Soft, fresh, whole wheat rolls stuffed with melty cheese, ham, and vegetables.
I sure ate a lot of Hot Pockets when I was a kid. They were new to the supermarket shelves back then, and greasy and salty, and I was eight, so those were all pluses.
But now that I’m all grown, some things have changed. I want to eat vegetables and whole grains. I want to avoid weird processed ingredients, and I want to teach my kids the importance of home cooking. Change is good.
But I still kinda want to have Hot Pockets for lunch. Sometimes.
So, I set out to recreate those flavors in my kitchen with the addition of whole grains and fresh vegetables, and the subtraction of all the unpronounceable ingredients. The results were amazing, and a big hit with my kids!
“OMG they actually taste just like hot pockets.”
That’s the text message that I sent to my husband the first time I made these Homemade “Hot Pockets.” And actually, it’s only partly true. Because these warm and cozy little buns far outshine the commercial version in freshness, flavor, and nutrition.
To start, I use 100% whole wheat flour as a base for these pockets. Whole milk, extra virgin olive oil, and an egg help create a truly soft, delicious dough… no tough or grainy texture here.
Once it’s had a quick rise, I divide the dough into about 14 balls (plus or minus one won’t matter) and roll them out to add fillings.
We like stuffing these pockets with ham, cheddar, peas, and peppers. But you can absolutely add cooked chicken, spinach, broccoli, or anything else that strikes your fancy. (My 6-year-old stuffed all of his with spinach… follow your heart, little guy!)
As you fill each pocket, just fold it over like a little package, and press the seams together to seal it all in.
Finally, brush an egg wash on top of the pockets, so they have a nice sheen to them. (Don’t be intimidated by this step. I used my fingers and it only took a minute.)
Then bake. Voila!
Packed Lunch Perfection
Packing a healthy school lunch in under a minute feels great. I love it!
I can tuck a couple of healthy Homemade “Hot Pockets” and a piece of fresh fruit inside a lunchbox and be ready for whatever’s next. (That’ll probably be the toddler crayoning the wall two seconds from now.)
But until then, yessss.
You can even throw the leftovers in the freezer… in true Hot Pocket style. Pull them out for a quick lunch or hearty-after-school snack.
What fillings will you try?
Homemade “Hot Pockets” Makeover
- 4 1/2 teaspoon yeast, active dry
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 1/2 cup flour, whole wheat
- 8 ounce ham
- 3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup green peas, frozen
- 1 medium bell pepper, red
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, then add warm milk, olive oil, egg, salt, and honey. Stir well.
- Add in 3 cups of flour, and stir until well-combined.
- *Slowly add more flour, 1/4 cup at at time, until dough becomes soft manageable but is still quite soft. (We find that about 3 1/3 cups is about right.)
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, then let it rise in the bowl, covered, for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Punch down the dough, and divide it into 14 small balls.
- Roll out each ball to a diameter of about 5 inches, then fill the centers with 3-4 tablespoons of diced ham, shredded cheese, peas, and diced peppers.
- Fold up the hot pockets like little packages, then place them seam-down on a greased cookie sheet.
- Brush the tops with an egg wash, if you like.
- Bake at 400 F for about 14 minutes, or until the hot pockets are golden brown and no longer doughy.
- Cool slightly before removing from the cookie sheet.