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These tasty Mediterranean Appetizer Pinwheels start with frozen puff pastry sheets and are layered with gooey cheeses, salty olives, spinach, and roasted peppers.

A beautiful and delicious addition to any appetizer buffet, puff pastry pinwheels are golden brown, cheese, and filled with savory Greek-inspired ingredients.

Mediterranean appetizer pinwheels on an appetizer plate with a napkin.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it by now or not, but I really like Greek flavors and have posted several recipes with Kalamata olives and Feta cheese on my blog in the past.

In fact, on vacation in February, I enjoyed a Greek salad by the pool at our resort — on more than one occasion. They are so very good!

Just before our vacation, we had friends over for a Greek-inspired meal with Mediterranean pinwheels and Greek Chicken Kabobs — both were a big hit!

You can also pair this recipe with several other of my Mediterranean-inspired dishes, like Healthy Greek Coleslaw, Greek Heirloom Tomato Salad, or Mediterranean Salmon.

ingredients for making Greek puff pastry appetizers on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Puff Pastry Pinwheels

  • Cream cheese — Use the cream cheese as a mild base for the flavorful spinach and artichoke hearts.
  • Frozen chopped spinach Frozen, pre-chopped spinach will make your life a little easier. However, you can use chopped fresh spinach leaves.
  • Marinated artichoke hearts It’s easy to grab a jar from the store. But like with spinach, you can start with a fresher ingredient and marinate the artichokes yourself. 
  • Seasonings You’ll need kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. If you don’t have kosher salt in the pantry, you can substitute it for half the amount of table salt.
     
  • Frozen puff pastry Making a puff pastry from scratch is tedious. If you have the confidence and skill — Go for it! Otherwise, using a frozen product is an excellent shortcut and just as tasty.
  • Crumbled feta cheese Either a block or pre-crumbled feta cheese will do the trick. You can also try other cheeses like parmesan and gorgonzola.
  • Sliced kalamata olives Stick with kalamata olives rather than substituting with black olives. Kalamata olives have a fruitier taste, while black olives are salty and mild. 
  • Jarred red peppers Using a jarred product will avoid the need to roast the red peppers when prepping for this recipe. 
  • Shredded Swiss cheese If you aren’t a fan of Swiss cheese, you can use fontina, cheddar, or gouda cheese as an alternative.

Variations

Change it up from time to time by adding new ingredients to the recipe. Try any of the following:

  • Your choice of pesto
  • Dijon mustard
  • Prosciutto
  • Parmesan cheese

How to make pinwheels with puff pastry

This cheesy and flavorful appetizer starts with a frozen puff pastry and is layered with feta, olives, spinach, and more Greek-inspired ingredients.

STEP 1 | Preheat the oven

Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees and get your baking sheets ready by lining them with parchment paper.

mixing cream cheese, spinach, and chopped artichokes in a bowl; spreading mixture on puff pastry.

STEP 2 | Create your cream cheese mixture

In a large mixing bowl, drop in your softened cream cheese. Next, ensure your frozen spinach is thawed and dried, then add it to the bowl, along with the artichoke hearts. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and garlic powder on top.

With an electric mixer, cream the tasty ingredients on a low speed until they are thoroughly combined.

tips

  • Keep the cheese puff pastry cool — Keep the pastry cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to build your pinwheels. When it warms and becomes sticky, pastry sheets can be tricky to work with.
  • Prepare the frozen spinach — Thaw the frozen chopped spinach and dry it before adding it to the recipe. You can squeeze out the extra moisture using a potato ricer or metal steaming basket or a clean kitchen towel.

added roasted red bell peppers, olives, and swiss cheese on top of spinach mixture for Mediterranean appetizer pinwheels.

STEP 3 | Assemble your pinwheels

Layout one sheet of the thawed puff pastry on a hard surface, like a cutting board or an extra lined baking sheet. Spread half of your freshly made cream cheese mixture onto the pastry and save the rest for the second sheet.

