Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels

AlexandraNibbles and Small Bites, Starters118 Comments

Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

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My Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels are simple to make and full of flavour. This is one of my favourite appetisers to prepare from ingredients which I always have on hand. There are some culinary items which I feel are essential to always have; here, canned tuna and butter puff pastry are two of these items.

With a can of tuna in the pantry, I am confident that a quickly prepared appetiser or main course is always at hand. It is a versatile ingredient; in fact, the ways in which to prepare it almost seem limitless.

Frozen butter puff pastry is equally versatile and useful. There are numerous ways in which to use it in either sweet or savoury dishes.

By now, many of you know that my preference is for recipes which are “not complicated” and these Pinwheels fit that description. They are the ultimate, easily-prepared snack or appetiser, suitable to serve either hot or at room temperature. However, I don’t just make them when I’m entertaining. These pinwheels are ideal for the entire family. They are great additions to school or work lunch boxes.

When I’m entertaining I like to be organised (as much as possible) and that’s why my preference is for food which is quickly and easily made and prepared in advance. These pinwheels meet all my required criteria. I can make them on the day and reheat for serving. Alternatively, they are also delicious when served at room temperature. Or, I can make them days or weeks ahead, store in an airtight container in the freezer, defrost when required then warm in the oven.

I use these ingredients in the Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels:

Frozen butter puff pastry:

Whilst it is extremely important to me that most recipes on my website are made from scratch, I do have a confession. I draw the line at puff pastry. Puff pastry is one of the most time-consuming, labour-intensive things to make in the kitchen. It’s great to make it yourself for a special occasion when you have the time but for general use, I find that frozen puff pastry works very well. I prefer to use butter puff pastry.

Canned tuna in oil:

I always use good quality tuna, packed in oil, as I feel that it has more flavour than tuna packed in water. It is, however, a matter of personal preference. Tuna which has been packed in water, whilst losing some flavour, has fewer calories.

Brown onion:

The brown onion, also known as the yellow onion, is the one most commonly used. You could, however, substitute with a white onion.

Olive oil:

I use olive oil but you could use a mild flavoured oil if you prefer.

Cheddar cheese:

I use a full-flavoured cheese. Cheddar is sometimes also known as matured cheese or tasty cheese.

To give the mixture extra flavour, I add:

Continental/Italian parsley:

Continental/Italian parsley is the flat-leaf variety. To me, the flavour and texture is far superior to curly parsley.

Lemon zest:

Whilst many of us mainly use lemons for their juice, I regard the zest as a bonus. It is a wonderful addition to both sweet and savoury dishes, providing a bright boost of flavour.  And then, I still have the juice to use for other purposes.

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper:

Unlike refined salts, sea salt is produced using natural methods of evaporation with minimal processing. This natural method ensures that the salt retains its natural minerals.

On the other hand, table salt undergoes heavy processing and often has the addition of chemicals.

For the best flavour, I freshly grind black pepper as required.

This is how I prepare the pastry for the Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels:

To begin, I remove a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer. If I have time, I will slowly defrost the pastry in the refrigerator but if not I defrost it on the kitchen bench. However, if the pastry defrosts before I’m ready to use it I place it back in the refrigerator to remain chilled.

When working with pastry it must always be kept cold. If left too long at room temperature the butter in the pastry will begin to soften and melt. It is essential to keep the pastry cold to obtain the pockets of air which give puff pastry its delicious, much-desired flakiness.  

This is how I make the filling for the Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels:

To begin, I finely chop an onion and cook it, along with some olive oil, in a frying pan until it is slightly caramelised.

I add the onion to the well-drained tuna along with parsley, lemon zest and grated cheese. I add some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and mix the ingredients until they are well combined.

Then, I spread the filling on the sheet of puff pastry leaving a small border on each side. Beginning with the side nearest me, I roll up the pastry and return the pastry roll to the refrigerator to chill.

When the rolled pastry has firmed up I remove it from the refrigerator. Using a sharp, serrated knife I remove and discard about 1 cm from both ends. I then cut the remainder into 1 ½ cm/1/2 ” slices.

Finally, I carefully place slices on a baking tray which has been lined with non-stick baking paper.

