Spinach Pinwheels ♥ with Pears & Dried Cranberries

Spinach Pinwheels with Pears & Dried Cranberries, a festive holiday appetizer from #AVeggieVenture. For Weight Watchers, just #PP1.
Today's vegetable recipe: A really pretty holiday appetizer, bright-green spinach tortillas wrapped around a pear-spinach-cranberry cream cheese filling. Easy to make, very popular on a buffet table or party spread! Low carb and surprisingly low in calories.

It's a tall order to fill but I keep my eyes peeled for easy appetizers that look nice and call for relatively inexpensive and accessible ingredients. Oh and I want them to be a little different but at the same time, still familiar! See what I mean about a "tall order"?!

This is the first time I've made tortilla rolls but it won't be the last. These are so pretty! And easy to make! And while I needed to let pears to ripen on the counter for a couple of days (wait! apples would have worked too, without the wait!) but everything else was already on hand.


Hands-on time: 45 minutes up front, 10 minutes before serving
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes about 48 slices

2 tablespoons butter
2 pears, skins on, diced very small
Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup (65g) dried cranberries
1/4 cup (65g) toasted pistachios
4 ounces (115g) fresh spinach, leaves only
8 ounces (225g) low-fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese, room temperature
Cooked Pears

6 spinach tortillas
Freshly ground pepper

PEARS Melt butter in a large skillet, add pears as they're prepped and toss to coat with fat. Cook gently until soft, near the end season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE Chop the cranberries and pistachios in a food processor until small but still distinctive and identifiable pieces, you don't want "powder" or "butter". Transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach and Neufchatel to the food processor, process until smooth and bright green. Add the cranberries and pistachios back in, process just until blended. (Why do this in two steps? It's to make sure that the cranberry and pistachios don't get over-processed.) Transfer back to the large bowl, stir in the cooked pears.

TO ASSEMBLE (see photo above) Set up an assembly line, all six tortillas plus the cheese mixture. With an offset spatula or flat knife, spread the cream cheese mixture across the tortilla. Sprinkle the mixture with pepper, it makes all the difference making these "savory" appetizers. Now roll the tortillas, as tightly as you can.

REFRIGERATE Wrap the tortillas in plastic wrap (or put them back into the bag the tortillas came in) and refrigerate overnight.

TO SERVE An hour or so before serving, slice off the ends of each roll just at the point where the cheese mixture starts, then cut each tortilla into about 8 rolls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I experimented with different ways to spread the mixture to minimize waste. After the tortillas are rolled, the sides will be cut off and discarded – so you don't want to waste any filling there, although you do want to get right to the edge of where you'll cut. You also want the tortillas to seal when they're rolled – so I found it works best to go almost to the rounded edge on one side, then roll that direction. This all sounds so confusing in words, I think the photo above tells the story better, check it out!
I thought fresh spinach leaves (whole or chopped) might be nice on top of the cream cheese mixture: but the added spinach was hardly noticeable, not worth the effort.

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Still Hungry?

for the HOLIDAYS

~ Party Rye with Tomato & Cucumber ~
~ Hot Corn Dip ~
Artichoke Nibblers
Buffalo Chicken Dip with Spaghetti Squash
~ more appetizer recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Party Nuts with Fresh Rosemary ~
~ Easy Shrimp Bites ~
~ Cranberry Orange Spread ~
~ Bacon-Wrapped Dried Apricots ~
~ more appetizer recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I’m a new email subscriber but I just wanted you to know that this first recipe -- I'll be taking to the faculty Christmas party. There is a group that will be really glad it is low points--and they seem to love pinwheels. Thanks for all your help and Happy Holidays.

  2. Nancy ~ How cool is that?!! Thank you for subscribing, I hope to provide much inspiration!

  3. Where do you find spinach tortillas that have all real food as their ingredients?

  4. When do you add the pears in? Do you mix into the cheese or sprinkle on top before you roll?

  5. Annehueser ~ I don’t remember where I got the tortillas but probably either my usual grocery store or Trader Joe’s. I’m diligent about checking labels and don’t remember anything alarming about what I found. Other tortilllas would work too, of course, thought might not be as pretty! I’m thinking about doing red pepper ones for Christmas ...

    Lisa ~ Y’know, I checked that yesterday because at first where the pears went in didn’t jump out at me either. The info IS there but I changed the ingredient list to include the pears, for those of us who are “recipe scanners” -- that should help! I normally do this, thanks for pointing out that the information would help!

  6. happy to follow you...love these green fresh pinwheels


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna