My Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels are the ultimate, easily prepared appetiser, suitable to serve either hot or at room temperature. However, they are not just for entertaining; they are great served as snacks or ideal to add to school or work lunch boxes.
Why we love this recipe:
The Tuna Pinwheels are simple to make, full of flavour and easily prepared from ingredients that I always have on hand. There are some culinary items that I feel are essential to always keep; canned tuna and frozen butter puff pastry are two of these items.
These Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels are ideal for:
- When you’re after a quickly prepared appetiser;
- A savoury snack for the lunchbox;
- Are preparing for entertaining and want to make things in advance.
When it comes to entertaining, I like to make my life as simple as possible, so I often turn to store-bought puff pastry. It is easy to use, so versatile and always popular. There are numerous ways in which to use it in either sweet or savoury dishes.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Frozen butter puff pastry – this is one ingredient that I don’t make myself. For convenience, I always keep good quality butter puff pastry in the freezer.
Canned tuna – I use good quality tuna, packed in oil, as I feel that it has more flavour than tuna packed in water.
Brown onion – also known as a yellow onion, it is the one most commonly used. You could, however, substitute with a white onion.
Olive Oil – you could use a mild flavoured oil as an alternative if you prefer.
Cheddar cheese – also known as matured cheese or tasty cheese.
Continental/Italian parsley – this is the flat-leaf variety, and to me, the flavour and texture is far superior to curly parsley.
Lemon zest – adds a bright flavour. Be sure to avoid the bitter white pith.
Sea salt – is produced using natural methods of evaporation with minimal processing and this ensures that the salt retains much of its minerals.
Black pepper – freshly ground black pepper has brighter flavour than pre-ground.
Step by step instructions:
You will need to start by pre-heating your oven and removing a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer to defrost.
- Finely chop some onion and add to a frying pan with a little olive oil.
- Fry the oven until slightly caramelised, and set aside to cool.
- Put drained tuna in a medium-size bowl and mash slightly to break up larger pieces.
- Next, add the cooked onion, grated cheese, lemon zest and parsley to the tuna and mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top the sheet of puff pastry with the tuna mixture and spread it evenly. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, press the mixture down to compact it.
- Slowly start to roll the pastry from the end nearest you. Roll it forward, reasonably firmly, until you have come to the end of the roll. Place the filled pastry in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up before cutting.
- Trim the ends with a serrated knife and discard. Then slice each pinwheel approximately 1.5cm (1/2 “) thick.
- Place your Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve warm from the oven or cool to room temperature.
Tips for success and FAQs:
For the best result, pastry must always be kept cold. If the pastry thaws before you have made the filling, return it to the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
When the pastry is almost defrosted, I add my filling and quickly roll up the pastry. To keep the pinwheel shape, it is essential that the pastry be rolled tightly.
I return the filled pastry to the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up before cutting. A sharp, serrated knife is best for cleanly cutting the pastry.
Always pre-heat the oven. For the best rise, cold puff pastry must go into a hot oven.
Yes, you can prepare them in advance. They are delicious served at room temperature on the same day they are made. Otherwise, we recommend that you reheat the pinwheels in a moderate oven just prior to serving to crisp the pastry.
Store them for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yes, they can be frozen. After baking, allow them to cool completely then arrange them on a single layer on a baking tray and place in the freezer. When frozen, you can store them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for up to two months. You can reheat them from frozen by placing in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (350 F) for about 10 minutes.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
If you are a fan of tuna, we recommend you give these tasty recipes a try also:
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Simple and Delicious Tuna Dip
- Easy Tuna and Potato Patties
- Creamy Tuna Pasta
- Tuna and Cannellini Bean Dip
You can also view our complete collection of Savoury Puff Pastry Recipes here.
There is something irresistible about these crisp, flaky, Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels. They are perfect to serve as appetisers when entertaining, but I must warn you, they will disappear quickly! As well, they are great snacks, ideal to take on picnics, to potlucks or include in packed lunches. Also, I sometimes serve them as a light lunch alongside a bowl of soup or a salad.
I would love to hear what you think when you make them! Let me know in the comments below.
This post was originally published in August 2019. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels
- 1 sheet puff pastry See Note 1
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium brown/yellow onion – finely diced
- 185 g (6.5 oz) canned tuna in oil – well-drained See Note 2
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese – grated See Note 3
- 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley – finely chopped See Notes 4 and 5
- 1 tsp lemon zest See Note 6
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – optional
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (390 F). Prepare a baking tray with baking paper.Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and defrost. Return pastry to fridge once desfrosted to keep chilled.
- Finely chop your onion, and fry gently in olive oil for about 8-10 minutes, or until slightly caramelised. Set aside to cool.
- Drain the can of tuna and add to a medium size bowl. Mash to break up any large pieces.
- Add the cooked onion and remaining ingredients to the tuna, and mix well to combine.Check that the seasoning is to your taste, adding more salt, pepper or lemon zest if necessary.
- Top the pastry with your tuna mixture. Evenly spread mixture, being sure to leave a small gap around the edge of the pastry.Using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, press down on the mixture to compact it.
- Slowly start to roll the pastry from the end nearest you. Keep rolling forward, reasonably firmly, keeping it as tight as possible, until you have come to the end of the roll.Return the puff pastry to the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up.
- Using a serrated knife, trim the ends and discard.Then, using the same knife, slice each pinwheel approximately 1.5 cm (1/2 ") thick.
- Place your pinwheels on a baking tray. If a little mixture falls out, just push it back in gently. See Note 7.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and the pastry is cooked through.Serve warm from the oven or allow to cool to room temperature (this is my favourite way to enjoy them!)
- If making in advance, store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (350 F) for about 7 minutes to crisp the pastry.They also freeze well. Allow them to cool completely then arrange them on a single layer on a baking tray and place in the freezer. When frozen, you can store them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for up to two months. You can reheat them from frozen by placing in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (350 F) for about 10 minutes.
- My puff pastry sheet measured 24 cm X 24 cm (9 1/2″) square. If the puff pastry defrosts before you have prepared the filling, place the puff pastry in the refrigerator until ready to use. It must remain chilled.
- I find that tuna packed in oil has a better flavour. However, if you prefer, you can use tuna packed in water.
- I use a full-flavoured cheese. Cheddar is sometimes also known as matured cheese or tasty cheese.
- Continental/Italian parsley is the flat-leaf variety. To me, the flavour and texture is superior to curly parsley.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. If necessary, please adjust your measurements.
- Be careful to remove just the zest and avoid the bitter white pith.
- On a warmer day, you may need to chill your pinwheels once you have sliced them, before placing them in the oven.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on one pinwheel. The nutritional information is an estimate only.