Every bite of the Grilled Ground Elk Taco Pinwheels will make you want more. The soft flaky puff pastry wrapped around taco infused elk meat dipped in Sour Cream Salsa Verde Sauce is Cinco de Mayo/Taco Tuesday in every bite.
🍽️ Why This Works
Very Simple | This is a simple recipe that just “looks” complicated. Don’t worry – it is really easy!
Flexible | Make these with any of your favorite ground chuck or game meats. Substitute your favorite salsa and cheese to customize the recipe every time you make it.
Basic Ingredients | These ingredients are easy to come by and are easily found in the grocery store. The only one that you may not have used is the puff pastry but it is so easy to use for non-bakers.
Fast | We always say we love making up fast, yet amazing dishes and this is no different.
Ground Elk | Who doesn’t love cooking with their favorite game meat? Ground Elk is a healthy and affordable protein option that is easily substituted for any ground beef recipe when you are grilling. This doesn’t have a gamey taste to it, so you won’t need to worry about serving it up to friends and family who may not have experience eating a lot of elk. Substitute Ground Beef or Ground Chuck in place of the elk.
Puff Pastry | This is found in the frozen food section of the grocery store next to the pies. This is a flaky pastry with dough and butter.
Salsa Verde | This is the green sauce that is made with green tomatoes or tomatillos. It still has cilantro, peppers and lime like the traditional red salsa.
This recipe has two phases. We will make the pinwheels and then whip up the dipping sauce.
Ground Elk Pinwheels
Step One: Defrost the puff pastry for about 30-40 minutes before you use it.
Step Two: Cook the elk on the grill or stove top at medium high heat. Combine the taco seasoning packet and water, stir and then combine with the cooked meat. Let it simmer to reduce the liquids.
Step Three: Lay out the puff pastry on the counter and roll out all the uneven edges.
Step Four: Spread half of the meat mixture on ONE of the puff pastry dough and spread evenly all over. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the meat.
Step Five: Start at one end and begin rolling the dough into a cylindrical tube as seen in the photos. Once it is formed to shape, cut it into 1″ pieces. The end pieces may not have enough taco meat and it’s up to you if you want to grill them. Repeat for the second piece of dough and remaining taco meat and cheese.
Step Six: Heat the grill to a medium heat around 350 degrees. Place the pinwheels on a copper grilling mat and place straight on the grill grate. Let them cook for 8-12 minutes. Check early to make sure the bottoms are browned nicely.
⚠️ Warning: Be careful when handling copper mats. I placed one on the grill for just a second and grabbed it to move it and burned my finger. These things heat up FAST! The copper mats are very hot and can burn the puff pastry if you aren’t watching it. If you are worried, use parchment or a sheet pan instead.
Sour Cream Salsa Verde Dipping Sauce
Step One: Measure out the sour cream and then add the salsa verde.
Step Two: Stir with a spatula or fork to combine and chill in the refrigerator. You can’t get much easier than this!
❗ Expert Tips
Don’t cook this in a cast iron skillet on the grill, as much as it’s tempting to do so. The cast iron holds the heat very well and can burn the bottom of the dough easily.
Substitute the meat with your favorite protein source. Bison, ground chuck, sirloin or venison are great options. The recipe is versatile to use any of these choices.
Mix up the toppings. Consider making an Avocado Dressing to drizzle on top or make a batch of your favorite Pico de Gallo like we did in our photos.
Elk cooks faster and the meat will be red once it is fully cooked.
No, the two are not interchangeable.
Although we used the copper mat, most people don’t have them so I would suggest cooking them on a sheet pan, a flat aluminum pan or a pan that you can add parchment paper to the top. Don’t use cast iron as it will heat up and retain that heat too much which will result in a burnt end product.
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Grilled Ground Elk Pinwheels
- Rolling Pin or glass
Grilled Ground Elk Taco Pinwheels
- 1 lb Ground Elk
- 1 packet Taco Seasoning
- 1 cup Salsa
- 1 cup Mexican Cheese shredded
- 1 package Puff Pastry
Sour Cream Salsa Verde
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 1 cloves Garlic
- ¼ cup Salsa Verde
Grilled Elk Taco Pinwheels
- Defrost the puff pastry about 30-40 minutes before you plan to use.
- Cook elk on grill or stove top at medium high heat. Combine taco seasoning packet and water, stir and then combine with the cooked ground elk.
- Lay out the puff pastry on the counter and roll out all the uneven edges.
- Spread half of the meat mixture on ONE of the puff pastry dough and spread evenly all over. Starting on one end, start rolling up and then once there is a tube, cut into 1" thick pieces. The end pieces may not have enough taco meat and it's up to you if you want to grill them. Repeat for the second piece of dough and remaining taco meat.
- Heat grill up to 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. It will all depend on what you are setting this on. The copper mat grills faster as it retains so much heat so I went with a lower temp so they wouldn't burn. If you are cooking puff pastry pinwheels in the oven, the temperature is at 400 for 10-12 minutes.
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.