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Mexican Pinwheels: Perfect for Lunchboxes or Appetizer Plates

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These simple-to-make Mexican Pinwheels are rolled up with chicken, cream cheese, salsa, fresh herbs, and spices for a kid-friendly lunch with southwestern flair.

Also hop over to our post with more fun and tasty non-sandwich lunchbox ideas and inspiration.

Welp, the school year is half over. And everyone around here is ready for a lunchbox change-up. These Mexican pinwheels are an easy and tasty way to bring some variety into your kids’ lunches!

We like pinwheels because…

  • They stick together! They’re easy for kids to pick up without ingredients falling out.
  • They’re cute and fun to eat.
  • Picky eaters can see what they’re taking a bite out of.
  • They’re versatile. You can add any ingredients you love to a pinwheel.

These Mexican Pinwheels are easy, delicious, and perfect for using up leftover cooked chicken. (We always like an alternative to lunch meat!) And they fit oh-so-nicely in a lunchbox…

Mexican Pinwheels in a lunchbox with grapes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes

Tips for Making Great Mexican Pinwheels

  • Use your favorite pliable wrap. We like whole wheat for extra nutrition. If your wrap feels stiff, warm it in the microwave for ten seconds to soften it.
  • Adjust your spices. Some taco seasonings are quite spicy, and others are mild. Be flexible with the amount of seasoning you add to match your kids’ tastes.
  • Mix the filling well. The key to getting pinwheels that stick together well is to have a filling that’s uniformly mixed (no dry bits floating around to fall out when you slice.)
  • Make it ahead! The filling will stay fresh for a day or two in the fridge, so go ahead and make a big batch so you can make the pinwheels a couple days in a row.
Mexican Pinwheels on a platter with salsa for dipping

Other Serving Ideas

These pinwheels would make a great appetizer at a party, or a fun finger food dinner on a Friday night when you are just *done* with cooking for the week!

Mexican Pinwheels

All of your favorite Mexican flavors all rolled up in a bite-sized, finger food meal perfect for kids!
4.17 from 55 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, Mexican Pinwheels, no cook
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 393kcal


  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 2 ounce cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound rotisserie chicken
  • 3 stalk green onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 medium tortilla, whole wheat


  • Put everything but the tortillas in a bowl and mix well.
  • Spread some of the mixture onto the entire surface of one of the tortillas, and roll it up tightly. Continue with the rest of the tortillas the same way. (I used the Food For Life Rice Wraps and made 4 tortillas – I think these are small compared to some tortilla brands so if they are larger you may have enough filling for 3.)
  • Cut the rolled up tortillas into 1 inch sections. They are a little easier to cut when they have chilled in the fridge about 20 minutes but I rarely have patience/time to do that!
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Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 952mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g

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Recipe Rating


I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be 8 cups of cream cheese and I’m wondering if thats what’s making the nutrition information so astronomical?

5 stars
these are very good!! this recipe made about 5-6 small size wraps. each kid only wanted two slices but i wrapped the rest as whole wraps to use for school lunches next day! score 🙂

5 stars
I thought these were delicious, but my 5 and 3 year old did not. I think it was the amount of green onion, so maybe next time I’ll cut back to 1 or 2 stalks.

5 stars
Delicious! We passed on the green onion. We struggled with the pinwheel part. They fell apart when we tried to cut them. Instead, we ate them as roll ups. We will definitely make these again. They are so easy. We used grilled chicken breasts that had a bit of a crust on them. That made them extra yummy.

5 stars
If these are 139 calories a serving, what constitutes a serving? The servings size must be very small, like 2 slices? Is that correct?

5 stars
Kids liked these – even my picky eater who doesn’t like spicy food. I used mild salsa and mild taco seasoning. I didn’t have time to chill them so i used a serrated knife to cut. Worked great!