Recipe: Cheese & Pesto Pinwheels

Pesto is one of our household staples when it comes to cooking – so many recipes are better with a dollop of pesto deliciousness added! This cheese and pesto pinwheels recipe brings all the flavours of pesto together with the flakiness of puff pastry. Is there anything better? Oh yes, they take about two minutes to prep, seriously. That means you’re getting cheesy pesto pinwheels goodness is under 20 minutes, hurrah!

As with many of our pinwheel recipes, you can easily play around with the ingredients being used here. You’ll get different tastes each time, and we haven’t found a bad one yet. Our cheese and pesto pinwheels recipe has been tried and tested (multiple times) with cheddar cheese and parmesan. As a basic rule, the kids love the cheddar and pesto pinwheels combo best, whilst us adults are suckers for the stronger tastes of parmesan and pesto pinwheels. Why not try both? Or your own cheese of choice?

Now, let’s talk pesto. This recipe and the images show your standard shop bought pesto, nothing fancy at all.  We’ve opted for green pesto, but red pesto will work just as well. You can even make your own pesto, if you’ve got a food processor then it’s actually pretty simple.

This recipe uses pre-rolled puff pastry to make the pinwheels. To get the best out of it make sure that you take it out of the fridge 20-30 minutes prior to use, this will stop it cracking as you roll it and make it easier to use. Don’t leave it too long as the pastry can become sticky and harder to use if it warms too much!

Following this recipe you’ll make 12 cheese and pesto pinwheels. You can store them in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 2-3 days. They do reheat quite well in the microwave, just be careful as the pesto can make the bottom of them quite hot, and they will go a little soggy and soft compared to their original baked state; but still just as delicious.

Cheese & Pesto Pinwheels Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 x 320g pack of pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • Handful of cheese (apply as liberally as you fancy!)


In case you missed it above, before you start, take your pastry from the fridge and leave it out on the side for 20-30 minutes prior to use. This will help make it easier to roll and unroll. If you don’t have that time, don’t worry, even a couple of minutes will help. We’ve made pinwheels with fridge-fresh pastry a number of times and they still work absolutely fine, they’re just not quite as easy to manipulate into place! 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees (fan), gas mark 5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and put to one side.
  2. Unroll your pastry, lay it in front of you in a ‘landscape’ position i.e. the longest sides are at the top and bottom.
  3. Spread the pesto over the entirety of the pastry. As pesto is quite oily you’ll only want a thin covering as it goes a long way.
  4. Sprinkle on your cheese – don’t worry if it’s not that even, that’s the beauty of pinwheels. We like to split the pastry sheet into two at this point (like a book!) and do half with cheddar, and the other side with parmesan. With a strong cheese like parmesan, you won’t need much of a covering to give you a punchy taste, compared to cheddar where you’ll want a little more coverage.
  5. Starting furthest away from you, carefully turn over the top edge onto itself. Keep this as tight as possible as this is the start of your rolling. Slowly continue the rolling action, using both hands to roll it sausage-style toward you. If it starts to get loose or wonky, don’t worry, you can just unroll, adjust and get back to rolling. Once you have completed your sausage shape, make sure you push down the end of the pastry roll into itself to keep the roll nice and tight.
  6. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut your pinwheels. Cut, using a light-pressure sawing action, every 2cm to give you perfectly sized pinwheels. Using a sawing action helps stop your pinwheels from squashing and going out of shape. Place, well spaced out, on your baking sheet and pop into the oven.
  7. Cook for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Check at 12 minutes and if the edges are starting to catch, lightly cover with foil.
  8. Remove from oven, cool on a cooling tray and eat – your cheese and pesto pinwheels are ready, yum!

Looking for more simple pinwheel recipes? Check out our extensive list of recipes we recommend, easy and delicious! Perfect for everyone; from weaning babies through to adults.

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I'm Hayley and this is us; working parents to three tiny wild ones. Whether it's travel, food, lifestyle or just a healthy dose of parenting reality, there's something for everyone here. So sit back, get comfy and start scrolling!

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