directed, and let cool. Arrange them in a flat layer on the baking sheet, then place in the freezer until completely frozen. Store pinwheels in an airtight freezer-safe storage container and store for up to 1 month.
  • To Reheat. Reheat directly from frozen 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.

Can You Make Pinwheels the Day Before?

Yes, you can make pinwheels the day or night before you plan to serve them.

  • If Serving within 1 Day. Store the pinwheels at room temperature, then reheat in the oven.
  • If Serving Later On. Freeze the pinwheels, then reheat in the oven.

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

Other Delicious Puff Pastry Recipes

If you haven’t tried these scrumptious little ham and cheese pinwheels, I suggest whipping up a batch for you and your friends or family ASAP! I promise they won’t last long.

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

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

5 from 27 votes
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just FOUR ingredients! Everyone loves this easy, delicious appetizer. Freezer friendly.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 48 pinwheels

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
 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 directly from frozen 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.
  • Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days. Rewarm in a 375 degree F oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pinwheelCalories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 65mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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93 Comments

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  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. 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!

  4. 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. ;)

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  5. 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? 5 stars

    1. 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.

  6. 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 :-)!

    1. 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.

  7. 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!5 stars

  8. 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. :-)5 stars

    1. 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!

  9. 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!5 stars

    1. 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!)

  10. 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.5 stars

  11. 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!5 stars

  12. 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.5 stars

  13. 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!!!!5 stars

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

  14. 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

    1. 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!

  15. 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. ?

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

  17. This looks really good. Do you think minced baked ham sliced would work instead of deli ham? We have a plate of leftovers I want to use up…but I’m concerned they might fall out when cutting the roll. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Debbie, I do worry that they would fall out! You could try chopping it super duper finely, but I do think that deli meat is the safest bet. I know that’s probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I want these to turn out for you. If you are looking for a great leftover ham recipe, you can find some here: https://www.wellplated.com/tag/ham/. The frittata is one of my latest favorites!

  18. The end result did not equal its development. These were great!
    I have never worked with puff pastry before and that lack of experience set me up for pending disaster.  I couldn’t get the dough to roll thin or in any shape resembling a rectangle. I couldn’t roll it up without all the ingredients slipping away.  The outside layer of the log split open from the moisture of the mustard. It did not look pretty and stuff was poking out everywhere. 
    I chilled it for 2 hours. I couldn’t get it to cut well and when lifting the rounds to transfer to pan they fell apart.  The ugliest piles of pinwheel wanna-be’s I’ve ever seen. 
    I thought “oh well, they’ll probably still taste good”. 
    It was the most amazing transformation in the oven…I couldn’t believe my eyes!  When I pulled them out, albeit all different sizes, they looked exactly as they should!  AWESOME!  
    Everyone loved them, had a couple comments of “you made these?”, haha…I will make these again, for sure. I just might try to work with colder dough next time, as I think that’s what started the chaos of making them, haha. 

    1. Christine, I am so glad they turned out! Definitely make sure your puff pastry is well chilled and that you measure the ingredients (it sounds like you might have had too much mustard?). Regardless, taste is the top priority, so Im’ glad they hit the spot!

  19. Hi to all. I found that placing the roll in the freezer before slicing makes it firmer and easier to slice .also use egg wash for top of roll before baking

  20. I want to make the ham and cheese pinwheels to take to the bar as we have an afternoon birthday party once a month. I would like to serve warm and not room temp. Any idea on how to do this? We use crock pots but not sure if the cheese will “glue” everything together. Thanks for any help.

    1. Joan, I’m afraid the slow cooker will make it soggy. I would honestly heat them up just before transporting them, cover them with foil to keep them somewhat warm, then serve at room temp. They taste great at room temp too!

    1. Tonya, you can use a blend of 2 shredded cheese (swiss and cheddar for example), but I wouldn’t do cream cheese as it will be challenging to spread over the tender puff pastry. I hope you love the recipe if you try them!

  21. Hi Erin i haven’t made these yet but would like to try them in the next week can you brush the pastry with a little butter ?

  22. I would like to make these for an outdoor event 2 hours away. If I bake and refrigerate the night before, will they be okay for the 2 hour drive plus the 4 hour event?

