Close view of taco pinwheels piled on a white plate around a small teal bowl of salsa for dipping.

Know what makes tacos even better? Rolling all those amazing flavors into an easy-to-eat taco pinwheel! These taco roll-ups are packed full of Tex-Mex flavor, and since they are so easy to make in advance, they are a perfect option for bringing on a camping trip, serving on game day, or even having on hand to put into school lunches.

We love this party appetizer because it’s always a huge hit! Don’t be surprised if you get asked for the recipe the next time you bring these to a party, potluck, or tailgate!

A hand holds up a taco pinwheel showing the colorful, creamy filling.

What are taco roll-ups made of?

You will need:

  • Large flour tortillas—the ones labeled as burrito size are great. You can also use gluten-free tortillas.
  • Softened cream cheese
  • Taco seasoning
  • Mild taco sauce
  • Hot sauce (optional for heat-sensitive folks)
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Shredded chicken—we love using a rotisserie chicken for this kind of thing
  • Bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salsa for dipping, if you want

How do you make these pinwheels?

Collage of images showing six easy steps to make taco pinwheels. A text overlay reads, "How to Make Taco Pinwheels."
  1. Blend the cream cheese with taco seasoning, taco sauce, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Then add the cheese, chicken, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Mix well.
  2. Lay one tortilla flat, and spread 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese on the tortilla.
  3. Roll the tortilla up tightly.
  4. When you come to the end, place the tortilla roll-up seam-side down on a plate or tray.
  5. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Then refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Using a sharp serrated knife, trim off each end of the roll-up, then slice into six pinwheels each.

How do you keep taco tortilla roll-ups from getting soggy?

That shouldn’t be a problem with taco pinwheels. The wetter ingredients that could turn a tortilla soggy, like taco sauce or bell peppers, are enveloped in the cream cheese. We haven’t seen any issues with soggy tortillas with this recipe!

Tight view of creamy pinwheel bites on a white platter with salsa for dipping.

Do you refrigerate pinwheels before cutting?

Chilling these taco pinwheels is an essential step—don’t skip it! A little time in the fridge gives the cream cheese a chance to firm up so the roll-ups don’t fall apart when you slice them. Stick the assembled pinwheels in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut the roll into 1″ thick pieces. This will give you about six pinwheels, plus some ugly ends that make a great snack during your meal prep!

Can you make tortilla pinwheels the night before?

Sure can! These taco pinwheels can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days. If, for some reason, you won’t eat them up in that time, you can also put the leftovers in the freezer! Just make sure to separate the pieces first, or they will freeze together in one big block.

A hand dips a taco pinwheel into a small bowl of salsa.
Taco tortilla roll-ups cut and arranged into three columns of six pieces each on a wooden countertop.

Want more easy pinwheel recipes like this one?

 
Close view of taco pinwheels piled on a white plate around a small teal bowl of salsa for dipping.

Taco Roll-Ups (Taco Pinwheels)

Yield: 18 1-inch pinwheels
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These easy taco pinwheels are a fun, party-friendly appetizer or packed lunch. Learn how to make these taco roll-ups here.

Ingredients

  • 3 large burrito-size tortillas
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup mild taco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, optional
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro
  • Salsa, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine cream cheese, taco seasoning, taco sauce, and hot sauce (if using) in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir until well blended.
  2. Add in the cheese, chicken, red bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Stir to combine.
  3. Lay one of the tortillas flat on a cutting board, and spread about 1 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture onto the tortilla. Tightly roll the tortillas, squeezing gently as you roll. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Place rolled tortillas on a baking sheet or plate, and refrigerate rolled tortillas for at least 30 minutes to help set the cream cheese.
  5. When chilling time is up, use a serrated knife to cut off the first inch of the roll (this scrap part doesn’t look pretty, but it sure does taste good!). Then cut 1-inch slices down the roll. You should get about six full slices per roll. Serve immediately with salsa for dipping, or refrigerate and enjoy within 2-3 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 595mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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4 Comments

  1. I made this actually for the kids with minor changes – no meat (didn’t have any), and adding corn kernels and an eisberg salad leaf on top of the cream cheese mixture. But I had enough for our (parents) lunch as well, so we enjoyed them too.
    Hubby and I liked them very much, this is a nice base recipe to play with. I think taco tuesday leftovers will not become only a salad any more 😀

    1. Yay! Thanks for letting us know how they turned out for you, PJ. We’re so glad they were a hit, and we love hearing how you make the recipe your own!

      1. The kids said they want them soon for dinner at home, not just in a lunch box 😉
        So this recipe is definitely a keeper! 🙂

        1. That’s amazing! Finding recipes that the kids will not only eat but request on their own is GOLD—very high praise indeed! Thanks, PJ!