Dairy free Italian pinwheels are a delicious and easy appetizer, lunch, or snack! Make it in under 10 minutes, lunchbox friendly, and super customizable. Gluten free optional!
These dairy free Italian pinwheels are always a go-to recipe for lunchboxes or appetizers for parties, holidays, or any get together.
Made with dairy free cream cheese, a drizzle of balsamic dressing, lots of fresh veggies and 3 different kinds of meat all rolled up into flavorful, bite sized delights!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Optional free from: Nightshades, Tomatoes
In the mood for more lunch box ideas? Check out my sunbutter banana wraps, egg free tofu sandwiches, or a fish free chickpea of the sea sandwich. Want more easy appetizers? Make sure to take a look at deviled eggs without mustard, mango pineapple salsa, or an easy gluten free Chex mix.
Why You’ll Love these Dairy Free Pinwheels
- So quick and easy to make
- Super flavorful
- Perfect to make ahead
- Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Gluten free, and more!
Here is a quick look at the different ingredients you’ll need for these dairy free Italian pinwheels. For the ingredient amounts, as well as allergy substitutions, please see the next section and the recipe card below.
- Wraps: Look for a burrito size flour (or gluten free) tortilla that is around 9 or 10 inches in size. I don’t recommend corn tortillas as they break when rolled. For these photos, I used both Mission Gluten Free tortillas and a sun-dried tomato wrap.
- Dairy Free Cream Cheese: Use your favorite dairy free cream cheese in this recipe. I have found some of my favorites to be Tofutti, Trader Joe’s, and Violife. See below for more options!
- Dairy Free Cheese: I also suggest adding a slice of dairy free cheddar cheese as an optional ingredient. It's perfect for color and flavor.
- Vegetables: Aside from lettuce, and I recommend either green leaf lettuce or romaine, I also suggest adding tiny tomato slices and thinly sliced red onions. They really round out the flavors in this sandwich and help to lighten it up.
- Balsamic Dressing: Adding a small drizzle of this really elevates the pinwheels.
- Peppadew Peppers: I love to add these sweet and spicy little peppers to this sandwich! You can also use banana peppers. Just something to help kick the sandwich up a little bit.
If you need them to be gluten free, use your favorite brand of gluten free tortilla wraps. I really enjoy both the gluten free Mission wraps as well as the Siete Tortilla wraps.
Make sure that if you use a tomato or spinach wrap that it is free from artificial colors. Oftentimes they are filled with colors that can cause allergic reactions.
Best Dairy Free Cream Cheese
There are so many types of dairy free cream cheese out there, just make sure to use one that works with your food allergies. Here are a few brands to check out!
- Violife: Made with coconut and potatoes, this brand is free from gums. This is a delicious type of cream cheese! Contains: Potato, Coconut
- Trader Joe’s: Available only at Trader Joe’s, this is one of the less expensive options on the market. Made with potato, coconut, and chickpea flour, it is a creamy option that works great. Contains: Potato, Coconut, Chickpea, Yeast, Xanthan Gum (corn)
- Miyoko’s Creamery Cream Cheese: What I love about this brand is they use only a few high quality ingredients to make their delicious products. Plus, it is one of the few cream cheese alternatives that does not use any gums! Contains: Cashew (tree nut), Coconut
- Spero: Made with sunflower seeds, this is a lighter type of cream cheese alternative and is really good. Contains: Sunflower seeds, Coconut, Xanthan Gum (corn)
- Tofutti: One of the first vegan cream cheeses on the market, this brand is fantastic and is available in a lot of locations. Plus, it is one of the few to not contain any coconut and is tree nut free! Contains: Soy, Xanthan Gum (corn)
- Oatly: Made with oats and potatoes, this cream cheese is totally nut free and contains no gums! Contains: Oats, Potato
- Nourishh: A newer company, this one is made from sunflower and bamboo, making it the only one free from nuts, coconut, potato, gums, and soy!
For the full instructions, complete with recipe measurements, please see the recipe card below.
