Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

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.

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

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

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

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.

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets | sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

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.

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

More Surprisingly Simple Homemade Breads

Print

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
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


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 (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

Filling

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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!

Bagel varieties

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

160 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. 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! 

  2. 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!

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

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

  4. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    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!

  5. 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 🙂

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

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

  7. 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:)

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. Kaytee Postma says:

    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???

    1. It should work out just fine using crescent rolls 🙂

  11. 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

  12. Hi 

    What other fillings will work with this recipe.

    tks

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

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

  14. Grace Abella says:

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

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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!

    1. I think that would work just fine!

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

  19. 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

    1. I love all your suggestions!

  20. 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 

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

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

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

  22.  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!  

    1. 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?

      1. 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!

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

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

  25. 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

  26. 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!

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

  27. Amber Stevison says:

    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!

    1. 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.

  28. Erica Guevara says:

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

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

  29. 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?

    1. Enough for 2 pizzas 🙂

      1. 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 

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

1 2 3 4

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×