Spicy Sausage Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Jam, cream cheese, pudding, and chocolate are all well and good as sweet fillings for pastries… but what should you do when savory inspiration strikes?

Take it, and run with it!

Or, in the case of our spicy and savory pinwheels, roll with it!

Vertical image of rows of baked pinwheels on a cooling rack next to tan towels.

Perfectly suited to enjoy at a leisurely brunch nuzzled up next to frittatas or scrambled eggs, or easily crafted as a mouthwatering appetizer at a big dinner party or epic game day fest, these swirly-twirly pastries will be an unstoppable force of flavor the next time you serve them at your chosen event.

Once you get the pinwheel rolling, you’re bound to have a good time.

Vertical image of rows of savory pastries topped with parsley on a cooling rack next to a tan towel.

This is the time to splurge and spoil yourself a little on a convenient store-bought product: puff pastry dough.

Go on, give yourself a little break. You’re already frazzled cleaning the entire house, preparing cocktails, and making sure all the other party food is ready to go.

Vertical image of a stack of sausage and cheese appetizers on a white plate next to a tan towel.

You don’t need to make a complicated pastry dough from scratch, not for this occasion. Save that crazy energy for making your homemade holiday pies.

This heavenly creation, with its crisp, light-as-air texture and buttery layers, serves as the ideal base to encompass a simple and savory filling of crumbled spicy sausage, assorted cheeses, and fresh herbs.

Vertical top-down image of a pile of small appetizers garnished with grated parmesan and parsley pieces.

You’ll be able to strategize by completing prep steps ahead of time in order to minimize rushing at the last minute.

You can cook the sausage and shred the cheese up to a day in advance of beginning the rest of your prep, and once you have assembled and rolled the pastry, you can also store it – uncut and covered with plastic wrap – in your refrigerator for up to one day before slicing and baking.

Vertical close-up image of a half-eaten appetizer on a white plate.

Be the life of the party without the extra anxiety – swirl and twirl your way through this easy recipe so you can enjoy all the festivities!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Horizontal image of rows of puff pastry rounds filled with sausage and cheese garnished with parsley on a cooling rack.

Spicy Sausage Puff Pastry Pinwheels

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 pinwheels 1x


Want a special finger food to serve at your next party? Bake our spicy sausage pinwheels, with layers of crisp puff pastry, sausage, and cheese.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce puff pastry sheet, thawed in the refrigerator if frozen
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Place the sausage in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up larger clumps to create small crumbles, until browned and almost cooked through but still slightly pink in the center, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and stir constantly until the garlic is lightly browned and aromatic and the sausage is completely cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sausage to a large plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess grease. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface, with the wider end facing closest to you. If the sheet is uneven, gently flatten it out with a lightly floured rolling pin to make a flat rectangle roughly 10 inches in length and 13 inches wide.
  5. Leaving about a 1/2-inch border, scatter the cooked sausage over the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle the parmesan and fontina cheese over the sausage in an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped herbs over the cheese, then season with the salt and pepper.
  6. Lightly brush the top 1/2-inch border furthest away from you with water using your finger or a pastry brush. Starting from the wider end closest to you, begin to tightly roll up the sheet over the filling, continuing to tightly roll away from you to create a long log with the seam at the bottom. Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the seam.
  7. Carefully transfer the log to a baking sheet or large platter lined with parchment paper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two clean baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  9. Transfer the chilled log to a large cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, divide the log into 16 even pieces that are about 3/4 inches thick. Divide the pieces between the two baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space between each piece.
  10. Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is a deep, golden-brown color.
  11. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the pastries to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
  12. Serve immediately while still slightly warm or at room temperature.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Appetizer

Keywords: pinwheel, sausage, pastry, spicy

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

If you haven’t done so already, thaw your puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator if you bought it frozen. It will need about one to two hours in the refrigerator to thaw.

Horizontal image of measured ingredients in white bowls.

It should be pliable, but should still be very cold and slightly stiff. It shouldn’t be so soft that it’s difficult to handle and won’t keep its shape.

Avoid thawing it at room temperature – puff pastry dough can become soft and temperamental quickly, so it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator.

