Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels

I always find ads for food products that include a recipe a strong marketing tactic. I am not sure how long I’ve had the Spinach Cheese Swirls from Pepperidge Farms in my recipe binder. When I had 2 guests over one evening, I decided to use that as a reason to finally try this out to offer as a snack.

Supposedly this serves 6-10 as appetizers, but the four of us finished this off accompanied by some cheese, bread, and wine. The recipe calls for using Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets, but you can also use Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough which you pinch the perforations into a solid sheet.

Spinach Pinwheels


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese or Mozzarella cheese or whatever tasty cheese you’d like: I went with sharp cheddar that I grated fresh and I doubled the amount because I love cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese- but I had run out, so used a shredded mix of mozzarella, asiago and provolone
  • 2 tablespoons of green onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder- though I admit I used twice as much at least as I did it to taste
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • 1 pkg. (about 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained


  1. Make sure your chopped spinach is dry. I wrapped my frozen chopped spinach with paper towels and then under a big pan to press some water out of it, and then heated it in the microwave to steam it to ensure there was as little liquid as possible so it would not make the dough soggy.
  2. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Sprinkle the flour on your work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the floured surface and brush the pastry sheet with the egg mixture.
  3. Stir the your cheeses, green onion and garlic powder in a medium bowl to taste. The original recipe tasted a bit bland to me, so make sure you season and taste until the filling is appealing to you.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  4. Carefully top the pastry sheet with the spinach cheese mixture. Don’t make it thick or it will not roll smoothly, and leave a little bit on the end farthest away from you, about 1/2″ of room at that end, that you will roll to (on the short side) so you can seal it. I happened to have left a little on the sides too, but now I know it isn’t necessary because as you see from my final roll, there was too much extra dough on the sides.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  5. Starting on the short side, roll it all up. Next, I recommend wrapping it in saran wrap and put in the fridge overnight, or in the freezer for enough time for it to all harden just a bit to make it hold together better when you cut the roll.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  6. Heat the oven to 400°F. As it is heating, cut the roll into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto your baking sheet. Brush the slices with the egg mixture.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool for 10 minutes.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels

I also made a variant version of this, but instead using Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough, chive cream cheese, and also pureed squash to make Squash and Cheese Pinwheels. I saw on TV a few times recently a Pillsbury cresent dough commercial where a man “impressed” his wife by making bacon cheese pinwheels, and because of that he delegates the cable being out for her to fix instead. The look on the woman’s face cracks me up even though I know that’s what my face looks like when F asks me stuff about the house sometimes.

Squash Pinwheels


  • 1 8 ounce package Pillsbury Crescent Dough. If you see it, get the no-seam dough version called Recipe Creations
  • 1 pkg. (about 10 ounces) frozen pureed squash, or you can use roasted squash that you have let cool down to room temperature and pureed. You can use any type of squash you’d like. I like pureed squash because then you don’t have to worry about cutting squash into pieces- just throw it into the oven at 400 degrees F until fork tender, and then pull out and scoop the squash and into your blender to puree and use. Or, use frozen squash that you microwave.
  • 6 ounces of chive cream cheese, or you can use other flavors or plain
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Take the cream cheese out so it can soften.
  2. Add walnuts in a single layer to a baking sheet and then toast in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes and then stair, and wait another 5 minutes (so total toasting ~10 minutes) until they smell fragrant and are golden in color, then remove from heat. Otherwise, give them another minute or two to finish toasting, checking frequently and watching so they don’t burn! You can also do this on the stovetop, which will toast it faster, but I already had to use a baking sheet for the swirls and didn’t want to wash a pan too. Let the walnuts cool.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on your work surface. Unfold the crescent dough and pinch the perforations to join all the triangles together – if you use the Recipe Creations package there will be no seams so it will save you a step. Spread the cream cheese onto the dough within 1/2 inch of the edge.
    Spinach or Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  4. Now top with the squash. Follow that with any seasoning if you’d like (for instance I used nutmeg and a bit of paprika and rosemary, but it’s up to you. Also sprinkle on top the 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts – I admit I put mine on top because I forgot to add them when I was rolling it, but it would be better probably inside the roll rather then on top! Put the roll in the freezer for a bit so it will harden a bit, making it easier to cut and it will stay together more.
    Topping of cream cheese and squash for a Squash Pinwheel, further sprinkled by various spices and seasonings to taste Topping of cream cheese and squash for a Squash Pinwheel, further sprinkled by various spices and seasonings to taste
  5. When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto a sprayed baking sheet.
    Squash Cheese Pinwheels
  6. Bake for about 15 or so minutes until the crescent dough is golden brown.
    Squash Cheese Pinwheels Squash Cheese Pinwheels Squash Cheese Pinwheels

These crescent roll pinwheels are going to be softer than the ones using pastry sheet, so using the walnuts or other kind of nut gives it more texture than mush. If you’d like you can also sprinkle brown sugar on the squash, or use other seasonings if you are not using chive cream cheese like I did. I neglected to use the chopped walnuts when I actually made these, but added them here because after testing this out, this is what the recipe needs and I wish I had.

I also wish I had a nicer camera because these photos do not do it justice. Unfortunately both days were dark so the lighting was terrible, leaving me only my kitchen lights and Picasa fill light brightening software tricks. It’s days like this that make me wish I had a better camera than my point and shoot. I use my trusty Panasonic Lumix that fits in my purse so is always available where my Android cameraphone will fail (any eating situation that isn’t in great daylight). The pictures just do not do justice to how wonderful both of these smelled baking, and how warm and comforting they were to eat and that you just kept picking up the next one to eat!

Both would make great holiday appetizers that you can prep before hand, roll and have in the fridge, and can be done baking in 15 minutes and are a savory option instead of cookies.



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