Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Will you just look at these?! Homemade dough, hot ham and cheese, hand-held bliss!

I grew up eating microwaveable bricks of dough and cheese, aka hot pockets. How about you? Not ashamed to say that I still love those pockets of comforting cheesy goodness. Not a huge fan of all the junk and artificial flavor packed inside, so I started making my own. We’re talking real ingredients. That you can see, taste, and pronounce.

Kevin and I are obsessed with these homemade ham & cheese pockets. In fact, obsessed doesn’t even cut it. Downright addicted. Lately I’ve been freezing all the extras for a quick and easy lunch, snack, meal, etc. We’ve been on the go nonstop with new house stuff, so they’ve been remarkably convenient. Just microwave the frozen pockets for about 2-3 minutes and you’ve got hot and melty pockets with real food packed inside. They’ll be your food obsession too!

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Have you ever made my homemade pizza crust before? I hope you have– it’s the only homemade pizza crust I use. And it’s actually really simple to make- like, much easier than you’d expect with a homemade dough. The reason I ask if you’ve ever made it before is because we’re using the exact same miraculous dough to make today’s homemade ham & cheese pockets. 1 dough = many uses!

For exceptional tasting dough, I always use Red Star Platinum yeast– the reason I always recommend this yeast to you? Like a broken record? Their Platinum is a premium instant yeast, strengthening and improving the quality of your dough and the finished volume. You’ll see and taste the difference. Trust me on this.

The dough is pretty basic– for complete step-by-step photos and explanations for the simple ingredients used, here is my homemade pizza crust recipe page. Lots of thorough info there! You can’t mess it up.

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Once you have the foolproof dough made– about 10 minutes prep and a 1 hour rise– begin assembling! Here’s how it’s going to go down: the pockets are made by dividing the dough in half. From each half, you’ll get 4 pockets. So this dough (while making TWO pizzas) makes 8 homemade ham & cheese pockets. Take a look at the video above to help guide you.

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s flatten out each piece of dough into 6×4 inch rectangles. They don’t have to be perfect rectangles as evidenced by the ugly shapes above– you’re really just going for a flat surface to top with the ham & cheese.

(Speaking of ham, you can totally use leftover Easter ham in these!)

Place the ham & cheese on one side, then fold the dough over to fully enclose it.

How to make homemade ham & cheese pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Press down the edges together to seal, then use a fork to crimp them down so nothing spills out. (Though cheese may ooze out a little– still tasty! Embrace that melty goodness.) Like pie crust and other pastries, we’ll brush the top of the pockets with an egg wash. The egg wash helps brown the top and gives it its sheen as it comes out of the oven. Pretty, right? ↓ ↓

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The homemade ham & cheese pockets are incredible right out of the oven because the bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a miracle in hand-held form. Just be careful when taking that first bite because the center is very hot! Obviously burnt my tongue.

Though the warm ham & melty cheese filling is fantastic, Kevin and I both agree that the CRUST is the best part. This bread tastes phenomenal and you probably know that already if you’ve used this pizza dough as pizza crust before. How delicious does it taste?! Like I mention above– we’re using the exact same dough recipe for this, though there is a little less rise time required because we aren’t as concerned with a bread-y, puffy crust. We really just want dough to wrap around the ham & cheese filling. Does that make sense?

I’m already dreaming up other variations like pizza pockets (pepperoni or sausage!), cheese & broccoli, bbq chicken & cheese… if I make different flavors, I’ll share the recipes on my blog for sure!

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For freezing instructions, see the last step. 🙂

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water, about 110°F (43°C)
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk

Filling

  • 8 slices cheese or 2 cups shredded (I use sharp cheddar)
  • 16 thin slices deli ham or 2 cups cubed ham

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy. If the yeast doesn't dissolve or foam, your yeast is dead. Start again with active yeast. Add flour, sugar, olive oil, and salt. Mix by hand or with the dough hook on low speed for 1 minute. Once all of the ingredients are mixed, slowly knead for 7 minutes by hand or with your dough hook on low-medium speed. If your dough is too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger - if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been greased lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment (about 75°F or 80°F/24°C or 27°C)1 for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Once risen, punch the dough down to release the air. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, slice dough in half. Then slice each half into quarters. You'll have 8 pieces of dough, as shown in the photo above. Flatten each piece with your fingers or use a rolling pin. You want each piece of flattened dough to be about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. They don't have to be perfect rectangles, as you can see in my photos! Transfer flattened dough to the baking sheets. Place the cheese (I fold the slice in half) and ham (2 slices for each) on top of the dough on one side, then fold the other side over top. Pinch the edges to seal as best you can. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Brush the tops and sides of each pocket with egg wash, then slice 2-3 slits in the tops for air vents (use a super sharp knife to do that).
  5. Bake the pockets for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Make sure to rotate the baking sheet once or twice during bake time. Remove pockets from the oven and allow to cool on the pan until ready to handle and serve.
  6. Make ahead tip: The pockets can be made through step 4 then covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Then bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked pockets, which is what I do. After the pockets cool, wrap them individually in aluminum foil and freeze. Then microwave for 2-3 minutes on high or bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes. No need to thaw. To make just the dough ahead of time, see freezing and thawing instructions in my pizza crust post.

