These simple samosa pinwheels, with spirals of crispy puff pastry and a soft and fragrant spiced vegetable and potato filling, are a useful lunchbox filler, great for picnics, and make a delicious canapé. They can easily be made vegan too.
I am a huge fan of puff pastry pinwheels: from vegetarian spinach pesto pinwheels and cheese and onion rolls to toddler approved ham and cheese pinwheels. I made them for baby led weaning too with these savoury pinwheel hearts. I find them such a useful recipe to have on hand for last minute snacks and lunches on the go.
What are pinwheel samosas?
The traditional vegetable samosa filling of potatoes, peas, cooked with various spices – which add flavour rather than heat – is spread onto a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry, rolled, sliced and then baked until golden, to create a pinwheel samosa.
Why we love this recipe
- These baked pinwheels are a great recipe for leftover cooked potato.
- Kids and adults love them.
- Potato pinwheels are a popular savoury snack that are great for picnics and lunchboxes, appetiser / starter especially when paired with dips, or enjoy as a canapé.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Puff pastry – I use bought puff pastry sheets to make these scrolls. Pampas or Borg’s work well in this recipe if you are in Australia. If you use block puff pastry such as Jus-Roll, use a third of the block and roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of ½ cm (.2″)
- Potatoes – a medium cooked mashed potato. You can use leftover mashed potato in this recipe, as long as it isn’t very creamy as that can cause the filling to leak from the spirals when cooking.
- Vegetables – green peas are a common addition in samosas, and frozen green peas are a handy addition. Just defrost before mixing with the remaining ingredients. Carrots are a budget friendly vegetable I always have in the fridge. You can use a little cooked broccoli or cauliflower instead, but not too much to avoid the filling becoming watery.
- Spices – ground coriander, ground cumin ( you can use cumin seeds if you prefer), ground turmeric and garam masala.
- Dried onion powder – I like to use this to save having to cook an onion. If you don’t have onion powder you can grate half a small onion and fry it in a little oil until soft before adding the carrot to cook.
- Chilli powder – optional
- The nigella seeds on the outside of the pinwheels (see photo below) are optional. I personally love their warm toasty flavour, and toddler Mini Jones does too! But leave them off if you don’t, or can’t find them in the shops.
How to make this recipe
- If using frozen puff pastry, defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for an hour or so.
- Prepare the samosa filling: Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the grated carrot and peas for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add the mashed potato and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, garam masala, onion powder, chilli powder, if using, and salt. Stir well. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes. Using a hand blender, blend until smooth (although a few lumps of pea can remain).
- Spread the spicy potato filling over the puff pastry in an even layer with the back of a spoon or if it is sticking to the pastry, use your fingers.
- Roll up into a tight roll then cut into 1cm / .4 ” thick slices.
- Place on the lined baking sheet and bake In the oven until golden brown.
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Although best eaten on the day they are made, you can keep the cooked puff pastry swirls in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
You can reheat them in a moderate oven (180˚C/ 356˚F) for 5-7 minutes, until heated through, to crisp them up.
Yes you can, freeze in a container, placing baking paper inbetween the layers to stop them from sticking to each other. Then take out as many as you need to defrost. They take about an hour to defrost.
The filling is vegan, so check your puff pastry is vegan (most supermarkets brands are these days).
My recipe tips
- Make sure you line your baking sheet with baking paper or a silicone mat, otherwise the filling can stick to the tin during baking.
- Don’t try rolling your frozen puff pastry sheets until fully thawed, otherwise it will crack.
- Once rolled with the filling, place your puff pastry sausage into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- The potato mixture can smell quite fragrant when cooking in the pan, but the pastry absorbs some of this flavour and so the samosa filling isn’t overpowering.
- Make sure the samosa filling is cold before spreading it on the puff pastry sheet, otherwise, if it is hot, it will start to melt the pastry, and you’ll end up in a sticky mess.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry. A dull one will drag the pastry and result in scruffy pinwheels. Using a sawing motion, carefully cut down through the pinwheel.
- These vegetable pinwheels will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
- They can be frozen – cool completely then freeze on open tray. Once frozen, transfer to a sealable plastic bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
- You can reheat them and crisp them up in a moderate oven (180˚C/ 356˚F) for 5-7 minutes, until heated through.
- With beetroot raita or coriander chutney to dip in.
- Alongside a crunchy salad such as this mayo free slaw.
- Instead of nigella seeds, decorate them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or leave plain.
- You can also use the filling to make a puff pastry samosa.
- Spicy puff pastry pinwheels: The spices I have used in this recipe are for flavour rather than heat. If you want to use hot spices, add a touch more chilli powder, or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (be careful as you can easily add too much!)
- Cooking in the air fryer. You can easily air fry these samosa rolls: make them as the recipe then cook in a preheated air fryer at 180˚C / 350˚F for 12-15 minutes until golden.
More Indian inspired recipes for you
Samosa Pinwheels with Puff Pastry
- 1 medium potato, mashed approx 175-200g
- 1 teaspoon oil olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 small carrot, finely grated
- 35g (¼c) frozen peas defrosted
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- pinch dried onion powder
- pinch chilli powder optional
- 1 puff pastry sheet approx 160g / 5.6 oz in weight
- ½ tablespoon nigella seeds optional
Make the potato vegetable filling
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the grated carrot and peas for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
- Add the mashed potato and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, garam masala, onion powder, chilli powder, if using, and salt. Stir well. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
- Using a hand blender, blend until smooth (although a few lumps of pea can remain).It will be very thick and sticky, but that it ok.
Make the puff pastry pinwheels
- Preheat the oven to 190˚C fan/ 210˚C/ 374˚F convection / 410˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Spread the spicy potato mixture evenly over the puff pastry sheet – you may need to use your fingers as it can be quite thick.
- Taking one side, carefully and tightly roll.
- If using the nigella seeds, sprinkle them in an even layer over your chopping board, then gently roll the puff pastry roll in them to get an even coating all the way around.
- Optional step: place in the fridge for 15 minutes this will make the pinwheels easier to cut.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into 1 cm / .4" thick slices and lay them cut side down on the tray.
- Place in the oven and cook for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Best served on the day they are made but can keep, covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.