Appetizers & Snacks/ Christmas

Pull-Apart Christmas Tree

11 December 2021 By Aleksandra

This pull-apart Christmas tree is an easy and delicious appetizer made from pizza dough and cheese. Dip these garlicky pizza bites in your favorite dipping sauce!

Pull-apart Christmas tree on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this easy appetizer:

  • pizza dough – I used store-bought
  • mozzarella cheese – use low-moisture mozzarella cheese not mozzarella balls in brine, you can also use other types of cheese such as pepperjack, gruyere, or cheddar, but I like it most with mozzarella
  • parmesan cheese
  • butter
  • fresh garlic – you can also use dried garlic
  • fresh parsley – is needed for a pop of green color since this should look like a Christmas tree!
  • dipping sauce – I just used a store-bought pizza sauce, you can also use marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce

Step by step instructions

A collage of 4 photos showing how to prepare pull-apart Christmas tree step-by-step.

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Divide the pizza dough into 20 pieces (it’s best to use a digital scale to measure out the dough to ensure all the balls are the same size – each ball should weigh 22g or 3/4 of an ounce).

STEP 2: Cut the mozzarella cheese into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) cubes. You should have 20 cubes.

Flatten each piece of dough and put a mozzarella cube in the middle. Pinch the edges of the dough until all the cheese is covered. Roll in your hands until you have a smooth dough ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.

STEP 3: Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the balls in a shape of a tree (see photos in the body of the post for a reference).

TIP: You can also shape the dough balls in a different shape, for example, you can arrange them in a wreath shape.

STEP 4: Melt the butter in a small pot. Brush the dough balls with butter, reserve the remaining butter.

Sprinkle the dough with parmesan.

STEP 5: Bake the dough for 18 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Remove the excess melted cheese around the tree with a knife.

Add pressed garlic to the remaining butter. Cook it over low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. The garlic should lose its harsh raw taste. Take the pot off the heat and add chopped parsley. Brush the dough with the mixture.

Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

Storage

This appetizer reheats well – bake it for 5 minutes at 375°F (190°C) until warm and the cheese is melted. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days wrapped tightly in plastic foil.

It can also be made ahead – shape the balls, brush them with butter and wrap tightly in plastic foil so that the dough doesn’t dry out (the foil should touch the dough but make sure it’s buttered otherwise the foil will stick to it).

More delicious Christmas appetizer recipes

One pizza dough ball is being pulled from Christmas tree appetizer.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Pull-Apart Christmas Tree

This pull-apart Christmas tree is an easy and delicious appetizer made from pizza dough and cheese. Dip these garlicky pizza bites in your favorite dipping sauce!
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Pull-apart Christmas tree on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 332kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pizza dough 450g
  • 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella 170g
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce or other tomato dipping sauce such as marinara

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Divide the pizza dough into 20 pieces (it’s best to use a digital scale to measure out the dough to ensure all the balls are the same size – each ball should weigh 22g or 3/4 of an ounce).
  • Cut the mozzarella cheese into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) cubes. You should have 20 cubes.
  • Flatten each piece of dough and put a mozzarella cube in the middle. Pinch the edges of the dough until all the cheese is covered. Roll in your hands until you have a smooth dough ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.
  • Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the balls in a shape of a tree (see photos in the body of the post for a reference).
  • Melt the butter in a small pot. Brush the dough balls with butter, reserve the remaining butter.
  • Sprinkle the dough with parmesan.
  • Bake the dough for 18 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  • Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Remove the excess melted cheese around the tree with a knife.
  • Add pressed garlic to the remaining butter. Cook it over low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. The garlic should lose its harsh raw taste. Take the pot off the heat and add chopped parsley. Brush the dough with the mixture.
  • Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use low-moisture mozzarella cheese not mozzarella balls in brine.
  • Instead of fresh garlic, you can also use dried garlic. Brush the dough with butter and dried garlic before baking it (if using fresh garlic, brush the dough with it after baking, otherwise it will burn in a hot oven).
  • You can also shape the dough balls in a different shape, for example, you can arrange them in a wreath shape.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/5 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
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