These Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels are the best finger food. Fresh salmon is layered with tangy green chili cream cheese, smoked with grapefruit, orange, and lime to add so much smoky, citrusy flavor, then finished off with an agave nectar glaze.
Roll the Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels
Okay, first thing’s first, let’s layer and roll our Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels. First, make sure the skin is removed from the salmon. Lay the salmon out onto a clean work surface and trim off any excess fat or meat.
Next, whip up a quick cream cheese filling. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, green chilis, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and some of my Southwest Chili Rub, because a spicy twist of flavor is just what these Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels need.
Lather a thin layer of the cream cheese filling all over one side of the salmon. Starting at the head end, roll the salmon all the way up into itself to create that classic pinwheel shape.
To Let Set or Not
Now, you can either proceed with the recipe right away OR, if you have time, wrap the Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels up in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
They will be delicious either way, but a little bit of time gives the seasonings more opportunity to really soak into the meat and keep all the filling from leaking out.
Don’t worry, though. Skipping the this won’t ruin your Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels.
Before you cook, set the single pinwheel out onto a cutting board and slice it up into small pieces to create bite-sized pinwheels.
Prep to Cook
Now, let’s get cooking.
First, preheat your smoker for indirect cooking at around 275ºF. Add some wood chips or chunks to the coals, because Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels taste out of this world with that extra smoky flavor. Pull the salmon out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for a few minutes. Room temperature meat cooks more evenly!
Next, let’s put together our citrus plank, because you don’t wanna miss out on that incredible flavor in your Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels. I used a similar citrus plank in my Planked Salmon with Chili Lime Sauce and it was delicious!
To prep the fruit, grab your grapefruit, lemon, and lime. Slice them into discs, then use them to create a plank on the grill over indirect heat.
If you’d rather not create a citrus plank, you do have a couple of other options for cooking. Either cook the salmon in a skillet, or use a wood plank. The pinwheels won’t have quite the same citrusy flavor, but they will definitely still taste incredible.
Cook Your Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels
So, place the salmon onto the citrus plank, skillet, or wood plank. Allow the salmon to cook for 45-60 minutes. I recommend using a meat thermometer to check it at 45, then only adding time as needed. The internal temperature of the Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels should be somewhere between 125ºF and 135ºF.
Roughly 10 minutes before the pinwheels are done, grab your agave nectar. Drizzle it over the top of the pinwheels to add the perfect sweet finish.
As soon as the salmon pinwheels are ready to go, pull them off of the smoker, let them cool for a few minutes, then dig in!
Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels
- 1-2 sides of Salmon skin off
- 2.5 tbsp Agave Nectar for glaze
- 2 cups Cream Cheese
- 4 oz can Green Chilis
- 1/8 cup Chopped Cilantro
- 3 medium Lime juiced
- 1.5 tbsp Southwest Chile Rub
(Optional) Citrus Plank:
- 1 Grapefruit
- 4 Navel Oranges
- 5-6 medium Limes
- Lay out your salmon with the skin off and trim any excess pieces of fat or meat. Add the cream cheese and all the other ingredients for the filling and mix together. Lather a thin layer over one side of the entire salmon. Beginning at the head end, roll the salmon into itself all the way in order to create the pinwheel shape. If you want, wrap the salmon in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Pull the salmon out and slice it to create that classic pinwheel.
- Next, slice up your grapefruit, lemons and limes for the citrus plank for the smoking.
- Preheat your smoker to 275F to cook indirectly. Add some wood chips or wood chunks to the coals for added smoke flavor.
- Pull the salmon out and bring to room temperature for 7-8 minutes. Place the salmon into a skillet, wood plank or on the citrus plank on the grill. If doing the citrus plank, place your citrus slices onto the indirect side of the grill in a circle. Place the salmon onto the smoker and let cook for about 45-60 minutes until it reaches 125-135F internal. About 10 minutes before the salmon is done, get your agave nectar for the glaze and lather on top of the salmon pinwheels. Let finish cooking and then pull off to cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!