These grilled steak pinwheels are stuffed with three types of cheese, spinach, and plenty of garlic.
They look like they would be complicated to make but, in reality, they are beyond easy to whip up. From start to finish, the entire prep and cooking process takes about 45 minutes.
Like most of my recipes, they can be super versatile. I’ll include some other stuffing options below just in case spinach and cheese isn’t your thing.
The steak: what cut to choose
For this recipe, I chose to use flank steak. Flank steak comes from the flank of the cow, directly below the sirloin. Coming from the abdominal area of the animal, it gets a lot of work so it stays super lean and can be a little tough, depending on how you prepare it.
Beef tenderloin would also be a great choice for this recipe, albeit more expensive than the humble flank. The key to this dish is to look for a leaner cut of meat, so stick to flank, tenderloin, or sirloin for this one.
When you are shopping for your flank steak, you will notice that the meat has a darker red color than some other cuts. There should be very little fat on the meat, but you may see a bit of “silver skin” (connective tissue) on it. Again, there really shouldn’t be much if it was trimmed properly.
As far as size, this recipe calls for a 1.5lb cut of flank steak. If you want to try to serve more people, I recommend buying an additional cut of steak instead of opting for a larger individual cut.
This size is much easier to work with as you are preparing the pinwheels.
How to make grilled steak pinwheels
While they look fancy and complicated to make, these are surprisingly easy to whip up. The whole process takes less than 45 minutes, and for 15 of those minutes, the steak is just sitting in the freezer! That makes this recipe perfect for a dinner party or even just a weeknight dinner for your family.
Additionally, the steak can be prepared up to two days in advance and stored in the fridge with no effect on the final dish.
1. Butterfly the steak
The first step is to butterfly your steak and pound it out flat.
When someone says to butterfly meat, they simply mean taking a large, thicker cut and slicing it down the middle to create a wider, but thinner cut of meat.
The reason I like to use the butterfly method in this recipe is because I want the pinwheels to be balanced. If your steak is too thick, they will be more difficult to roll up, but you also run the risk of the pinwheels falling apart.
2. Tenderize and season
Once you have butterflied your steak, lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top and pound it out with a meat tenderizer.
You want to aim for the overall thickness to be around half an inch. Also, make sure that your steak is pounded to an even thickness all the way through. This will ensure your pinwheels are easy to roll and stay pretty uniform in size.
When your flank steak is pounded out, just season it all over with a bit of your favorite SPG rub. If you don’t have one on hand, just combine equal parts kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and granulated garlic. For this recipe, I used the PS Seasoning The BBQ General SPG Rub.
3. Stuff your pinwheels
For this recipe, I used Boursin cheese, shredded parmesan, baby spinach, shredded mozzarella, and a bit of garlic. But, as I mentioned before, the possibilities are really endless with this recipe.
Here are some great pinwheel combinations you could try out:
- Southwest Steak Pinwheels – swap the Boursin cheese for cream cheese, then top it with fresh, diced jalapenos, a bit of cilantro, and sun-dried tomatoes. Instead of mozzarella, cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend would be great for this version!
- Greek Steak Pinwheels – you can still use Boursin cheese for this version but swap the parmesan for a bit of crumbled feta, then add some fresh tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumber. This version would be great served with a bit of tzatziki on the side!
- Texas Barbecue Pinwheels – if you want to put an extra BBQ twist on the recipe, just swap the Boursin cheese for cream cheese, then add a thin layer of your favorite barbecue sauce, a bit of crumbled bacon, and top it with a heavy-dose of cheddar cheese. When they are just finished cooking, you can brush them with some additional barbecue sauce for extra flavor!
The key to stuffing your pinwheels is to keep each layer relatively even. The first layer for my recipe will be Boursin cheese. I like the Garlic and Fine Herbs version, but any flavor choice you have on hand will work just fine.
Take the Boursin cheese and spread a thin layer all over the top of your steak. Try to spread it all the way to the edges so you get a little bit in every bite.
Next, sprinkle on a bit of parmesan cheese, lay out your baby spinach, and finish it off with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. Don’t be shy with the cheese!
4. Roll it up
The next step is probably the most daunting, but it is honestly a lot easier than you imagine it would be. You are going to roll the entire thing up into a cylindrical shape. You want it to be rolled pretty tightly so all of the toppings stay together while it’s cooking.
Just grab one end with your fingers and roll it up in a similar motion to how you would use a rolling pin. You want there to be multiple layers of each topping throughout the pinwheel. Once you have rolled the steak up, secure it every 1-1/2” to 2” with a piece of butcher’s twine. Again, you want to tie it up pretty tightly because the goal here is for everything to stay together.
5. Place in freezer for 15 minutes
Now, this step is *technically* optional… but I highly recommend it, so keep that in mind…
Store your flank steak in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You don’t want it to freeze, but this will give it time to get nice and cold which will make it so much easier to slice into the pinwheels. Again, you can skip this step if you are pressed for time, but if you skip it then you run the risk of your pinwheels falling apart while you are slicing them up.
6. Get the grill nice and hot
While the steak is cooling down in the freezer, you can go ahead and preheat your grill. For this recipe, I used my Napoleon Freestyle 425, set to medium-high heat (about 400°F). These don’t cook for very long, but you want to make sure the grates are nice and hot before you put them on to get a beautiful crust on your pinwheels.
After the 15 minutes is up and your grill is nice and hot, pull the flank steak out of the freezer and use a sharp knife to slice it into pinwheels. You want to slice between the pieces of butcher’s twine so each pinwheel stays together. You are going to grill them with the butcher’s twine intact.
Now, all you have to do is throw them onto the grill for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until the steak reaches an internal temperature of about 135°F (depending how you like your steak cooked). Flank steak can get pretty tough if you overcook it, so I recommend shooting for medium-rare for this recipe.
Once they are done cooking, just let them rest for about 10 minutes and then they’re ready to serve!
If you are looking for the perfect side to serve with your pinwheels, check out these other recipes that would pair wonderfully with this one:
- Smoked Beer Mustard Potatoes
- Garlic and Rosemary Smoked Potatoes
- Homemade Classic French Fries
- Smoky Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- Ultra-Crispy Potato Wedges
More tasty stuffed recipes to try
- Smoked Stuffed Pepper Poppers
- Texas Twinkies: Jalapeño Stuffed With Leftover Brisket
- Grilled Lamb Backstrap Stuffed With Spinach and Feta
- Smoked Armadillo Eggs Wrapped in Bacon