Get fun and festive with your jalapeño poppers this holiday season and serve them as a Christmas Tree! The poppers require just a handful of ingredients and the tree is so easy to pull together with a pretzel stick trunk, cubed cheddar cheese gifts and bell pepper ornaments.
Jalapeño Popper Christmas Tree
Don’t serve regular old jalapeño poppers this holiday season! Turn up the festive fun and make a Christmas tree platter! The poppers on their own are so delicious, with both red and green colour in the filling from the roasted red pepper and chives. A true flavour bomb that your guests will love.
Ingredients In a Jalapeño Popper Christmas Tree
For the poppers you’ll need
- Jalapeños – 13 large
- Cream cheese
- Fresh chives
- Roasted red pepper – I use jarred to save time
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sea salt
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Grated parmesan cheese
To make the tree you’ll need
- Bell pepper – to make the garland and the star
- Cheddar cheese – cubed to make gifts. Use your favourite variety of cheese!
- Pretzel sticks – to make the tree trunk
- Other items for decorating (optional) – small cherry tomatoes or sliced olives would be great choices!
How to Make a Jalepeño Popper Christmas Tree
1. Preheat the oven to 425 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prepare the jalapeños: while wearing food prep gloves, slice off the top third of each jalapeño and scoop out the seeds. I like to use a serrated grapefruit spoon, to make this easier.
3. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, chopped fresh chives, chopped roasted red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt.
4. Prep the topping: on a plate, mix together the grated parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
5. Fill each jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture, then press the cream cheese side of the popper into the breadcrumb topping. Place on the baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 °F, then broil an additional 2-3 minutes until the popper topping starts to turn golden brown. Cool for a couple minutes until they’re safe to handle.
7. Arrange the poppers into a Christmas tree shape and add the pretzel trunk, cheddar cheese gifts and bell pepper ornaments. Serve while warm!
How to make a bell pepper star
- Cut 3 small pieces of bell pepper: Two of the pieces need points on both ends. The trick is to cut both ends of the slice of bell pepper at the same angle. The third piece needs a triangular point on just one end.
- Trim a toothpick to about a third of its length. Line up the three bell pepper pieces as shown in the picture below, and poke the toothpick through from the top.
Can I make these gluten free?
Yes! If you prefer not to use breadcrumbs, you could skip the topping and top with crushed potato chips after baking.
Tips for Success
- Wear gloves while preparing the jalapeños! You do not want to mess with the jalapeño seeds! They will burn your fingers (and anything else you happen touch afterward…like your eye), so protect yourself!
- Prepare the tree ornaments ahead of time or while the poppers are baking, so that the platter will come together quickly once the poppers are baked. The goal is to serve the platter to guests while the poppers are still warm.
- Watch the poppers while they’re broiling to ensure they don’t tip over or burn.
Other festive holiday recipes
Leave a comment below if you have any questions and follow along on Pinterest for more great meal ideas!
Jalapeño Popper Christmas Tree
For the Poppers
- 13 large jalapeños
- 8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped small (I use jarred to save time)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
For the Christmas Tree
- Bell peppers
- Cheddar cheese, cubed
- Pretzel sticks
- Preheat oven to 425 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- While wearing food prep gloves, slice off the top third of each jalapeño and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. A serrated grapefruit spoon makes this easier!
- In a medium bowl, mix together 8oz room temperature cream cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, 1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
- On a plate, mix together 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs.
- Fill each jalapeño with cream cheese mixture, then press the filled jalapeño into the cheese and breadcrumb mixture to create a topping. Place on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes until the topping is turning golden brown. Watch the poppers carefully to ensure they don't burn or tip over. Cool for a couple minutes until they're safe to handle and arrange on a platter in the shape of a Christmas tree. Use pretzel sticks to make a tree trunk, cubed cheddar for gifts and decorate with sliced bell pepper or your favourite raw vegetables cut into ornament shapes.
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