Are you looking for a delicious new tailgating recipe for the next football game? These buffalo chicken pinwheels have it all – a cheesy golden crust on the outside and creamy, spicy buffalo chicken on the inside! These game day appetizers are easy to make and cook in minutes on your Blackstone griddle or other flat top grill!
It’s football season, and you know that anything “buffalo chicken” is a huge part of tailgating, football parties, and anytime you’re getting together to throw around the ol’ pigskin.
So we’ve brainstormed a dynamite recipe for you – buffalo chicken pinwheels! These bite-sized pinwheel appetizers are exploding with that spicy buffalo flavor we know and love, and they’re so easy to make!
If you’re looking for easy griddle appetizers that you can whip up for a crowd of hungry football fans, or any party guests really, then these buffalo chicken tortilla roll-ups are for you:
Why You’ll LOVE these Easy Pinwheel Appetizers
- 30 minutes or less. These buffalo chicken pinwheels are the perfect football party appetizer or tailgating recipe because they don’t have many ingredients, you can prep the chicken mixture the night before, and they cook in minutes. What could be better?
- Spicy perfection. Nothing is more heavenly than sinking your teeth into spicy buffalo perfection just as your team scores the winning touchdown. Nothing, I tell you! If you love adding a little (or a lot) of heat to your game day appetizers, these buffalo chicken pinwheels are right up your alley.
- Feeds a crowd. Another thing I love about this buffalo chicken pinwheel recipe is that it can feed a crowd. If you’ve ever bought a Costco rotisserie chicken, you know how much meat is on those birds! Whether you’re making these for your family or your Fantasy Football league, there’s always enough for seconds!
Ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
- Shredded chicken breast. I made everything really simple and bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco. I shredded that baby up, and it gave me between 4 and 5 cups for our buffalo chicken pinwheel recipe.
- Shredded mozzarella and pepper jack cheese. Or, you can also substitute cheddar or more mozzarella for the pepper jack.
- Thick buffalo sauce. If you can, get your hands on something like Frank’s Thick Red Hot Sauce or something similar. The thicker buffalo sauce brands help ensure that your buffalo chicken mixture doesn’t get too soupy and run out on the griddle.
- Cream cheese. Any brand of cream cheese will do, although I suggest sticking with the block instead of a whipped version. It’s just easier to measure, cut through, and dump in.
- Nashville Hot Rub. The rub is really the secret weapon in our buffalo chicken pinwheel recipe. My theory is that it will help add thickness to the hot sauce so that the ingredients will stay in the tortilla instead of oozing out after you roll everything up. We used the Pit Boss Nashville Hot Rub, but any Nashville Hot seasoning should do the trick.
- Green onions. I finely chopped two green onions to add to my buffalo chicken pinwheels, but you can add more or less to taste.
- Flour tortillas. We used low carb tortillas, but you can use whatever you like. I just want to caution you on using anything too thin because they might tear as you’re rolling everything up.
How to Make Warm Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
1. Shred chicken breasts and combine with green onions and hot rub seasoning.
I guestimated that the rotisserie chicken we used equaled about 2 ½ chicken breasts, so if you’re using straight up chicken breasts for your buffalo chicken pinwheels, aim for roughly that amount.
Once you’ve shredded the chicken, put it in a large bowl and stir in the finely chopped green onions. Season the mixture with as much of the Nashville Hot seasoning as you like.
2. Add cheese, cream cheese, and hot sauce to shredded chicken.
Next, you’re going to add the shredded mozzarella and pepper jack cheese and the softened cream cheese to your shredded chicken. Mix well to combine.
You don’t want to add too much cheese, or the whole mixture will get too soupy and might fall out of the tortilla as you’re cooking it on your flat top griddle. That would just be a lot of added mess and stress.
The end result should be a mixture that’s a little crumbly. Again, you don’t want it to be too creamy or else it might just fall apart in the cooking process.
Now you’re going to add in your hot sauce. I suggest being a little conservative – just a few tablespoons will do. You want to be considerate of the more delicate people in your life who might not have the same endurance that you do (My wife will punch me after reading this).
Stir the mixture well so that the hot sauce is evenly distributed throughout.
3. Assemble the Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels.
Now it’s time to actually put your buffalo chicken pinwheels together.
The first thing you’re going to do is warm up your tortilla on the griddle before adding the chicken mixture. This process doesn’t take long at all. Just warm each side for about 5 seconds to make the tortilla more pliable and less likely to tear.
