Vegan Cheese & Zucchini Pinwheels are the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve parties. They’re also terrific for dinner parties or anytime you feel like having a fancy snack! This recipe is super easy to make using just a few ingredients. Zucchini pinwheels are gluten-free and dairy-free.
Last year, I had puff pastry sponsored post. I spent some time writing down recipe ideas. One idea was to make little pastry pinwheels with nut cheese and herbs. Since I had just gone apple picking, I settled on Cheese and Apple Tartlets. They were delicious, so I have no regrets.
Recently, after another apple picking trip, I made them again. I really enjoyed the cheese, so I made a batch on its own and mixed in some herbs. And then I started thinking about that original idea pinwheel idea. I had just used puff pastry in the tartlets, so maybe I should use something different for the pinwheels? I had bought some zucchini at a farm stand by the apple orchard, and thought it would be fun to use them.
Making Vegan Cheese & Zucchini Pinwheels
These Vegan Cheese & Zucchini Pinwheels, are filled with a mixture of Herbed Vegan Cheese Spread, sun-dried tomatoes, frozen kale, and some fresh basil.
To prepare, thaw ½ cup of kale or spinach (or whatever kind of greens you’d like use). Then squeeze out the water and coarsely chop it, if it’s not already chopped. Some greens come pre-chopped, which makes things much easier!
I like to use dry sun-dried tomatoes. If they’re on the hard side, you can just soak them in water for about half an hour, until they soften. If you’re using the oil-packed variety, drain them and blot them dry.
Then just chop up a few fresh basil leaves and mix them into the cheese spread along with the greens and sun-dried tomatoes!
Slicing the Zucchini
The tricky part of this recipe is slicing the zucchini into thin strips. If you have a sharp knife and a steady hand, you can slice them yourself. I find that a mandoline slicer is the best option. Be very careful not to slice your fingers, though!
To prepare the pinwheels, just spread a little of the cheese mixture onto a slice of zucchini, and then roll it up! Easy peasy!
The amount of zucchini you need depends on how large they are. You may end up with a few extra slices, but they can be added to just about any dish – soups, pastas, and stir-fries to name a few.
Avoid Watery Zucchini
Zucchini can get watery, so these pinwheels might water down and deflate after a little while. If you’re serving these at a party, I recommend preparing the cheese and zucchini slices ahead of time and then assembling them right before you plan on serving them.
If you do need to make them ahead of time, you can salt the zucchini slices, and let them sit for about fifteen minutes to help remove some of the water. Then rinse and pat them try before rolling them up. If you make them this way, I recommend serving them flat, rather than standing up, as the zucchini slices will be a little softer.
These Vegan Cheese & Zucchini Pinwheels are a fun appetizer for parties and potlucks, and they're terrific for holiday gatherings!
Vegan Cheese & Zucchini Pinwheels
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 recipe Herbed Vegan Cheese Spread
- ½ cup frozen spinach or kale thawed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Trim the zucchini, and slice it thinly lengthwise into ⅛” strips. You can try to do this by hand, but it will be easiest with a mandoline slicer.
- Mix together the Herbed Vegan Cheese Spread, spinach or kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil in a small bowl.
- Spread a heaping teaspoon of the cheese onto a slice of zucchini. Take one end of the zucchini and gently roll it towards the other end.
- The cheese spread should seal the end of the zucchini, but if it doesn’t, you can use a toothpick.
- Repeat with the remaining cheese spread and zucchini slices.
- Serve soon after assembling.