Delicious sheets of puff pastry filled with pesto sauce and make this Christmas Tree Puff Pastry the perfect puff pastry recipe and addition to your holiday menu.
This recipe is easier to put together than you think, and it makes a beautiful display on any buffet table. Let me show you how to make one of my favorite appetizers.
The recipe I'm sharing with you today is a savory recipe made with pesto sauce. If you want to try a sweet recipe, try my Nutella Puff Pastry Christmas Tree that's filled with sweet hazelnut cream.
Table of Contents
Puff Pastry Christmas Tree
Your family and friends are going to be so impressed with you when you place this Christmas tree appetizer on your buffet table over the holiday season...really!
Puff Pastry Appetizers
Using puff pastry to create delicious appetizers is easy. My Tomato Tarts recipe would pair nicely with this recipe as well over the holidays. Or try the spinach artichoke puff pastry tree.
If you're looking for more Christmas tree appetizers, check out my Christmas Tree Cheese Board recipe that's made to sit on top of a chalkboard platter that you can customize.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel and CutterMore InformationParchment Paper Baking SheetsMore InformationNon-Stick Cooking/Baking SheetMore InformationChristmas Theme Holiday-Inspired Ceramic Plates 8More InformationChristmas Cloth Napkins Red Black Buffalo Plaid PlacematMore InformationNorpro Wood Pastry/Pizza RollerMore Information
Main Ingredients Needed
- 2 sheets of puff pastry
- Pesto Sauce
- 1 egg
You can use homemade pesto sauce if you prefer, but I find it easier to reach for a favorite jar of pesto sauce.
Step 1 | Prep the Dough
- Using the Pastry Roller, roll out the first sheet of puff pastry onto a piece of parchment paper. THEN gently lift the parchment paper and place it on to a baking sheet.
- Next, roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and set aside. Spread the pesto sauce on the sheet of puff pastry that's on the baking sheet. Then add the second sheet of puff pastry on top to make a sandwich.
Step 2 | How to Get the Christmas Tree Shape
If you're good a "winging" it, cut the Christmas tree shape out of the puff pastry or you can do like I did and make a template using the Parchment Baking Sheets.
- Make a template out of another sheet of parchment paper in the shape of a triangle.
- Cut the Christmas tree shape out of the parchment paper.
- Lay the template on top of the puff pastry.
Step 3 | How to Cut out the Puff Pastry Dough
- Use a Pizza Wheel Cutter or a sharp knife and cut out the Christmas tree shape in the puff pastry making sure you cut a tree trunk at the bottom.
- Lay the extra sections of puff pastry aside.You'll need to cut the star for the top of the tree with this extra puff pastry.
Step 4 | Make the Twisted Branches
As stated above, you can definitely "wing" it again, but I used a ruler as my guide. I keep this ruler with my kitchen tools and it's only used for cooking.
- Make the branches of the tree by slicing into the puff pastry from the side being careful to not slice all the way through.
- Then start twisting.
- Press the edges of the twisted branches down into the puff pastry so they don't pop up.
Step 5 | Make the Star
- Use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the star for the top of the tree out of the excess puff pastry dough.
- You can roll up the other excess puff pastry into crescent shapes and bake alongside the tree.
Step 6 | Baking Instructions
- Brush the entire tree with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the preheated 375° F oven for 15 minutes or until the entire pastry is puffed and golden brown.
You really should let the pastry cool slightly before sliding it off the parchment paper onto a serving platter.
If you don't have a serving platter large enough to hold the Christmas Tree, use a regular baking tray that you cover with fresh parchment paper. All your guests need to do is pull a branch off and enjoy!
Tried any of my recipes? Let me know in the comments!
More Easy Appetizer Recipes:
- Christmas Tree Cheese Board Appetizer
- How to Create the Perfect Cheese Board - perfect for any celebration or holiday!
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
- Homemade Queso Cheese Dip - no fake cheese!
- Mini Spinach and Bacon Quiche
- Zucchini Pizza Bites - low calorie and low carb!
Christmas Tree Puff Pastry Appetizer with Pesto Sauce
Savory puff pastry filled with pesto sauce and then shaped into a Christmas tree makes the perfect appetizer this holiday season.
- 1 - (17.3 oz) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 4 to 6 Tablespoons prepared Pesto Sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Sprinkle a little flour on top of a sheet of parchment paper.
- Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on top of the parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the puff pastry sheet into an 11 X 13 inch rectangle. Gently lift the parchment paper and transfer to a baking sheet.
- Spread the pesto sauce on top of the puff pastry sheet being careful not to go too close to the edge.
