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Cranberry Pinwheels

posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

These cranberry pinwheels are a great hors-d’oeuvre to serve year round, but they are especially perfect for the holidays. The dried red cranberries and the green scallions make them look really festive. Plus the sweet/savory combination of the cranberries, feta cheese and green onion make them particularly tasty. They can actually be made 1 day ahead of serving them.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1-8 ounces carton of whipped cream cheese
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 6 ounces of dried cranberries
  • 4-10 inch flour tortillas

There are many different brands of feta cheese. Some are saltier than others. You may have to try a few different brands until you find one that suits your taste! (Feta cheese is the one that is always served on a Greek Salad. I have used it on my Cold Mediterranean Plate.)

Tortillas are a Mexican, round, flat, unleavened, bread made of either corn or flour. For this recipe be sure to buy the flour tortillas. They can be found in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.


The green onions need to be washed. Then cut off the hairy end.

The white part has a stronger onion flavor than the green part. For this recipe I use the whole thing. Cut the green onions into thirds and line them up.

Now dice them into about 1/8 inch slices.

Put the crumbled feta cheese into a large mixing bowl.

Now add the whipped cream cheese.

And the chopped scallions.

Now all the cranberries.

Mix everything together.

Spread the mixture onto a dinner plate. Divide the mixture into four equal size piles. This way you know you have divided the filling equally and each Cranberry Roll-up will have the same amount of filling.

Using a knife spread ¼ of the mixture onto a 10 inch tortilla. If the filling is difficult to spread, dip your knife into water then try spreading the filling. (You can use the leftover flour tortillas to make Quesadillas!)

It is not necessary to spread the filling right to the very side edges. Those edges will get trimmed away later anyways in order to make perfect rounds.

Tightly roll up the tortilla.

Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (Or you can make them a day in advance.)

Slice off the ends about 1 inch on each side. (These are the bits that you sample!) Now cut each roll into about 10 slices. (If you cut them too thin they will fall apart.)

Arrange the slices on a serving dish and garnish (decorate) with fresh parsley or leftover green onion. Enjoy!

Source: Taste of Home

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cehwiedel said:

Thanks for a great tortilla roll-up variation — but why the insistence on *flour* tortillas? (I’m wheat-intolerant.) Are corn tortillas inherently unsuited for roll-ups?

Kathy Maister said:

Authentic, hand made corn tortillas which are really thin and pliable might work, but unfortunately the ones sold at my grocery store would not be suitable for this recipe. (BTW my Holiday Cookies are made with corn flakes and are suitable for those who have a wheat intolerance.)

Shaula Evans said:

Kathy and Ceweidel, I’m wondering if a good alternative might be a pancake or wrap made from rice flour? My local Asian market has a lot of different “wrap” type products — for rolls, dumplings, etc, and while many are made of wheat, some are rice flour. (I’ll check next time I’m there!)

Another really attractive option (if you like the flavour) would be to use nori seaweed, also known as laver — the seaweed used for rolled sushi. You can buy it in large sheets, and the dark green would look beautiful with the white and red of the filling. The only limitations with nori would be that it would get soggy if you made the recipe far in advance; you’d probably need to toast the nori right before you add the filling, to give the nori as much “crispness” as possible; and also put it all together just before serving.

cehwiedel, if you don’t mind me asking, do you have a problem with all wheats, and is it really a gluten problem, or are essentally gluten free grains like spelt and kamut okay? I’m thinking that it might be possible to find spelt-flour tortillas (depending on where you live).

A last option would be to just make up the filling as a dip, and serve it on wheat-free crackers. It wouldn’t look as pretty as the roll-ups, but at least there are some really good options on wheat-free crackers, you’d still get to enjoy the taste, and it could make a very attractive appetizer or hors-d’oeuvre in its own right.

I hope this helps!


Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Shaula, sounds like you really know your stuff! Great suggestions!

pat said:

everything looks nice—–cannot wait to try–can you put salmon in the tortilla instead of cranberries!

Kathy Maister said:

Using salmon sounds like a GREAT idea! I would dice it and perhaps even add some dill. Let me know how it turns out!

May said:

Thanks Shaula, sounds like you really know your stuff! Great suggestions!

Eric said:

Fantastic! I was invited to an “hors-d’oeuvres’ evening a few weeks ago and I decided to bring cranberry pinwheels. Everyone loved them! Too bad I had not taken the time to read the comments. I will try some of Shaula’s suggestions next time.

Jessica said:

Hello Eric,

It’s great to hear that your hord d’oeuvres were a hit. Now that you’re familiar with the recipe, keep it in mind for the holiday season.


Ruth said:

I made these for a holiday party using the green spinach tortillas and it worked just great and they looked very festive! I took a picture but don’t know how to post it here. The secret for me really was in using more filling then the 1/4 that it calls for. I rolled three tortillas instead of four. Roll them very tightly then wrap them tightly in cellophane and definitely refridgerate them for at LEAST an hour before you cut them. Hold the roll tightly when you cut it and clean your knife as needed and they should come out just great! My appetizer was the hit of the party I attended tonight. They are SO flavorful and looked so pretty in the green tortillas!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Ruth,
Yes there are so many variations to this basic idea! Your additions sound both healthy and festive – not an easy combination. Thanks for sharing!

Aimee said:

I have a container of feta cheese that is one cup, but the weight is only 4 oz. If I use 8 oz, it will measure two cups. Not sure which is correct so any help would be appreciated – thanks!

lachlan said:

could you use mascarpone cheese instead of feta?

Carrie said:

The recipe calls for “dried” cranberries…I am assuming that they are the sweetened ones for the Cranberry Pinwheels? I am making this for a party this weekend, and want to make sure I do it correctly.



startcooking said:

I think the texture of the marcapone will make these pin wheels way too soft.

Some feta is less strong than others. Ask at the cheese counter for a mild feta.

Dried cranberries, are much like raisins, naturally sweet.

Terry said:

I had some of these at a party today and just loved them. I asked the lady that made for the recipe and she gave it to me but she also added chopped walnuts and it was fantastic and it was rolled in Lavash wraps.

I will certainly be making these for future parties and get togethers.

startcooking said:

There are so many fabulous substitutions for this great recipe! I have often thought of using blue cheese instead of feta and adding some chopped pecans as well.

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