First up, the dairy free cream cheese! Spread a nice layer of dairy free cream cheese on the wrap until it just reaches the edges. Then, drizzle on a little bit of your balsamic dressing. Next, layer on the veggies. Add the thinly sliced red onion, tomatoes, and peppadew peppers.
Then, add the remaining ingredients. Add a few slices of dairy free cheddar, the salami, pepperoni, and ham slices.
Lastly, add the green leaf lettuce down the center before tightly rolling them up. Slice them into about 1-inch thick pieces and you are done!
This makes one wrap, so you can easily make enough for a crowd.
Tips and Tricks
- Use big tortillas. The bigger the wrap, the more you can fill them up! And it makes them easier to slice with more spirals. Look for a burrito size tortilla that is 9 to 10 inches for a good size.
- Roll the wraps tightly. The trick for pinwheels is to roll them together tightly, especially on the first roll over. The more swirls the better!
- Slice with a sharp chef’s knife. A serrated knife won’t slice as well as a sharp chef’s knife.
- Don’t slice them too thin. Make each piece about 1-inch thick for the best size. Any smaller and they won’t stick together, any larger and they are bite sized!
My pinwheels are falling apart! What can I do?
If your pinwheels are falling apart, there could be one of a few things going on.
- Not Enough filling. Make sure that you do fill these up quite a bit! Spread the dairy free cream cheese out to the edges and fill with a good amount of fillings.
- Not wrapping them tight enough.
- Not warming the wraps. For some wraps, especially gluten free wraps, they need to be warmed slightly for better rolling. Pop them in the microwave under a damp clean paper towel and warm for 15 seconds before filling and rolling.
- They were sliced too thin. Each piece should be at least one inch thick.
How to Serve Pinwheels
- Lunch: Make them in the morning and pack them in lunchboxes. Use a bento box to keep them from unrolling by squeezing them in tight to each other.
- Snacks: These make a good, protein packed snack for after school.
- Appetizer: Dairy free Italian pinwheels make a great appetizer! Especially because you don’t have to worry about reheating them when you get to the party.
- Dinner: Serve these for dinner with a healthy side salad like my Fuji Apple salad or with a Green Goddess Salad. They also go great with roasted veggies like roasted brussel sprouts or sweet potato wedges.
How to Store + Make Ahead
Fridge: Store these pinwheels wrapped up in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. They taste best when made and served on the same day.
Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing these pinwheels since they have lettuce in them.
Make Ahead: Make and slice pinwheels and then play them on a platter. Double wrap in plastic wrap or another airtight container and you’re done! These are perfect for taking to a potluck.
More Easy Sandwich Recipes
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- Chef’s knife
- cutting board
- 1 tortilla/wrap
- 2 tablespoons dairy free cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon balsamic dressing
- 1 slice dairy free cheddar cheese
- 2 slices salami
- 2 slices ham
- 2 slices pepperoni large
- 3 pieces Green Leaf Lettuce
- 1 tomato sliced
- 2 peppadew peppers
- Red onion sliced thin
- Layer the pinwheel. Spread the dairy free cream cheese in an even layer over the wrap. Drizzle balsamic dressing over top. Add the vegetables of tomato slices, red onion slices, and peppadew peppers. Next, add the meats, the slice of cheddar cheese, and finally the lettuce.
- Wrap and serve. Tightly roll the pinwheels together. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice into 1-inch size pieces. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Enjoy!
- If you need them to be gluten free, use your favorite brand of gluten free tortilla wraps. I really enjoy both the gluten free Mission wraps as well as the Siete Tortilla wraps.
- Need them to be nightshade and tomato free? Simply omit the tomato and the peppadew peppers!
- Make sure that if you use a tomato or spinach wrap that it is free from artificial colors. Oftentimes they are filled with colors that can cause allergic reactions.
- Fridge: Store these pinwheels wrapped up in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. They taste best when made and served on the same day.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing these pinwheels since they have lettuce in them.
- Make Ahead: Make and slice pinwheels and then play them on a platter. Double wrap in plastic wrap or another airtight container and you’re done! These are perfect for taking to a potluck.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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