Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Freezer-friendly comfort food goodness! Homemade Hot Pockets on

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

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 |

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 |

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

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets |

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

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

For freezing instructions, see the last step. 🙂

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets


  • 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


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


  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!

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


  1. Thanks for the great step by step instructions they made the pockets a breeze make.

  2. Oh my goonies! I made these for the first time today and I’m OB-SESSED!!! I doubled the recipe and made 4 different fillings; ham and cheddar, ham and provolone, turkey and provolone, a pizza pocket with pizza sauce, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. I’m a bit of a chicken fiend  so I can’t wait to try a chicken pocket next time. This recipe made its way onto my “Stapel Recipes” list. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  3. I made your original recipe, very good, then I did turkey, spinach & brie version a little dry but tasty I will try again with some other cheese maybe swiss. Last night is make pizza pockets OMG, basic tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese lots of cheese. yummy.
    I love your site, everything I made was amazing. Thank you 

  4. OMG thanks for the recipe!!!…. I’m from Mexico and I use to buy something similar, your recipe taste better!
    I made them and my kids love them!!

  5. I will try the pockets.  Sounds so good.  I was wondering if you think I could strain pizza sauce to remove seeds or any idea
    How to make own sauce and remove the seeds.   I. Do have a few frozen tomatoes.  Maybe when fresh ones come out.
    Thank for  any ideas.

  6. My Bottoms burnt 🙁 I don’t know what I did wrong. 22 mins on silicone lined pans

  7. Have you made a breakfast version of this? Something with ingredients like sausage, egg, and cheese? Just wondering how you think that would turn out. Thanks!

  8. Good recipe, followed exactly as directed. My only challenge was that, despite sealing the edges with a fork, the seal opened and a good amount of cheese oozed out….There must be a way to keep the contents inside as my mother used to make calzone (italian name for these pockets) all the time and I dont recall her ever having this issue!

  9. Hi Sally! I am very excited to try and make this amazing pockets of yours! All I have is an instant yeast, would it be possible to use that? I saw your note about not using instant yeast and it will take longer to rise. I am assuming you are using the instant one? thanks so much!!

    • Hi Kate! You can use instant yeast or active dry yeast (I prefer the Red Star Yeast Platinum line which is an instant yeast). IF you use active dry, the rise time will be slightly longer. But not with an instant yeast.

  10. I like your pizza dough. try diced shrimp and crab meat with a dollop of cream cheese and a dash of hot sauce and add your own seasonings like a little white pepper Nice web site

  11. Can I use whole wheat flour instead without making any other changes to the recipe? 

    • Hi Jessica! You can use whole wheat flour, but the bread won’t be as soft. That’s ok, I don’t think it makes a huge difference especially with all that delicious filling.

  12. Questions (this sounds great!): If I want to make a really huge batch, do you think I could double or triple your recipe in a 7 quart stand mixer? Wondering how many separate dough batches I’d need to do vs. simply increasing the batch size. I’m also curious if you think it would work to put the original size recipe in a bread machine on dough cycle up to the point where you take it out to shape the dough. I wish more blogs like yours would offer bread machine instructions for the dough part of recipes since it’s nice to be able to walk away from recipes if you are chasing a lot of other stuff! Thanks so much. (Oh, and if anyone does try breakfast ones let me know how it goes, I’d be afraid the baking process would overcook precooked scrambled eggs and can’t imagine putting them in raw, but I’d love a successful recipe for breakfast ones!).

    • Hi Jess! You can double this dough recipe, but I wouldn’t triple it– just wouldn’t want there to be any issues with rising or shaping working with that much dough. I don’t own a bread machine, so I’m not apt for making suggestions using one. So sorry!

      • Sally, thanks so much for your kind and helpful reply! I can’t even imagine how many comments you must get, it is super impressive (and helpful!) you would take the time to reply. 🙂 You are officially my favorite of the bloggers I follow for doing this.

      • Thanks Jess 🙂

  13. Could I put these ingredients into my bread machine using the dough cycle? Have you had any experience with that before?

  14. Can I freeze these, and then microwave them (wrapped in a paper towel) to warm them up? I’ve done it with another ham and cheese hot pocket recipe, but am not sure that these are freezer friendly

  15. Wow Sally! I made these last night with turkey and cheddar, and these are absolutely divine! It’s one of the best things I have ever made! Thank you so much for another amazing recipe! They actually turned out better than I accepted, and just like the picture!

  16. I don’t have a mixer, is there something else I can use for the dough

  17. Love this recipe and make it for our family of 5 every other day!  I use my bread maker on dough mode and add a bit of Italian seasoning!  Wow it’s a game changer!  Thanks for this awesomely delicious and easy recipe!  Now if I could only manage to freeze a few haha! 

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