Next, you’ll layer half of the feta cheese, olives, roasted red peppers, and Swiss cheese evenly onto the cream cheese. Then, you’re ready to roll — literally. Tightly roll the puff pastry sheet into a log and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes. Cooling the log will help to slice it.

Follow the same steps for your second sheet of pastry and the remaining half of the ingredients.

tip

  • Although this is an easy recipe to assemble, it is a little messy —at least for me it was a messy process. Be sure to roll up the dough tightly and carefully slice with a perforated knife, holding the slice gently to help it keep its shape as you place it on the baking sheet.
slicing Mediterranean appetizer pinwheels and putting them on a baking sheet.

STEP 4 | Slice the pastry pinwheels

Take your first cooled log out of the refrigerator and use a sharp serrated edge knife to cut ½ inch slices. Then, place your pinwheels onto your baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You want each thick piece to be about 1 inch apart to avoid the puff pastry from sticking together as it rises.

Remove the second log from the fridge and repeat these steps.

STEP 5 | Bake your pinwheels

Place the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the pinwheels are a beautiful golden brown.

When they’re all finished, remove them carefully to a cooling rack. You can serve the appetizer pastries warm or at room temperature- it is up to you!

more tips

  • Avoid soggy pinwheels — Because this recipe calls for several jarred products, like artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and kalamata olives, be careful not to include the juices. Drain the excess liquid thoroughly and place the ingredients into separate bowls.
  • Create a crispy golden crunch — To produce an extra-crisp crust for your pinwheels, you can lightly brush the flaky pastry with egg wash before placing them in the oven. Simply whisk one egg yolk with one tablespoon of water and use a pastry brush to gently add a thin coat to each pinwheel.
Mediterranean Appetizer Pinwheels cooling on a wire rack.

Storing

Store your deliciously baked pinwheels in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months baked. Also, you can freeze your unbaked pinwheels for 30 days in a freezer-safe bag or container.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make this recipe ahead of time to bake later?

Absolutely! Make the cheese puff pastry log ahead and wrap it in plastic wrap, Then slice and place on the baking sheets when you are ready to bake.

Here is another idea — after preparing the pinwheels as directed and placing them on your baking sheet, put them into your freezer until they become solid. Then, remove the pastries and transfer them into a freezer-safe container or bag. When you are ready to cook them, just thaw and bake!

Is it possible to use all fresh ingredients for this recipe?

It sure is. That is if you are willing to put in much more time and effort. Most of the ingredients I have listed are “shortcuts” that do not comprise the taste, texture, or overall final product.

That said, you can roast your own red peppers rather than buy a jar of already-roasted peppers. And you can also marinate fresh artichokes.

Mediterranean Appetizer Pinwheels piled on a serving tray.

Serving suggestions

One of the best things about these Mediterranean pinwheels is how versatile and adaptable they are. You can keep it simple by plating the pinwheels on a serving tray and adding a dipping sauce in a small bowl in the middle. These appetizers are beautiful on their own, with the vibrant colors of the various ingredients.

Or, of course, you can complement this recipe with other Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

Here are some of my recipes that will pair well with the pinwheel puff pastries:

  • Chopped Mediterranean Salad– Add a fresh and light Greek-inspired arugula salad with all your favorite ingredients- chickpeas, pickled red onions, feta cheese, and olives.
  • Layered Greek Hummus Dip– Dive your pinwheel appetizer into creamy hummus, topped with crunchy Greek salsa, kalamata olives, tangy capers, and crumbled feta.
  • Mediterranean Salmon– Enjoy salmon grilled with juicy tomatoes tossed with a sweet spice rub, ready in just 20 minutes!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

Mediterranean appetizer pinwheels on an appetizer plate with a napkin.

