Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Pizza Bread with Marinara

Christmas is almost here, and I’ve got one more treat that I just had to share. This adorable Christmas tree pull apart cheese bread is a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love and takes just minutes to make. I’ve made this appetizer many times for family and friends and they have all loved it. It especially goes over well at pot-luck’s and other get-togethers. Everyone will ask you for the recipe!

For this Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread, I used Pillsbury pizza crust, cut in equal squares to make the pull-apart cheese bread. For my tree, I used the Pillsbury’s artisan crust to make it a little more healthy. But you can also just use the regular Pillsbury pizza dough, or even a homemade pizza dough. Most grocery stores also now have a fresh pizza dough available for sale in their bakery departments that would work well too.

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread

I also stuffed the little dough balls with cheese before forming the dough into the shape of a Christmas tree. For the cheese, I used a combination of cream cheese and shredded Italian Blend cheese. You can also use a combination of ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella. Feel free to add Parmesan for even more flavor. My son had so much fun helping me with this tree too. Kids love to play with dough!

After I spooned the cheese filling onto each piece of dough, he helped me form the balls and arrange the dough on the cookie sheet. After baking it, I brushed my tree with melted butter and minced garlic and then sprinkled it with freshly chopped basil and rosemary. You could also use fresh basil and Italian parsley too, or any other combination. It was so easy!

pull apart tree

Make Christmas Tree Pull Apart Pizza Bread

To make a Christmas Tree Pull-Apart pizza bread recipe, just add a little take a slice of pepperoni and wrap it around the cheese before placing the pizza dough on it. This makes a wonderful pepperoni pizza Christmas tree pull apart. Then just served with warmed pizza sauce for dipping. You could also add a sliced of cooked Italian sweet or spicy sausage or a leaf of fresh basil for a delicious vegetarian option.

Make Christmas Tree Pull Apart Garlic Bread

To make a Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Garlic bread recipe, skip stuffing cheese into the dough and just ball up the dough and place on a cookie sheet in the form of a Christmas tree. Then mince 3 – 4 cloves of garlic very fine and combine with melted garlic. Brush over baked pull-apart bread before serving. You can also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with a marinara dipping sauce. This is a wonderful crowd-pleasing variation!

Roasted Garlic Christmas Tree Pull Apart Rolls

To make a roasted garlic Christmas Tree Pull-Apart bread, roast a whole head of garlic in the oven and remove from the skin. Combine with melted butter and brush over the baked Christmas Tree Pull Apart. Then sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs and serve with a homemade marinara sauce.

Marinara Dipping Sauce for Christmas Tree Pull Apart Pizza Bites

For the marinara dipping sauce, I just used my favorite jarred marinara sauce, and heated it before placing it in a small dipping bowl. It pairs perfectly with these Christmas Tree Pull Apart Pizza Bites. You can also just use any spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce you have in the pantry or a homemade marinara sauce.

How to make Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread

recipe photo

Yield: Serves 8

Christmas Tree Pull-Apart

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1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated artisan pizza crust with whole grain or Pillsbury® refrigerated regular pizza crust
4 oz, or half brick, cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend shredded cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced very fine
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil and rosemary
1 cup warmed marinara sauce for dipping


Heat oven to 400°. Lay pizza dough on a work surface and stretch to a 10 x 15 inch size. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 36 equal squares. In a small bow, combine cream cheese and shredded cheese. Mix well.

Add one tablespoon of the cheese mixture to each dough square. Make a ball with the dough, sealing the edges. Place on a cookie sheet in a Christmas tree form as shown in the photos above. Bake for 15 - 17 minutes, or until golden brown.

After removing pull-apart from the oven, brush with butter and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve pull apart with marinara sauce.

All text and images © / Eclectic Recipes
*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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Christmas Tree

This Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread Recipe is a perfect recipe for holiday entertaining, taking to work or school parties and community or neighborhood parties too! If you love this recipe, be sure to Pin Me!

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FAQ for Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread Recipe

Can I make these ahead of time?

These are best made fresh and baked right away.

Can these be made vegetarian?

Sure, just be sure to not use cheese, or use vegan cheese. And also use a homemade pizza dough recipe where you can control the ingredients.

Can this recipe be made low sodium?

Yes, just omit the cheese and salt and substitute NoSalt if you can eat potassium rich foods. And also use a homemade pizza dough recipe where you can control the ingredients.

Can this recipe be made sugar free?

Yes! Use a homemade marinara recipe that doesn’t use added sugar like traditional jarred sauces. And also use a homemade pizza dough recipe where you can control the ingredients.

Can this recipe be refrigerated and reheated?

It can, but it will not be nearly as good. This recipe is best eaten fresh out of the oven.

Can I add food coloring to the pizza dough?

Yes if you make a homemade pizza dough recipe, you can add red and green food coloring to the dough.

Can I use fast acting or rapid rise yeast for the pizza dough?

