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Make your own ham & cheese pockets from scratch using my simple pizza dough, ham, and your favorite cheese. They’re total comfort food and easier to make than you think! See my recipe notes for freezer-friendly instructions.

ham and cheese pockets with one pocket cut in half showing ham and cheese filling

Will you just look at these?! Homemade pizza dough + ham & cheese = handheld bliss!

You may have grown up eating microwaved hot pocket snacks. Though I really don’t buy them anymore, I’m not ashamed to say that I loved them. (And still do!) A few years ago, I actually started I making my own using homemade dough. You can freeze them, microwave them, eat them on the go, etc. And, the best part of all, you can definitely taste the homemade difference!

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets Video

ham and cheese pockets

Homemade Dough Ingredients

Have you ever made my pizza dough before? I hope you have– it’s the only dough I’ll use for homemade pizza. It’s really simple to make and is actually the same dough we use for today’s ham & cheese pockets. You can also use it to make garlic knots, pepperoni pizza rolls, and cheesy breadsticks, too!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the dough:

  1. Yeast: I use Red Star Platinum yeast. I have the best results when I use this instant yeast. The Platinum yeast is fantastic because its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. You’ll see and taste the difference. I’ve been a fangirl for years! You only need 1 standard packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons).
  2. Water: I tested this dough recipe with different amounts of water. 1 and 1/3 cups is the perfect amount. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F. Anything over 130ºF kills the yeast.
  3. Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in this recipe. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs.
  4. Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough.
  5. Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
  6. Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.

Though the warm ham & melty cheese filling is fantastic, the crust is the best part. This bread tastes phenomenal!

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

2 images of dough in a glass bowl after rising and dough cut into 8 pieces

Overview: How to Make Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

Here’s a quick overview of the process. For full instructions, scroll down for my complete recipe.

  1. Make the dough.
  2. Divide the dough. Slice the dough in half, then cut each half into quarters. You’ll have 8 pieces of dough for 8 homemade pockets!
  3. Shape the dough. Flatten each piece of dough into a rectangle (about 4×6 inches). Place the shaped dough onto prepared baking pans.
  4. Add ham & cheese. Place the ham and cheese on one side, then fold the dough over to fully enclose it.
  5. Pinch the edges. Seal the pockets up as best as you can– use a fork to crimp the edges.
  6. Brush the sides & tops with egg wash. The egg wash helps brown the tops and gives each a beautiful sheen.
  7. Cut 2-3 slits into the tops.
  8. Bake.
  9. Enjoy! They 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!

rolled out dough for ham and cheese pockets

ham and cheese on top of pieces of dough for ham and cheese pockets

2 images of ham and cheese slices and brushing egg wash onto a ham and cheese pocket

ham and cheese pockets

Two Other Filling Ideas

You can use this dough and recipe to make other flavors of homemade pockets. Here are two of my favorites.

  1. Chicken, Broccoli, & Cheese Filling: Mix 2 cups chopped cooked broccoli, 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (such as rotisserie chicken), 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 Tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt, plus a pinch of salt and pepper together. Spoon/spread onto the 1 side of your dough rectangles (as you do with the ham and cheese) before folding up/assembling.
  2. Pepperoni Pizza Filling: Spread 1 heaping Tablespoon of your favorite pizza sauce onto the 1 side of each dough rectangle (as you do with the ham and cheese). Divide 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup of mini pepperonis between each and layer on top of the sauce.

ham and cheese pockets with one pocket cut in half showing ham and cheese filling

More Surprisingly Simple Homemade Breads

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ham and cheese pockets with one pocket cut in half showing ham and cheese filling

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pockets 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


Make freezer-friendly homemade ham & cheese pockets with this easy recipe!


  • 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 (438g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), 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)* 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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Warm Environment: 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.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: ham & cheese pockets

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!

overhead image of a variety of bagels

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. OH my goodness! Made these tonight and it’s teenager approved! I did do half of them with spinach and ricotta and it was delicious. The dough is spot on. I’m going to try and freeze a couple. Sally, I’ve been trying your recipes for sooo many things and this one ALSO did NOT disappoint. Keep having that ‘baking addiction’ because it feeds into mine.

  2. I made these for dinner on Friday night and as a novice baker, my husband sure was impressed that I pulled them off! I made pizza pockets instead of the ham and cheese… a pepperoni version and deluxe (pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms & peppers).

