Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets

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

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

I grew up eating microwave hot pocket snacks. Not ashamed to say that I still love that super cheesy comfort food! 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.

You’re going to fall in love with these homemade ham & cheese pockets. 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.

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 including garlic knots and cheesy breadsticks, too!

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 dough recipe. It’s so easy. You can’t mess it up!

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

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, and bbq chicken & cheese.

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

For freezing instructions, see my recipe note. 🙂


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


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 (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


  • 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!

Bagel varieties

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


  1. 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!!!

  2. 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 

  3. 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!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!!

    1. 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.

  8. 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

  9. This receipt looks great! Would it work using your whole whole pizza crust recipe, or would it require some modifications?

  10. These look wonderful! I’m working on a freezer stockpile for after my son is born, and I’m excited to add these to the list! How long do you think they will keep in the freezer?

  11. I’ve made these before, they turned out perfect and the whole family absolutely loved them! I made these tonight and for some reason they continued to rise in the oven therefore opening and losing all of their fillings… I used the exact same ingredients including the same yeast and followed the directions to a T. Not sure what happened this time. Nonetheless they still tasted great, even with the insides spilling out!

  12. Just bought a few pounds of gyro meat from my local Greek place, and large tubs of feta from Costco. Going to make gyro-feta Pockets and portion out tzatziki sauce in 2 oz disposable containers to keep in the fridge for on the go treats!

  13. Made these for the first time last week, but making them again today as my children really loves them and wants them for their packed lunch. I made a pizza version with peperoni, tomato sauce and cheese, yum. I tried other recipes for pizza pockets but they all came out a bit dry. This dough was perfect, soft and kept the shape well. Thanks for a great recipe

  14. How would you make the sauce that’s in ham & cheese hot pockets? They’re not the same without that marvelous sauce.

  15. Just made these for breakfast / lunch today and they are fabulous. Your pizza dough recipe is so versatile and easy to work with.

  16. I’m going to make these tomorrow. But I’m going to do scrambled egg sausage bacon and beans. Proper cooked breakfast, easy to eat. Wish me luck! Just a thought how well do we think scrambled egg freezes and I was thinking just reheat from frozen, would my ingredients be ok for that. Sorry! And thanks.

    1. Hi Andrea! We don’t want the dough to rise too much after the pockets are shaped– otherwise, they would split open.

    2. Would these be good served cold? I was considering making some for my daughter to take tp school for lunch but she doesnt have a way to reheat them

  17. They turned out delicious! I did ham/cheese filling, pepperoni and cheese and plain cheese with sauce to dip in. I also sprinkled pepper, salt, garlic powder and sesame seeds on top before baking. STILL THINKING about them!! Thank you.

  18. These were so fun and tasty! The dough is divine—easy enough to handle for my 3&5 yr old to help me assemble the pockets. A big hit with my family and so wonderful for a freezer option. We’ll see if these ever last long enough to try the frozen version!

  19. I come back to this recipe again and again. I’m using it to make freezer meals this time so I can cut down on time spent cooking during the week. Tried pepperoni and mozzarella this time. They turned out beautiful!

    1. Try moistening the tips of your fingers and sealing them shut with your hands instead of a fork– sometimes I do that and it works very well!

  20. First time posting of any recipe I’ve made. I try and do at least one new one a week. And ever night at dinner I ask make it again or no. (House full of picky eaters I usually get at least one saying no) everyone said yes!!! It was super easy to make. I made it while the older kids were in school and then put in the fridge until dinner time. I did have to start over because my 4 yr old helped and killed the yeast the first time.
    I’ll be making this for sure more often. And will try some different things inside. Maybe tacos one time!!!! So yummy and such an easy one to make different foods.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. I was hoping to be able to upload a picture…. but no such luck. I have my own pizza dough recipe, but thought that I would try yours. I use my bread machine on a regular basis to knead all kind of doughs that I make. (Under priced stand mixer)…. This one, even though I weighed my ingredients, I needed to add more flour into the dough as it was mixing. It rose super well and then I had to add minimal flour to the rounds. I made broccoli, ham and cheddar. But just by eyeballing it so I was short for filling for two dough pieces…. But no issue, I am making more dough tomorrow and filling them with pepperoni, cheese and sauce. I did brush them with an egg wash and let them rise again after filling them. They are huge luscious beauties.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to make this work for you! You can always share a photo with me by emailing it to me or tagging me on social media! I LOVE seeing photos of what everyone bakes!

  24. 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?

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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