These Pizza Pockets, inspired by Amy’s Finer Things and Pocket Change Gourmet, turned out beautifully today!
I doubled our family’s favorite homemade pizza dough recipe for the dough.
Then I cut the dough into pieces.
And rolled those dough pieces into balls.
Next, I flattened the balls with the rolling pin.
When I turned my back someone was making some artistic designs on my rolled-out dough. 🙂
Then, I dolloped a little of the filling on.
Sprinkled the filling with cheese
And sealed up the edges with my fingertips.
The end result — so yummy and delicious! And my whole family agreed with me that this recipe is a definite keeper.
Freezer-Friendly Pizza Pockets
- 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 Tablespoons oil (I used olive oil.)
- 5 cups flour (I used unbleached, but I think half white, half whole-wheat would also work well.)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cup pasta sauce or pizza sauce
- 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, but I think cheddar or a mixture of cheese would work well, too.)
- Other optional filling ingredients: diced black olives, pepperoni, diced green pepper, and/or diced mushrooms
To make dough: Mix yeast into warm water until dissolved. Add sugar, salt, oil, and flour. Mix well and dump onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes.
To make filling (I browned this while mixing up the dough): Brown ground beef with onion (and green pepper, if desired). Drain. Add pasta sauce and mix together. Add other optional filling ingredients, if desired.
To make Pizza Pockets: Divide dough into 15-20 pieces. Roll pieces into balls. Flatten balls into circles with rolling pin. Dollop a few tablespoons of filling onto dough circle and sprinkle with cheese. Fold over and seal tightly.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes until browned.
To freeze: Cool completely and store in an airtight ziptop freezer bag for up to 2-3 months.
To serve: Remove desired number of pizza pockets from the freezer and warm them individually in the microwave for about two minutes or until heated throw. Or, warm on a cookie sheet in a 350-degrees oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Recipe inspired by Amy’s Finer Things and Pocket Change Gourmet.
Did you do any freezer cooking today? If so, I’d love to see the results of your efforts! Link up your blog posts below or tell us about your success in the comments.
How do you keep these from leaking? 7 out of 10 pockets leaked all over cookie sheet. I pinched and rolled edges in. Suggestions?
Crystal Paine says
Did you possibly fill them too full?
Sorry I know this is an older post, but just wondering if this pizza dough can be made in bread machine? Thanks!
Thank you for this recipe! It was a hit. My husband loves bringing them to work for lunch.
Do you think this recipe would turn out alright if I left out the beef and replaced it with extra veggies and pepperoni? Or is it the beef that makes the filling substantial and easy to spoon?
Looking back at all the past comments I must say these are still satisfyingly good in 2016! This is the easiest dough I’ve ever worked with, don’t need tons of time to let it rise, and it turned out just fantastic! I chef on a sailboat so was searching for some make-ahead/freeze recipes and this one is a keeper for sure.
I used a homemade sauce and a 50/50 flour with all purpose and whole wheat. I also sprayed the tops of the hot pockets with olive oil about half way through (@ 5 minutes, 10 minutes total) and they came out perfectly browned. I would recommend layering your toppings wisely… pepperoni on bottom and cheese and sauce on top! Buen Provecho!
I made some of these (ate a few right away…yummy), stuck them in the freezer BUT when I cooked them in the oven from the freezer, the crust was pretty hard. When I put them in the microwave, they were kinda spongy…what am I doing wrong?
Try wrapping in a paper towel when you heat them in the microwave that should take care of your sogginess!!! For the oven I would say foil either wrap or tent!!!! Hope this helps:)
Cindy R. says
Is there another way to make these without going the “yeast, roll out, etc” way?
You could buy premade pizza dough and use that instead.
Cindy R. says
Oh yay! I’m so happy with that 🙂
i make my pizza dough in my bread machine, I am going to try that with this recipe.
Amanda W. says
These were absolutely delicious! I was nervous on how they would cook in the microwave. They cooked perfect in the microwave! I had no problem with the dough and ended up with 18 of them. It was well worth the time to make to have something home cooked to feed my family when we are pressed for time! I am really enjoying the freezer cooking. I am going to make the burritos next!