    I was hoping to freeze some to reheat later… except we ate them all!

  3. Made the pockets with roast beef and sharp cheddar. The dough was easy to work with. Beautiful when they came out of the oven. Froze one and heated it in the microwave on plate covered with a bowl for 3 minutes. The crust came out very tough. Any suggestions on how to avoid having the crust become tough?

  4. These look amazing and I’m planning on trying these today. My question is if I wanted to make broccoli and cheese, would you blanch the broccoli first or put it in raw? Thanks for the great recipes!!

  5. Oh my goodness, I love you ☺️ I made these pockets tonight, altered of course , got 6 with sausage, olives, mushrooms and cheese and 6 with corn kernels, olives, mushrooms and cheese…. My kids are in heaven THANK YOU!!!

  6. These are so good!!! Easy homemade hot pockets. Want to try a pizza version next time.

  7. These were amazing! I have never made dough before and your recipe was so easy to follow. I want to bake every day all day because of this recipe! And the familiar taste I was hoping for from those crazy ingredient loaded ones in the freezer aisle was there, but 100 times better. I’ll be making all of the pizza and the cheese bread, etc etc etc.

  8. I made these the other night. I used your pizza dough recipe. While they tasted delicious, the bottoms of mine were “tough.” Any ideas? I love working with yeast-risen dough, but don’t know what happened. Thank you!!

  9. Love love love this recipe! I had some left over sliced ham. I made this for my husband and myself. We have some left over and I will scramble eggs in the morning to scoop into heated up left overs.
    Thank you for the great recipe.

  10. I’m currently stuffing my face with these as I type. They are absolutely delightful! The dough was super easy and turned out fluffy on the inside but brown/crispy on the outside. My filling consisted of deli turkey, pepperjack & cheddar cheeses, fresh onion & mushroom & olive chopped small. Everything was small enough to cook inside the pocket while baking. I had no issues with leaking filling nor burnt bottoms; cooked all 8 pockets at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. They are equally tasty dipped in pizza sauce or mustard. Sadly, there will be no leftovers to test their freezing capabilities. Will definitely make again using a variety of fillings. Thanks Sally & team!!

  11. Twice a month we make your pizza dough for beginners. We ADORE it. I came across this idea while re-reading the blog post for the 25th time. Let me just say we will be adding this into our meal plan from now on!! The dough is so simple, and then I make a batch of these and freeze them, warm them in the microwave and crisp the crust up using my air fryer! Sooo good! My 3 and 6 year olds ask me for these (and our salami and cheese pockets) daily! Thanks Sally!

    We’ve done these variations so far-
    BBQ pulled pork pockets with onion
    Pizza pockets- salami, pepperoni and plain cheese.
    Mini caprese pockets (basil pesto, tomato and mozzarella)
    *i also sprinkle sea salt and herbs fitting the sandwich on every pocket!

  12. Love love love these! They are beyond addicting! I was wondering if this recipe could be easily doubled. I’d like to make a big batch; some for now, some for later.

  13. These are delicious! I could see my yeast trying to explode but didn’t do so until I sprinkled some sugar in with it then It foamed & I continued with the recipe. I followed the instructions to a “T”, that was my only issue. Did I do something wrong? Would it taste the same without the egg wash? Mine ran down the sides & baked underneath making the bottom slightly tough

  14. I made these and my whole family LOVED THEM!!! I’ve been making these ever since and we just die a little bit every time because they are sooooo good. Will be trying more of your recipes, Sally!

  15. I made these to have for lunches for the week. They didn’t last a day! They were so easy and delicious! I think I will try pepperoni pizza ones next time!

  16. These were amazing. The dough came together so easily and I filled them with a leftover cheese and herb mixture I had sitting in the fridge. They were so soft and chewy–and the dough itself is delicious! Next time I’m going to fill them with some cheddar cheese and turkey slices. Thanks Sally for another amazing recipe!

  17. Made these today for lunch and the family LOVED it! I didn’t have enough All Purpose flour so I used Bread Flour. I sifted my bread flour and my dough turned out beautiful! I was so happy! lol Can’t wait to do this recipe again when I have enough All Purpose flour. Great recipe and adding to my lunch rotation.

  18. Can’t find hot pockets around here in any store, Viola! Your recipe pops up…so I’m giving it a go…simple enough..I think making these a couple times, I could have them perfected to look like yours!
    Great fun trying new recipes!

