The easiest dinner roll you’ve ever made, these pesto pinwheels sandwich rich basil pesto & shredded Parmesan cheese between buttery layers of fluffy crescent roll dough. They can be prepared ahead of time, or whipped together as needed for a simple side to family dinner. Whatever the occasion, they’re always a crowd pleasing favorite.
Growing up my Grandmother made many of our meals. Eating at her kitchen table was such a privilege.
One of the things I can’t help but remember though, is that every meal was served with bread.
Not necessarily the sliced kind, but some kind of bread.
Rolls, her legendary baguettes, corn bread- you name it.
No dinner was ever served at her table without bread.
There’s just something about bread, especially at the family supper table. Bread brings us all together.
A whole saying grew up around it, ‘let us break bread.’
I still want people to be as comfortable & ‘at ease’ at my own family’s table- but I do not always have the ‘from scratch’ versions in me like she did.
Days can get pretty busy. I know you busy, working parents can relate.
However, thanks to a tube of crescent rolls & some simple pesto sauce- a fresh roll is never far from my supper table.
I wasn’t exaggerating when I said a tube of crescents and some quality pesto were pretty much all you needed. They basically are!
The list of ingredients is short, and also common household staples.
- 1 8 oz tube of refrigerated crescent rolls
- pesto sauce
- shredded Parmesan cheese
Three ingredients, and that’s it folks.
Talk about an easy way to get a (semi) homemade bread ready to serve with supper!
Does The Kind Of Pesto Used Matter?
Nope, not really. Use whatever your family prefers.
I typically use my husband’s Nonna’s basil pesto recipe, but I also keep it on hand in the Summer months when basil’s growing rampant in my garden.
If you don’t have access to a homemade version, just use a quality store brand.
I recommend Costco’s Kirkland brand, or Delallo.
You can also experiment with different varieties of pesto.
A good sun dried pesto makes a delicious twist in these simple pastry rolls.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with whatever pesto floats your boat.
This is another recipe, like so many others on our site, where you do what fits you!
Making The Pinwheels
Unlike traditional bread baking, of which we’re no strangers to- we love using crescent rolls as an easy shortcut on busy nights.
Roll the dough out onto a clean cutting board, and gently press together any perforations to seal the closed.
You can also now buy crescent roll dough ‘sheets’, just pay attention to the package and labeling when purchasing.
Add a 1/4 cup of prepared pesto to the center of the dough, and use the back of a spoon or spatula to evenly spread it evenly out over top of the dough.
Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan cheese out overtop.
Starting with one of the short sides of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly into a log.
Refrigerate this prepared dough log for at least 20 minutes.
Don’t skip this step as it makes all the difference in ease of slicing and presentation.
Crescent dough gets warm very quickly, and then stick & soft.
This won’t slice well and will instead melt and mush. Not a pretty outcome.
Using a sharp knife, cut the log into even 1/2 inch slices.
Place each slice, cut side down, onto a non stick baking sheet- or one that’s been prepared with non stick cooking spray.
Once all the slices have been cut & placed, bake the pesto pinwheels at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
You want them to have puffed up & be a delicious light golden brown.
Carefully remove the baked pesto pinwheels to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Serve them while they’re still warm, but cool enough to handle.
How To Store Leftovers
If you’re like us, very rarely will you actually have leftovers.
However, when you do- they’re so tasty that you won’t want them to go to waste.
I pop my leftover pinwheels into a ziplocking bag, squeezing out any excess air before sealing shut.
Then I keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and pull out as needed.
You can microwave them to heat them up, or use a toaster oven if you want them crispier like when they first come out of the oven.
Can These Be Made Ahead Of Time?
The answer is yes and also, no.
They can be made ahead of time, but not baked- for best results.
To help ease your load and prep them before you want to serve them- prep them according to the instructions.
Once you’ve rolled them up into logs, wrap them in cling wrap to seal.
You can them refrigerate the ‘logs’ overnight and until ready to finish the next day.
Just unwrap them, slice, and bake as instructed.
Other Savory Ways To Use Crescent Rolls
While this pesto pinwheel recipe is on of my favorites, crescent rolls are super versatile & I love using them in a variety of different ways.
Check out these other yummy recipe ideas before leaving!
If you’ve tried this PESTO PINWHEELS recipe, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
- Unroll the dough onto a clean cutting board. Firmly press any remaining perforations to seal them closed.
- Spread the pesto evenly out over the crescent dough. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly out over top.
- Pick one of the short side of the rectangle, and roll the dough up tightly into a log.
- Refrigerate the log for 20 minutes.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2" slices.
- Transfer each slice cut side down onto a non stick cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, just until the pinwheels are puffed up and golden brown.
- Remove them immediately to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve the pesto pinwheels warm.