A cute a delicious Christmas appetizer shaped as Christmas Tree. They're crunchy and flavorful, with Basil Pesto and Parmigiano cheese. These Pesto Puff Pastry Christmas Trees will be perfect as Aperitivo for the Holidays, accompanied by a glass of white wine or Prosecco.
I've always been in love with appetizers. Tiny bites full of flavor, made in all different shapes and with all kinds of ingredients. One of the reasons I love them is that having tiny portions allows me to try a bit of everything. One of my secret desires would be to taste a full restaurant menu, if only they would turn it into a finger food buffet!
In every Holiday meal, appetizers are always my favorite part. So now that I can cook my own Christmas feast, I usually make a ton of different Christmas appetizers and only one main course with one side and one dessert. I'm happy like that!
Puff Pastry Appetizers
One of the easier ways to make many different appetizers is with puff pastry. It's the perfect crunchy and flaky base to host all kinds of ingredients and you can shaper the way you want. From vol-au-vent to tarts, to pinwheels or trees as in this recipe.
In Italy, we love making all kinds of puff pastry savory treats, which we call "Rustici" (translated "rustic"). They're always a hit at every birthday party, potluck, or dinner party with a buffet.
Here's a few ideas of appetizers that you can make with puff pastry:
- Puff Pastry mini Pizza
- Potato Rosemary Tarts
- Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart
- Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quiche
Can you make this recipe in advance?
To make these puff pastry pesto trees takes literally just a few minutes. So it's the ideal recipe to make last-minute, just 30 minutes before your guests arrive.
If instead, you want to make Homemade Basil Pesto from scratch, I suggest you make it the day before and then keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until you need to use it.
I don't suggest making the puff pastry homemade as it takes a crazy amount of time and dedication. You can simply buy it in the supermarket either refrigerated or frozen. If you buy the frozen one, remember to thaw it overnight in the fridge as overwise it would be impossible to shape.
Can you freeze leftovers?
You can freeze cooked puff pastry but the result will not be the best. When thawed, puff pastry will become very soft so they will lose all the crunchiness which is the best part of puff pastry.
One thing you can try to bring some of the crunch back, is to reheat the thawed snacks in the oven at 200°C (400°F) for a few minutes. But be careful not to burn them!
Puff Pastry Pesto Christmas Trees
- 1 roll Puff Pastry
- 3-4 tablespoon Basil Pesto
- 2 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheet over parchment paper.
- Spread the basil pesto evenly on top of the puff pastry, using a spoon or a spatula.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmigiano cheese on top as well.
- With a knife or with a wheel cutter, cut the puff pastry into strips large about 1 inch / 2.5 cm.
- Fold the strips to make the Christmas tree shape. You can leave the puff pastry as it is or add a skewer in the middle as I did.
- Bake the snacks in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
If you like this recipe, you can leave a comment and a star rating to support me. ★★★★★
Thank you so much!
I made these last night for an event that was supposed to be tonight. Will they still be good in two days if kept refrigerated?
Unfortunately cooked puff pastry does not keep well in the refrigerator as it will become soft. You can try to make them crunchy again with a few minutes in the oven before serving but it might not work very well.
Can I make these ahead leave in fridge and bake them off when I arrive at my destination to serve hot?
Hi Laura, sure! As long as you keep them in the fridge they'll keep their shape until you're ready to bake them.
These look beautiful!
Never worked with puff pastry.
When cutting into one inch strips, do you use the whole strip per tree?
Hi Linda, yes I use the whole strip per tree. But you can use more or less depending how big you want your trees. 🙂
Lisa M Tiani
I've seen these before but I've never made them yet a lovely star idea. I will be making them this weekend for my family party. I also will make some sweet with honey and rosewater. Then Brown sugar, cinnamon! I'm excited to share.
Hi! These are super cute! Did you use a special kind of skewer or soak them before using?
Hi Carol, they're normal skewers. There's no need to soak them since they don't stay in the oven too long or at very high temperatures so they won't burn.
How did you make the stars on top?
Hi Janet, I cut a thick slice of semi-hard cheese (like Gouda or Swiss cheese) with a knife. You can also use fondant cutters made for cake decorations, like these: https://amzn.to/3UZ8XZM
These were a huge hit at work!
So easy but looked very impressive and came out delicious.