If the pastry dough becomes too soft to work with, place it back in the refrigerator and let it chill for 30 minutes to one hour.

This recipe uses one 14-ounce puff pastry sheet. If you cannot find this particular size – some brands sell smaller sizes in a set of two pastry sheets – you will need to divide the ingredients between the two sheets.

Set out one pound of bulk spicy Italian sausage. If you bought links of sausage, remove the meat from the casings.

Measure out the olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Freshly cracked is always preferred! Set out a small bowl of all-purpose flour for dusting purposes.

Finely mince two large cloves of garlic, using a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board. You can also use a garlic press.

Using the coarse side of your box grater, grate the parmesan and fontina cheese to yield half a cup of each type of cheese.

Not really sure how much cheese to buy at the store? You will need about two ounces of each cheese, not including the rind. I’ll usually buy a quarter-pound of each (or four ounces) to make sure I have enough.

Coarsely chop the basil or parsley, and set the herbs aside in a covered bowl or container in the refrigerator.

Step 2 – Cook the Sausage and Garlic

You can cook the sausage as you are waiting for the puff pastry to thaw.

Horizontal image of cooked meat crumbles in a pan.

Set aside a large plate lined with paper towels.

Pour the olive oil into a large, nonstick skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

Place the bulk sausage into the pan. Using a sturdy, heatproof spoon or spatula, stir the sausage occasionally, breaking up larger pieces as it cooks to make smaller crumbles.

Continue cooking and stirring the sausage until the crumbles are browned on the exterior, yet still slightly pink in the center. This will take about five to eight minutes.

Then, add the minced garlic to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid burning it. After about two minutes, the garlic will be lightly browned and aromatic and the sausage will be completely cooked through.

Remove the sausage and garlic mixture from the pan and place it on the prepared plate – the paper towels will help to absorb any excess grease.

Set aside to cool completely.

Step 3 – Unroll and Flatten Dough

Once the puff pastry has thawed to the optimal pliability, lightly dust a clean work surface with flour.

Horizontal image of a sheet of dough on a large wooden cutting board.

Unfold the puff pastry onto the work surface. The dough should already have a rectangular shape close to the size you need, but it may be a little uneven and misshapen from storage and thawing.

Position the dough so that one wider end is closest to you and the other is furthest away from you, and the shorter ends are positioned to your left and right.

Using a rolling pin that has been lightly dusted with flour, flatten out the dough. You may also need to roll it out slightly to form a rectangle about 13 inches wide and 10 inches long.

If you’re working with two smaller portions of puff pastry, these should measure seven and a half inches by five inches.

Step 4 – Assemble

Gather your cooked sausage, cheeses, herbs, and salt and pepper and place them next to the dough, where they’re easy to reach.

Horizontal image of a sheet of dough topped with met crumbles, grated cheese, and chopped herbs.

Before you begin, remember to leave about a half-inch border around the perimeter of the dough – this empty space will ensure excess filling doesn’t spill out on either end of the roll, and will help to create the finishing seal.

Scatter the cooked sausage crumbles in an even layer on top of the dough. Then, evenly sprinkle both cheeses on top of the sausage. After that, sprinkle the herbs on top of the cheese. Finally, season with the salt and pepper.

Step 5 – Roll

Have you made a lot of cinnamon rolls before? Maybe a pretty jelly roll or two? The same rolling method applies to this dough!

Horizontal image of rolling up a sheet of dough over a savory filling.

Use your finger or a pastry brush to very lightly brush water on the top 1/2-inch border of the dough on the wider end furthest away from you. This will help the dough stick to create a seal along the seam.

Starting at the wide end closest to you, gently – yet tightly – roll up the entire width of the dough over the filling. You don’t want to loosely roll it, or else the filling will not stay intact between the dough layers.

Horizontal image of an unbaked dough roll on a wooden cutting board.

Continue rolling the dough over the filling away from you until you create a fully formed log with the seam positioned on the bottom. Gently roll the log back and forth on the counter to seal the seam.

Step 6 – Chill

Transfer the log to a baking sheet or large platter lined with parchment paper. Cover the log with plastic wrap.

Horizontal image of an unbaked dough roll on a sheet pan wrapped with plastic wrap.

