These baked ham and cheese pinwheels are the perfect party or game day appetizer. Flakey puff pastry, ham, and melty cheese roll ups with honey mustard flavor. The easy pinwheel appetizers are sure to be a hit!
Ham and cheese is one of my favorite pinwheel recipes. It is also one of the most popular in general. Even kids love this easy appetizer and will eat them up, including my fussy daughter.
Game Day Appetizers
These super easy to make baked cheesy ham roll ups are a fantastic part of a football party spread. Team the Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with some of my favorite recipes for finger foods and dips like, Mini Pigs in a Blanket, some Chili Cheese Dip or Queso and perhaps some Pizza Crescent Rolls or Texas Kolache.
How To Make Ham and Cheese Pinwheel Appetizers
Making ham and cheese pinwheels is easy. Here I will walk you through the steps with pictures. If you prefer, jump down to print recipe card.
The easy recipe makes 12-15 pieces.
Prep Time: 10 mins Chill Time: 25 mins Bake Time: 20 mins Total Time: 55 mins
Ham and Cheese Pinwheel Ingredients
Here is everything you need to make this easy appetizer recipe.
- Frozen Puff pastry
- Deli Ham
- Sliced cheese (I used Swiss cheese, but sharp cheddar cheese, provolone cheese or even American cheese slices will do, most meltable cheeses will work)
- Dijon Mustard
- Garlic powder (or onion powder)
Start by thawing out your puff pastry. This will take 20-25 minutes at room temperature or leave the pastry in fridge the evening before to thaw.
In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, honey and garlic and set aside.
Lay out a piece of plastic cling wrap and open a sheet of puff pastry onto it. Straighten edges or smooth out with rolling pin if necessary.
Baste the pastry sheet with a thin layer of the honey dijon mixture, making sure to cover the surface of the rectangle well.
Layer on the ham slices. Spread the meat out evenly.
Then spread the sliced cheese over the top. Place slices in a thin layer, so they don't overlap too much.
Next gently fold in one edge about a ¼ inch to start rolling up. Do your best to keep the roll tight into a log shape, using the plastic wrap to aid you.
Make sure the rolled log is well covered in wrap and place in the freezer. Freeze pinwheels for 20-30 minutes to firm up before slicing.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. while the ham and cheese pinwheels roll is firming up.
Cut the roll up with a sharp knife into ¼-1/2 inch thick slices.
Place the pinwheel slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake the pinwheels for 18-22 minutes until golden brown at edges.
Variations on the Ham and Cheese Pinwheels Recipe
There are a lot of swaps and add-ins that can be done with this easy ham and cheese roll ups recipe. Here are just a few for you:
- One common swap is to use crescent rolls dough sheets in place of the puff pastry. Crescent dough isn't quite as flakey or rich and buttery as puff pastry, but is still a close stand-in. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F when using crescent rolls dough.
- Pizza dough is also an option. Keep in mind the dough will need to be rolled out thin, and even then the resulting ham and cheese pinwheels will be a little larger. You will likely need to add a few minutes to bake time and baste the tops with melted butter.
- Chopped green onions are a popular addition to the roll ups. They can either be added inside or sprinkled on top when serving.
- Try making these with a different deli meat, such as turkey, roast beef, or salami in the cheese roll ups.
- Chopped roasted peppers or sun-dried tomato are a colorful and delicious addition. Just add a little though.
- Sprinkle some everything bagel seasoning on the ham and cheese pinwheels prior to baking for an attractive and crunchy addition to the appetizers. The poppy seeds make a great contrast, but I would skip this for a party, since many can't eat them due to employment testing.
- Swap the dressing for 3 tablespoons to a ¼ of cup pickle relish. Make sure it is well drained so it won't make your ham and cheese roll ups soggy. Great for those that seem to love pickle flavor on nearly everything.
- Sprinkle crumbled bacon on before adding the slices of cheese for an extra burst of meaty flavor.
- A thin layer of baby spinach is a nice addition to your ham and cheese pinwheels. Combine it with sun dried tomatoes or pimentos for a festive look for the Christmas holidays.
How to Store Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
Baked puff pastry pinwheels are best consumed shortly after baking, but if you have some leftover, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of the pinwheels cooling to room temperature.
Reheat in 375 degree oven or air fryer at 350 for a few minutes until warm.
Yes, the pinwheels can be made ahead, but I suggest you simple prepare the roll up and keep in the fridge until shortly before you want to serve.
Slice and bake when ready. You could even slice the pinwheels and lay them out on prepared sheet pan, then cover with plastic wrap to uncover when ready to bake.
Yes. Baked ham and cheese pinwheels will last up to 2 months in the freezer.
Plan on 2-3 pinwheels per person. Of course, how many other appetizers you are serving will effect this number.
Other Puff Pastry Appetizer Options
If you don't use up all your puff pastry, you can use a sheet to make one or more of these recipes.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Pastry Appetizers - These spinach, goat cheese and egg puff pastry bites are made in a mini muffin tin. The puff pastry dough serves like a tiny pie crust.
Puff Pastry Pizza with Veggies is another easy option. The pizza is actually more of a savory tart and is quite delicious.
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
- 1 sheet Frozen Puff pastry
- ¼ pound Deli Ham
- 6-8 slices cheese I used Swiss cheese, but sharp cheddar cheese or even American cheese slices will do)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder or onion powder
- Start by thawing out your puff pastry. This will take 20-25 minutes at room temperature.
- Mix together the mustard, honey and garlic and set aside.
- Lay out a piece of plastic cling wrap and open the puff pastry sheet onto it. Straighten edges or smooth out with rolling pin if necessary.
- Baste the pastry sheet with the honey mustard mixture, making sure to cover the surface well. Then layer on the cheese and ham slices.
- Next gently fold in one edge about a ¼ inch to start rolling up. Do your best to keep the roll tight into a log shape, using the wrap to aid you.
- Make sure the log is well covered in cling wrap and place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm up before slicing.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the roll up with a sharp or serrated knife into ¼-1/2 inch thick slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown at edges.
- Serve warm.
For best results don't overload the rolls.
Keep in mind if you add anything or change dough type it may effect baking time. Keep an eye on your pastries in the oven.