Yes, just be sure to use a recipe that specifically calls for fast acting yeast.

Can I use frozen and defrosted bread dough?

Yes! That would be a great idea!

Can I use biscuit dough?

Yes! That would also work well.

Can I stuff meatballs in the dough?

Yes! Stuff any type of COOKED meatballs in the dough and get creative!

More Recipes that might be useful for Christmas Tree Pull Apart Cheese Bread Recipe

Homemade Pizza Crust 3 Ways – A great pizza dough recipe

Meatball Bites – This recipe can be made into a festive tree too!

Bourbon Chicken Balls – This recipe uses meatballs and biscuits that can be used in this recipe too!

Master Pizza Dough – a great pizza dough recipe that uses fast acting yeast

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  52 Responses to “Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. JulieD — December 22, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    OMG I love this, Angie!! Just genius! Merry Christmas to you!!

  2. Marly — December 22, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    What a great idea! I love this and would love to do this for our family dinner. Thanks for the inspiration and happy holidays to you!

  3. Shaina — December 22, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    So, I have to bring bread tonight to a Christmas dinner. I just added this to my shopping list. Love it!

  4. Cassie | Bake Your Day — December 22, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    This is adorable, Angie! What a fun treat for the holidays!

  5. Shana — December 22, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

    I wonder if any pizza dough would work? I live in Toronto’s Corso Italia neighbourhood so all the local bakeries also sell balls of raw dough for like $1.50. What was the cheese filling you did? I’m going to make this for my inlaws Christmas – it looks so pretty!

    • Angie — December 23, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

      I think so. Recipe is added above. Thanks!


  6. Belinda @zomppa — December 22, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    What a beautiful beautiful treat! Want to eat them all!

  7. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — December 23, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    What a clever idea! I will have to make this for our Christmas dinner.

  8. Vesna — December 23, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    What a great idea! How did you make the cheese filling? And did you roll the balls after you stuffed the rectangles with the filling?

    • Angie — December 23, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

      Just updated, recipe is added, sorry about that!

  9. Patricia | The Answer Is Cake — December 23, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    This is inspired! So simple yet so clever. I love recipes like this – great work!

  10. KJack — December 23, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    What is black cream cheese? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.

  11. Tasha @ ThatsSoYummy — December 26, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

    This is such an adorable idea.. Love it!!!! Merry Christmas hun!

  12. Jacinta — November 28, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    Love the Christmas tree idea … you inspired me to shape my own homemade bread into a Christmas tree for a party earlier this week. I posted a photo on my blog
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Tuplaespresso — December 3, 2013 @ 6:48 am

    Brilliant idea! Thank you 🙂

  14. Carla S — December 4, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    This is such a great idea!!!!!!!!!!I’ve never seen something like this.I’m going to get the ingredients to make this in a couple of days.

  15. Roe Clark — December 4, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    OMG! looks delicious…so quick and easy…definitely making this one for Christmas eve get together with the family 🙂

  16. Dorothy Holschbach — December 4, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    These look so good and pretty easy to make I will try them

  17. Char G — December 4, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

    This sounds nice and easy and so yummy. I love the cheese stuffing inside. Will be making it very soon.

  18. Beverly Stiltner — December 4, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

    This sounds really good. Will try it.

  19. K.C. Munoz — December 5, 2013 @ 12:25 am

    I love the idea of using this recipe at my Christmas Party!!! A perfect touch for my dinner table!

  20. Carrie L — December 5, 2013 @ 7:03 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  21. Gweneth Powell — December 5, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    It sounds really good and also simple.

  22. Rebecca Boivin — December 6, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    What fun….. And such a great idea for a whimsical appetizer…. Thanks!

  23. Arlene Brands — December 10, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    Can this be made a day before?

  24. Anonymous — December 10, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    What a wonderful idea! This will be coming to our work Christmas party. Thank you so much.

  25. Kelsey Benne — December 12, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    Literally JUST tried this! Grabbed blindly for a can of pizza dough, got thin crust and thought for sure that would ruin it. Nope it seems this is fool proof! I also just cut mozzarella cheese sticks into 3-4 pieces and used that as the cheese. I also popped in a couple slices of pepperoni on half of them and that worked out well too! Again, FOOL PROOF and I love it! I didn’t have fresh herbs so I used some seasonings I usually put into bread dipping sauces and it turned out so tasty.

    • Angie McGowan — December 16, 2013 @ 9:24 am

      so glad you liked the recipe!

  26. Olivia — December 19, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    This looks amazing! I’m planning on making this for Christmas Eve, but wanted to know if you bake the garlic into the bread or brush it on top after it bakes?

  27. michelle — December 20, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    i havent tired this yet, but i think it will turn out most deliciously when i do try it with Christmas dinner leftovers, combine turkey,stuffing ,cranberries, and potatoes with some gray to dip them in..mmmmmm going to for sure try this combo!!!!!

