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Crack Chicken Pinwheels with Bacon


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Whether you need an easy snack or are on the hunt for the ultimate tailgating appetizer, you have to try my Crack Chicken Pinwheels recipe. They are made with bacon, ranch and two cheeses. Which explains why they are so addicting! 

My family is totally obsessed with this chicken pinwheel recipe. What started out as an appetizer, has led to an addiction and we’re eating these for snacks every chance we get. Try Neiman Marcus Dip for another one of those “can’t stop eating it” recipes.

crack chicken pinwheels stacked in a pie plate with a red plaid dish cloth.

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The ingredient list is simple, which is always a plus. And we usually have most of these items on hand. Which is perfect when a craving strikes. 

Today I am going to show you how I cook the chicken and bacon in my Instant Pot, but I’ve also included other cooking methods below.

ingredients labeled to make chicken bacon pinwheels.

Crack Chicken Pinwheel Ingredients

Chicken breast – I’m using boneless skinless, but you could also use 6 ounces of chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken thighs 

Spices:  salt, pepper, ranch seasoning mix

Bacon – thick-cut works well

Cream Cheese – allow time for it to soften so it spreads easily

Shredded cheddar cheese


Tortillas – you’ll want to use the larger ones that are about 10 inches and are used for burritos

How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Roll Ups

In the Instant Pot:

Add a cup of water to the inner pot, then place the trivet inside. 

Stir together the salt and pepper, then season the chicken on both sides and place it on the trivet. 

Put the lid on, turn the valve to the Sealing position and cook on High pressure for 8 minutes. 

Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release once it has finished cooking. Check to make sure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (use a meat thermometer). 

Shred the chicken breast and set it aside. 

Take the trivet out of the Instant Pot and press the Saute button. Add the bacon to the heated pot, stirring as it cooks. Once it has fully cooked, remove and drain on paper towels. 

If you don’t have a pressure cooker:

Pan-fry the seasoned chicken on the stovetop, then fry the chopped bacon.

You can also use boiled, poached, grilled, or air fried chicken. I’ve also used meal prep chicken.

Making the Pinwheels

Combine the shredded chicken, cooked bacon pieces, cream cheese, Ranch seasoning, shredded cheddar, and milk into a large mixing bowl.

two image collage showing the cream cheese mixture for the roll ups.

Split the chicken mixture evenly between the four tortillas and spread to evenly cover. 

Gently roll the pinwheels, making sure they are tightly rolled. Wrap each rolled tortilla in a piece of plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step – it’s what helps the rolls hold together.

chicken and cream cheese mixture being added to the tortillas and rollups being sliced into pinwheels.

Remove the plastic and cut off the ends of each roll-up with a sharp knife. Then cut each tortilla into 1-inch pinwheels. 

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftover crack chicken pinwheels store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How Far In Advance Can I Make Pinwheels?

You can make chicken pinwheels up to a day in advance. Simply follow the instructions and cut the rollups just before serving.

Can You Freeze Chicken Pinwheels?

We don’t recommend freezing them because they don’t hold up well and the texture of the cream cheese gets a little funky.

closeup view of crack chicken pinwheels on a serving platter.

Tortilla Pinwheel Variations

  • Use deli ham or turkey in place of the chicken
  • Add veggies (chopped onions, peppers, and olives work well)
  • Swap the chicken for smoked salmon
  • Use cooked ground beef, ground turkey or pork sausage in place of the chicken
  • Swap plain tortillas for sun-dried tomato or spinach wraps

Tips for Making the Best Crack Chicken Pinwheels

  • Short on time? Reduce the preparation time by using pre-cooked, canned chicken, or shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Be sure you use fresh tortillas to prevent cracking when you roll them. 
  • If you don’t want to fry bacon (and you aren’t using the Instant Pot), you can bake it in the oven at 400 degrees F until crispy. You could also use store-bought real bacon bits if desired.  

Can You Bake Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels?

While we enjoy the pinwheels cold, you can heat them if you like. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After you slice the roll ups, place them on the baking pan and bake until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

More Appetizers and Snacks You Will Enjoy

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closeup view of crack chicken bacon ranch pinwheels with text overlay.
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crack chicken pinwheels stacked on a plate with plaid dish cloth

Crack Chicken Pinwheel Roll Ups

Whether you need an easy snack or are on the hunt for the ultimate tailgating appetizer, you have to try my Crack Chicken Pinwheels recipe. They are made with bacon, ranch and two cheeses. Which explains why they are so addicting!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 32 pieces
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Lori


  • 1 chicken breast, about 6 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 slices thick bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • tablespoons Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 burrito tortillas, 10-inch


Cooking Chicken & Bacon in Instant Pot Method

  • Place the trivet in the instant pot liner and add one cup of water.
  • Combine the salt and pepper and season both sides of the chicken. Place chicken on the trivet.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn to close. Turn the valve to “Sealing” and set to High pressure for eight minutes.
  • When finished cooking, do a Natural pressure release. Make sure the chicken has reached 160 degrees F to ensure it is fully cooked (check with a meat thermometer).
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove the trivet from the Instant Pot and drain any liquid. Set to Sauté mode. Once hot, sauté your bacon pieces until they're fully cooked. Remove cooked bacon and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.

To Make Pinwheels

  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, bacon, cream cheese, Ranch seasoning, shredded cheese and milk.
  • Evenly divide the chicken mixture between the four tortillas and spread the mixture evenly over the tortillas.
  • Gently roll the tortillas, making sure they are tightly rolled. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove pinwheels from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Cut the ends off the rollups, then cut each tortilla roll into 1” pieces.


  • Can substitute 1 cup of rotisserie, grilled, sauteed or canned chicken if you’re pressed for time.
  • Make sure tortillas are soft and fresh to prevent cracking when rolling.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Make ahead tip: can be made 24 hours in advance. Store the plastic wrapped rolls in the refrigerator and cut just before serving.
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Nutritional Estimate

Serving: 1 piece | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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