  19. My 17 year old son made this recipe as an exercise for his high school foods class. I thought it odd that the sugar was not added to the initial water & yeast mixture, as this is common when proving yeast. He thought the yeast was dead, until I told him to add the sugar and it came right to life. Red Star Platinum yeast is not available here, so we used another brand of instant yeast. According to the Red Star website, their “platinum” yeast includes soy flour, so this would likely feed the yeast and allow it to prove in warm water without the addition of sugar or another ingredient the yeast could eat. A bit confusing for someone not familiar with how yeast works. Ultimately it works, but you must be confident in your batch of yeast.

    Also, my son might have been a little stingy with the fillings, but ours turned out a little bready and bland. Any “turnover” type pastry really needs to be crammed full of filling to balance the bread, especially since it will have a “crust” where it’s sealed that has no filling at all. This recipe could really benefit from some more flavourful ingredients as well, like a sauce, or spices, or a condiment such as mustard. The kind of thing you’d put on a ham & cheese sandwich. There’s a reason the commercial ones are usually filled with pizza ingredients – it’s more saucy and flavourful.

    All that said, it was an easy recipe to follow, and baked up nicely. Thanks.

    1. Based on your review, I put some Dijon mustard in mine to add some flavor, and they came out wonderfully! Highly recommend adding some Dijon mustard.

  20. I made these tonight with half whole wheat and half white flour. The dough was soft with a really nice chew. These ham and cheese pockets were very tasty and they would be good with any fillings you could dream up. We dunked ours in pizza sauce and next time I might try squirting a little bit of mustard and adding some red onion inside before I seal them up. 20 minutes cook time was perfect in my oven. Thanks for the great recipe.

  21. Hi Sally!
    I made these for the second time yesterday and they are so delicious! My family loves them. I made two batches, so I had a lot of them left over to freeze. I didn’t have time to bake them all, so I ended up freezing them uncooked. I know you said it’s best to cook them, then freeze. Do you have any thoughts on what temp and time I would cook them from frozen given that I froze them uncooked?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Marie! You can assemble then freeze the unbaked pockets. I recommend lowering the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) to really make sure those frozen pockets cook in the center. Bake time should be around 30-32 minutes, give or take.

  22. I had to add an entire extra cup of flour because the dough was so soft and sticky that it was completely unworkable—but somehow, these pockets still worked out! My husband and I both really enjoyed these for supper, and the one I had for lunch today reheated nicely. We’ll be making the pizza version soon!

  23. These were delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe. I made traditional ham and cheese and also made salami, mushroom, and Monterey Jack! How do I reheat them in the oven if they’ve just been refrigerated?

  24. I made these last week with sliced ham (1/2 BlackDiamond cheese slice and 1/2 grated cheddar) and they were soooo good! Made them this week with ham chunks (same cheese combo) and they were good; better with sliced ham. Tried with a Philly cheese steak filling … OMG … 1 recipe dough, 11 oz beef tenderloin, 1 small onion, 1 green pepper, s&p to taste, sauteed separately, add provolone, bake … so good. Will try with taco meat next. Thank you, thank you, absolutely delish!

  25. Recipe is fine. All the work i went through to make them is time consuming. NEVER use parchment paper at 400 degrees. Now I have burnt parchment paper, a house filled with smoke, and black char one one side of them. Had to remove the parchment paper and flip them. Turned down the over to 350 as well. Anyone makes these be careful to watch them every 1 minute to ensure no burning if you follow the 400 rule

  26. Question , the pizza dough make 2 pizzas. Are you using all the dough from one recipie to get the 8 hot pockets? Or are you using only half of the dough recipe. Thanks.

    1. Hi Brandi! You use the full pizza dough batch (enough for 2 pizzas) to make this recipe for 8 ham & cheese pockets.

  27. Do you have a gluten free version or know the best flour I could use for gluten free? I get very sick from gluten.

    1. Hi Kim, we haven’t tested this recipe with GF flour, but many of our readers report success using 1:1 swaps with brands like Bob’s Red Mill or Cup4Cup. If you give anything a try, we’d love to know how it turns out for you.

  28. Wonderful! I stuffed these with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese because I wanted the pizza pocket version, and the stuffing did leak out of some of them a little bit but that wasn’t a big deal. The taste is fabulous and so much better than store-bought. I enhance my jarred pizza sauce with oregano and red pepper flakes to give it more flavor and spice.

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