My dough was super-sticky (I used 75% white and 25% wheat flour), and I had to add a TON of flour while rolling it out. Did I do something wrong? Everyone’s pockets were white by the time I was done, now there are white handprints on everything 🙂
I love this recipe! The possibilities are endless~I’m going to sneak a tun of veggies in next time lol … I am also wondering if you have any ideas on making a chicken pot pie type of filling?
I could only make a half recipe because that was all the yeast I had on hand. They were gone in minutes.
More Than A Mom says
I remember Pillsbury Pizza Pockets growing up. I’m excited to make these healthier versions for my kids. Thanks for the recipe!!
Hey, I’ve been making these sort of things for years! (And I’m only 23!) So probably since I was about 14. I make them “Ham & Cheese pockets” – diced ham, colby-jack or cheddar cheese, minced olives, minced onion, and green peppers. Or, if you’re really lazy with the mincing part, just do ham & cheese and onion! I use a quick breadstick recipe that I also use as my pizza dough. I’ve also made them into strombolis – Ham, sausage and pepperoni with mozzarella cheese. I usually take half a day making 30-40 of them (forming them is the longest part of them, but here’s a top: form one pan, brush with egg white/water mixture, sprinkle with salt then bake. By the time one pan is done, you have another pan done, and risen a bit ready to bake while you are working on another pan), then set them in front of a fan – On a wire rack so the bottos don’t get soggy! – to help cool them faster, while I move on to making other freezer foods. I package everything up at the end of the day.
Saturday I made 7doz Pumpkin cookies, packaged in 2’s, 21 Ham & Cheese pockets, 28 Lime Crumb Bars, and 12 Hamburger Buns in about 4hrs! Happy cookin’ ya’ll!
Tried these today but need to experiment more. The side that was folded exploded open on more than half of them. Not sure if I got the dough to thin or what. Ideas?
Now on to making Brown Bag Burritos, chicken enchiladas, banana bread & chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
I made the pizza pockets today and they were great. I ran the rim of a small plate around the edges to seal them.
Thanks! I really want to try these so we can have quick and easy lunches or dinners ready in no time. I have a 19 year old son that comes in at all times of the day and night and hungry (between work and college and friends his schedule is busy). These will be a great go-to meal for him. Happy Mother’s Day Crystal!!
Made chicken fajitas, strawberry-rhubarb crisp, strawberry-rhubarb pie, tapioca pudding. Tomorrow making dinner for mom–steak, baked potatoes, lemony cucumber salad, lettuce salad w/ grape tomatoes, asparagus, and shrimp.
I see a lot of people having concerns about making a pizza dough for the first time. You can always buy canned biscuit dough, cut them in half, roll them out and continue the recipe from their. I have done this in the past when I was pressed for time. They are absolutely delicious. You just bake at the temp that is on the can of biscuits for about the same time or until browned on top. Also, you could use the pillsbury hot roll mix. You find it in the baking section on the top shelf near the corn muffing mixes. It has a pizza dough, cinnamon roll, and dinner roll recipes. It comes with everything you need. Just some ideas for those new bakers out there.
The only thing I have against pizza pockets, is they take soo long to cool off because the heat traps in there. They are good though! 😛
Most meals we make are casseroles so they only take a few minutes to cool off to a edible temp.
Carla H says
These look great, but you realize it’s just called a calzone! I have also done them with dinner-roll dough, they puff up a bit more but I like it both ways. 🙂
This is one of those recipes that can be called a number of different things in addition to Pizza Pockets (I think that may have originated because of their similarity to Hot Pockets). Growing up, we also called them “Pizza Bierocks”.
It’s always fun to hear all of the different names recipes are sometimes called!
I ran out of filling and still have some dough leftover. Do you think I could freeze the pizza dough and then use it later just as pizza dough? I have never tried freezing dough before but don’t have anything to fill these with right now! Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! 🙂
Yes, you can freeze the dough.
we made your butterhorns yesterday, and baked one for each of us as a lunch treat – I CANNOT believe how incredibly delicious they are! Thank You!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them. They are SO good!
