10 Ways to Turn Puff Pastry into an Easy, Fancy App

updated Jun 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Oriana Koren)

There are a few things that my freezer is never without: A pint (or two) or ice cream, a rotating variety of pesto that I’ve made, and a box (or two!) of puff pastry. The frozen dough makes me an appetizer champ (after years of throwing a bowl of olives on the coffee table). All you have to do is let it thaw on the counter or in the fridge and you have a base for any number of flaky, buttery, crowd-pleasing snacks that bake up in a flash.

Here are 10 recipes to get you started.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

A wheel of gooey baked brie is a surefire way to impress a crowd. Even though it looks impressive, however, it’s incredible easy to make and infinitely adaptable — bake it plain or stuff it with everything from jam and caramelized onions to honey and nuts.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

In order for the butternut squash to be thin enough to cook quickly on the puff pastry base and make for an appetizer that bakes in just 20 minutes, reach for a vegetable peeler and shave it thinly into long ribbons.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

While traditional Indian samosas aren’t made with puff pastry, using this shortcut means you can bake homemade ones in no time at all. This tasty recipe gives you three fillings — sirloin and pea, curry chicken, and mango and jaggery — to choose from.

(Image credit: Oriana Koren)

Gather whatever cooked greens you have leftover from last night — be it kale, spinach, collards, or Swiss chard — roll them up in puff pastry dough with some crumbled feta, and you have a ridiculously satisfying party app in minutes.

(Image credit: Michael Wiltbank)

These cute little stars are sprinkled with smoked paprika before baking to add immediate flavor without even trying. While we love the star shape, feel free to use any small cookie cutters you have for these.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

While this cheesy chicken tart makes for a hearty appetizer, we wouldn’t blame you if you were tempted to bake it for a quick dinner instead — especially when served alongside a simple green salad.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

These elegant appetizers are inspired by classic crab dip — puff pastry is cut into squares to fit into a mini muffin tin, then topped with a creamy, Old Bay-spiced crab filling.

(Image credit: Michael Wiltbank)

Pizza before dinner just may be the best idea of all time. Puff pastry, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes makes for two-bite margarita pizzas that are guaranteed to be a hit.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

While it’s tempting to grab a box of cheese straws from the store for a quick appetizer, you’d be surprised by just how fast they are to assemble yourself. Plus, making them from scratch means you can use your favorite cheeses in the mix.

(Image credit: Michael Wiltbank)

I encourage you to make a couple batches of these puff pastry pinwheels. Then keep them unbaked in the freezer to bake off as many as you need at a moment’s notice when hungry friends decide to drop in.