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This fun and festive Christmas Tree Antipasto Platter only takes 20 minutes to put together and will look so pretty on your holiday table!

christmas tree antipasto platter.

Antipasto Christmas Tree

You know I really like making cute food like turkey pretzel dinner rolls and a snowman cheese ball but I wanted something specific for Christmas.

A charcuterie board is a staple for serving at a holiday party but turning those ingredients into a fancy looking tree is perfect to serve before your Christmas dinner.

What is antipasto?

Stemming from Latin, antipasto translates to “before meal”.

Typically made of small portions served on a platter, family-style, antipasto is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. It is meant to stimulate the appetite before the main course.

Antipasto includes appetizers of small plates including cured meats, cheese, olives, and pickled treats. 

If you’re not into trees, try my christmas wreath antipasto platter!

Why you’ll love this Christmas Tree Antipasto Platter

Festive holiday app – This unique treat is such a fun addition to the Christmas appetizers lineup.

Work of art – It looks really impressive but is honestly simple enough for for anyone to make. Don’t be intimidated!

Flavorful – All the flavors of this antipasto Christmas tree work so well together with the salty cured meats, creamy mozzarella, and fresh tangy tomatoes.

Customizable – I love making this because you can use your favorite antipasto ingredients to create your tree – red bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto slices, cheese cubes, fresh fruit, etc.

overhead shot of a tree shaped antipasto platter.

Things you’ll need

Ingredients for your Christmas Tree Appetizer

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Fresh herbs – rosemary and springs of parsley – both for color and flavor!
  • Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes come in a variety of colors. I like to pick up the medley from Sam’s Club that comes in red, orange, and yellow.
  • Olives – A variety of olives like Italian castelvetrano olives (a bright green olive with a buttery-sweet flavor) and kalamata olives (dark brown, almost purpleish with a smooth, meaty texture). Any blend of colors/sizes/flavors you like.
  • Cheeses – Mozzarella balls (pearls) are easy to work with.
  • Cold Meats – Calabrese (an Italian sausage), peppered salami, and capicola (a tender, smoky cured pork).
  • Garnishes – A high quality olive oil and coarse salt to finish the tree off.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make an antipasto platter.

How do you make a Christmas tree appetizer?

  1. STEP ONE: First, lay out a large serving platter and start at the top of the tree with rosemary sprigs.
  2. STEP TWO: Next, work on the layers of tomatoes, olives, cheese, meats, making each wider than the one above it so it takes on the Christmas tree shape.
  3. STEP THREE: Then, use small sprigs of rosemary and leaves of parsley to fill in any empty spots and add depth – unless you’re going for a Charlie Brown-thin tree look.
  4. STEP FOUR: Finally, use a pastry brush to lightly brush olive oil all over the tree and then sprinkle with coarse salt.
collage of 4 photos showing the building of an antipasto platter shaped like a christmas tree.

How to serve it

  • Keep some toothpicks on the table and small plates so people can load up.
  • If you have leftover ingredients, you can place the extras in separate small bowls throughout the dinner table for grazing. 
  • The tree itself should not sit out any longer than 3 hours.

Tip ⭐️

For extra festive fun, use a small star cookie cutter to make salami stars or cut a piece of cheese into a star shape for the top of the tree.

What to serve with your Antipasto Christmas Tree

Crackers, grainy mustard, and sweet honey and fig jam goes nicely with this antipasto board.

This also goes great with crusty bread and butter, crostini toasts, pretzel sticks, and nuts (like my savory lemon pepper almonds). 

More Appetizers

Alongside the cold tray, try some warm finger foods like buffalo chicken egg rolls, cheesy asparagus puffs, and bacon wrapped little smokies.

Drinks

To wash down all the salty deliciousness, try a drunk rudolph milkshake, cranberry apple cider, or a cranberry prosecco spritzer.

Desserts

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without Christmas cookies!

Try some fun reindeer “poop” cookies, easy rum balls, ginger snaps, and peanut butter blossoms.

Additional Options 🎄

Additional add-ons to dress up your festive antipasto tree: roasted red pepper strips, artichoke hearts, black olives, prosciutto, genoa salami, sweet soppressata, any cured meat of your choice, cheese tortellini, cubed cheese, or any other type of tomato that you prefer.

There are so many yummy options so have fun being creative!

Try drizzling balsamic vinegar over the top. 

How to store leftovers

The tree can be kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.  

closeup of an antipasto platter with cheeses, olives, and meats.

FAQs

What is typically on an antipasto platter?

Antipasto is usually a combination of vegetables, olives, cheeses, meats, peppers, breads, and crackers.

Other common names: mezze, tapas, or antipasti.

How many does it serve?

It should serve around 10 people.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes. You can serve it immediately or you can place it in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly, up to 24 hours before serving.

If you plan to make this ahead of time, wait to add the olive oil and coarse salt until just before serving. 

Need more appetizer recipes? Try these:

Italian Hoagie Dip

Baked Brie with Pecans & Honey

Rotel Dip with Ground Beef

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Click here for my entire collection of appetizer recipes.

collage of photos showing a tree shaped antipasto platter.

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

christmas tree antipasto platter.
5 from 2 votes

Christmas Tree Antipasto Platter

Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
This fun and festive Christmas Tree Antipasto Platter only takes 20 minutes to put together and will look so pretty on your holiday table!

Ingredients
 

  • 3-4 ounces fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups Italian Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 cups kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese balls
  • 1 cup pepperoncini halved
  • 3-4 slices calabrese
  • 3-4 slices peppered salami
  • 3-4 slices capicola
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  • Lay out a large serving platter. To the top, add 3-4 sprigs of rosemary as the top of the tree, cutting with kitchen scissors to get the right topper.
  • Next, place the cherry tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, pepperoncini, and cured meats in a row. Each layer will get wider so as to create the shape of a Christmas tree, alternating colors.
  • Cut sprigs of rosemary and leaves of parsley and tuck them into any empty spaces.
  • When ready to serve, use a pastry brush to brush the olive oil over the tree and sprinkle on coarse salt.
  • Serve & enjoy!

Notes

Tree can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.
Assembled tree should not be left at room temperature more than 3 hours.
Leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a week. 
Additional add-ons to dress up your festive antipasto tree: roasted red pepper strips, artichoke hearts, black olives, prosciutto, genoa salami, sweet soppressata, any cured meat of your choice, cheese tortellini, cubed cheese, or any other type of tomato that you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 666IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!


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