Thai Chicken Pinwheels – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 Thai Chicken Pinwheels offer a delicious, bite-sized fusion of Asian flavors, with a tangy cream cheese spread, sweet chili-coated chicken, fresh spinach, and crunchy peanuts, all wrapped in a soft tortilla. These easy-to-make pinwheels are perfect for parties, picnics, or casual get-togethers, delivering incredible savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors in every bite!

Overhead image of the Thai Chicken Pinwheels

Thai Chicken Pinwheels are part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Thai Chicken Pinwheels

Sometimes, dinner needs to bring the spirit of a party to the table, especially as we wave goodbye to summer and embrace the back-to-school season. Can you relate? This is precisely the moment for these vibrant Thai Chicken Pinwheels!

This recipe blends the irresistible flavors of Asia into a bite-sized treat! Starting with a tangy, savory cream cheese spread flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, and green onions, we lay the foundation on large flour tortillas. Then, we layer on finely diced cooked chicken tossed in sweet chili sauce, fresh baby spinach, and topped off with a sprinkle of crunchy, dry-roasted peanuts.

The result? A delightful pinwheel brimming with a balance of flavors! Easy to prepare and even more enjoyable to eat, these pinwheels are poised to take center stage at your back-to-school dinner table.

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Thai Chicken Pinwheels Ingredients (The Spread)

These pinwheels begin with an absolutely divine cream cheese spread! Here’s what it contains:

  • Cream cheese: The cream cheese base adds a rich, creamy texture. Using reduced-fat cream cheese can make the recipe lighter, but regular cream cheese delivers a richer flavor. We typically use 1/3-less-fat cream cheese in this recipe.
  • Low-sodium soy sauce: This ingredient adds a rich umami flavor. You can use regular soy sauce if you prefer, but be mindful of the additional salt content.
  • Toasted sesame oil: This oil imparts a deep, nutty flavor that complements the other Asian-inspired ingredients. Be sure to use toasted sesame oil rather than regular sesame oil for a more intense flavor.
  • Minced garlic: Garlic provides a robust, aromatic kick to the recipe. Freshly minced garlic usually gives the best flavor, but jarred minced garlic works great as a time-saving alternative.
  • Green onions: These add a mild, onion-like flavor and a hint of color to the cream cheese spread. Use both the green and white parts for the best flavor.

Process shots of the Thai Chicken Pinwheels-- images of the cream cheese, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and onions being combined and then spread on a tortilla

Thai Chicken Pinwheel Ingredients (Toppings)

Beyond the spread, large flour tortillas hold everything together, and the recipe incorporates the following toppings:

  • Cooked chicken: The chicken offers a hearty protein to the pinwheels. Rotisserie chicken works well here because it’s typically moist and flavorful.
  • Sweet chili sauce: This adds a sweet heat to the wraps and delivers a delicious Thai-inspired flavor. Mae Ploy’s® sauce is our favorite and can typically be found on the condiment or international aisle of your grocery store.
  • Baby spinach (or romaine lettuce): Add a fresh, crisp contrast to the creamy spread and chicken with some spinach or romaine lettuce. Either option works well!
  • Dry roasted, lightly salted peanuts: These offer a nice crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the pinwheels. Make sure to chop them finely for the best texture in each bite, or for those with allergies, consider an alternative like sunflower seeds.

QUICK TIP

Pre-cooked and seasoned chicken is a real time-saver, and for even greater convenience, pick up rotisserie chicken meat that’s already been deboned and shredded or diced — many grocery stores offer this. 

