Pimento Cheese Pinwheels: Keep School Lunch Cold with PackIt

A recipe for a flavorful pimento cheese spread, as well as an easy school lunch of pimento cheese and ham pinwheels for the back-to-school season. Keep it cool until lunchtime with PackIt Insulated Lunch Bags and enter to win $100 in our giveaway below.

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com
I tucked him in tight, zipping his sleeping bag around him, only his mop of sandy hair visible as he clutched his stuffed red squirrel purchased at the Chik-Wauk Museum on Lake Saganaga at the end of the Gunflint Trail. “Get some rest because we head back in the morning.”

“Does that mean we have school?”

“One more month.” I know, a whole month. Still, it feels like it’s creeping closer, and soon it will be here. Summer is winding down, and we’re getting to the end of our summer bucket list. I’ve printed school supply lists. We’ve started cleaning closets and dressers. We’ve celebrated over new teachers. And I’m brainstorming easy recipes that the kids will accept in an attempt to keep their lunch boxes interesting and varied. Enter: pimento cheese and the appeal of the pinwheel.
Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com
Pimento cheese from a Minnesota family. Oh my. Not only that, but I prepared and served it on the Canadian border, straddling the line between the Boundary Waters and the Quetico.

Pimento cheese has a universal appeal. A bit of mayonnaise and plenty of cream cheese create a smooth base, seasoned with garlic, onions, hot sauce, and loaded with red pimento flecks, this chunky cheese spread can be served multiple ways: on crackers, as a vegetable dip, tucked between slices of bread (with pickles, please), and, my personal favorite, thinly spread over tortillas with sandwich ingredients, rolled, and sliced into colorful pinwheels.

Pinwheels are perfect lunch box finger foods with their ease of both consumption and creation. We whipped ours up in the cabin, rolled it tightly between flour tortillas with salad greens and deli meat, and packed it up as we hiked along forested trails and pretended that summer would last forever.

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels



  • For the pimento cheese:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (like Crystal's)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces pimentos, drained
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • For the pinwheels:
  • flour tortillas
  • deli ham
  • spinach leaves or other dark leafy greens


  1. To make pimento cheese spread: In a large mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Stir in the shredded white cheddar, sharp cheddar, pimentos, and the green onions until evenly incorporated throughout.
  3. Store the pimento cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  4. To make pinwheels: Spread 2 tablespoons of pimento cheese over the surface of a tortilla. Cover with a thin layer of deli ham and a layer of greens. Roll the tortilla from one end to the other, securing with a bit of extra pimento cheese. Slice into pinwheels.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 10 servings


Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com
If you are following Food for My Family on Facebook or Instagram, then you’ve likely seen several of our school lunch photos, documenting what I’m packing for the kids for school. Some of the most common comments about our lunches, just behind “do your kids actually eat REAL food?”, are in regards to keeping lunches cold or hot. People are concerned about hard-boiled egg temperature, fried rice in a thermos, whether deli meat sandwiches are safe, and do those cheese cubes start to sweat and get that filmy look by the time they are opened for lunch?

Whether you’re concerned about food safety and storage or you just want a more efficient way to keep your work or school lunch or picnic cool, PackIt Insulated Bags are the answer. I’ve always been frustrated by the number of ice packs I have to keep in the freezer at any given time to stuff inside an already full lunch bag, only for them to end up punctured or lost before they make their way home after school. I can’t describe how exciting it is to simply reach inside the freezer for the lunch bags (they fold up nice and tight), open them and have a fully insulated and super cold bag to tuck containers into.
Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com
PackIt actually cools food as it stores it, chilling food and beverages for up to 10 hours (5x longer than regular insulated bag + ice pack), which means my kids can have all the freezer smoothies and hard-boiled eggs they want without worrying about whether they’ll stay cold until lunchtime.