Mediterranean Appetizer Pinwheels

These tasty Mediterranean Appetizer Pinwheels start with frozen puff pastry sheets and are layered with gooey cheeses, salty olives, spinach, and roasted peppers.
4.30 from 41 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 17-oz. pkg. frozen puff pastry thawed according to pkg. directions
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 cup jarred red peppers diced
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add the softened cream cheese to a large bowl with the spinach, artichoke hearts, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cream the mixture on low speed with an electric mixer until well combined.
  • Arrange one sheet of pastry on a hard surface and spread with half the cream cheese spinach mixture. Layer with half each of the feta cheese, olives, red peppers, Swiss cheese. Roll tightly into a log and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (for easier slicing). Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut each log into 1/2 inch thick slices and place the pinwheels 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 16 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown. May serve pinwheels warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

  • Keep the cheese puff pastry cool — Keep the pastry cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to build your pinwheels. When it warms and becomes sticky, pastry sheets can be tricky to work with.
  • Prepare the frozen spinach — Thaw the frozen chopped spinach and dry it before adding it to the recipe. You can squeeze out the extra moisture using a potato ricer or metal steaming basket or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Avoid soggy pinwheels — Because this recipe calls for several jarred products, like artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and kalamata olives, be careful not to include the juices. Drain the excess liquid thoroughly and place the ingredients into separate bowls.
  • Create a crispy golden crunch — To produce an extra-crisp crust for your pinwheels, you can lightly brush the flaky pastry with egg wash before placing them in the oven. Simply whisk one egg yolk with one tablespoon of water and use a pastry brush to gently add a thin coat to each pinwheel.
  • Although this is an easy recipe to assemble, it is a little messy —at least for me it was a messy process. Be sure to roll up the dough tightly and carefully slice with a perforated knife, holding the slice gently to help it keep its shape as you place it on the baking sheet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingsCalories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 12gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 568mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g
Keyword cheesy, feta cheese, Greek, Kalamata olives
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

11 Comments

  1. I’m not Greek but DO enjoy Greek food. As a Yugoslav born (Romanian descent) female who has been living in Ontario, Canada for the last 50 yrs, I’m often intrigued by what other people find most appealing about a country’s cuisine. Chicken kebabs are not unexpected (you might find lamb or even beef kebabs just as tasty) but your puff pastry swirls WERE a surprise. I don’t care for olives but the rest of the toppings sound delicious.

    I like playing with phyllo based Greek dishes … baklava, spanako(tiro)pita and galaktoboureko are among my favourites.

    http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/tag/phyllo

    The middle-eastern tag on my LJ has some other goodies including lamb dishes.

    http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/tag/middle%20eastern

    1. A-Boleyn, the Cheesy Greek Swirls will still be delicious without the olives! Thank you for sharing your recipe links. Some day I will be brave enough to try my hand at baklava as well! 🙂

      1. Don’t be intimidated by baklava. It’s much simpler than one would expect … and has very few ingredients, none of them difficult to source.

        Not to pat my own back TOO strenuously, I think the instructions and pictures on my LJ would really help with the assembly. The same procedure works with several phyllo pastry based dishes ie the baklava and the chorizo, feta and spinach pie. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. I’m a high school teacher (though I only supply/substitute teach) and I like nothing better than sharing knowledge especially about cooking. 🙂

  2. These look awesome Sheila! Clicked through from a pin and was so happy to see these were yours! Totally sharing (and making!).

    1. Ingrid, the puff pastry that I use comes folded (like a tri-fold) in a box. I simply unfold the pastry and leave it at its original size then proceed with layering the ingredients.

      1. Hi Sheila,

        I just made this for a party I went to and got great reviews. My puff pastry comes

        in 2 squares 4X4 inches. I rolled it out to about 12X10 (2 of them). What size would

        yours measure once you unfold it.

        I can not by that here in Canada.

        Thanks again, Ingrid

          1. Thanks. I think if I would roll it anymore the dough would be too thin.

            I found it a bit salty, even though they were devoured. Maybe a bit less cheese? or rinse the olives and artichokes? Have you had any problem with that?
            🙂

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