The pinwheels then go into a pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Tips for success with my Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels:

To achieve the best flavour and colour, I always use butter puff pastry.

The pastry must always be kept cold. When the pastry is almost defrosted, I add my filling and quickly roll up the pastry. 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.

Place the pinwheels onto a baking tray which has been lined with non-stick baking paper.

Always pre-heat the oven. For the best rise, cold puff pastry must go into a hot oven.

More suggestions for these ingredients:

I use butter puff pastry in these recipes:

Canned tuna is used in these recipes:

There is something irresistible about these crisp, flaky, Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels. As a result, most people love them. Further, they are so easy to make. Serve them as appetisers, snacks or add them to lunch boxes.  

I would love to hear what you think when you make them! Let me know in the comments below.
Alex xx

Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels

These pinwheels, which make for stress-free entertaining, are, without doubt, crowd-pleasers.  They are ideal for all kinds of gatherings. Serve them at brunch parties, cocktail parties, with pre-dinner drinks, morning tea or take to a pot luck gathering. You will find this simple recipe easy to prepare and extremely popular.
5 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetiser, Picnic Food, Snack
Cuisine: International
Keyword: delicious, easy, pastry, pinwheels, puff pastry, savoury pinwheels, simple, tuna
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 15 pinwheels
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Alexandra


  • 1 sheet butter puff pastry See Note 1
  • 185 g canned tuna in oil, well-drained See Note 2
  • 1 brown (yellow) onion finely diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated See Note 3
  • 3 tbsp Continental parsley, finely chopped See Note 4
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (390 F).
    Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and defrost.
    Prepare a baking tray with baking paper and place the pastry on the tray.
    Baking tray with baking paper and a sheet off puff pastry.
  • Finely chop your onion, and fry gently in olive oil for about 8-10 minutes, or until slightly caramelised. Set aside to cool slightly.
    Black frying pan with chopped onion in olive oil.
  • Drain the can of tuna, and add to a bowl. Mash slightly to break up any larger pieces.
    Add your cooked onion and other 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.
    Tuna mixture combined in bowl.
  • Top the pastry with your tuna mixture. Evenly spread mixture, being sure to leave a small gap around the edge of the square of pastry.
    Press down on the mixture to compact it.
    Sheet of puff pastry on baking paper with tuna mixture evenly spread out.
  • Slowly start to roll the pastry from the end nearest you. Keep rolling forward, reasonably firmly, until you have come to the end of the roll.
    Sheet of puff pastry with tuna mixture being rolled.
  • Trim the ends with a serrated knife and discard.
    Slice each pinwheel approximately 1.5cm/1/2 " thick.
    Trim the edges of the puff pastry roll.
  • Place your pinwheels on a baking tray – don't worry if a little mixture falls out, just put it back into place.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and the pastry is cooked through.
    Tray with baking paper with 15 pinwheels sliced and spread out on tray.
  • Serve warm from the oven, or allow to cool to room temperature (this is my favourite way to enjoy them!)
    They freeze well, and reheat perfectly!
    Sheet of baking paper with cooked pinwheels on top fresh from the oven.


  1. My puff pastry sheet was square, measuring 24 cm/9 1/2″ each side. If the puff pastry defrosts before you have prepared the filling, place the puff pastry in the refrigerator. It must remain chilled.
  2. I find that tuna packed in oil has a better flavour. However, if you prefer you can use tuna packed in water.
  3. I use a full-flavoured cheese. Cheddar is sometimes also known as matured cheese or tasty cheese.
  4. Continental/Italian parsley is the flat-leaf variety. To me, the flavour and texture is superior to curly parsley. 
  5. Use a serrated knife to cut the pastries.
  6. On a warmer day, you may need to chill your pinwheels once you have sliced them, before placing in the oven.


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
About the Author


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I'm Alex – a passionate foodie and writer. I love sharing delicious and simple recipes to inspire you in the kitchen. Try a recipe? I'd love to see your creations! #itsnotcomplicatedrecipes

118 Comments on “Tuna Puff Pastry Pinwheels”

  1. Hi girl! I’m skimming for recipes to prep for this week and this looks so yum. I can’t help but think of the Countess – “Storebought is fine!”


