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Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

These 5-Ingredient Puff Pastry Appetizers Are Impossibly Easy

updated Dec 6, 2019
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If you don’t already have some stashed away, now’s the time the pick up a box (or three) of frozen puff pastry. It’s one of our favorite grocery store shortcuts year-round, but come holiday time, it’s also the starting point to easy and impressive appetizers. The buttery sheets are incredibly versatile and come out of the oven with puffed, flaky layers guaranteed to wow any crowd.

Here’s how to turn the freezer-aisle staple into five fast and fancy appetizers using five ingredients or fewer.

5 (5-Ingredient) Puff Pastry Appetizers

The puff pastry: Each recipe starts with a 17-ounce box of frozen puff pastry that contains two sheets. The puff pastry should be thawed according to the package instructions before using, and it’s best thawed in the refrigerator, if possible. While these recipes use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, any brand will work.

Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

1. Cranberry Brie Bites

Thaw 1 (17-ounce) box frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) according to package directions. Heat oven to 400ºF. Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Cut 6 ounces Brie cheese into 1-inch cubes. Refrigerate while you prepare puff pastry. 

Unfold each puff pastry sheet and cut into 9 squares (18 squares total). Press each into a mini muffin tin well. Add 1 Brie cheese cube to each well. Top with 1/2 cup cranberry sauce or chutney (1 teaspoon per well) and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (1/2 teaspoon per well). Bake until puffed and lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

Get the full recipe: Cranberry Brie Bites

Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

2. Everything Bagel Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Thaw 1 (17-ounce) box frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) puff pastry according to package directions. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unfold puff pastry sheets onto a work surface. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons everything bagel spice. Flip sheets over and sprinkle with 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese and 2 more tablespoons everything bagel spice.

Roll each sheet into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Fold each sheet in half widthwise to form a 10×6-inch rectangle. Roll each one out again to a 10×8-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 8 (1-inch-wide) strips. Transfer strips to baking sheets, spacing them an inch or so apart. As you set them down, twist the ends in opposite directions to give them a spiraled look. Refrigerate 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. Bake until puffed, crispy, and deep golden-brown, 20 to 23 minutes.

Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

3. Spinach-Artichoke Pinwheels

Thaw 1 sheet puff pastry according to package directions. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Squeeze all excess moisture from a thawed 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach. Drain and coarsely chop 1 (14-ounce) can or jar artichoke hearts packed in water. Place spinach, artichokes, 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well until combined. 

Unfold puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Spread spinach-artichoke mixture evenly over dough. Starting at a short side, roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Freeze 15 minutes. Cut log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place cut-side up on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and golden-brown, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving warm.

Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

4. Wild Mushroom Tart

Thaw 1 sheet puff pastry according to package directions. Heat oven to 400ºF. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 2 thinly sliced shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Stir in 16 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; continue cooking until mushrooms release their liquid and it cooks off, 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a 10×16-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with mushrooms and 5 fresh thyme sprigs. Bake until puffed, lightly browned, and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into 6 squares.

Get the full recipe: Wild Mushroom Tart

Credit: Images: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

5. Pizza Pockets

Thaw 1 (17-ounce) box frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) puff pastry according to package directions. Unfold both sheets on a lightly floured work surface. Cut each sheet into 9 squares (18 total). Place 9 of the rectangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 heaping cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese onto rectangles (2 tablespoons each), leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with 1/2 cup marinara sauce (2 teaspoons each) and 1/2 cup pepperoni slices, if using (2 slices each).

Brush a thin layer of water on edges of each rectangle. Top with remaining pieces of puff pastry; tightly seal edges with a fork. Cut a vent in the top of each pocketRefrigerate the pizza bites and heat the oven to 400ºF. When oven is ready, bake until puffed and golden-brown, 20 minutes.

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.