    1. Hi Brenda, I think this may not be the ideal recipe, since they are meant to go from warm to room temperature, not cold to room temperature. You could reheat them before you get on the road, but your safest bet is to look for an appetizer that’s okay cold OR room temperature, such as a pasta or grain salad or a dip. You can browse some ideas here if you’d like! https://www.wellplated.com/category/recipes-by-type/appetizers/

  23. OMG! These were fabulous! I only had sliced Swiss and precooked bacon, but I took a chance anyway. Also, we only like regular mustard, so I instead used it.  I sealed it and brushed the pinwheels with egg wash.  They were great accompanied by my instant pot chicken soup and my family gobbled them up.5 stars

  24. Can I make these pinwheels ahead but not bake them until the next day, keep them in the unsliced roll in the fridge?   I would like to make,them tomorrow if u could get back to me with your thoughts as soon as possible, I would appreciate it.  I love your recipes

    1. Hi Lynn, I’m sorry this reply may be coming a little too late, but yes, you could do that! And I think it would be fine to lay the cheese slices like you do the ham. I hope they turned out well!

  25. Sorry me again,  I have another question all I could get is sliced gruyere and I was wondering would you place the slices like you do the ham, or would it be too much and be better to just rip the cheese up and spread sparingly.   Thank you

  26. These look lovely.. I wanna make these a week in advance I’m not comfortable baking and freezing them .. so do you think I could freeze it at a roll. Defrost it overnight and then slice and bake them or will they fall apart?

    1. Hi Jean! You could try freezing the pinwheels unbaked, but be careful of the grated cheese coming loose. Baking the pinwheels first and freezing is the easiest route. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  27. I made these on Sunday for my son’s class party the following day, I used sweet chilli sauce instead of mustard as I didn’t think the kiddies would like the mustard and I also swapped the ham with smoked chicken and used grated cheddar cheese. My son went crazy over these ,I loved it and so did everyone else I asked to give it a taste. I am definitely making these again!5 stars

  28. Yaaaasssss!!!! Made these for a Christmas party last night and they were DELISH! Easy to make and so yummy! I will be making this again for our neighborhood Christmas Eve Brunch! Thanks, Erin!5 stars

  29. I have a friend who can’t eat pork or beef, but she can eat poultry.  Do you think I could substitute deli turkey or something else?  I haven’t tried this recipe yet, so I’m rating it on how it sounds – yummy and easy!  Thanks for giving us so many good recipes.5 stars

    1. Hi Jean! I haven’t tried the recipe with turkey, but I think it would still be delicious. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  30. This sounds easy and delicious. I like the fact that they can be made ahead and stored. It makes entertaining so much easier. Pinning this!

  31. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. 
    The section on storing, freezing and reheating was extremely helpful! 
    Thank you once again for this delicious and can’t-stop-eating-them recipe ! 5 stars

    1. Hi Mercy! I’ve never tried the recipe with these swaps, so I’m not sure how it might turn out, but another reader has reported success with thinly sliced deli chicken. I recommend only using thinly sliced meat to ensure that the pinwheels will roll up properly. I hope this helps!

  32. These are wonderful! I made some with ham and then with the next batch, I used a combination of ham and some leftover prosciutto. Also used mozzarella cheese. Delicious!

    1. Hi Kathy, I’m very sorry to hear that these didn’t turn out for you. It’s so hard to say what might’ve happened without being in the kitchen with you. I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out as expected, so I hope you were still able to enjoy them!

  33. Going to try this tonight….

    At bottom of Pinwheel recipes it says (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 directly from frozen 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.
    Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days. Rewarm in a 375 degree F oven.)

    The recipe is made with ham….Should you really “Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days”?

    1. Hi Donna, thank you for sharing this concern! The room temperature storage is what keeps the puff pastry crispy (and we haven’t had issues with it), but please do whatever you are comfortable with. If you recrisp them in the oven after refrigerator storage, they’ll still taste great! I hope you love the recipe!

  34. I made the hand and cheese pinwheels.  They were fun to make but  all my guests felt they were bland.  What could be added to get the zing?  The parsley didn’t do it.  

    1. I’m sorry to hear that these weren’t to your tastes, Ellen. Another reader added Worcestershire sauce and spices to the Dijon and really enjoyed it. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe more next time!