These Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are a hot twist on deli pinwheel sandwiches! Packed with carrots, celery, provolone cheese, and buffalo flavored cream cheese, these pinwheels are a wonderful cold lunch meal prep idea!
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I have a mad obsession with deli-style sandwich pinwheels! Grocery store deli counters, as well as Costco, make some of the best ones you can buy. BUT, you can also make them at home.
My original Easy Turkey Pinwheels Meal Prep has been one of the most popular meal prep recipes on Project Meal Plan, so I thought it was time for a variation! Easy, make-ahead, cold lunch ideas never stop trending!
This new pinwheel recipe incorporates one of my favorite flavor combos into pinwheels – buffalo sauce plus chicken plus carrots & celery!
It requires slightly different veggie prep and has a different condiment situation going on, so I thought it was worth a whole new recipe post. Let’s go!
What are the ingredients in these Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels?
Here are the ingredients in the Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels with some extra info in each:
- tortilla or FlatOuts Flatbread – You’ll either want a burrito size tortilla, or FlatOuts Flatbreads for the base of your pinwheel. If you use a tortilla, you’ll have two ends that are incomplete pinwheel scraps! Not a problem, just a warning.
- cream cheese – Use cream cheese or Laughing Cow spreadable cheeses as an alternative condiment. If you use mayo and mustard, your pinwheels will become soggier more quickly.
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (plus for more topping) – For that buffalo flavor! You might want more for dipping when you eat too. You can swap for another buffalo sauce if you wish.
- thin sliced deli chicken breast – You can totally swap for turkey if you want. I think the buffalo flavors work with both.
- provolone cheese – I like some cheese in my pinwheels, so I decided to go with one slice of provolone. Cut or rip it in half and place it in the pinwheel.
- carrot & celery – Instead of spinach greens like the classic pinwheels, here we’re going with some fine cut matchsticks of carrots and celery. Cutting them into matchsticks makes them easier to bite into and chew. Here’s a quick video on How to Julienne a Carrot.
How do you make these Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels?
If you’ve made my original pinwheels before, you’ll see that the method is very similar, but here we have a couple extra steps with prepping the buffalo cream cheese and the raw veggies.
Start by prepping the veggies to get the knife work out of the way. Cut the veggies into as small of matchsticks as you can (fine julienne). For one pinwheel, prep half of a small carrot and half a rib of celery. For two pinwheels, prep one small carrot and one long rib of celery, and so on.
Next step is to make the buffalo cream cheese. Make as much as you’re going to need for all the pinwheels you’re making. For example, if you’re making two pinwheels, mix together 2 ounces of cream cheese and 2 teaspoons of buffalo sauce.
Finally, assemble the pinwheel! Start by spreading the cream cheese on your chosen pinwheel shell. Lay your flatbread or tortilla on a cutting board. Spread your buffalo cream cheese on, being sure to cover the ENTIRE tortilla surface. This is important later!
Arrange your deli meat slices flat on the tortilla, covering about 2/3 of the surface. Leave about 1/3 of the tortilla covered with the buffalo cream cheese only. Add a slice of cheese to the middle if you want, then add your celery and carrot sticks to the middle of the flatbread forming a line from top to bottom edge to edge.
Begin rolling the pinwheel from the meat covered side, using both hands and rolling tightly. The veggies may try to escape, but just use your fingers to tuck them in as you roll. For a video of the technique, check out the original Turkey Pinwheels recipe post.
Use a serrated bread knife to cut the roll into five pinwheel slices. Enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Pinwheels
I’ve made a lot of pinwheels in my life! Here are my tips for making the best pinwheels at home:
- I’ve found that using a thicker condiment like cream cheese or Laughing Cow spreadable cheese works best. Condiments like mayo and mustard taste good in the pinwheels but are not great for meal prepping, and the pinwheel will get soggy more quickly. Meanwhile, using a thicker cheese style spread forms more of a barrier and keeps moisture from totally sogging up the wrap.
- Your condiment should cover the ENTIRE wrap or tortilla to the very edges.
- Deli meat should cover only 2/3 of your wrap (but get it all the way to the remaining edges).
- Leave about 1/3 of your wrap with condiment ONLY. This part will act as a “glue” to keep the pinwheel rolled up.
- Greens or veggies go in the middle – they notoriously try to escape during rolling. Just use your fingers and tuck them in as you roll.
- Roll from the meat covered end. This will be the center of your pinwheel!
Can I used sliced turkey instead of chicken?