Transfer the platter to the refrigerator. Allow the log to chill for about one hour. This will stiffen the puff pastry dough before it bakes, helping it maintain its shape in the hot oven without too much spreading.

You can also store the log like this for up to 24 hours if you prefer to make it in advance.

Step 7 – Cut

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400°F. You will need two oven racks for this, positioned in the top and bottom thirds of the oven, or you can bake one pan at a time. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Horizontal image of an unbaked dough roll cut into even slices.

After chilling, remove the platter from the refrigerator and dispose of the plastic wrap. Place the log on a large cutting board.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the log into 16 even pieces that are about 3/4 inches in width.

Horizontal image of two rows of unbaked dough rolled with meat crumbles on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.

Divide the pieces between the two prepared baking sheets – eight on each tray with about an inch of space between each piece.

Step 8 – Bake

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven.

Horizontal image of baked pinwheels on a sheet pan with a silicone mat.

Bake the pinwheels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is a deep, golden-brown color.

Warning: your kitchen is going to smell sooooo gooood!

Step 9 – Cool and Serve

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Allow the pastries to cool on the sheets for about five minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.

Horizontal top-down image of a pile of small appetizers garnished with grated parmesan and parsley pieces.

Wait for about 10 minutes before serving them while they are still warm, or you can serve them at room temperature.

No matter what, this style of baked good is best served soon after it comes out of the oven, while the pastry is still super crisp and perfect!

Customize with Tasty Additions

The recipe for these simple and savory pinwheels is flexible enough to suit different taste preferences, and many ingredient combinations.

Follow our Italian-influenced theme by sprinkling in some toasted pine nuts or finely chopped oven-dried tomatoes. Or consider spreading a few tablespoons of pesto or a tapenade made from our roasted garlic and herb olives onto the dough before layering the sausage and cheese on top.

You can also serve these on the side as delightful dipping companions. A freshly made roasted tomato sauce would also be tasty.

And feel free to change up the cheese! Stick with a 50/50 blend of one semi-soft cheese that melts to perfection – like mozzarella, gruyere, or a young gouda – and one hard-aged cheese that packs a punch of salty flavor – like pecorino, sharp cheddar, or an aged asiago.

Horizontal image of rows of puff pastry rounds filled with sausage and cheese garnished with parsley on a cooling rack.

Can’t take the heat? Use a milder sausage from the store, or make your own homemade version if you have the time. You’ll like our recipe for turkey breakfast patties with sage and fennel.

Will you customize your creation, or stick with the original for your first time? I’m looking forward to reading about all your lip-smacking ideas in the comment section below!

Succulent and savory, sausage provides powerful flavor and meaty heartiness to a dish. The next time you’re out grocery shopping, talk to your butcher to see if they made any fresh and fun mixes. We have more recipes featuring sausage, so buy a pound or two to make these next:

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

33 thoughts on “Spicy Sausage Puff Pastry Pinwheels”

  1. this is exactly the type of pastry me and my son would love, to be honest. My son is 6 and I can already tell that he’s a meat-on-a-stick kind of guy. Adding the sausage meat to the pastry will make him eat it. He usually doesn’t eat pastries but he loves his meat.

  2. Man, these look absolutely delicious. They remind me of sausage rolls I used to have back in Australia, although those didn’t have any cheese in them. I will definitely have to try these out next time I’m making brunch for the family. Thanks for the post!

  3. A friend made these once and I couldn’t believe how delicious they were. She said they were easy to make but never got the recipe or saw her make them. I think these are a good alternative to tarts and quiches and much quicker to make.

    • Easy as can be Bella, much quicker than a quiche. And as you say, delicious – and really flexible for fillings to suit pretty much any taste.

  4. This looks so delicious and easy to make. I am always looking for simple recipes that don’t require a lot of prep time. These pinwheels sound perfect for Easter brunch. I am definitely going to try it.

  5. These look so simple to make and I love the fact you can used pre-made dough. They would make a great lunch or would be equally easy to put together quickly for an impromptu picnic. Delicious!

  6. The pre-made dough makes it so easy. I’m trying to source a good whole wheat refrigerator dough, but no luck yet. I like your picnic idea!

