Aperitivo/ Appetizers

Puff Pastry Pesto Christmas Trees

November 22, 2020 (Last Updated: January 6, 2021)

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Total time to make this recipe: 25 minutes
puff pastry pesto trees on a platter

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!

two puff pastry trees served in a jar next to the platter

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:

hand cutting the puff pastry in strips with a wheel cutter
raw puff pastry trees on parchment paper

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 trees on a platter
two puff pastry trees served in a jar next to the platter

The Recipe

puff pastry pesto trees on a platter

Puff Pastry Pesto Christmas Trees

Crunchy pesto-flavored snack shaped as Chrismas Tree. The perfect Christmas appetizer or aperitivo to welcome guests with Italian flavors.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Jessica – Cooking my Dreams


  • 1 roll Puff Pastry
  • 3-4 tbsp Basil Pesto
  • 2 tbsp 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.


Check out this recipe if you want to make Basil Pesto from scratch.
You can add a cut-out star made of cheese of top of the tree for further decoration.


Calories: 291 kcal | Carbohydrates: 29 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 28 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Cholesterol: 16 mg | Sodium: 298 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 20 minute recipe, aperitivo, christmas appetizers
Have you tried this recipe?Snap a photo and tag @jess.cookingmydreams or use the hashtag #cookingmydreams!

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