Yes, you can use any deli meat your prefer. Thinner slices are better for pinwheels!
What kind of tortilla should I use?
The specific kind of tortilla or wrap you use for these pinwheels is up to you – I think most of them will work pretty well. However, I do think some options will get soggier more quickly than others, so if you don’t like one way, maybe try another option.
I like to use Flatouts Flatbreads, and here’s why:
When you roll a circular tortilla, you have weird ends to deal with. The center of the tortilla makes perfect pinwheels, but the sides are always weird and not “full pinwheel” status. It’s a little hard to explain, but if you’ve ever tried to make a pinwheel with tortillas, you know what I’m talking about.
However, the FlatOuts are softer than tortillas and go soft a bit sooner than I’d like. So if I want them to last longer, I’ll use tortillas. It’s all about preference!
How do you meal prep these Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels?
In order to meal prep these Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, simply prepare them as the recipe states, and then place them in an airtight container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days!
Where do you get those meal prep containers?
The meal prep containers pictured in this post are 2 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers from Prep Naturals on Amazon.
They come with plastic lids, which I hand wash to help them last longer. However, the glass base containers can go in dishwasher which makes it pretty easy.
What should you serve with this recipe?
Pictured here are pretzel rods, which happen to fit perfectly into the 2 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers and stay crisp in the fridge. Other great meal prep side options include:
- berries or other cut fruit
- nuts! like almonds, cashews, pistachios
- trail mix, especially the kind with chocolate
- cut veggies (mix with fruit!)
Is this recipe freezer-friendly?
No, I would not recommend freezing these pinwheels! They would most likely be mushy and lose texture after thawing.
How long does this recipe keep?
Generally, pinwheels will only keep for a maximum of 2-3 days in the fridge. It really depends on what type of wraps you use, and your ability to tolerate a softer wrap for the pinwheel.
I don’t mind the pinwheels a little softer on the outside, so I’m okay eating them on days 2-3. However, for maximum freshness, I would prep only one or two a time, the night before you plan to eat them.
These Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are a hot twist on classic deli pinwheel sandwiches! Packed with carrots, celery, provolone cheese, and buffalo flavored cream cheese, these pinwheels are a wonderful cold lunch meal prep idea!
For one pinwheel:
- 1 burrito size tortilla or Flat Outs Flatbread (pictured!)
- 1 ounce cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (plus for more topping)
- 3–4 slices thin sliced deli chicken breast
- 1 slice provolone cheese
- 1/2 small carrot, cut into fine matchsticks
- 1/2 rib of celery, cut into fine matchsticks
For the meal prep:
- pretzel rods (pictured)
- nut mix
- anything you want!
- Mix cream cheese: In a small bowl, add cream cheese and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (1 ounce cream cheese & 1 teaspoon hot sauce per pinwheel). Use a fork to stir until well-mixed and no lumps of cream cheese remain.
- Spread cream cheese: Lay your flatbread or tortilla on a cutting board or other clean surface. Spread your buffalo cream cheese on first, being sure to cover the ENTIRE tortilla surface.
- Assemble pinwheel: Next, arrange your deli meat slices flat on the tortilla, covering about 2/3 of the surface. Leave about 1/3 of the tortilla covered with cream cheese only. Add a slice of cheese if you want, then add your celery and carrot sticks to the middle of the flatbread forming a line from edge to edge.
- Roll the pinwheel: Begin rolling the pinwheel from the meat covered side, using both hands and rolling tightly. The veggies may try to escape, but just use your fingers to tuck them in as you roll.
- Meal prep & serve: Cut the roll up into 5 pieces, and arrange in your meal prep container. Portion some berries, nuts or pretzels in to complete the meal! I recommend serving with additional buffalo sauce. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days. The outside may become soft depending on what type of tortilla or wrap you have used. Meal prep & enjoy based on your preference – if you don’t want the wraps soft at all, meal prep the night before you plan to eat.
NOTE: These instructions make ONE meal prep lunch – just keep prepping more if you want more! Since these are made one at a time, it’s easy to prep as little or as many as you want. I would recommend prepping these only up to 2-3 days in advance max. Prep ahead the night before for maximum freshness. Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal.
- Serving Size: 1 pinwheel
- Calories: 370
- Fat: 18g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Fiber: 11g
- Protein: 38g
Keywords: pinwheels, deli, chicken, buffalo, tortillas, meal prep, lunch, make-ahead
Did you make this Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels Meal Prep? I want to see how it turned out!! Tag me in your social media post and use #projectmealplan when you share!