Unlike other pumpkin recipes, these whipped Ricotta and Pumpkin Pinwheels are a savory treat with only a hint of sweetness. They're easy to make in under 30 minutes and perfect to serve during the holiday season.
Whipped ricotta and pumpkin pinwheels are very far from your traditional pumpkin roll. This savory pumpkin appetizer skips the brown sugar, powdered sugar, cream cheese filling, and other sweet elements in favor of two cheeses, garlic, and sage. It's a savory and delicious combination of flavors ideal for fall entertaining or holiday gatherings.
Made with simple ingredients, this is a delicious recipe to serve before Thanksgiving dinner, at your next holiday party, or as an easy snack for a fall happy hour.
- Puff pastry - Store-bought puff pastry sheets, thawed according to package directions.
- Ricotta cheese - Either full fat or low fat ricotta cheese works in this recipe.
- Pumpkin puree - Choose 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. (They’re often next to each other in the grocery store.
- Garlic powder and onion powder - Two pantry staples that pack a lot of flavor.
- Fresh sage - The fresh herb gives a better flavor to the filling vs dried sage.
- Parmesan cheese - Finely grated, fresh Parmesan cheese has the best texture for baking in this recipe.
- Pistachios - Pistachios give a sweet flavor and slight crunch to the pinwheels, without overwhelming the pumpkin flavor. Substitute finely diced walnuts - or leave the nuts out - if you don’t like pistachios or have an allergy.
- Butter - Real dairy butter will give the best flavor.
- Maple syrup - Choose 100% pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup for this recipe.
How to Make Savory Ricotta and Pumpkin Pinwheels
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and fresh sage. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
Lay out the sheet of puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface or sheet of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the pastry into a long rectangle.
Cover the puff pastry with ricotta and pumpkin mixture. Spread to the edge on 3 sides, leaving a 1 inch line of plain pastry on a long side.
Sprinkle the pumpkin mixture with finely chopped pistachios and shredded Parmesan cheese.
Brush the plain edge of the pastry with a little water.
Starting at the long edge, roll the puff pastry up jelly-roll style into a log, finishing at the plain edge.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the pastry into pinwheels, 1 inch wide.
Place pinwheels, cut side up, about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Don't worry if you have a messy pinwheel or two. They'll bake up just fine!)
Bake at 400 degrees on parchment paper for 18-20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.
Remove from the oven.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter and maple syrup.
Brush the baked pinwheels with butter/syrup mixture. Sprinkle with extra pistachio pieces, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Looking for More Easy Appetizers?
Savory appetizers are my favorite in part because they pair so well with cocktails and mocktails! Try my bacon-wrapped dates with cream cheese and almonds, or whipped feta and sun-dried tomato bruschetta topped with crunchy pistachios.
Can I Use Something Besides Puff Pastry?
I tested this recipe with puff pastry sheets, phyllo dough sheets, and crescent roll sheets. The puff pastry worked the best and was the tastiest.
The crescent dough also worked, though the dough is a little heavier than puff pastry and overwhelmed the filling a bit. If you absolutely can't find puff pastry, crescent roll dough would be your next option.
Phyllo dough was a mess. This filling is too moist for phyllo and the middle of the pinwheels didn’t cook completely, while the outside layers were super dry. Skip the phyllo dough for this one.
How Can I Make These Pumpkin Pinwheels Ahead of Time?
While you can't make the entire recipe ahead of time, you can prep the filling.
Mix together your filling and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days so it's ready to go on the day that you're going to serve these pinwheels.
You can also freeze the filling for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen filling overnight in the refrigerator and give it a good mix before using.