Stuffed Flank Steak Pinwheels make a unique appetizer that’s great for the holidays. Within this recipe, you’ll learn tips to make them with optimal flavor and texture, and why flank steak is best for steak pinwheels.
This post is sponsored by La Terra Fina. All content and opinions are mine alone.
Stuffed Flank Steak Pinwheels are one of those fancy appetizers I’ve always wanted to make. They’re gorgeous, unique and will impress your guests. On top of that, they are tasty and have a wonderful combination of textures.
Flank steak pinwheels do require a bit of work, but that’s part of the fun. This recipe will cover everything you need to know for making flank steak pinwheels.
What are steak pinwheels?
Steak pinwheels are an appetizer made with thin, tenderized flank steak and filling. The filling often consists of a cream cheese and spinach base that’s spread onto flattened steak. It’s then rolled and sliced to create a spiral effect. Steak pinwheels can be roasted, broiled or cooked in a pan.
What steak to use in pinwheels?
It’s critical to use flat, tender steak for pinwheels. Flank steak works best. It’s a cut from the lower chest of a cow. It’s usually cut thin, but depending on thickness it may need to be flattened more and tenderized with a meat mallet. Flank steak is very tender as it comes from a well-exercised part of the cow, and chefs often cut across the grain to make the meat even more tender.
This is not to be confused with skirt steak which comes from the rear of the cow. It’s also a thin cut, and generally has better flavor than flank steak, but is much less tender. Flank steak is a perfect combination of flavor and tenderness for steak pinwheels.
Ingredients in flank steak pinwheels
- Steak: flank steak is best for texture and flavor
- Cream cheese filling: Use La Terra Fina Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip for lots of flavor that includes cream cheese, spinach, mayo, artichoke hearts, and shredded cheese
- Spinach: Use chopped fresh spinach or drained frozen spinach
- Salt and pepper: Brings out the flavor in steaks and meats
- Optional ingredients for added flavor: Italian herbs (dried or fresh), spices, minced garlic, chopped bell pepper, green onion or other veggies.
La Terra Fina dips and spreads are rich and creamy dips made with high-quality ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. They are gluten-free and trans-fat free, and great for cooking or on their served own cold or warm.
How to make stuffed flank steak pinwheels
- Start with high-quality flank steak, preferably organic or grass fed
- Pound with a meat mallet on a flat surface to flatten and tenderize. Scoring meat with a knife helps with flattening. Start with spiked side then finish off with the flat side of mallet. Flank steak should be about ⅛-inch thick for pinwheels. Pro tip: cover steak with plastic wrap while pounding to keep clean and prevent splashing
- Spread the mixture of cream cheese, chopped spinach and other desired ingredients over steak, leaving a bit space at edges
- Important: If using frozen spinach, cook spinach ahead of time and drain with a fine mesh strainer. Otherwise liquid will draw out while cooking pinwheels
- Roll filled flank steak from one edge and use multiple toothpicks to secure edge
- Cut into roughly 1-½ inch slices with a very sharp knife
- Cook to desired doneness. I prefer steak medium or about 145° F. Broiling works best to create even cooking. Just 3-4 minutes per side is needed.
More unique appetizer recipes you may like:
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Creamy Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak Pinwheels
- 1 ½ pounds flank steak
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 10 ounces La Terra Fina Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip, or similar cream cheese based dip
- 2 cups chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk green onion, sliced
- Place steak on a clean, flat surface. Score meat in diagonal lines about 2-inches apart with a knife.
- Pound steak with the spiked side of meat mallet to tenderize a bit. Cover with plastic wrap to keep area clean, then finish off with the flat side of mallet until about ⅛-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together dip, spinach (if using frozen spinach cook first then press into a fine mesh strainer to drain liquid), garlic and green onions. Spread mixture over steak, leaving a bit space at edges.
- Roll filled flank steak from one edge and use multiple toothpicks to secure edge. Cut into roughly 1-½ inch slices with a very sharp knife.
- Place pinwheels on a foil-lined baking sheet at least 2-inches apart. Set oven to high broil and place pan 4-5 inches from heat. Broil each side 3-4 minutes, until medium or about 145° F. Check often and don’t overcook the meat. Let rest a few minutes then serve.
- Use high-quality flank steak, preferably organic or grass fed
- Scoring meat with a knife helps with flattening.
- Covering steak with plastic wrap while pounding prevents splashing
- Cooking and draining frozen spinach prevents water from drawing out while cooking pinwheels
- Each pinwheel should have a toothpick in it to seal the edge
- Broiling works best to create easy, even cooking