Next, scoop a generous amount of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla. Use a spatula to spread it evenly out to the edge like this:
Now, the next part is optional. You can come back in and add more seasoning or hot sauce, or both. It’s all up to you and how much heat you want to add to your buffalo chicken pinwheels!
Next, begin rolling the tortilla by tucking one edge under itself. That will help it roll more tightly the rest of the way. The good thing about adding more hot sauce is that it will act as glue to seal the edges once you’re done rolling.
Once you’ve finished, insert toothpicks through the tortilla roll-up, making sure that the end of the tortilla is secured like this:
Now you’re going to start slicing the buffalo chicken pinwheels. Each one should be a bit wider than the width of your thumb, or about 1 inch wide.
When you’re done, your tortilla roll-ups should look something like this:
4. Heat the Pinwheel appetizers on the griddle or in a skillet.
First, add oil to the flat top grill and spread evenly with your cooking spatula. I pretty much exclusively use avocado oil for griddle cooking.
Add your buffalo chicken pinwheels to the griddle, spacing them about an inch apart like this:
After putting all your pinwheels on the flat top grill, use your spatula to press down lightly on each one. You don’t need to smash these down – you just want an even contact so that the cheese toasts up nicely.
Cook the buffalo chicken pinwheels on the first side for 3-5 minutes, checking after a few minutes. You should have a deep golden crust on the bottom.
Flip them over and press down lightly on each one, ensuring the bottom is in full contact with the griddle’s surface. Cook a few minutes longer. Your griddle pinwheels should look something like this:
Now you’re ready for some football!!! Add blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping, and you’ve got a crowd-pleaser wherever you go!
FAQs about the Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
What kind of tortilla is best for making buffalo chicken pinwheels?
The best thing about these buffalo chicken pinwheels is that you can make them with almost any kind of flour tortilla! We used low-carb flour tortillas when we made ours, but that was just our preference. I think any flour tortilla would do… just don’t substitute corn tortillas – they are more prone to tearing when you’re rolling them up.
Can I substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts?
Sure! There shouldn’t be any problem with substituting chicken thighs for chicken breasts. They’re obviously smaller, so you just want to be sure that you have about five cups of shredded chicken to use for the recipe.
Can I make a less spicy version of these buffalo chicken pinwheels?
There are several ways to lighten up the spice on these buffalo chicken rollups. Look at your local grocery store for a mild buffalo sauce, or you can make your own at home! You can also add less Nashville Hot Rub or choose a different seasoning to add to the chicken.
Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels Recipe
Want to print this recipe to save for later? Use the recipe card down below, and then be sure to check out some of our other delicious appetizers:
- Fried Pickle Spears on the Flat Top Grill (Easy Griddle Appetizers)
- Smashed Barbecue Potato Skins – Easy Blackstone Griddle Recipe
- Chicken Wings on a Blackstone Griddle – Buffalo, Asian, & Parmesan Garlic
Warm Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
- 4½-5 cups shredded cooked chicken *About the equivalent of one rotisserie chicken shredded.
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese grated
- 4 oz pepper jack cheese grated
- ½ cup Buffalo Sauce *I recommend Frank's Thick Buffalo Sauce.
- 2 tablespoons Nashville Hot seasoning or dry buffalo seasoning of your choice
- 2 sliced green onions plus more for garnish
- 3 burrito sized flour tortillas
- ranch dressing for garnish/dipping
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese, buffalo seasoning and sauce, and sliced green onions. Mix together well.
- Heat griddle on low to medium-low until it reaches about 375-425 degrees F. *You can also toast the pinwheels in a skillet on the stovetop.
- Warm one tortilla on the griddle for about 5-10 seconds to make it more pliable. Then, spread about 1½ cup of the buffalo chicken mixture over about 3/4 of the tortilla, leaving one side with no filling. Starting at the edge with the filling, roll the tortilla tightly. *Optional – Sprinkle on a bit more buffalo seasoning or drizzle on about 1 tablespoon of buffalo sauce on the mixture before rolling up.
- Place toothpicks through the tortilla roll-up about every 1½", making sure that the end of the tortilla is tooth-picked into place so that it does not come unrolled. Then, cut the rolled tortilla into pinwheels in between the toothpicks. Repeat the process until all tortillas are filled, rolled, and cut into pinwheels.
- Place the pinwheels on the griddle cut side down. Cook untouched until browned on the first side, approximately 3-5 minutes. Then flip to the second side and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Transfer the grilled pinwheels to a serving platter.
- Garnish the buffalo chicken pinwheels. Drizzle on some ranch dressing and/or buffalo sauce, and sprinkle with sliced green onions. Enjoy!