Full of summer flavors, keto pesto pinwheels are the perfect low carb appetizer or game time snack. Basil, garlic, and sundried tomato in a guilt-free, gluten-free swirl!
Not too long ago my daughter was watching a baking competition show on TV, and the challenge was palmiers. Now, palmiers are a form of puff pastry, layers and layers of butter folded in the dough to create incredible layers. They are rolled in the shape of a palm, elephant ear, or simply round like a cinnamon roll and sliced to bake.
On the show, they were filling them with all sorts of amazing flavors. However, my mind immediately went to, “Wouldn’t those be amazing with basil pesto and sun-dried tomato?”
Thus, this is where our keto pesto pinwheels began. While I haven’t tried to make a gluten-free puff pastry, I know I love a good fathead dough. Fathead dough is made of mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, and almond flour among a few other ingredients.
To me, it seemed the perfect choice for a tasty appetizer for a family gathering or even game day. Can I tell you something? I was right. They are pretty fabulous!
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Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy.
Keto pesto pinwheels: more fillings
There are so many options when it comes to creating a filling for an amazing dough!
First, do you choose sweet or savory? Second for me is okay, what all do I have around the house?
These baked treats make a fabulous snack or appetizer, or even lunch! What are your favorite fillings? Do you go Greek and fill it with feta, spinach, and garlic? Maybe a traditional salami and provolone? You could even make it a pizza roll with tomato sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella!
It’s a fun way to get the kids involved in cooking because believe me, they will have opinions.
What?! Kids have strong opinions? Imagine that. Mine are strongly against spinach unless we call it dinosaur slime. And then it’s okay. Mmmm, tasty!
Today, however, I think we’ll stick with pesto and sundried tomatoes. It’s a classic combination and one it’s hard to go wrong with.
If you’d like to try your hand at making a super-simple, yet amazingly flavorful basil pesto, find my recipe here.
Why kids should bake
These pinwheels are really not too difficult to make although they may look it at first glance. Like I said, enlist some kids to help out because they absolutely love the hands-on aspect of this bake. Baking is great for kids because they have to make a plan, follow directions, and in the end create something delicious for everyone!
Now, in the rare case the directions are not followed, they learn something from it, am I right? My daughter loves to go through the entire baking process and share her creations with the family. It’s a sense of accomplishment that I think leads to a greater work ethic in the future. But enough of my soapbox. On to the baking!
How to make keto pesto pinwheels
First off gather your ingredients and kitchen items. Second, put the mozzarella and cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl and melt it for 1-2 minutes. It should be just melted but not so much that it’s nearing the crisp and harden stage.
Third, add in the almond flour, powdered parmesan cheese, and baking powder, and use a mixer to combine it all into a dough. Make sure you have a really large bowl to do this so small pieces don’t get spat out all around the room! Also, depending on the mozzarella you use, it can stick around the beaters.
Never fear, if the mixture does wind itself around the beaters too much just stop the machine, pull off the mozzarella mixture that’s causing the problem. Et voílà! Continue.
Next, keep mixing and add the eggs in one at a time. Then, form the mixture into a dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. If it is too sticky to handle, refrigerate it for 15 minutes. Another thing I like to do is spray the parchment paper with coconut or olive oil to prevent sticking.
Now, roll out the dough to make a large rectangle about 1/4 of an inch thick.
How to fill the dough
I like to use a pastry brush to brush the pesto over the dough or you could easily use a spoon if you don’t have the pastry brush.
Over the pesto, evenly sprinkle the chopped sundried tomatoes.
Then use the parchment paper as a guide to help roll up the dough from the narrow end until it becomes a log. This is where you can get creative with your rolling too. You could roll it the long way from both sides inward to create the traditional elephant ears.
However you decide to roll it, try not to touch it too much because the warmer it gets, the more difficult it becomes to work with. Once rolled, carefully wrap in plastic wrap (cling film) and place in the freezer for about an hour.
Why chill it? One, it needs to harden to be easier to slice. Two, when it’s chilled beforehand it holds its shape better when baked.
Slice and bake the pesto pinwheels
Next, unwrap the log and slice it into 1/2 inch slices. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. There should be about 20 pinwheels if you’ve rolled from the short end.
Put the pan (you may need to use 2 pans) in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until beautifully golden and the edges begin to brown. Be sure to let them cool for at least 15 minutes on the pan before you move them to cool completely on cooling racks.
They should have a gentle crunch and be full of flavor!
Tip: When re-heating use the oven or even warm them on a skillet on the stove. If you put them in the microwave they soften and lose the crunch.
Best keto appetizers
It’s always a good idea to bring a snack or appetizer to family parties or any gathering that involves food. Personally, I want to be sure there’s something I can eat, but I also want something I think everyone else will enjoy too!
These keto pesto pinwheels definitely fit the bill. You may need to set a few aside for yourself because once your friends taste them they won’t last long! Give them a try with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes or let me know if you try another filling you love.
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Make your own easy keto pesto!
Keto Pesto Pinwheels
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (full fat works best)
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup powdered parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pesto
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- Melt the mozzarella and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.
- Add in the almond flour, powdered parmesan cheese, and baking powder and mix to combine into a dough. Continue mixing and add the eggs in one at a time.
- Form the mixture into a dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. If it is too sticky to handle, refrigerate it for 15 minutes. Optional: spray the parchment paper with coconut or olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Roll out the dough in a large rectangle about 1/4 of an inch thick. Use a pastry brush to brush the pesto over the dough. Over that, evenly sprinkle the chopped sundried tomatoes.
- Use the parchment paper to help roll up the dough from the narrow end until it becomes a log. Wrap in plastic wrap (cling film) and place in the freezer for an hour.
- Slice the log into 1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. There should be about 20 pinwheels.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden and the edges begin to brown. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes on the pan and then completely on cooling racks. They should have a gentle crunch.
|Amount Per Serving: 1|
|Total Fat 7 g|
|Saturated Fat 2 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 28 mg|
|Sodium 145 mg|
|Potassium 62 mg|
|Total Carbohydrate 2 g|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g|
|Sugars 1 g|
|Protein 6 g|