Recipe Notes:

1. For the warm environment, I heat up my oven to 200°F (93°C). Then, I turn the oven off and keep the door slightly opened. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, I close the oven door to trap warmish air inside. If you are not using an instant yeast, your dough will take longer to double in size.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Also freezer-friendly: homemade bagels! I take you through each step, so you fully understand what’s happening. They’re surprisingly simple to make, too!

How to make homemade bagels! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m working with Red Star Yeast to bring you today’s recipe. Thank you for helping me work with brands I love!

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on sallysbakingaddiction.com

103 Comments

Comments

  1. Hannah on March 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Made these yesterday to use up lunch meat before it could go bad. I did turkey breast and cheddar and also roast beef and provolone. They were excellent and great for a quick meal!

  2. Jill on March 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    These are a game changer for us! I made these the other day and froze them. We have eaten a few, and they are very yummy. I love how versatile they are; I made a vegetarian version and the ham and cheese version, but can envision all sorts of variations to please everyone in the family. 

    The only difference from your recipe for me was that I only needed to reheat from frozen for 1 minute in my microwave. I tried two minutes and it came out hard as a rock (the commercial pockets do need a couple minutes in my microwave – not sure why these were different). I’m sure we will be making many of these pockets in the future. Thanks, Sally! 

  3. Jill on March 30, 2016 at 8:09 am

    I made these last night, using our leftover Easter ham. After using your pizza dough recipe for pizza, calzones, and now these pockets, I am a convert to your recipe. It’s so much lighter than my other dough recipes. Yay!

    • Sally on March 30, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      To be honest, I have yet to make calzones with it!

  4. Devan on March 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    How did you know this is what I wanted??? Mhhhmmmmmm.

  5. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture on March 31, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Oh my gosh these look amazing! It’s rainy here today and I feel like these would be the perfect pick me up… that cheese!

  6. Gillian on April 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I made these the day you posted them, and my husband & kids loved them! Thanks Sally, I just love everything you post. My family is happy because ever since I discovered this site a few months ago, I’ve been baking like CRAZY. Haha 🙂

    • Sally on April 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Happy you all love them! Let me know other recipes you try, too!

  7. DONIZETTE on April 6, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    These were delish really enjoyed them the kids and hubby loved them . Also stuffed them with tuna ,corn,cheese

  8. Alyssa on April 16, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Hey Sally! I can’t wait to try these, they look sooo good! Do u think a cheesy garlic bread sort of filling would work?? Also would high grade flour work for these? Thanks:)

    • Sally on April 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

      High grade/strong flour would work wonderfully. Let me know any fillings you try! I plan to try a pizza filling soon 🙂

  9. Delaney on April 25, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Hello! I made these the other day and they are delicious, but mine burned on the bottom before the top seemed done. Cooked them on silicone baking mats. I had the rack 2/3 down in the oven, so maybe that was the issue? I also had cheese flooding out of my vents! I think I’ll try putting the cheese on bottom next time, lol. I love that these can be eaten any meal of the day!

  10. Rebecca on May 1, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Sally! Thanks for what looks to be another great one for the recipe book. Have you tried adding scrambled eggs to the mix yet? A hearty breakfast is always my stress and I’m thinking this could be a solution. What do you think?

  11. Kaytee Postma on May 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    I scrolled through but didn’t see my question . . . Could I use, maybe store bought crescent rolls for this instead of homemade dough? I’m not Betty Crocker at all. I also think my picky eater would eat these if she could assemble them herself. What are your thoughts???

    • Sally on May 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

      It should work out just fine using crescent rolls 🙂

  12. Gabriela on May 23, 2016 at 1:37 am

    This is a great recipe !! Made this tonight for tomorrow’s lunch and the family couldn’t get enough of them. Thank you for sharing

  13. Johan on June 1, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Hi 

    What other fillings will work with this recipe.

    tks

    • Marissa on August 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      I think you could really do any kinds of fillings. Hot Pockets has many different kinds.

  14. Megan on June 2, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I made these for my family and they gobbled them up. These are so delicious, thanks for sharing!!! 

  15. Grace Abella on June 20, 2016 at 4:03 am

    I tried this recipe last day and my kids really love it…almost perfect!

  16. Sarah B on July 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve been making quite a few of your recipes lately and these were amazing! I also made a cheddar and broccoli filling and a Nutella and marshmallow filling, it oozed a bit but was fabulous!

