Tips from The Kitchn

This Viral Pinterest Dish Actually Works (and Is Delicious)

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

I've seen enough round-ups of Pinterest fails (and just very strange food ideas on Pinterest in general) to approach some of the recipes with a healthy dose of skepticism. That being said, when I see something that intrigues me, I'd rather give it a go myself than assume it won't work. With Christmas just around the corner, I kept seeing this spinach and artichoke Christmas tree re-pinned on my feed (it's been pinned more than 400,000 times!), and I had to find out: Could I really cut, fill, twist, and bake a can of pizza dough into a golden, crisp, dip-stuffed tree, or would I end up with a big blob on my baking sheet?

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Breadsticks Are the Real Deal

To my delight, my edible Christmas tree came out looking almost identical to the one making the rounds on Pinterest. A big part of this had to do with the detailed steps and photos provided by the original recipe on the blog It's Always Autumn.

You start with a can of pizza dough, which makes this super-easy and a great contender as a last-minute party appetizer. After creating two triangles out of the dough, you spread one with a simple homemade spinach-artichoke dip, sprinkle with cheese, place the other triangle on top, cut slices from the center to edge, then twist to form the "branches." As it bakes, the dip inside bubbles and warms and the pizza dough browns and crisps, creating a cheesy golden breadstick bake with a built-in dip.

What I love most about the Pinterest tree is that it's the cutest appetizer for any type of Christmas get-together, but also tastes just as good as it looks.

Get the recipe: Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Breadsticks

What to Know If You Make It

1. Use any canned pizza dough you like. Although the recipe calls for a can of refrigerated thin-crust pizza, I used this "classic" crust from Pillsbury and it worked great — my tree was likely just a little smaller than hers.

2. You likely won't use all the spinach artichoke dip. I felt like if I used the full amount of dip, I wouldn't be able to cleanly roll the filled dough, so I left some out. But no one's ever complained about some bonus spinach artichoke dip! If you want to make this recipe even easier you can start with store-bought dip, but just make sure it's not too runny, or it may leak out in the oven.

3. Use mozzarella in place of cheddar. The original recipe gives you an option of either, but I find mozzarella pairs better with the spinach-artichoke flavor profile, and melts great, too.

4. Season the breadsticks before baking. After you've assembled your tree, brush the whole thing with butter and top with garlic powder, flaky salt, and Italian seasoning before baking. This adds flavor and gives it that signature breadstick vibe.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman