Easy Holiday Appetizers: Cranberry Roast Beef Roll Ups

The other Deb and I were discussing the joys of surviving on a diet consisting solely of appetizers. Why do we love them so? Is it because they are neat, tidy, compact and portable? Is it the ability to eat without having to cook an entire 3-course dinner? We don't know, but we know we love appetizers.

With the holidays (think THANKSGIVING) right around that corner, you need quick, easy apps that you can make in mere minutes, like this recipe for cranberry roast beef roll ups. This combines the best of cheesey, sweet and savory goodness in a portable little pinwheel. I don't have pictures yet, because I haven't made it in a few years, but believe you me, pictures can't do the divine flavor any sort of justice. For now, we'll have to suffice with a few shots of separate ingredients.

What You Need:

Flour tortillas
1/2 red onion, chopped (fine for smoother texture or rough for more crunch, you pick)
Cream cheese (Fat free is fine, as is whipped, which is delightful)
Deli Roast beef, sliced thin, but not chipped
Cranberry relish


The amounts vary, depending on how many rollups you wish to make. For one tortilla, you'll need at least 2 tbs onions, 2-3 tbs relish and 3-4 tbs cream cheese, along with 2-3 slices of roast beef.  I know this is a very shoddy way to tell you, but when I made them before, here at home, it was just random and just for me. So, to guesstimate, I will surmise:

1/2 lb cranberry relish (from deli or prepackaged)
1/2 to 3/4 lb roast beef
1-2 containers of cream cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)
1 small red onion
1 pack of large tortillas (usually 8-10 in a bag)

What You Do:

Let the tortillas sit out for about 20 minutes. Cold tortillas don't roll as easily.
Same with cream cheese, if using regular, non-whipped varieties. It spreads much easier at room temperature.
Chop up that onion while you're waiting
Assemble tortillas:

  • Spread a thin (or thick if you want more) layer of cream cheese across the tortilla. Doesn't have to be perfect, just has to be cheesy.
  • Place 2-3 slices of roast beef across the surface of the torilla
  • Spoon cranberry relish over the roast beef, spreading it out to a thin layer 
  • Sprinkle roughly 2 tbs of onion over the the surface
  • Start rolling. Don't try to make it too compact, just roll
Place rolled tortillas, with the end flap facing bottom, on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. 

Once rollups are chilled, use a sharp, serrated knife to slice each one into 6-10 pieces. Cut off the awkward tortilla-y ends and dispose, via your mouth. 
You can secure each rollup with a decorative toothpick if you're feeling particularly festive, or place a layer of curly kale on the serving platter OR just use a really colorful platter. 
Keep these babies chilled until serving. 

It might take all of 30 minutes to put these together, if making the entire bag of tortillas. Quick, easy, and almost too good to save just for holidays!  


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While you're at it, visit me and my dear friend, the other Deb, over at Simply Deb. You'll find a ton of ideas and information on health, fitness, food, gardening and money management. 

Furtherform, please visit these other fine purveyors of decadent foods and recipes. 

Credits for the lovely pictures:

Eckrich Deli Roast Beef Get some, it really is excellent!
Luby's Cranberry Relish I am so making this. You should too!
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Ok, so this is NOT all cream cheese, but the picture is lovely and it sounds delightful, especially with cut, fresh fruit!
Red Onion Onions rule the world.
Homemade Flour Tortillas If you want to be adventurous, make your own tortillas. These.

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