  17. Liezl on July 17, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Hi sally! Can i use cooking oil instead of olive oil? Thanks

  18. PIa on August 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Hello – I see that I can make this dough ahead and freeze! Rather than 12 hrs in the fridge and then 30 minutes rest, could I do 8 hours on the counter from frozen? I ask because my timeline from work to home to dinner is tight, and I could use the extra 30 minutes to get these in the oven! I would rather not freeze the pockets themselves due to space restrictions in my freezer.
    thanks!

    • Sally on August 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I think that would work just fine!

  19. Megan M on August 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Wow! These look amazing! I’ll definitely be trying these for work lunches sometime soon.

  20. Kathy on August 4, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I am going to make these this weekend but I am going to do turkey and Lorraine swiss. Roast beef and swiss with sautéed mushrooms would be good too. I bet crumbled bacon in the turkey would work. These sound delish! How about proscuto (sp) and mozzeralla with sundried tomatoes or olives. Ummmmmmmmm

    • Sally on August 5, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I love all your suggestions!

  21. Nichole on August 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    I used the ingredients correctly and my dough was very sticky even after using the extra 1/4 cup of flour. Is this normal for dough? When I tried to shape it into a ball it’s more like a lump haha. This is my first time making my own dough so not sure about anything. 

    Thanks 

    • Sally on August 17, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Some stickiness is actually perfect– that means the dough will be nice and soft. I don’t think you did anything wrong!

  22. Angela on September 11, 2016 at 12:36 am

    We love them, but we wish to add something maybe to the dough to give it a little more flavor, any suggestions??

    • Sally on September 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      How about some herbs/spices like thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, italian seasoning?

  23. Cat on September 15, 2016 at 2:16 am

     My family used to love hot pockets, until I read the ingredients and stopped buying them. Yuck!  It never occurred to me to make my own.  Sally, you rock!  I’ve made these with ham and cheddar; left over roast beef with provolone; and turkey and swiss so far.  I’m thinking pepperoni (precooked and drained) and mozzarella with a little homemade marinara might be next,  just need to figure out a way to keep the marinara from making the bread soggy. (Any ideas on that front?) The kids and grandkids love these, and they are so much healthier and cheaper than the ones in the freezer section of the grocery store, not to mention much, much better tasting.  If I ever lose your awesome recipes I’m going to have to close my kitchen. Yeah, I use that many!  

    • Sally on September 16, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Haha! You are too funny. And so many great ideas you have!! What if you left the sauce out and used it as a dipping sauce instead?

      • Cat on September 17, 2016 at 1:17 am

        That’s a really good idea! Obviously, I’m going for a pepperoni pizza hot pocket with this combo.  My granddaughters like to dip their pizza slices in cheese or marinara sauce so sauce on the side would be right up their alley!  When I saw your reply my first thought was ‘She’s had pizza with my girls!”.  My second thought was “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!”.  As always, Sally, you rock!



  24. Amanda on October 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

    These look so good! Good for an easy lunch during the week! Thank you so much for sharing!

  25. Lynn on November 27, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    You can use Rhodes dinner rolls! Let them rise, then roll them out thin on a floured surface. So easy and the perfect size!

  26. Sina on December 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Sally,
    just checking in after the holidays and – I found these upfront in the left corner on your start page?? Ok, my kids and I decided we had to make them today! So delicious and such a great idea for a “late afternoon coffee and early kids dinner”-combination like it happens frequently these days. Only alteration: I skipped the egg wash and brushed the pockets with a little milk instead, works just as well. And I’m thinking of making them even smaller next time, like half the size, because they were really big for my three-year-old 😉
    I’m also contemplating yesterday’s cinnamon roll cookies but I’m craving mostly savory stuff right now, after all that (unquestionable delicious!) christmas cookies…
    Thank you for another great and easy to make recipe! Sina

  27. Erin on January 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I am in the process of making these right now. If the family likes them I will be making all different variations of them. I pack my kids lunch everyday for school and these would be great!

    • Sally on January 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      They are so good for packed lunches! Would love to hear what varieties you make!

  28. Amber Stevison on January 3, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Any recommendations to double the dough recipe? Should I just use two separate bowls and keep recipe the same or can you double the ingredients and use one bowl? I know that’s not always an option. We have a large family and the kids will gobble these up, as they have all the recipes I have made from your site!

    • Sally on January 3, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Hi Amber! Great question. Truthfully, I would make 2 separate batches of dough. I’ve had trouble doubling certain dough recipes like this and the resulting taste/texture is always a little off.

  29. Erica Guevara on January 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Is it possible to do these with a different type of flour like whole wheat?

    • Sally on January 7, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Hi Erica! You can try using half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour instead of ALL all-purpose.

  30. Brenda on January 13, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Big weekend for football fans and good football food!!
    I’d like to cheat and buy the pizza dough from local pizza joint. How much dough do I need?

    • Sally on January 14, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Enough for 2 pizzas 🙂

      • Brenda on January 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

        Oh boy. 
        I just bought a 3 lb bag of dough. 
        I used a scale and divided into 1 lb balls and put 2 lbs in freezer and 1 lb is rising now. 
        Not enough is it 



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