  7. I literally said out loud to myself, ‘Ooo’ when I saw the picture of these things. The veggie version is a genius idea but I’d likely throw turkey in there for the protein & deliciousness.

    • ‘Ooo’ is right Joan, they’re yummy. And I like a version with a bit of protein as well, just to keep it balanced.

  8. The temptations will never cease…and neither do i want them to end, looks scrumptious and i bet they are 😉
    I need to squeeze this recipe in somewhere on my kitchen schedule this weekend…ever since i stumbled on Foodal.com, my weekends have been/are busy and worthwhile, the experiences have been/are messy yet breathtaking…permission to say so, since am just one shy novice 😉

    • And isn’t it great to have a blog like this for inspiration? We all started somewhere diane, and why reinvent the wheel when there are those with experience who are willing to share?

  9. Oh! This looks like perfect breakfast food — and to be honest, it looks better than the same savory ingredients made in breakfast muffins. Quick question about freezing up to one month — do you freeze before or after cooking? If after, how do you then get it back to heating temp? Does microwaving work, like with hot pockets and mini-pizzas?

  10. Hi crayonelle, yes freeze after cooking. You can either thaw and reheat in a toaster oven or simply give them a zap in the micro… 30 seconds on high seems to work well.

  11. These sound amazing! I can’t believe how easy your recipe is. I often cook extra meat ahead of time, enough to last for the next few days, and so this would be a perfect place to tuck in some of my leftover meat with some cheese and spices. I think the idea of grabbing one on the go sounds perfect, as well. This would be so tasty as I’m running out the door, rather than another boring cereal bar or banana.

    • If you like savories Diane, you’ll enjoy these – and you’re right, super easy, and ideal for any cooked meat in the fridge. And they’re equally good over a leisurely brunch or on the fly!

  12. Oh, nice, Lorna. I was just looking for stuff that I can make in a couple weeks for an informal “brunch” style meal. We’ll be having all the kids and grandkids over after church, and I wanted to make something different this time. These will fit right in. They’ll look terrific and everyone will love them. I’m certain that these will be a hit with my crew.

    I’m going to make yours first and then maybe try some substitutions. Great little treats for other get-togethers as well.

    • They’re perfect for what you’re planning Zyni, and there never seems to be an left over! Hope you and yours enjoy them…

  13. A Flavor Bomb! These pinwheels not only look amazing, but they taste even better. I added small slices of bell pepper slices green onions to mine. Will definitely be making these for my next get-together!

  14. These are the kind of party snacks I like, spicy, doughy and full of carbs to soak up the wine. I would make a huge batch of these and then lay them in the freezer so they can be whipped out at short notice, for those impromptu nights in with the girls!

  15. I absolutely love these. I have had similar ones at a party once but always wondered what they put in them so they taste so yummy. This is a perfect recipe to make when you have friends and kids over. Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. A Culinary Masterpiece! I’ve tried a host of recipes in my time, but these Spicy Sausage Puff Pastry Pinwheels are truly something special. The blend of flavors from the spicy Italian sausage and the garlic, all wrapped up in that flaky puff pastry… pure perfection! Can’t wait to make them again!

  17. The sausage and cheese pinwheels were okay. Good, but not great. Maybe it was the store bought puff pastry that wasn’t up to par. I might try this recipe again with homemade pastry.

  18. Simply Scrumptious! The combination of sausage, cheese, and puff pastry was a match made in heaven. It was just the right amount of spicy and savory. This recipe is a keeper!

  19. Made these pinwheels as a snack. They’re alright, but not as flavorful as I expected. Might be better with some extra spices and veggie toppings. Maybe a tad bit of marinara for a pizza kick?

  20. Loved the mix of parmesan and fontina cheeses. The puff pastry was the perfect vessel for all this cheesy goodness. Can’t recommend it enough!

  21. Mouthwatering Goodness! These pinwheels are so easy to make, yet they taste like they’re straight out of a gourmet kitchen. The spicy sausage really gives it a nice kick. I’ll definitely be making these again!

  22. I made these for our New Years get-together. They were a huge hit. No leftovers. Will definitely be making again. Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe!

  23. One Word – Yum! The cheese blend melted perfectly into the puff pastry and the sausage added just the right amount of spice. Love, love, love this recipe!


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.