Did you grow up eating Hot Pockets? I have to admit, I did not…
I was never part of that club. This is probably because I had a major aversion to all things ham when I was a kid.
Actually, that’s a lie, I had an aversion to this kind of meat well into my early twenties.
Perhaps that sounds crazy, but I really really really didn’t enjoy ham.
The first time I actually liked the meat was in a train station in Rome. I was dying to eat something with my coffee (you know, since my stomach turns anytime I have caffeine without eating a little something first). I was desperate, and the only thing available was a ham and cheese croissant.
So, I grudgingly ordered it, and prepared myself for the ho-hum feeling of eating something I didn’t love as I boarded a train to Venice.
I sat on the train and took the first bite… Holy wow, so THIS is what everyone is raving about when they talk about the miracle that is ham and cheese?!
From then on, I was officially on the bandwagon for this type of meat, and I found myself eating it again and again, from waking up in the morning with a ham and cheese omelet to chowing down on ham and cheese sliders during a game day party.
These delightful homemade pockets are like that yummy croissant that I ate in that train station on a random travel day many moons ago.
You get the fluffy pastry crust on the outside, then yummy chunks of meat and melted cheese on the inside.
It’s the ideal marriage of these two classic flavors. Not to mention, you aren’t dealing with all the junk and artificial ingredients packed inside the store bought frozen snacks.
Instead, we’re talking real ingredients in this salty, creamy, melty filling. You know, ones that you can pronounce the names of.
Yes, I know that the dough is store bought, but honestly, it’s better than all the artificial ingredients that you get in the frozen pockets. And it doesn’t have to be store bought, if you have a little extra time! Homemade pie crust dough would make an excellent substitute.
But if you’re in the mood for something quick, the canned version that I use here is super flaky, and sure to come out tasty every time.
It’s such a basic recipe, but it tastes so darn good that you won’t be able to resist eating one or two, or five of them.
All you have to do is create rectangles of dough, then stuff them with meat and cheese. Seal them up into rectangular pockets, then bake them up.
After that, serve them fresh out of the oven, or you can wrap them up to freeze them and serve them later.
This is the perfect snack for back-to-school, since they’re ready to pull out of the freezer at a moment’s notice, when a big cram-session is on the horizon or when the kids are hungry after a long practice.
I’ll talk more about how to freeze these later, so keep reading to the end of this article for my tips. First, let’s talk about your dip options.
I like to serve these with my favorite mustard. For me, it’s all about spicy brown, but you can also use Dijon or yellow mustard if that’s more your flavor profile.
All I know is, when they are fresh out of the oven, they are absolutely incredible. The best part is that they won’t burn you like those traditional Hot Pocket snacks fresh out of the microwave.
Well, they might. But somehow it seems like those sealed pockets of molten whatever were far more dangerous than these delicious treats.
Was it just me who experienced that in my youth? I think that might have been the thing that turned me off the frozen snacks in the first place, now that I think about it…
Further proof that homemade is always better. Proceed with caution, and enjoy!Print
Why make a trip to the freezer aisle when you can make your own ham and cheese pockets right in your kitchen? It’s the ideal copycat recipe.
- 2 8-oz tubes crescent rolls
- 10 oz chopped thick-cut ham
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Unroll the dough from one can and separate into 4 rectangles (two triangles each). Press the rectangles together along the seams so they seal well. Repeat with the second can of dough.
- Top half of each rectangle with ham and cheese, evenly distributing it among the eight pieces. Fold the dough over the top of the filling and press the edges to seal.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 12-13 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Category: Savory Pastry
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Snacks
Keywords: ham, cheese, cheddar, savory pastry, snacks
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Chop Ham, Grate Cheese, and Prepare a Baking Sheet
First, get out all of your ingredients.
Finely chop 10 ounces of thick-cut ham.
Get out your box grater, and shred about 2 cups of cheddar.
You can use a mild version if you like, a sharp variety, orange or white, whatever your preference.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Use parchment paper to line a rimmed baking sheet. Set it aside.
Step 2 – Make Pockets
Unroll the crescent roll dough from the cans.
Separate each piece into 4 rectangles, using two of the perforated triangles each. Press the triangles of dough together along the seams to seal them.
Top half of each rectangle with ham and cheese.
Fold the dough over the top of the filling, and press the edges together to seal well.
Step 3 – Bake
Place the pockets on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 12-13 minutes. Serve immediately.
Freeze ‘Em Up for Later
If you want to freeze these for eating later, you can easily do so.
All you have to do is let the pockets cool to room temperature, then wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Stick them in the freezer in an air-tight zip-top bag, and keep them for up to one month.
To reheat, simply microwave them for 2-3 minutes. You can also bake them at 375 ̊F for 15-20 minutes in the oven or toaster oven until they are warmed through.
For more homemade snacks that are better than store bought, here are some more fun recipes for you to try:
- Homemade Cheese Crackers
- Chewy No-Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Balls
- Spicy Buffalo Pretzels
- Baked Apple Chips
- Pizza Pockets
Would you serve these ham and cheese pockets with mustard? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back and rate the recipe once you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.