Easy Christmas Appetizer cuts sandwich ingredients into stars and then stacks them onto toothpicks to create a festive Christmas tree shape! Prep this holiday party appetizer in just 30 minutes!
This Easy Christmas Tree Appetizer is a fun and delicious way to add a festive touch to the appetizer table! Bread, meat, and cheese are all cut into the shape of a star and then carefully layered onto a toothpick.
Each tree is even complete with a cherry tomato tree base and a slice of Colby jack cheese as the tree topper! So every festive detail has literally been thought of when it comes to this easy-to-make Christmas appetizer!
Why This Recipe Works!
- Grab & Go! No mess or serving utensils required! Just grab a tree and enjoy!
- Variations! Easily swap out the kinds of meat, bread, and cheese for the ones that you and your family enjoy the most! You can even make and serve a variety of different trees to deliver more flavor variations at the party!
- Festive! Star-shaped ingredients stacked in the shape of a Christmas tree make this appetizer super festive and fun!
- Easy Ingredients! No making or baking is needed here! Simply grab the store-bought ingredients and cut them into stars! Then stack and enjoy!
This Easy Christmas Tree Appetizer Recipe starts with a quick trip to the local grocery store to collect the ingredients! To make this delicious and festive party appetizer you’ll need:
- Bread – I used slices of wheat bread but you could use about any kind of bread that you prefer.
- Meat – Thick slices of summer sausage.
- Cheese – I prefer using Colby jack cheese but any semi-hard cheese would work as well. Some other good choices would be Monterey jack, swiss, pepper jack, provolone, or gouda.
- Cherry Tomatoes– These are sliced in half and then used for the base of the trees.
- Leaves of Butter Lettuce – Adds a nice pop of color to these Christmas Trees!
- Once you’ve made sure you have the edible ingredients you’ll want to also grab toothpicks and star-shaped cookie cutters. This recipe uses small, medium, and large stars so you’ll want three different sized star cutters.
How To Make The Best Christmas Appetizer
- Slice up the block of Colby cheese and summer sausage.
- Cut large and medium stars out of the bread slices using the star-shaped cookie cutters.
- Cut large, medium, and small stars out of the cheese and summer sausage slices.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes. Then dab the cut side onto a paper towel to soak up the excess tomato juice.
- Cut stars out of the butter lettuce. Then place all the star-shaped ingredients into the refrigerator to chill.
- Assemble the tree appetizers by first placing a tomato cut side down. Next, insert a toothpick into the center of it.
- Layer the star-shaped ingredients starting with the large sausage star. Afterward, layer on a large cheese star, large bread star, large lettuce, medium sausage star, medium cheese star, and medium bread star.
- Top the tree appetizer with the smallest cheese star. Placing it vertically as you would place the tree topper on your Christmas tree!
- Place the finished trees onto your favorite serving platter and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should I Store These Christmas Tree Shaped Appetizers?
Place any leftovers onto a plate and tightly wrap it with cellophane. Store the covered trees in the refrigerator and enjoy them for up to 2 days.
What Should I Do If I Have Leftover Star Shaped Ingredients?
You can decorate the serving platter the trees are on with the leftover star ingredients! An easy and edible way to make this appetizer a touch more festive!
Why Do I Need To Chill The Ingredients Before Assembling?
The ingredients tend to get warm and begin to wilt while they sit out on the counter. So placing them in the refrigerator in between cutting and assembling helps to keep the appetizer looking fresh!
Is This A Christmas Appetizer That I Can Make Ahead Of Time?
I don’t suggest making this an entire day or two in advance. However, you can assemble it the day you plan to serve it. Making it too far in advance may cause the tomato to go soft and the cheese to dry out.
I’d recommend making this appetizer in the morning or afternoon on the day of enjoying. Once they’re made just loosely place some plastic wrap around the serving tray and store it in the refrigerator.
How Can I Make This Appetizer Healthier?
Instead of using meat, bread, and Colby cheese you could use cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. For the tree toppers, you could cut a star out of bell peppers.
To do so, cut the pepper into quarters, cut off the top and bottom, and then remove the seeds. Using a sharp knife, slice away the ribs and then place the cookie cutter on the inside of the pepper.
Keep in mind that these ingredients do have higher water content. So to prevent soggy trees dab the cut-out ingredients with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.