Janell Poulette says
Thanks for the recipe. I will have to try them. My family loves pizza muffins – so I am sure they will love these. I wish I had a bigger freezer 🙂
Crystal, I attempted to try your pizza dough recipe last night. Following the instructions, I added the yeast to my warm water to dissolve, turned around to throw away the empty packet, and turned back around to a big glob in my water. I stirred and stirred……it never dissolved. Do you have any idea what I could have done wrong? I tossed it and ordered a pizza after that……I was a bit discouraged.
Did you stir the yeast in as you were pouring it in? It has to be stirred right away — preferably while you’re dumping it in.
It’s also possible that the yeast was bad or something. Do you make yeast breads often?
Does anyone else have any suggestions or ideas?
You’re right Crystal.
You need to sprinkle yeast on and the larger the surface area the better. If you pour, it will clump and it will be very difficult to get it to dissolve then. So; yes- stir in or sprinkle, but pouring into one spot in a tiny pot or bowl isn’t recommended.
Don’t give up Emily!!! The next time may be perfect!
(The first 5 or 6 times that I made yeast bread, my dh told me to keep it up so we could build a house from the ‘bricks’! ..That was 17 years ago 😉
Ok then, I think that’s definitely what I did wrong. I measured the water into my measuring cup and then dumped the yeast on top without mixing. Then I threw away the packet and turned around to stir the mixture. I will try it again, but I will put the water into my mixing bowl first, then I will add the yeast while stirring. I won’t give up…….at least not until I’ve tried it many times with no success and/or I’ve found a pizza place in my city that actually makes good pizza.
When making this dough recipe for the pizza pockets or your pizza crust do you let it rise at all before baking?
By the time I got the batch of pizza pockets filled, they had risen. I think it works best if you let the dough rise for around 20 minutes or so, but it’s not completely necessary.
Meghan V. says
I made bread yesterday. My recipe makes 6 loaves but I only have 4 loaf pans! However I always take the 2 “extra” loaves and make cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls or stuffed bread. So from one recipe yesterday I got:
4 loaves of bread (will slice and freeze to easily make sandwiches)
1 stuffed bread (Meat & Cheese), which will probably be supper tonight
1 pan of dinner rolls for the freezer
This series keeps popping back into my head helping me to think ahead. Thanks!
I am definitely going to make these! My husband’s favorite snack/meal is pizza. These look good.
I made these two nights ago for the first time and my husband raved! I used shredded pork BBQ with BBQ sauce and cheese. Made my daughter a cheese one and decided I’m going to experiment with veggies only the next time. This isn’t just a good freezer meal, it’s a good dinner too with a side and fruit.
Do you really bake at 500 degrees?! I’m not even sure my oven goes that high. Why would you bake that high when fresh, but only 350 when frozen? Sorry, I’m not an expert in the kitchen and now am confused.
You bake them before you freeze them. 350 degrees is just to warm them up.
I always bake my pizza crust (this recipe) at 500 degrees. However, if that scares you, you could probably bake them at a lower temperature and just leave them in for longer.
Got it. Can you freeze it without baking first?
I don’t think it would turn out as well, but you’re welcome to try it!
Lea Stormhammer says
We use your pizza crust recipe all the time and bake it at 450F. We bake it for about double the length you recommend and it works just fine – we like I pizza crispy (the only way my hubby can eat the cheese) so you could probably add half the time and be fine.
We’ve done this type of thing before too – though we’ve never had any make it to the freezer 😉 . I make them bigger and we share 2 people to a pocket. I always fold the edge over slightly and then press down with damp fingers making a slight indentation. Or I guess I should say, I started doing that after having a few leak filling….
Thanks for the inspiration and the pizza dough recipe Crystal!
450-500 will result in a better, crisper crust more like what you’d get at a good pizza restaurant. As Crystal said, though, you could try 400 for a few minutes longer — just watch them. I wouldn’t go lower than 400.
Thank you! I’m still curious if you can freeze dough, though. I made stromboli last week and froze it before baking. I hope I didn’t ruin it! (haven’t eaten it yet!)