  28. Jerry — December 23, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    Who doesn’t love bread and cheese? I think I ‘ll invest the time to make my own dough. Can’t wait to try it.

  29. Carolyn — December 24, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    Trying it tonight with trader joe’s dough…no hydrogenated oil then! I’ll let you know how it goes!

  30. Jeanne Cocco — December 26, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    Made this for Christmas Eve while working on the “7 fishes celebration”…it was gone in 5 minutes!!! We had to make another one! It is much better when done with the artisan crust. Regular Pillsbury pizza dough is thin…it works but not as well!

    I will be makiing this quite often!

  31. Anonymous — December 28, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    Just made this recipe! It’s great, but there are actually 32 balls, not 36, so after I stretched out the dough, I cut it as a 8×4, so make sure you stretch it into an 8×4 rectangle. Before cutting the dough, I spread the cheese mixture over the whole thing which makes forming each ball much easier then scooping. Also, I sprinkled extra shredded cheese on top of the spread cause who doesn’t love extra cheese? For the garlic, try blending it in with the cream cheese and adding a little salt and pepper. It’s delicious!

  32. Michelle — December 28, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    ust made this recipe! It’s great, but there are actually 32 balls, not 36, so after I stretched out the dough, I cut it as a 8×4, so make sure you stretch it into an 8×4 rectangle. Before cutting the dough, I spread the cheese mixture over the whole thing which makes forming each ball much easier then scooping. Also, I sprinkled extra shredded cheese on top of the spread cause who doesn’t love extra cheese? For the garlic, try blending it in with the cream cheese and adding a little salt and pepper. It’s delicious!

  33. Regina — October 7, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

    Looks delicious! What do you do with the minced garlic? It’s not in the instructions. I assume mix it with the cheese?

  34. Vicky B. — December 4, 2014 @ 3:10 am

    This looks so amazing and delicious! I must make it.

  35. Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    I am thinking about taking this to work Christmas party. Do you think it would be OK to make the night before?

  36. Sue S — December 5, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    The instructions for the garlic are in the text of your blog but not the recipe. Raw garlic can kinda bite a bit so maybe melting the butter and garlic together might take the edge off of the garlic.

  37. Donna B in Colesville; Md — December 12, 2014 @ 9:40 am

    Can’t wait to take this to a potluck, how pretty and fairly easy.

  38. Linda — December 17, 2014 @ 9:15 pm

    Can this be prepared ahead of time and then baked at serve time?

  39. Donna — December 18, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    Is there another purpose for adding cream cheese other than taste? I am not crazy about cream cheese so wondering if I can just use mozzarella by itself,

    • Angie McGowan — December 20, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

      I think that would be fine, the cream cheese is just to make it creamier 🙂

  40. Mary — December 22, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    Can I make it at the night before and it be kept in thr fridge or freezer?

    • Angie McGowan — December 23, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

      I’m sure you could, the fridge would be better I think.

  41. Pusdienas — August 1, 2016 @ 5:15 am

    That really looks nice. And what a great idea. Definitely will try this, this year.

  42. Lil B. — November 11, 2016 @ 3:18 pm

    I think you just rescued me! I’m a 70-yr-old Mom who for 50 years has stuck to very plain, basic foods, simple cooking — kind of a meat & potatoes cook. However, my daughter has become somewhat of a self-taught, experiment-prone gourmet cook, and unlike me ( who sticks to “safe” recipes), she cooks for sheer fun! So when she comes to visit, I’m at a loss for a special treat that says “I made something special just for you”. I feel slightly out of my element with anything beyond the basics. This recipe is so simple, looks so pretty, and sounds so very tasty — I don’t think that even I could foul it up! When our family visits at Christmas, we all end up rooting around in late evening for good munchies, and this will undoubtedly be a huge hit (I’d probably better make 2 batches!). Best of all, my gourmet daughter will be totally impressed that I managed to pull this off —– a delicious surprise from her culinary-timid Mom!! You have rescued me in advance, and I owe you a hearty thanks. Now I can stop worrying and just enjoy my kids and grands!! :o)

  43. Diana — December 19, 2016 @ 2:08 pm

    Loved it and I did it and looked amazing. Wish I cud post the picture to show it to U! Thank U so much ans Merry Christmas!

    • Angie McGowan — December 21, 2016 @ 9:25 am

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  44. Jake — December 24, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

    This recipe is great! I started adding some prosciutto to the cheese mix and this year I started adding prosciutto and pancetta. You can probably use pepperoni, ham or any other type of meat you would like to add. It adds a little extra to it.

  45. Judy — January 24, 2017 @ 8:12 am

    Made for a winter party. Missed Christmas for this. A real hit. Rolled the dough around small mozerella balls. Loved it.

  46. Madison — December 22, 2017 @ 4:02 pm

    How long does it take to make?

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