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Wrap sliced deli ham and cheddar cheese in puff pastry for a simple yet delicious appetizer. These hot ham and cheese pinwheels are super customizable and are sure to disappear in a snap!

Wooden serving board holding hot ham and cheese pinwheels, surrounded by plates.

We love a good appetizer around here. I mean, I’d be totally happy just snacking on appetizers and skipping the main entree altogether.

I know, I’ve done it before.

From cream cheese ranch roll ups to vegetable pizza to pineapple cheese balls and homemade crackers, I love it all. 

So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that I decided I needed to make yet another pinwheel recipe. Can you really have too many pinwheels? 

Answer: No. No you cannot.

Unlike my previous roll ups and pimento cheese pinwheels, I decided to involve my oven this time for a baked version: hot ham and cheese pinwheels.

Three hot ham and cheese pinwheels on a gray plate with a platter of more pinwheels in the background.

MY SAVORY HOT HAM AND CHEESE PINWHEELS

I’m used to making pinwheels with a cold filling wrapped in tortillas, and they’re always a huge hit. But I decided that this time, I wanted to go a hot route and use one of my favorite things in the world: puff pastry.

For these hot ham and cheese pinwheels, I layered a sheet of puff pastry with a savory honey mustard spread and slices of deli ham and cheddar cheese. Everything gets rolled up, sliced, and baked until perfectly golden.

The puff pastry gets crisp and buttery, the cheese gets melty, and it all ends up being the perfect elegant, elevated version of the hot ham and cheese sandwiches you loved as a kid.

Ingredients for hot ham and cheese pinwheels arranged on a blue countertop.

HOW TO MAKE HAM AND CHEESE PINWHEELS

These ham and cheese pinwheels look so pretty and are bursting with flavor, but they’re really simple to prepare. 

Ingredients you’ll need

The printable recipe below makes about 20 pinwheels from 1 sheet of puff pastry. Most packages of store-bought puff pastry include at least 2 sheets, so you can either double the recipe for a larger party or keep the second sheet in the freezer for another use.

(I like to use mine to make apple turnovers!) 

In addition to the puff pastry, you will need thinly sliced deli ham and thinly sliced cheddar cheese.

Sheet of puff pastry rolled out on a floured countertop next to a bowl of honey mustard spread.

To really take these ham and cheese pinwheels to the next level, I added a savory spread that I made using:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons stone-ground or dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

This takes only a few moments to mix together and it really adds a lot of flavor to the pinwheels. Don’t skip it!

Finally, you’ll need 1 large egg which we’ll combine with some water for an egg wash to seal our pinwheels closed.

Ham and cheese layered on top of a sheet of puff pastry on a floured countertop.

Making this recipe

Make sure your puff pastry has thawed according to the package directions, then unfold it onto a lightly floured surface.

Use a rolling pin to roll the sheet of pastry out to an 11×11-inch square. 

Stir together the mustard, honey, chives, and black pepper, then brush this evenly over the pastry, leaving a ½-inch border untouched along the side farthest from you.

Unbaked hot ham and cheese pinwheels set on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, ready to go in the oven.

Now layer on the ham, followed by the cheese. Make sure to leave that ½-inch border on the far edge uncovered.

Whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush this along the exposed edge of the pastry. This egg wash will act as our “glue” to hold the roll together.

Starting at the side closest to you (opposite the egg wash), tightly roll up the pastry. Gently press the egg-washed edge to the roll to seal it and place the seam down onto the counter, on the bottom of the roll.

Use a large, sharp knife or a dough blade to cut the roll into about 20 pieces. Don’t worry about the two ends not looking super neat and tidy – they will look much nicer after they bake.

Hot ham and cheese pinwheels cooling on a wire rack.

Place the pieces onto a lined baking sheet. You can use your fingers to gently reshape each piece back into a perfect circle if they got slightly flattened during the cutting process.

Lightly brush the tops with the egg wash and, if you like, sprinkle very lightly with a bit of flaky sea salt. 

Bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the cheese is melted. 

Remove from the oven and let the ham and cheese pinwheels rest on the pan for a few minutes, just until the cheese stops bubbling. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes before plating – you don’t want to serve your guests molten-hot cheese, after all!

Overhead view of a gray plate holding three hot ham and cheese pinwheels set next to a wooden board holding more pinwheels.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

I went with a super classic ham and cheddar cheese combination for my ham and cheese pinwheels, but you don’t have to stick to that.

There are so many cheeses that pair well with ham! Gouda or baby swiss would be lovely, or use a gruyere or red leicester for a fancy-feeling version.

And heck, you don’t even have to use ham! Try turkey or even thinly sliced roast beef instead for guests who don’t eat pork. 

FAQS

Can you make these ham and cheese pinwheels in advance?

If you’re planning to serve these for a party and want to make them ahead of time, you have a couple of options.

You could prepare them a few hours in advance, up through placing them onto the baking sheet. Place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

If you want to prep them the night before, follow the instructions through rolling up the pinwheels. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate the entire roll overnight. 

When you’re ready to bake, unwrap the roll and slice and bake accordingly.

Six hot ham and cheese pinwheels on a wooden serving board.

Can you freeze them?

If you’d like to freeze these ham and cheese pinwheels, make them through placing the slices on a lined baking sheet.

Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours, until the pinwheels are frozen solid.

Store the frozen pinwheels in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container for up to a month.

When ready to bake, place the pinwheels on a lined baking sheet and let them thaw at room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake.

Can you use crescent roll dough instead of puff pastry?

I love making these ham and cheese pinwheels with puff pastry, but you could use a tube of crescent roll dough instead.

Simply unroll the crescent roll dough, making sure not to separate the triangles. Gently pinch the seams together and follow the instructions for rolling it out and filling it as written.

The crescent roll dough will bake up a bit differently than puff pastry (it won’t be quite as crisp and flaky), but it’ll be absolutely delicious! 

Close up of ham and cheese pinwheels on a gray plate.

Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Wrap sliced deli ham and cheddar cheese in puff pastry for a simple yet delicious appetizer. These hot ham and cheese pinwheels are super customizable and are sure to disappear in a snap!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20 pinwheels

Ingredients 

  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed according to package directions
  • 1 ½ tablespoons stone-ground or dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
  • 3-4 ounces thinly sliced cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Flaky sea salt optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • On a lightly floured surface, unfold the thawed puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out to a square about 11×11 inches.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, honey, chives, and black pepper. Brush evenly over the pastry, except for about ½ inch along the side farthest from you.
  • Layer the ham evenly over the mustard, followed by the cheese, making sure not to cover the ½-inch border on the furthest edge.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush along the exposed edge of the pastry.
  • Starting at the side opposite the egg wash, tightly roll the pastry. Gently press the egg-washed edge to the roll to seal and place the seam on the bottom of the roll.
  • Use a large, sharp knife to cut the roll into about 20 pieces. Place cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle very lightly with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes, until the cheese stops bubbling. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool for a few more minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pinwheel | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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