Is there a better savory flavor combo than chicken, bacon, and ranch? If there is, then we sure haven’t found it! Because this terrific trinity of savory tastes comes together beautifully in every dish we’ve ever tasted it in—including these incredible easy-to-make chicken, bacon, and ranch pinwheels!
These pinwheels are absolutely perfect for parties, pitch-ins, tailgates, camping trips, and maybe our favorite use—make-ahead school lunches! I’ve never met a kiddo who didn’t devour these cute little spirals of deliciousness. Let’s get rolling!
Note: Some folks may know these wraps as “crack chicken pinwheels,” but we avoid that name because it can make light of the serious issue of substance use disorder).
What is in this chicken pinwheel recipe?
These pinwheels shine both in a packed lunch and in a game day spread. To make them, you’ll need:
- Flour tortillas. To get the most flavor in your pinwheels, opt for large tortillas. You may see them labeled as “burrito-sized!”
- Cooked chicken. This is a great way to use leftovers or rotisserie chicken!
- Cooked bacon.
- Shredded cheddar jack cheese.
- Powdered ranch mix. Storebought or homemade both work!
- Cream cheese
Protip: Make it gluten-free!
Need a gluten-free option? Soft gluten-free tortillas will work beautifully for these pinwheels. They do tend to be a bit smaller, so you may need a few more to use up the filling. Make sure your ranch mix is also gluten-free.
These pinwheels are the opposite of fussy to put together!
- Mix the chicken, bacon, cheese, milk, and ranch seasoning mix into softened cream cheese in a large bowl.
- Spread some of the chicken mixture onto a tortilla.
- Roll the tortilla tightly.
- When you get to the end, place the rolled tortilla, seam-side-down, on a cutting board or plate.
- Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up before slicing with a sharp knife.
Protip: The filling can double as a tasty dip!
The filling of these pinwheels also makes a great dip for celery, carrots, bell peppers, or gluten-free crackers. If it isn’t feeling particularly dippable, add a tablespoon of milk to thin it out a bit.
How do you get these chicken pinwheels to stay together?
There’s no need for toothpicks or plastic wrap to hold these pinwheels together—the cream cheese will act as a sort of glue to keep them intact.
How long do you chill pinwheels before slicing?
This chicken tortilla roll-up should be refrigerated for at least half an hour before you slice it into individual pinwheels. The chilling step helps the cream cheese firm up a bit to hold the pinwheels together.
After at least 30 minutes in the fridge, use a serrated knife to cut off the messy ends of the roll. They won’t look pretty, but they are a tasty snack to reward the pinwheel maker! Cut the rest of the roll-up into 1″ pieces—you’ll get about six pinwheels from each tortilla.
How far in advance can I make chicken pinwheels?
These pinwheels can be made up to three days in advance as long as they are kept in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for longer storage.