Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels

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The flavors of Mexican Street Corn (elote) in a simple pinwheel roll up appetizer recipe.

These Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels are filled with cream cheese, corn, cotija cheese, chili powder, lime, cilantro, and more!  A simple and easy appetizer recipe that can be made in advance.

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The inspiration for these Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels comes from one of the most popular recipes on this site, Mexican Street Corn Salsa.  It is one of the most common things people ask me to make for parties, potlucks, and game day.  And pretty much anything else I make using these flavors is a big hit!  Find more of the Mexican Street Corn recipes here! 

Elote is a Mexican street food that is traditionally an ear of roasted corn.  It is slathered with mayonnaise, chili powder, cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime.  Other variations exist, but I love to use these addicting flavors.  I add jalapeno to many of my recipes with elote when it needs a little more heat without going overboard on the chili powder.

I love making pinwheels (or roll ups) for parties.  They are so fast and easy to make, and hold very well when made in advance.  The flavor combinations are also endless, so they offer a lot of variety.  Find more pinwheel recipes here!  Pinwheels are so versatile, they can be used as finger food at fancier parties or holiday parties, but also make a great option for casual gatherings like game day.  They can be made in advance and hold over well.

Kick up the heat and spice in these Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels with some extra chili powder, or by adding some chopped jalapenos to the cheese mixture.  There gets a point where too much chili powder can start to make them taste dry and powdery, which is where the peppers become a better substitute.  You could also add a few dashes of hot sauce or peppers hotter than jalapenos.  And if you are a sauce lover, serve them up with some ranch, crema, sour cream, or something similar!



Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels

The flavors of Mexican Street Corn (elote) in a simple pinwheel roll up appetizer recipe.
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Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, Game Day, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Passive Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 pinwheels
Calories: 45kcal



  • In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, Monterey Jack, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Spread the cheese mixture across both tortillas to the edges in an even, thin layer. I skip spreading to the right and left edges by about an inch because the ends will be thrown out.
  • Sprinkle the corn and cotija cheese across the cheese mixture and press down to compress. Sprinkle with some additional chili powder, if desired and chopped cilantro if using. Squeeze 1/4 of a lime across each tortilla.
  • Starting from the bottom, roll the tortilla up rather tightly but without squeezing the cream cheese mixture out.
  • Chill the logs in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, or in the refrigerator if waiting longer before serving. The chilling will make them easier to slice and create cleaner cuts without everything oozing out.
  • When ready to serve, use a serrated knife to cut the log into half inch rounds (or as thick/thin as preferred). Discard the ends where the log is hollow (or snack on them!). Sprinkle with chili powder if desired for more color. Serve immediately.


You can also use regular large tortillas however you will get fewer pinwheels per tortilla and will need more to use up the cheese mixture.
If you want a cream cheese heavy roll up, double the cream cheese and spice measurements.
For more heat, either increase the chili powder or add diced jalapenos to the cheese mixture.


Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
By on November 23rd, 2019

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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