Homemade hot pockets are a delicious alternative to traditional pizza and they also make for a fun surprise in lunch boxes. Your kids will love making this easy recipe, too!
Why you’ll love it: It’s easy to customize the hot pockets with different sauce, cheese, and fillings.
How long it takes: 15 minutes of prep, plus 15 minutes of cooking
Equipment you’ll need: baking sheet, pastry brush
Servings: makes 8 hot pockets
This homemade hot pockets recipe was created with my kids in mind. They love all things pizza (what kid doesn’t?) and I wanted a recipe that we could prepare together.
Now, “homemade” is being used very loosely here. We’ll just clear the air before anyone gets too riled up. To keep this recipe easy, kid-friendly, and with a short ingredient list, I use store-bought pizza dough.
Another admission: I haven’t actually had a real Hot Pocket since middle school, so I can’t promise these homemade hot pockets are a perfect copycat. I can promise that you don’t have to put them in a creepy silver and cardboard tube in the microwave.
These homemade hot pockets are like a handheld calzone, portable, filling, and delicious!
Reasons to Love Homemade Hot Pockets
- Fun to make with your kids. Get them involved in rolling out the dough and pressing together the edges with a fork. And, of course, they’ll love being able to choose their own fillings. (Also fun to make with the kids are these air fryer bagel bites or air fryer hand pies.)
- Guaranteed winner. Even picky eaters can’t refuse pizza! Like my stuffed pizza bites, pizza pasta ( a dinner winner made in one pan!), and English muffin pizzas, homemade hot pockets will be a hit with everyone in the family.
- An easy lunch or snack. Homemade is often short for “requires a whole heck of a lot of work.” Not the case here, friends! Just 15 minutes of prep and a short list of ingredients, then the oven does all the rest.
- Customizable. Since you’re DIYing it, you can fill these up with just about anything! The recipe is written for a pepperoni pizza hot pocket but keep reading for lots of ways to change it up.
- Store-Bought Pizza Dough: Use a ball of dough, canned dough, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a batch of homemade pizza dough.
- Pizza Sauce: Choose whatever you like to use on your pizza. Marinara or another pasta sauce will also work. Homemade hot pockets are no time for pizza purism!
- Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese: A shredded Italian cheese blend also works well in this recipe.
- Mini Pepperoni: Can’t find mini pepperoni? Regular pepperoni is fine, just roughly chop it for the recipe.
- Egg: The tops of the hot pockets are brushed with a lightly beaten egg which helps the toppings stick and gives a nice golden brown surface.
- Toppings: You can sprinkle the crust with grated Parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, oregano, or garlic salt after adding the egg wash, or leave them plain.
How to make Hot Pockets
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal portions. Roll one piece of dough into a four to five inch square or round.
Spread 2 teaspoons of sauce in the middle, then add 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon pepperoni on top. It’s tempting to really pile on the cheese and meat but you’ll find it’s better to limit the filling in order to prevent oozing as they bake.
Carefully fold the dough into a pocket and crimp the edges together with a fork.
Place the finished homemade hot pocket on the prepared baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining dough and fillings.
Brush the top of each hot pocket with beaten egg. Sprinkle on any toppings you’re using, then bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Filling Ideas for Homemade Hot Pockets
- Ham and cheese hot pockets: Omit the pizza sauce and use ½ cup finely diced cooked ham (or leftover crockpot ham!) in place of the pepperoni and 1 cup cheddar cheese (or any cheese you like) in place of mozzarella cheese.
- Veggie pizza hot pockets: Add sautéed mushrooms, thinly sliced red onion and bell peppers, finely chopped broccoli, sliced black olives, and any other veggies you like on your pizza! Watery vegetables (like mushrooms and broccoli) should be cooked first to release some of the liquid before stuffing them into a hot pocket.
- Meat lovers’ hot pockets: Use a combination of pepperoni, cooked crumbled bacon (or bacon bits) and sausage.
- Meatballs and mozzarella hot pockets: Swap leftover meatballs, chopped into small pieces, for the pepperoni.
- Chicken bacon ranch: Use shredded chicken, ranch dressing, and cooked bacon.
- Buffalo chicken: Instead of pizza toppings, stuff the hot pockets with a spoonful of crockpot Buffalo chicken and serve with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
- Breakfast hot pockets: Fill the hot pockets with scrambled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, and cooked bacon or breakfast sausage.
How to Make in the Air Fryer
Cook these hot pockets in the air fryer until they’re golden on the outside and the dough is cooked through, or about 10 minutes at 350ºF.
- If your dough is shrinking while rolling: Sometimes pizza dough will shrink back after you roll it out because the gluten is too elastic. If this is happening to you, let the dough rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to let the gluten settle down, and then try again.
- Filling is oozing out: This does tend to happen and while it won’t affect the taste of the hot pockets, we understand it can be frustrating. Make sure to press the edges together very well with a fork. We tried poking holes in the top to let the air escape but found it mostly let the filling escape, so the best way to combat that is to really make sure that seal is tight.
Make Ahead & Reheating Tips
Make Ahead: Bake the hot pockets as directed. Once they’re completely cool, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 1 month.
- Oven (preferred): Unwrap a frozen hot pocket and place on a baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean-up). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
- Microwave (gets the job done, but dough tends to get tough and hard): Unwrap and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave from frozen for 1 minute, 20 seconds.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
Prevent your screen from going dark
Homemade hot pockets are a fun alternative to pizza night and they also are a fun surprise in lunch boxes. Get the kids involved in making this easy recipe, too!
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide pizza dough into 8 equal portions.
Roll one portion into a 4- to 5-inch square or round. In the center, place 2 teaspoons of sauce, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon pepperoni. Carefully fold over and press edges together with a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining pizza dough until you have 8 pepperoni pizza pockets.
Brush the top of each hot pocket with beaten egg. If desired, sprinkle tops with grated parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic salt, or whatever you like.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make homemade pizza dough, if you prefer. Try homemade pizza sauce, too.
- Ham and cheese hot pocket: Omit the pizza sauce. Substitute ½ cup finely diced cooked ham and 1 cup cheddar cheese for the pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Flavor ideas: Try red onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, finely chopped broccoli, ground sausage, chicken, or bacon. Meat should be fully cooked before adding to hot pocket. Mushrooms should be sautéed first so they don’t make the hot pockets soggy. See the post above for more flavor ideas.
- Freezing instructions: Bake as directed. Once hot pockets are full cooled, wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 1 month.
- Reheating from frozen (2 methods): Place frozen hot pocket on baking sheet in preheated oven (350ºF ). Bake for 20 minutes. To microwave, wrap frozen hot pocket with damp paper towel; microwave for 1 minute, 20 seconds.
- Recipe revised 8/2023.
Serving: 1hot pocket, Calories: 230kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 691mg, Potassium: 84mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 195IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 2mg
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.