Homemade hot pockets are so much more than their factory made relatives. Flaky pastry, gooey cheese and a much shorter ingredient list make these perfect for fast lunches all week long.
This post is part of my YouTube series on Junk Food Remakes. Don’t miss every delicious recipe including all the steps to make these on my channel!
Is there anyone from the United States who hasn’t popped a Hot Pocket into their microwave? I doubt it. These things are pretty much a staple for everyone from latchkey 4th graders to 80 year old grandmas.
But are they really that good? Nope. They’ll keep you from starving to death and that’s about all.
And the ingredient list needs to have its own encyclopedia. In fact, since Hot Pockets were originally introduced in the 1980’s they have had up to 90 ingredients! 90.
It’s time to make homemade hot pockets. Something far better, but not that hard to do, and that you can make ahead and have in the fridge for a much healthier after school snack or work lunch.
How to make the best homemade hot pockets
- I know it’s a bit of a cheat, but puff pastry is the best base EVER for these. You can go ahead and say that using this makes these “semi homemade” but I’ll just ignore you. You can find puff pastry in your frozen dessert area of your grocery store.
- Avoid marinara sauce. Remember that the original hot pockets are basically made from the world’s cheapest food. If you want to have that authentic flavor but none of the gunk, use tomato paste and dress it up with spices. It’s far less liquid too–your hot pockets won’t burst in the oven.
- Use any pepperoni you like. If you prefer a nitrite free version, go for it. Lower fat turkey pepperoni is also fine if you want to go that route.
- Use a low moisture, part skim cheese. No fresh mozzarella–it’s just too wet.
How to store homemade hot pockets
To store your hot pockets, just cool them to room temperature then put them in to a zip lock bag or air tight container. They’ll last for up to a week in the fridge. Just microwave them for 35-45 seconds.
To freeze, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to an air tight container and use your homemade hot pockets within 3 months. To reheat, microwave wrapped in a paper towel for 1-2 minutes or until hot.
Homemade Hot Pockets (Pepperoni Pizza)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 box puff pastry thawed in the refrigerator
- 3/4 cup chopped or grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
- 24 slices pepperoni
- 1 tsp water
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese optional
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning optional
- Preheat the oven to 400. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Lightly flour your work surface and unfold the puff pastry, removing the paper between. Using a rolling pin or glass, lightly roll the pastry until it’s 1 inch larger on all sides and slightly thinner.
- Using a knife, follow the fold lines in the pastry to cut three long strips. Cut the strips in half to make 6 rectangles. One row will be the hot pocket bottoms and one row will be the tops.
- Spread 1 teaspoon (or a little less) of the tomato paste mixture in to the center of the three bottom rectangles, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cheese to each one, then top each one with three or four pepperoni.
- In a small bowl beat together the egg and water. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush around the border of the bottom piece and then lay the top piece on. Use your fingers to press the edges together well.
- Transfer the first three to your baking sheet and repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
- Using a knife, poke three holes in the top of each hot pocket to let out steam. Brush with egg and sprinkle evenly with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese if desired.
- Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before eating.
- To save for later: cool to room temperature and transfer the hot pockets to a zip lock bag or air tight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Microwave 30-45 seconds before enjoying.