We recently gave our PackIts a pre-school test run, packing them for a daylong drive up to Lake Superior, and then eating our lunch along the rocky shoreline. Despite being tucked in a hot car all morning and then carried on a hiking path before reaching our lunch destination, our food stayed cool and crisp and just like we’d pulled it directly from the refrigerator moments before.

I’m giving away $100 in PackIt products (provided by PackIt) to a Food for My Family reader to get you set for the back-to-school lunch scene. Not only that, but you can save 15% off your entire purchase for the next week. Simply enter coupon code FOODFORMYFAMILY15 at the check out on PackIt.com.

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com

I’ve partnered with PackIt in order to be able to offer their products to my readers. Opinions, thoughts, recipes, words, snark, and photos are all mine and mine alone.
Pimento Cheese Pinwheels #recipe + @PackIt #schoollunch giveaway on FoodforMyFamily.com


  1. These look awesome.

  2. Kacy Johanson says:

    My boy is starting Kindy in less than two weeks. I’m doing a day by day take on packing the lunch, but I also am nervous about the food being gross by lunch time. This looks great!

  3. LOVE these! I’ve been looking for something to send my toddler’s lunches in and this bento-style box will be perfect for keeping his food portioned.

  4. Looks very yummy!

  5. This would come in so handy just in time for the start of school Yummy recipe too!

  6. We’ve camped a lot this summer with our 5, 3 and 1 year old kiddos. These would be perfect to take along on our next adventure!

  7. Krista Sanderson says:

    Just what I’m looking for to pack for Kindergarten. Thank you!

  8. Deborah M says:

    The Pack-It bags sound wonderful! I will definitely be visiting their website. 🙂

  9. How have I never heard of these lunch bags? An excellent idea! And those pinwheels are adorably delicious.

  10. Pack Its are my favorite! They really do stay cold all day!

  11. Denise G. says:

    I would LOVE to try these for my Kindergartener and first grader!

  12. I’ve been wondering how well these work- thanks for the test!

  13. These are wonderful!

  14. Thanks for all your wonderful inspiration!

  15. My daughter would love the freezable lunch bag in the bloom print.

  16. M.Stephens says:

    I never even knew these products existed. I have to get them for my girls. I know how much dislike lunch that gets warm. Thanks!!

  17. I only really miss dairy when I see delicious creations like this cheese spread! And that lunch bag is my favorite!

  18. I’m going to have three kids in school this year! Gah! It’s good and it’s not good, you know? These lunch bags look fantastic.

  19. Love pimento cheese and the lunch bag would be perfect for taking to work/school.

  20. Perfect!

  21. This year I’ll have 2 lunches to pack every day and with a food allergy in the littlest lunch, there’s no cheating or skipping a day! This would be great to keep lunches cold!

  22. Shared this with a moms group on Facebook. They were talking about packit. Hopefully some will come check out your awesome website. 🙂

  23. Erin Ellis says:

    How perfect for back to school lunches! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  24. Love a cute bag to put my little one’s lunch in.

  25. I pack my lunch for work every day, and I would love to try a PackIt bag and sandwich containers.

  26. I just found out about these products and would love to try them!

  27. Dana Rodriguez says:

    Their bags are so nice.Delicious looking recipe!

  28. Very cool bags, thanks for the chance to win!

  29. These packs are so bright and cheerful! I would love one!

  30. I really like the Picnic bag in the Vine print.

  31. I want to make your Pimento Cheese Spread for MY lunch. Yum! I like the Packit Deluxe Lunch Bag in the chevron pattern, and their sandwich bags.

  32. I love the idea of the pack it cool lunch bags! My little one is entering TK and he will need his own lunch bag, this would be rad to win!

  33. These look so yummy and that school lunch box looks so well balanced and wholesome. I try to pack a healthy lunch for my kids every day with lots of variation so this recipe will really come in handy. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Which PackIt is the chevron one your daughter is sporting? I’m going back and forth between options and I love everything about the one she has!

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