Do I Have To Cut The Butter Lettuce Into Star Shapes?
Not at all, cutting the lettuce with the star-shaped cookie cutter can be tricky since it’s so thin. Instead, you can just carefully tear the butter lettuce. Regardless, the trees will still look just as nice!
This Cute Christmas Tree Appetizer is one that will be talked about for years to come for its deliciously festive layers! Grab another crowd-pleasing appetizer to serve up to your friends and family this holiday season!
- Cranberry Orange Meatballs – Prep this delicious appetizer in just 5 minutes by combining 4 ingredients in a crockpot!
- Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce – Make your shrimp appetizer shine with this homemade cocktail sauce that packs a punch of flavor!
- Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip – An easy-to-make recipe that includes two methods to make it either creamy or hearty!
- Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs – Sweet, tangy Swedish meatballs friends and family will devour in no time!
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Feta – Feta cheese and pecan pieces are stuffed into dates, wrapped in bacon, and then coated in maple syrup!
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Christmas Tree Appetizer
- Sharp knife
- Tiered star shape cookie cutters
- Serving tray
- 8 slices wheat bread
- 6 slices colby jack cheese ¼ inch thick pieces
- 28 slices summer sausage ¼ inch thick pieces
- 6 cherry tomatoes halved
- 12 Leaves butter lettuce
- toothpicks and star shaped cookie cutters
- Cut six slices of colby cheese from a block and 12 slices of summer sausage, all about ¼ inch wide.
- Use your cookie cutters to cut out 24 (12 large, 12 medium) stars out of your bread slices.
- Then take your cheese slices and cut out 36 stars (12 large, 12 medium, 12 small).
- After that, cut out 36 stars from your summer sausage slices (12 large, 12 medium, 12 small).
- Make sure to press down firmly to get a nicely cut edge for each star shape.
- Slice each of the cherry tomatoes in half and dab the cut side on a paper towel to soak up the excess juice from the tomatoes.
- Cut 12 stars out of the butter lettuce (or you can tear 12 small pieces of lettuce if you don’t want to mess with using the cookie cutter for this part, it will look just as nice)
- Place all your star shaped cut outs into the fridge for about 10 minutes before assembly as the ingredients tend to get warm and wilted while they are sitting on the counter.
- Take the start shaped pieces out of the fridge and assemble the appetizers by first turning the cherry tomato cut side down and inserting a toothpick into the center. Carefully layer all the ingredients horizontally on the toothpick in this order: Large sausage star, large cheese star, large bread star, large lettuce, medium sausage star, medium cheese star, medium bread star, then top the toothpick with the smallest cheese star vertically. Make sure to carefully place each of the pieces on the toothpick to avoid tearing and lightly stack each layer, don’t smoosh them down.
- Arrange the finished appetizers on a serving tray and if you have additional star cutouts of any of the ingredients, decorate your plate with them for a festive look!
- This project can be a little tedious but once you make one app, it’s pretty easy to assemble the rest! And if you want to change up the look of some of the appetizers you can just swap a few ingredients – use cubed pepper jack cheese for the base of the trees and top the trees with sausage stars instead of cheese stars!
- Storage Instructions: Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days wrapped tightly in cellophane.
- What other cheeses would work well for this recipe? You could really use any semi hard cheese which will cut well with a small cookie cutter. Some other alternatives would be monterey jack, swiss, pepper jack, provolone, or gouda. You could also make all of the appetizers using the same type of cheese instead of using a variety.
- Can I make this ahead? It is best to put this together the day you plan to serve it. Otherwise, the tomato may go soft, and the cheese will dry out. It will be fine made early in the day and served later. Just place some plastic wrap loosely over your serving tray and keep it in the fridge.
- I would prefer to make a healthier version of this appetizer – any ideas of what I could use to make something similar? You can use cucumbers, fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes to make the trees, instead of colby cheese, bread and meat! And for the top star, you could cut a star shape out of a bell pepper. Cut the pepper into quarters. Cut off the top and bottom of the pepper and remove the seeds. Then use a sharp knife to slice away the ribs. Place the cookie cutter on the fleshy (inside) of the pepper and press through the pepper. Assemble like the example, just make sure to dap the cucumber and tomatoes before assembly since the water content is much higher!