Giada Says Her Crostini Christmas Tree Will Be "the New Star of Your Holiday Dinner"

A holiday appetizer that requires just six ingredients and almost zero cooking? Count us in! 

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The holidays can be so stressful—especially when it comes to planning the perfect menu. Most holiday dishes can be intimidating or time-consuming (think: perfectly roasted prime rib, homemade mashed potatoes and almost-too-pretty-to-eat desserts). So whenever we can find a shortcut to make our holiday hosting a little easier, we jump on it. Giada De Laurentiis recently posted a six-ingredient appetizer that is super festive, easy to make and requires almost no cooking: her crostini Christmas tree.

The full recipe for this crostini Christmas tree can be found on De Laurentiis' website, Giadzy, though it's so simple to make you may not even need it. Giada says in the recipe's description, "This Crostini Christmas Tree is about to be the new star of your holiday dinner…We're all about keeping things as easy as humanly possible while still having fun (because the last thing we need is to stress over food!)."

To get started, you'll need a large cutting board or serving platter (like this one from Crate & Barrel, $60) to assemble your crostini Christmas tree. Next, you'll need to grab a baguette cut into ½-inch slices, a cup of pesto (it can be store-bought or homemade), a cup of small mozzarella pearls, a cup of halved cherry tomatoes, plenty of fresh basil and a larger piece of fresh mozzarella cut into a star shape.

Giada De Laurentiis on a designed background next to The Crostini Christmas Tree
GIADZY, Getty Images / David Becker

Begin by brushing your baguette slices with a little olive oil and toasting them in the oven at 450℉ for 5-7 minutes. When the bread has cooled, top each slice with a spoonful of pesto. Next, arrange your pesto-topped bread on top of your fresh basil leaves into the shape of a Christmas tree on your platter. Top each slice of baguette with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls. Lastly, add your mozzarella star at the top of the tree.

We love this recipe because it looks festive and beautiful, but still takes some of the pressure off of the host this holiday season. Plus, who wouldn't love bread with pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes? You could even switch up the presentation and turn it into a Caprese wreath—just don't forget the festive holiday cocktails or mocktails!

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