    1. Oh let me know if you try this!! 🙂
      (And yes, when it comes to puff pastry – I couldn’t agree more!)

  2. We are definitely on the same page when it comes to recipes. It marks off the interest in me if it’s complicated. This one isn’t plus it looks delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Anything that uses puff pastry is a winner with me!! I’ve never though let to use canned tuna though – such a great idea.

    1. Sally, I confess to also being a fan of puff pastry. There are so many ways to enjoy it. I would love to hear if you make the pinwheels. 🙂

  4. This looks so delightful and really satisfying! The nutrition facts look so good and fine! Must try this!

  5. As always an amazing and not so complicated recipe. Can you do that with something else other than tuna?

    1. Bindu, the alternatives are endless. Bacon would be good, or Italian style with olives and tomato. Please let me know what you decide on. 🙂

  6. I love tuna in pastries but this is the first time I have seen it formed into pinwheels! Love the idea and the flavors are spread out. I wanna try! 🙂 Looks so yummy.

  7. 5 stars
    This tuna pinwheels looks gorgeous..! I will definitely love this as my afternoon snack. Thanks for sharing..!

  8. These look like a great and easy snack to even make for my kids for after school! Or even to use as a snack to have on the go on the way to softball practice! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oooooh, yum! I love pinwheels, but have never considered tuna- which I love! These would make a great lunchbox snack or party treat, can’t wait to try them.

  10. 5 stars
    This would be a good appetizer for holiday parties. I think my mom would love this recipe! She’d love to make these.

  11. These are perfect for my little girls school lunch box. They will make a great change to sandwiches

  12. 5 stars
    These look so easy (and I always have the basic ingredients in my cupboard and freezer) I’m going to give them a try at my next party.

  13. I always have tuna and puff pastry on hand, but I have never thought to try them together. I’m definitely going to have to try this out!

  14. I love that these are easy to make but look like they took all the time in the world! Perfect for a party appetizer. They sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  15. 5 stars
    I really doubt if I will get all the ingredients here in India but I’m definitely going to try it as it looks totally amazing.

  16. 5 stars
    This is awesome! We have a picky eater in the family – she never likes ANY of the appetizers we have at holiday meals. Like, legit – the thing she’s “known” for in the family is complaining about the food everyone else makes but never bringing anything herself. Haha! But she loves tuna and I think this is right up her alley. I can not wait for Christmas Eve… I am saving this for her and I can’t wait to be the first person to ever make Aunt Kay happy with food! Ha!

    1. Ha Ha Natalie, I think many of us will identify with you. Many of us know someone, or have someone in the family, like that. I wish you very good luck with your tactics; let’s hope that Aunt Kay has something nice to say. 🙂 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    This is such a fantastic idea Alexandra! I make pinwheels a lot but have never thought about using tuna before. Will definitely be giving these a go!

  18. 5 stars
    Canned tuna is such a great ingredient to cook/bake with and is too often forgotten at the back of the pantry! What a delicious and easy recipe to prepare for a party, it would make a great appetiser!

    1. Thank you Sylvie, these are great appetisers, ideal for a party. So easily whipped up with a can of indispensable tuna, a favourite store cupboard ingredient. 🙂

  19. yum these sound delicious. i too always have tinned tuna in the cupboard and pastry (short and puff) in the freezer. So we are both always ready for guests by the sound of it:) cheers Sherry

    1. Hi Sherry, how good is it that we can prepare appetisers at the drop of a hat? 😉 There’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that we are prepared. 🙂 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    Whipped up a batch last night – they were gone within minutes! This is a great way to enjoy canned tuna.

  21. 5 stars
    Pinwheels really are a fun appetizers/snack idea! I saw these posted on Insta over the weekend, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. The flavor combination here sounds excellent, and I’m thinking some chopped green olives would be good in there, too (if you’re an olive fan, that is). Yum!

    1. Hi David, chopped green olives – that’s inspired. So yes, I love olives. 🙂 I am delighted that you like the flavours here, thank you. 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, yum! These turned out perfectly. Such a clever idea, with ingredients I always have on hand.

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