Southwest-Style Vegan Pinwheels are creamy, satisfying, and perfect for your next party or in your lunchbox. No one needs to know how easy they were to make.
Add a little oomph to your next party spread with these super easy Vegan Pinwheels. I use a few shortcuts to make these super quickly, and I’ll share all of that info with you below!
How to Make Vegan Pinwheels
Before we get to the shortcuts, though, let’s talk about the actual pinwheel-rolling process. It’s not hard, but there is a technique, and getting it right will yield the best results.
First off, unless you’re planning to use toothpicks to hold your pinwheels closed, you need something to be the “glue” — the ingredient that keeps things together. In this recipe, the refried beans do that job.
Start by spreading an even layer of your “glue” ingredient onto a large tortilla. You want to leave about 1″ of bare tortilla around the edges, because even a thin layer will spread as you roll.
The other trick to a good vegan rollup is to roll tightly. You don’t want to press so hard that the tortilla splits, of course, but you do want to use a firm hand, because that’s what will help it stay together.
After you roll, place your pinwheels seam-side-down on a cutting board, and slice off the messy edges. I like to snack on these, because I don’t like wasting food. But you can also compost these edge pieces.
Then, slice your pinwheel into six to eight slices. Don’t press down with the knife! Instead, gently saw through each slice. Wipe your knife between slices.
Arrange the pinwheels seam-side-down on your serving platter or in your lunchbox, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
If you’re making these for a packed lunch, I recommend rolling and slicing them day-off. You can mix up the filling and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to roll and slice.
Vegan Rollup Shortcuts
If you know me, you know I’m all about shortcuts, and this recipe uses quite a few!
First off, I am not making these refried beans from scratch. You are welcome to, but the canned ones will work just fine. When you’re shopping for refried beans, just look out for lard. Here’s a handy guide to finding vegan refried beans.
If you want to, you can use raw corn kernels, sliced fresh off of the cob. When corn is in season, I recommend doing this, because there is nothing like the snap of raw corn. To save time (or when the fresh corn isn’t looking so good), you can use thawed, frozen corn or even canned corn.
Another shortcut is to use pre-sliced black olives instead of slicing them myself. Again, you can do this, but sliced olives are so much easier and are right next to the unsliced ones at the store. Save yourself some cutting board time!
We are also adding (optional) heat to this recipe with pickled jalapenos. I love the flavor that pickled jalapenos bring to tacos, burritos, guacamole, and these vegan rollups. And I love that they are already sliced, so I just have to use a fork to pull them out of the jar.
In fact, the only times you need a knife for this recipe are when you chop up your green onion and when you slice the pinwheels themselves!
So pull up that cutting board, and let’s make some vegan pinwheel sandwiches, y’all!
Southwest-Style Vegan Pinwheels
- 1 15 ounce can of vegan refried beans – check the ingredients for lard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 cup corn kernels – fresh, frozen (and thawed), or canned are all fine
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos – drained (depending on how spicy you want these)
- 4 12-inch flour tortillas – whole wheat, spinach, sundried tomato, etc are all fine
- 2 Haas avocados – sliced just before rolling
- In a large bowl, mix together the refried beans, garlic powder, and chili powder. Fold in the corn, olives, green onions, and pickled jalapenos.
- If you're serving them immediately, spread 1/4 of the bean mixture onto one of the tortillas, leaving 1" of the tortilla bare around the edges. Layer on 1/4 of the sliced avocado. Starting at one end, roll up the tortilla tightly. When you finish rolling, place it seam-side-down on the cutting board, and slice off the messy ends. Then, slice into 6-8 pieces. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- If you're not planning to serve now, store the bean mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and make the pinwheels when you're ready to serve.
- The nutritional information is for 8 servings, which assumes these are party food. If you’re packing this as a lunch, you will end up with 4 servings, so double the nutritional info for that.
- I recommend assembling your pinwheels just before serving. You can store any remaining filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-5 days.