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Elevate your holiday parties or super bowl gathering with these Cheesy Pesto Pinwheels! They’re made in less than 20 minutes with just 4-ingredients, including flaky crescent roll dough. Kids and adults love these!
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When we’re short on time or just need a quick and easy way to put together a homemade appetizer, canned crescent rolls are the ultimate shortcut. Thankfully, most grocery stores carry vegan-friendly crescent rolls now so almost everyone has the ability to make delicious appetizers!
So once you’ve wowed your guests with these buttery pesto pinwheels, make sure to check out our Vegan Jalapeño Popper Rolls. They’re another perfect appetizer made with crescent roll dough that’ll equally knock your socks off!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Crescent Roll Dough: We like using either the Immaculate Baking Co. Organic Crescent Roll Dough, or the Pillsbury Original Crescent Dough. While most crescent roll varieties are accidentally-vegan, it’s important to check the labels, because some aren’t!
- Vegan Pesto: If you want to make your own pesto, try our Classic Vegan Pesto, Easy Nut-Free Vegan Pesto, or this Vegan Garlic Basil Pesto. If you want to use store-bought pesto, we recommend the Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto from Trader Joe’s or any option that is vegan!
- Roasted Red Peppers: Grab yourself a jar of marinated roasted red peppers or make them yourself. Not only do they come in handy for easy appetizer ideas, but they’re also great on pizza, in salads, sandwiches, and more.
- Vegan Cheese: We’ve found that vegan mozzarella-style shreds work best for these pinwheels. We like to use either Follow Your Heart or Violife.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Not a fan of roasted red peppers? No problem. Swap them out for oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Just make sure to drain them well before using! Or, if you are using dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, learn how to Rehydrate Sun-Dried Tomatoes here.
- Add vegan cream cheese: Want to make your pesto pinwheels recipe extra cheesy? Evenly spread your favorite vegan cream cheese on the pastry dough before adding the pesto. Keep the layer thin so the filling doesn’t ooze out!
- Add vegan ham slices. To make a ham and pesto pinwheel appetizer, place slices of vegan ham on top of the pesto sauce before sprinkling with red peppers and cheese. We have our own deli slices recipe for you to try!
- Add vegan parmesan cheese. You can sprinkle it on inside the filling, or on the final baked pinwheels!
How to Make Pesto Pinwheels
- Prep the crescent roll dough. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate the dough into 4 rectangles using your fingers. Mend the seams together to close any gaps in the dough.
- Spread on the filling. Evenly spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto over each rectangle, leaving 1/4-inch of space around the edges. Sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon of roasted peppers and 1 tablespoon of vegan cheese.
- Roll and cut into pinwheels. Carefully roll the dough starting on the short edge, pinching the seams together as you go. Then, use a sharp knife (sometimes a serrated knife works best!) to cut the small logs into 4 pieces each, for a total of 16.
- Bake. Transfer the rolls to the baking sheets and place the pesto pinwheels in the oven for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve. Serve pinwheels while warm or room temperature. Enjoy!
We love to serve these easy pinwheels when hosting a crowd. They’re fancy enough to serve for holidays like Christmas Eve, yet easy enough to make right before a game night or last-minute Super Bowl party.
They’re also delicious any time of year, so if you’ve got a garden bursting with fresh basil and red peppers, make our homemade pesto and your own roasted red peppers and make these pinwheels during the summer months!
This pesto pinwheel recipe is best served while fresh but will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers until warmed through in the oven, air fryer, or toaster oven.
- Unroll the dough carefully. Crescent roll dough is delicate and can rip easily. Peel it apart carefully and use your fingers to gently press together the seams and any tears, as needed.
- Add thin layers of fillings. Just like making homemade pizza, less is more! The will not only keep these pesto cheese pinwheels easy to roll and slice, but will prevent the filling from leaking out when baking.
- Chill before slicing. If the dough is particularly warm and you are having trouble slicing pinwheels cleanly, place the rolled dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. The colder the dough, the easier the pinwheels will be to cut.
- Adjust the baking time as needed. We recommend cutting this recipe into 16 individual bite-sized pinwheels. If you cut them larger or smaller, an adjusted bake time will likely be needed.
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