These sausage pinwheels are a delectably savory and crisp little appetizer, perfect to pass around for your next festive occasion. Rolled together with all-butter puff pastry, filled with a basil cream cheese spread, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and a four cheese blend, this sausage pinwheel recipe is a delicious little morsel to whet the appetite!
Pinwheels Filled with Lots of Savory Morsels
Such a fun part of the holiday season is all the delectable little appetizers we get to indulge in when we have our gatherings!
From mozzarella stuffed meatballs, fruit and cheese boards and baked brie, to crispy little Thai chicken salad wonton cups and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus puffs, I adore the fun challenge of packing loads of flavor into a mouthwatering little package, making a big flavor impression.
This season, I've had so much fun making use of puff pastry (such a comfy-cozy staple good for so many recipes!), and had a real craving to create a colorful and festive pinwheel recipe brimming with all sorts of savory flavor.
Enter my sausage pinwheels, layered with an aromatic basil-infused cream cheese spread, spicy Italian sausage (though sweet sausage is fantastic as well), a blend of four Italian cheeses, plus thinly sliced roasted red peppers for sweetness.
Baked up until light, crisp and golden, these mouthwatering sausage pinwheels are the perfect colorful appetizer to pass around at your next festive gathering!
My Recipe For Sausage Pinwheels
For this tasty pinwheels recipe, I'm using all-butter puff pastry for the most flavor and the best flaky-crispy layers.
I use a 14 ounce package that contains one slightly larger sheet of puff pastry (I prefer Dufour brand), perfect for these sausage pinwheels.
To create lots of flavor and make each bite of these pinwheels totally irresistible, I start with a light layer of whipped cream cheese infused with fresh, chopped basil leaves and spinach, plus a kiss of lemon zest.
Then, a little layer of four cheese blend is added, along with the crumbled, browned Italian sausage and slices of roasted red pepper from a jar, and finally a little extra four cheese blend.
Then, things are rolled up, chilled, sliced into pretty and festive looking pinwheels, and baked up until crispy, flaky and golden!
Here's a glance at my sausage pinwheel recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I cook my sausage and allow it to cool.
- Next, I prepare my easy basil cream cheese spread.
- Then, I lightly roll my puff pastry sheet to make it even, layer it with my basil cream cheese spread, some four cheese blend, the sausage and roasted red pepper, and a final sprinkle of four cheese blend.
- I roll up everything together jelly roll-style, then chill and slice into individual pinwheels.
- Next, I egg wash each pinwheel and bake for about 23 to 24 minutes, until golden-brown and flaky.
by Ingrid Beer
These warm and flaky sausage pinwheels are filled with savory Italian sausage, sweet roasted red peppers, and four cheeses!
Yield: 16 pinwheels
Nutrition Info: 246 calories (per sausage pinwheel)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
- 4 links (about 12 ounces) spicy or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 4 ounces whipped cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 1 (¾ ounce) package fresh basil, leaves chopped
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Black pepper
- 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry (from a 14 ounce package), thawed and kept cold
- 1 ¼ cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ cup finely sliced roasted red peppers (from a jar), patted dry of liquid
- 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves, for garnish
- Grated parmesan, optional garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above (keep the puff pastry cold) to have ready and organized for use.
- Place a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and once hot, crumble in the sausage. Cook the sausage, breaking it up vey well into small crumble with a wooden spoon or spatula, until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the garlic, and stir to incorporate just until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds or so.
- Spoon the cooked sausage onto a paper towel-lined plate or bowl to drain of excess fat, and to cool to room temp.
- While the sausage cools, add your room temp whipped cream cheese to a bowl, and using a spatula, mix it up to help it become creamy. Add to this your chopped basil leaves and chopped spinach, along with the lemon zest plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and fold together until very well combined.
- Once the sausage has cooled, place your thawed (but cold) puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface in front of you. Gently roll it so that it is roughly 10 x 13 inches.
- Next, spread the basil cream cheese over the sheet of puff pastry, keeping a ½ inch border at the top end of the puff pastry sheet for easier sealing.
- Then, sprinkle over ¾ cup of the Italian four cheese blend, followed by the Italian seasoning, the cooled sausage, and the roasted red peppers. Top this with the remaining ½ cup of four cheese blend.
- Brush that top ½ inch border very lightly with some of the whisked egg, and beginning from the bottom, carefully roll the puff pastry upwards, jelly roll-style, as tightly as you can to keep the ingredients nice and snug. Rest the pinwheel log on its seam.
- Wrap the pinwheel log in plastic wrap, place onto a platter and into the freezer to chill for 40 to 45 minutes. (This will make the puff pastry nice and cold again, and much easier to slice.)
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a large baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
- Once the pinwheel log has chilled, place it on a work surface in front of you and unwrap it. Brush it all over very lightly with the whisked egg, and cut the log in half, creating 2 smaller logs.
- Using a serrated knife, slice each log into 8 slices (roughly ¾ inch thick), for a total of 16 sausage pinwheels. Place the pinwheels onto your prepared baking sheet(s).
- Brush the top of each sausage pinwheel very lightly with the whisked egg, and place them into the oven to bake for about 23 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky.
- To serve, place the sausage pinwheels onto a serving platter, garnish with finely chopped parsley or torn basil leaves, plus a sprinkle of parmesan if using, and serve warm or room temp.
Tips & Tidbits for my Sausage Pinwheels recipe:
- All-butter puff pastry: I love to use Dufour brand all-butter puff pastry, as the 14 ounce package contains one slightly larger sheet of puff pastry. If you have a brand with two sheets of puff pasty in the package, you could leave the sheets smaller and divide the ingredients between the two sheets, proceeding with the recipe. (Don't roll out to 12 x 12 inches but keep them smaller).
- Prepare the sausage pinwheels ahead: These pinwheels are terrific to make ahead and then bake off the day you'd like to serve them. Simply prepare the recipe up to the point that you slice the chilled pinwheel log into individual pinwheels, then freeze those until ready to bake. Bake the frozen pinwheels for about 25 to 30 minutes in that case, or until golden brown.
- Spicy and sweet Italian sausage: Because I appreciate a little spicy “kick” in these sausage pinwheels, I opt for spicy Italian sausage in mine. But feel free to use sweet Italian sausage, or even Italian chicken sausage.
Craving more cozy and delicious appetizer recipes? Check out this Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, this Spinach Puff Pastry, these Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Puffs, this Burrata Recipe, or this Mushroom Toast!