Process shots-- images of the chicken and sweet chili sauce being combined, then a tortilla being layered with the spinach and saucy chicken

How To Make Thai Chicken Pinwheels (Tips)

  • Dice the chicken finely: It’s important to dice the chicken very finely to ensure every bite is balanced and easy to eat. Large chunks might make the pinwheels harder to roll and could create a less unified flavor profile.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Fresh garlic and green onions can make a noticeable difference in the depth of flavor of the cream cheese spread.
  • Consider the tortilla size: Be mindful of the tortilla size. Using large, burrito-sized tortillas allows ample room for filling and makes the rolling process easier.
  • Adjust the heat: Customize the heat level to your preference. If you like a bit more kick, use a spicier chili sauce or add a bit of sriracha to the chicken mixture.
  • Chill before cutting: Make sure to chill the prepared Thai Chicken Pinwheels for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This chilling time helps the ingredients meld and makes the slicing process much easier and cleaner.
  • Slice with a sharp knife: Use a very sharp, serrated knife to cut the pinwheels. This will help you get clean, even slices without squishing the pinwheel.

 

QUICK TIP

We recommend using burrito-sized tortillas for these Thai Chicken Pinwheels. If you can’t find them at your store, you can tweak this recipe slightly to accommodate the smaller tortillas. Make the recipe using the same quantity of ingredients, but use 6 regular-sized tortillas. Scale back the amount of filling you add to each, so it doesn’t spill out and rip the tortillas.

Process shots of Thai Chicken Pinwheels-- images of the wraps being rolled and cut into individual pinwheels

What To Serve With Thai Chicken Pinwheels

These delectable pinwheels can be served with a variety of accompaniments, depending on the occasion. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Asian-inspired dips: Pair these pinwheels with additional sweet chili sauce for dipping, or a spicy peanut sauce to add another layer of flavor.
  • Salad: A simple Asian-inspired salad with lettuce, shredded cabbage, carrots, and a sesame or ginger dressing would be a light and refreshing side.
  • Soup: A clear or mildly flavored soup, like a miso soup or a simple chicken broth with some veggies could work well.
  • Noodles: Cold sesame noodles or a light noodle salad with a vinaigrette dressing would also complement the flavors of the pinwheels.
  • Fruit salad: A tropical fruit salad featuring fruits like pineapple, mango, and papaya could provide a sweet and refreshing contrast. (We love this Pina Colada Fruit Salad!)
  • Pickled vegetables: A side of quick-pickled cucumbers, carrots, or radishes would add a tangy crunch that can balance the creamy and rich flavors in these Thai Chicken Pinwheels. (Try the quick pickled veggies in these Banh Mi Bowls.)

Up-close overhead image of the dish

STORAGE

If you plan to prepare this recipe in advance, it’s best to store the components separately– namely the saucy chicken and cream cheese mixture– to avoid making the tortillas soggy. Assemble the pinwheels when you’re ready to serve them. Keep in mind that these pinwheels don’t store well once assembled, as they tend to become soggy fairly quickly.

Image of the Thai Chicken Pinwheels with one being held

Use Leftover Tortillas In These EASY Recipes:

Thai Chicken Pinwheels

Thai Chicken Pinwheels offer a delicious, bite-sized fusion of Asian flavors, with a tangy cream cheese spread, sweet chili-coated chicken, fresh spinach, and crunchy peanuts, all wrapped in a soft tortilla. These easy-to-make pinwheels are perfect for parties, picnics, or casual get-togethers, delivering incredible savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors in every bite!

Thai Chicken Pinwheels

Thai Chicken Pinwheels offer a delicious, bite-sized fusion of Asian flavors, with a tangy cream cheese spread, sweet chili-coated chicken, fresh spinach, and crunchy peanuts, all wrapped in a soft tortilla. These easy-to-make pinwheels are perfect for parties, picnics, or casual get-togethers, delivering incredible savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors in every bite!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chicken: Use our favorite Baked Chicken Breast recipe (leave out the paprika, oregano, and brown sugar) to cook up the chicken and very finely dice for these pinwheels. Or use prepared rotisserie chicken from the store. It’s important to dice the chicken very finely to ensure every bite is balanced and easy to eat. Large chunks might make the pinwheels harder to roll and cut.
Note 2: Sweet chili sauce: This adds the delicious Thai-inspired flavor to these wraps. Mae Ploy’s® sauce is our favorite and can typically be found on the condiment or international aisle of your grocery store.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 724kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 1195mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 3324IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 5mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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