Spanish Lentil Puff Pastry Pinwheels

A pile of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

These Spanish-style Puff Pastry Pinwheels are an easy, yet impressive make ahead or last-minute appetizer. Filled with a flavourful combination of red lentils, cheese, and smoky paprika, they are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

I always keep a box of frozen puff pastry in the freezer. This handy ingredient is decadent, delicious, and the key to creating so many wonderful appetizers. You can use it to wrap up a round of brie to make Brie en Croute or wrap it around aromatic ground pork filling to make classic UK style Sausage Rolls.

Disclosure: This post is made possible by Alberta Pulse Growers. All opinions and experiences are my own.

A stack of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

Spanish Lentil Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Today I am thrilled to bring you another delicious fuss-free appetizer recipe for the holidays. These puff pastry pinwheels go perfectly on any hors d’oeuvres platter, be it holiday, gameday, or everyday. They contain very few ingredients, are ready in under an hour, and freeze/reheat well.

Believe it or not, this appetizer recipe begins with a box of store-bought puff pastry. However, the real surprise is the cheesy, smoky filling. It’s bursting with Spanish flavours like smoky hot paprika, dried black olives, roasted red peppers, and… red lentils.

Yes, you read right. This cheese puff pastry pinwheels recipe is not only delicious, it also contains extra fibre and protein from an Alberta-grown legume. The filling is so cheesy and smoky, you’d never guess there were lentils in it. After I mixed it up, I ate some on a cracker and almost changed this entire post.

A hand holds one puff pastry pinwheel above a pile of the same appetizers.

As a dip or spread, the filling contains all the flavours of my favourite Pimento Cheese Dip. So, think of this post as containing two recipes in one: portable puff pastry pinwheels and a healthier Pimento cheese dip.

What are Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Puff Pastry Pinwheels are a classic appetizer featuring a store-bought puff pastry sheet spread with a tasty filling before being rolled, sliced, and baked in an oven.

While the technique remains the same, there are many different flavour variations when it comes to the filling. Ham, mustard, and cheese filling is common, as is cheese and pesto. The cool thing about pinwheels is that you can be as fancy or as basic as you like.

Ingredients required to make Spanish lentil puff pastry pinwheel appetizers.

I highly recommend keeping the lentils and changing up the filling flavours. Another delicious filling idea is a combination of lentils, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and pesto. If you love meat, you can sneak in a few slices of prosciutto, ham, or make the pinwheels French Dip Style with slices of roast beef.

Ingredients for Spanish Style Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Besides the Spanish hot smoky paprika, the ingredients for this appetizer are pretty basic and available at most grocery stores.

  • Frozen Puff Pastry
  • Split Red Lentils
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Hot Smoky Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried Black Olives
A comparison photo of two bowls of red lentils. One bowl contains raw lentils, the other contains cooked red lentils.

Choose high quality butter based frozen puff pastry for best results. Thaw it in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours depending on the temperature of your fridge. In a pinch, many say to thaw frozen puff pastry at room temperature for four hours, but I’ve never had success doing it this way.

When using puff pastry, unroll it carefully so it doesn’t crack and work quickly on a cool surface. Spread the lentil filling carefully to avoid tearing and pulling on the pastry.

Finally, place the pastry log back in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This allows the pastry to firm up and makes it easier to slice into clean pinwheels.

Process photos showing how to roll out and place filling onto a sheet of puff pastry.
Process photos showing how to spread filling on and roll the puff pastry.

I used dried split red lentils for this recipe because they cook quickly and absorb the flavours of this recipe really well. Read on to find out how to cook red lentils.

For this recipe, you can roast your own red pepper or buy a jar of roasted red peppers. You will need only one from the jar, so plan to use the rest in another recipe soon. Be sure to dry the pepper well, or it will add too much moisture to the filling.

Feel free to substitute sweet smoky paprika for the hot smoky paprika. If you do, add a 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder to add just the right amount of heat.

Substitute Manchego cheese for the cheddar cheese for even more authentic Spanish flavour.

Rows of golden baked lentil pinwheels on parchment paper.

How to Cook Red Lentils for this Recipe

The key to using lentils as a puff pastry pinwheel filling is to cook them without excess moisture. Begin by rinsing 1/3 cup dry split red lentils with cold water in a fine mesh sieve. Next, place the lentils in a small saucepan and add 1 cup water.

Bring lentils to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer on low (uncovered) for 12-13 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff. There should be no water in the bottom of the saucepan. If there any moisture, continue cooking until it is gone.

Set the lentils aside and allow them to come to room temperature.

A row of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

How to Make the Puff Pastry Pinwheel Filling

Let’s start by cooking the aromatics. Add the small diced onions and olive oil to a sauté pan and cook them over medium heat until they become soft and translucent. Next, add the chopped fresh garlic and sauté another minute or two. Add the smoky hot paprika, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Place 1 cup cooked red lentils in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion mixture, diced roasted red peppers, and cheese. Process ingredients together until they make a coarse paste.

A pile of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

How to Roll and Bake Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Carefully unroll the puff pastry (and its paper) onto a clean work surface. It should be roughly 10-12 inches square. Next, drop small portions of filling around the puff pastry square, then gently spread each portion outward on the pastry. Leave one inch of clean pastry along the top and bottom edges.

Scatter chopped dried olives over the filling.

Once the entire sheet of pastry is covered in a thin layer of filling, begin rolling it into a log from the bottom edge, upward. Moisten the top edge with a little bit of water or egg wash and press to seal. Roll the log back up in the pastry paper and place it (seam side down) in the fridge for 20 minutes.

A stack of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

Preheat oven to 375 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Repeat the spreading filling, rolling, and chilling process with second sheet of pastry and remaining filling.