- Unfold the second sheet of puff pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out also into an 11 X 13 inch rectangle.
- Gently place the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the first sheet of puff pastry that has the pesto sauce. Press gently to seal the two sheets together.
- Using a piece of printer paper or parchment paper, cut out a Christmas tree shape to use as a template.
- Place the Christmas tree template on top of the puff pastry and using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the Christmas tree shape. Reserve the extra pieces.
- Now it's time to form and slice the "branches" of the tree. I like to place a ruler down the center of the puff pastry Christmas tree to use as a guide, but it's not necessary.
- Starting on one side, make horizontal slices into the sides of the Christmas tree triangle being careful to stop before you reach the center.
- Repeat the same process on the other side of the Christmas tree triangle; again being careful to stop before reaching the center. You want to leave a 1 to 2 inch section down the middle of the tree that is not sliced.
- Starting at the bottom, twist the branches away from you. Press the edge of the branch firmly into the parchment paper to keep the branch from untwisting.
- Continue twisting the branches moving up the tree and then move on to the other side and twist those branches as well.
- With the excess puff pastry, use a star cookie cutter and make a star for the top of the tree. You can also cut out more shapes for the excess puff pastry and bake them separately as well.
- Brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the preheated oven until puffy and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
- You can gently slide the Christmas tree pastry on to a serving platter. Or lift the parchment paper off the baking tray and place on top of a serving platter.
- You can use Nutella Spread to make this a sweet appetizer or dessert.
- You will have extra puff pastry dough with pesto leftover. I went ahead and cut more stars out of the excess dough and baked them off as a "cook's treat." Or you can add them to your serving tray for your guests to enjoy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 8.6ggSaturated Fat: 2ggSodium: 161mgmgCarbohydrates: 2.8ggFiber: 0.1ggSugar: 0.2ggProtein: 2.7gg
This recipe has been updated since it first appeared in 2017 with new photos, information and a new printable recipe card that includes nutritional information. I hope you enjoy the updates as much as I enjoyed working on them!
Can follow dough work for this recipe?
No, it wouldn't work. 🙁 You will not get the same result..
This looks delicious and fun! Was thinking of making this with pesto and shredded mozzarella. Would that cheese work in this recipe?
I think mozzarella cheese would work great!
Becky L Rudella says
Definitely! I added a little more than 1cup on top of the pesto, and it was delicious!
Glad to hear!
heidi cline says
Lois this is such a cool looking treat - caught my eye right away. Now that I am thinking about it - we are having brunch with my family for Christmas. MIGHT you think this could be made with something more sweet than savory for that kind of event?
Have you seen my Nutella Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Recipe? Same recipe, only it uses Nutella Hazelnut Spread.">https://walkingonsunshinerecipes.com/nutella-puff-pastry-christmas-tree/
Can I prepare this, bake, and freeze…then reheat before eating? Would like to prepare ahead of time.
You can prepare a few hours before you need to serve it, but I would not freeze it. Prepare the morning of your party and cover it with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator. About 15 minutes before your guests arrive, place it in the oven. Enjoy!
Debbee M says
Really beautiful food presentation, and a great tutorial. Pinned!
Thank you so much Debbie!
This looks delicious and I think I would love either version. Pinned.
This caught my eye right away and I'll definitely be making it to bring to holiday parties, as not only does it look so festive I'm sure it tastes good too! Thanks for a wonderful recipe and idea!
Thank you for visiting Pat. Hope the appetizer turns out as yummy for you as it did me.
Michele Michael says
This is too pretty!!!! I want to try it using spinach pesto with feta cheese, like a spinach pie flavor. Pinned and sharing on FB. Please post at Funtastic Fridays on Thursday night at 9pm.
Wondering your thoughts on making this ahead? I’m worried the oil in the pesto will ruin the pastry...... Excited to make this!
I put the pastry together with the pesto sauce about an hour before my guests arrived and it worked fine. I covered it with plastic wrap and kept it in the refrigerator. I haven't made it any earlier than that though. Please let me know how your appetizer comes out! Thank you for visiting!
Donna @ Modern on Monticello says
Not only is this sure to be delicious but it is also very pretty. Pinned it to try out this year. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty
Thank you Donna!
Liz Ross says
would a little extra parmesan and serve it with a marinara sauce work with this? I have a ton of garlic scape pesto in the freezer I want to use with this.
That sounds good! Thanks for visiting.
The tree looks like you used croissant dough--not puff pastry. As I understand it, those are very different things. Which is it? Thanks!
Yes, this is puff pastry.