Use your leftover taco meat for these easy taco pinwheels! Filled with a mixture of taco meat, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, diced red and green bell peppers! They only take about 15 minutes to put together. Place them in your lunch box with chips, guacamole, and fresh fruit for your new favorite meal prep.
Why You'll Love This Easy Taco Pinwheels
Prep Time - These taco pinwheels only take 15 minutes to prepare! Change out the mix-ins and create a different taco pinwheel every week, and add these to your dinner rotation 🙂
Easy Meal Prep - Use your leftover taco meat to make these pinwheels! Place them in a lunch box along with some extra salsa, chips, and maybe a side of fruit or some more guacamole.
Make Ahead - Next time you make taco meat, double up on the recipe. You’ll want extra taco meat to make these amazing taco pinwheels. Fun for game day snacks, too!
What Goes Into This Recipe
Large flour tortillas - use low carb tortillas if you're watching carb intake
Cream cheese (softened) - set cream cheese on the countertop to soften which makes it easier to spread
Leftover cooked and seasoned taco meat - about a cup is what you need for this recipe (if you don't have any "leftover" taco meat, you can make a fresh batch and freeze the remaining taco meat for later use, or make a double batch of pinwheels). Alternatively, you can use leftover fajita meat.
Shredded cheese - cheddar or Mexican blend is the best!
Diced red and green bell peppers adds a nice fresh crunch and color. Leave them out if you don't like them!
Guacamole, salsa, and sour cream for serving (if desired) - if you can find the individual cups of these, they're so much easier to pack in a lunch box.
How to Make Easy Taco Pinwheels
(1) Mix cream cheese, meat, shredded cheese, red and green bell pepper together until combined.
(2) Evenly spread ⅓ to ½ cup of the cream cheese mixture onto the flour tortilla.
(3) Roll tortillas up tightly and wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
(4) The next morning, before school or work, slice each tortilla into 1-½ inch pinwheels and place them in a bento lunch box like the one I use. Add guacamole, salsa, or other condiments into these amazing condiment cups.
Tips and Variations
Switch out the taco meat for leftover fajita chicken (these are delicious, too!).
Use spinach wraps instead of flour tortillas.
Don’t overstuff or your tortilla or wrap may rip.
Change up the taco mix-ins. A couple of my family's favorite mix-ins are lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, and my husband even loves to add some mango to his!
You’ll want to store your taco pinwheels overnight in the fridge to keep them cold and in the fridge or with an ice pack until you are ready to devour them at lunchtime! I recommend storing taco pinwheels in an airtight container as well until you are ready to eat them. This will help keep moisture out so they do not become a soggy mess.
You’ll also want to keep the condiments like the guacamole and salsa separate as well. These Condiment cups work well for keeping these extras apart from the taco pinwheels.
What to Serve with Pinwheels
Taco pinwheels make a perfect main course for your lunch. But everyone loves a side. Tortilla chips and salsa are great choices. You can add in some leftover Mexican rice.
A slice of Mexican Cornbread is a tasty addition to these pinwheels. Other great sides for these taco pinwheels are fruit, a clementine, or blueberries and strawberries!
Vegan, Nut Free, and Dairy Free Variations
You can make taco pinwheels vegan by using tofu instead of meat. Almost all taco meat seasonings are vegan which makes it super easy to create a vegan taco pinwheel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, but don’t make them more than 24 hours in advance.
Yes, the taco pinwheels will get soggy if you do not eat them within 24 hours.
Yes, you will want to soften it to make it easier to spread on the wrap.
Pretty much anything you love in a normal taco will work in a taco pinwheel! Olives, tomatoes, lettuce, and rice are just a few suggestions. If you have tried other favorites. Leave them in the comments below!
How Long Will These Last in the Fridge?
You can keep the cooked taco meat safely in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t make the taco pinwheels until you are ready to eat them within 24 hours though!
More Easy Recipes to Try
Leftover Taco Meat Pinwheels
- mixing bowl
- measuring cup(s)
- 1 cup leftover cooked & seasoned taco meat
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 4 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
- guacamole, salsa, and sour cream for serving, if desired.
- for meal prep, add tortilla chips and fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges) to your bento lunch box. Use individual guacamole cups to keep your lunch box clean.
- In a bowl, combine the taco meat, diced bell peppers, cream cheese, and shredded cheese with a spoon.
- Evenly spread about ½ cup of the taco meat mixture on each tortilla and roll up tightly.
- Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour or up to overnight.
- Before serving, slice each tortilla into 1-½ inch pinwheels.
- Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, if desired.
- For meal prep, add chips and fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges) to your bento lunch box. Use individual guacamole cups to keep your lunch box clean.