Ever love a new dish you make it three times in two weeks? Not even to recipe test, because it was perfect from the get go. That’s this guy right here. I kept saying I was making it to take photos but would immediately eat them all without taking any photos. The first time I had the excuse of having guests over and not planning my time properly, but there was really no excuse for the second time.
If you’ve been following along for a least a few months, the filling in these guys may look mighty familiar. That’s because the pinwheels are stuffed with the same sauce I used in my spinach and artichoke pasta. It’s all of the flavor of spinach and artichoke dip, but in a conveniently portable party snack. The idea came together when I was going to make pizza pinwheels for a game night with my friends but couldn’t figure out which of my friends would eat peppers and mushrooms and who would just prefer cheese. Everyone loved these pinwheels, so clearly I made the right choice. I also brought them to a St Patrick’s day party along with my black bean cheesecake brownies — sure neither of those are very Irish, but I never turn down a request when someone wants one of my healthy dishes!
The beauty of having made this recipe multiple times is that I can tell you multiple ways to make it ahead. I’ve made this an hour in advance, 8 hours in advance, and a day in advance, so there are plenty of options depending on how strapped for time you’ll be.
1 batch of pizza dough (refrigerated, frozen/thawed, or homemade)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and spritz with nonstick spray (a drizzle of EVOO would also work).
Saute spinach and garlic until the spinach is wilted.
Meanwhile, chop the artichokes if whole. Give a quick squeeze to remove excess liquid. If you want to reduce the sodium, rinse before using.
Add the Parmesan and cream cheese to the pan, stirring into the spinach. Add milk and stir to distribute. Stir in the mozzarella and yogurt, then add the artichokes. Cook until hot and the cheese is melty. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool slightly or even to room temperature.
Roll the pizza dough out into a rectangle (thickness is personal preference, do at least 12″x12″ but don’t make it too thin or it will tear easily. I do about 12″x14″).
Spread the sauce onto the dough, leaving a 1″ in border along the long side.
Carefully roll from the side opposite the border like you would a cinnamon roll. Seal the empty edge to the roll by pressing it into the roll, using a little bit of water if necessary. If the sauce is warm, the dough will probably slouch (giving you the shape you see in the photos).
Freeze the roll for at least 30 minutes (up to several days), covering with plastic wrap.
If the roll hasn’t frozen solid (e.g., less than 1 hr), you should be able to easily slice through the roll. If you cannot, let the roll rest at room temperature until easy to cut (the long it’s been frozen, the longer this will take — don’t let it thaw completely or it will be messy when you cut).
Slice into 16 rolls. If the dough is soft enough, you can set the slices down and bend in the center (keeping the roll flat on the pan) to make more of a heart shape.
Arrange slices on a baking sheet (may need 2) and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until they brown slightly. Careful not to burn the bottoms.
Serve warm. These can also be frozen to be thawed and re -heated in the oven later.
Be sure to freeze at least 30 minutes before slicing, or it will make a big mess! If freezing longer, you’ll need to use your best judgment to determine how long to thaw (after freezing overnight, I needed to wait about 40 minutes at room temperature, but that will depend on your freezer temp and room temp where you are). There’s not a precise window of time, just as long as you can easily slice with a knife, it’s fine. If the dough is still stiff, don’t try to force into another shape.
The cream cheese and Greek yogurt can be swapped out for the other, but the ratio listed is really the best. Decreasing the cream cheese can make it too tangy and decreasing the Greek yogurt can take away the little something extra.
If you like a little heat, try adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the sauce.