After 20 minutes, remove one log from the fridge and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off. Cut the log into half inch (1 1/4 cm) pieces and place each piece on the lined baking sheet. Gently reshape each piece to remove any square edges, as needed.

Bake the pinwheels for 15-18 minutes in a 375 F oven, or until the pastry becomes a light golden-brown colour. Remove from oven and repeat with second pastry log.

Serve Spanish lentil puff pastry pinwheels warm or at room temperature. Dip in Romesco Sauce, if you like.

A hand holds one puff pastry pinwheel above a pile of the same appetizers.

Make Ahead and Storage Directions

These pinwheels are excellent make ahead appetizers because they freeze and reheat well. Freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months or keep them in the fridge for up to one week.

Reheat them in a 350 F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet until just heated through.

Pinterest image of a hand holding one puff pastry pinwheel above a pile of the same appetizers.

If you make this Spanish Lentil Puff Pastry Pinwheels recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 24

Spanish Lentil Puff Pastry Pinwheels

A stack of golden baked puff pastry pinwheels on a wooden board garnished with red lentils.

These Spanish-style Puff Pastry Pinwheels are an easy, yet impressive make ahead or last-minute appetizer. Filled with a flavourful combination of red lentils, cheese, and smoky paprika, they are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup split red lentils
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoky hot Spanish paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 roasted red pepper; dried well and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 15-20 dried black olives; pits removed and chopped
  • 2 sheets puff pastry; thawed overnight in the fridge

Instructions

COOKING THE LENTILS

  1. Rinse 1/3 cup dry split red lentils well under cold water. Place the lentils in a small saucepan and add 1 cup water.
  2. Bring lentils to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer on low heat (uncovered) for 12-13 minutes. There should be no water left in the pot at all (continue cooking if there is). Set aside to allow lentils to come to room temperature.

MIX THE FILLING

  1. Add small diced onions and olive oil to a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until they become soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two. Add the smoky hot paprika, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  3. Place 1 cup cooked lentils in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion mixture, diced roasted red peppers, and cheese. Process ingredients together until they make a coarse paste.

MAKE THE PINWHEELS

  1. Carefully unroll the puff pastry (and its paper) onto a clean work surface. It should be roughly 10-12 inches square.
  2. Drop small amounts of filling around the puff pastry square, then gently spread each portion outward on the pastry. Leave one inch of clean pastry along the top and bottom edges.
  3. Scatter chopped dried olives over the filling.
  4. Once the entire sheet of pastry is covered in a thin layer of filling, begin rolling it into a log from the bottom edge, upward. Moisten the top edge with a little bit of water and press to seal.
  5. Roll the log back up in the pastry paper and place it (seam side down) in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Repeat with second sheet of pastry and remaining filling.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Remove one log from the fridge and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off.
  9. Cut the log into half inch (1 1/4 cm) pieces and place each piece on the prepared baking sheet. Gently reshape each piece to remove any square edges, as needed.
  10. Bake the pinwheels for 15-18 minutes in a 375 F oven, or until the pastry becomes a light golden brown colour. Remove from oven and repeat with second pastry log.
  11. Serve Spanish lentil puff pastry pinwheels warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 49Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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26 comments

  1. Natalia

    These will be the sensation of the party! They look absolutely scrumptious and fun to make! The perfect easy and flavorful appetizer for the holidays!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      For sure! They have so much flavour…you’ll be surprised! Happy New Year Natalia.

  2. Lisa

    Such a delicious appetizer! And I love the ease of using store bought puff pastry dough!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I always have a box of it in my freezer. So handy!

  3. Veronika

    That’s such a fun idea to make a filling out of red lentils! I’m always looking for new recipes using them but never thought to add them to something like this! Gotta try these pinwheels asap!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Lentils are so versatile and they tend to absorb flavours really well. I add them to many dishes.

  4. Elaine

    Fabulous pinwheels that look like an absolute treat! I can’t wait to make a big batch of these over the holidays!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You will love them Elaine! PS I recommend you try the filling on a cracker as a ‘chef snack’. So good!

  5. Amanda Mason

    So good! Loved every bite of these! And they are super easy to make! Saving this recipe forever!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear Amanda! Thanks for trying this appy recipe.

  6. Jacqueline Debono

    I love pinwheels made with puff pastry. So great for parties or as appetizers. I loved the filling in these, very different to what I usually make. Making again for New Year!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Jacqueline, I’m so glad you liked the pinwheels. Merry Christmas and all the best in 2023.

  7. Kathryn

    Pinwheels are so fun and these were delicious! Love the puff pastry and lentil filling. Perfect for snacking or lunch!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m so glad you like them Kathryn. They do make great snacks!

  8. Amy Liu Dong

    I have never tried to make this but it looks so easy and delicious!
    I’ll be saving this to make it over the weekend.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great to hear. Merry Christmas Amy!

  9. Linda

    How easy and delicious these little pastries are! And sneaking in a little healthy is a bonus. I served these for my Christmas party and, being in the south and everyone loving Pimento cheese, these were a big hit.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh, I’m so glad they passed! Thank you for trying this recipe Linda.

  10. Gloria

    I love working with puff pastry. Lentils are such a great ingredient to add to recipes. These are party perfect.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I like to sneak a bit of protein goodness among all that cheese!

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much, Megs. Merry Christmas!

  11. Andrea

    these pinwheels turned out amazing! so tasty and delicious!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      oo! So glad you loved them Andrea. They are such a simple and tasty appetizer.

  12. Liz

    These were so delicious!! Plus, the pinwheels made such an elegant statement—so fun for the holidays!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Excellent! Thank you for stopping by Liz and Merry Christmas!

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