We make homemade pizza, taco, chicken & broccoli, and ham & cheese pockets but usually I “cheat” and buy grands on sale for the dough. I just roll them out and seal with a fork. Bake using directions on the grands and then freeze after they cool.
I joined your 4 weeks to fill your freezer challenge without even “planning” to… it all started with your breakfast ideas! I have a few recipes (your homemade cinnamon rolls, my “bubble bread”, that can be frozen and thawed when I am busy making other “company” food) that I have always wanted to stock in our freezer… went along last week and hit the breakfast burritos, too! My older son is home from college. He is 6’2″ and “bulking” for weightlifting… I cannot keep him satisfied! So… I jumped into the pizza pockets and ham and cheese pockets. They are getting rave reviews and I feel so inspired that all of this “baking” is working. I’ve had some bread recipe disasters in my life but these (so far) seem to be tried and true recipes. ONE WARNING… the recipe for bread for the Ham and Cheese rolls from the link you shared needed more like 9-10 cups of flour! It was so sticky after the prescribed 5-6! For newbies this can be very disheartening! I figured I couldn’t “mess up” and just kept adding flour. The result was delicious! Thanks, Crystal!!!
Oh yay! I’m so glad the recipes are getting rave reviews at your house!
Julie Stoner says
I made pizza pockets. Loved em. Thanks for the idea. I love you, MSM. 🙂
Did you really bake them at 500 degrees? I’ve never turned my oven up that high before…it starts smoking at 450 :/
Yes, I do. However, you could probably bake them at a lower degrees for a longer time period if you feel more comfortable doing so.
Could you tell me about how big in diameter you rolled your dough balls into? I’m good with making bread, but I’m awful with making pockets. I always make the wrong size or add too much filling and mess it up! These look delish. I have some teens at home who love hot pockets! Hoping to double this recipe to keep on hand for them!
I’d say about 8 inches or so?
Oh thank you! That’s much bigger than I had in mind. I’m sure that makes all the difference. I’m going to try these for sure! Loving this freezer cooking series!
The rhubarb is coming in much faster than we can eat it, so I put two rhubarb pies in the freezer yesterday. I am anxious to see how it will work. I covered them with saran wrap and foil, once they are frozen they should be fairly stackable. I splurged on a tub of lard for the crust.
Meghan V. says
MMMMMM! SO JEALOUS! Can’t get rhubarb to grow in South Carolina….but I miss it from when I lived in Ohio!
Interesting Meghan- I’m in TN and I’ve killed it here 4 times!!!
(My dh grew up in the North and had it all the time. I WANTED to grow him some, but it’s not working for me either.)
Siobhan @moneydearest says
I made peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins they are insanely good and great to freeze as well!
Recipe, please? 🙂
Siobhan @moneydearest says
Here you go!
I’m just curious–what have you been making for your dairy free/gluten free child when you make the freezer meals? Do you just make an alternative version of dairy free/gluten free of the same recipe? If so, would you provide those recipes also? My dairy free/gluten free child would never go for having to eat something completely different from the rest of the family–so I could not do what you are doing with these mainstream meals without having a dairy free/gluten free version for that child. He would feel cheated. That is what makes freezer cooking so very hard for me. As you know, the df/gf recipes tend to entail a lot more ingredients and expense – so I would prefer to make two versions (therefore more time also), but it is very hard finding the good recipes and ingredients for things like you are making. There is a df cheese everyone has mentioned that I’ve never seen here in my little rural town–and so I usually end up doing goat cheese–which as we all know does not really work in a mexican style recipes very well–nor does it give quite the same effect in italian dishes. The soy cheeses contain caseine–so they are out. Can you list the df cheese you use again also? Thanks!
I’ve never tried using a DF cheese before — we just skipped cheese altogether when we were DF/GF as the DF were SO expensive!
If you’re looking for some allergy-friendly freezer cooking recipes, there are a number of them here:
I’ve made these in the past and tried different fillings. The hands-down winner in this family is the breakfast hot pockets with scrambled eggs, sausage & cheese! One morning when we helped with a yard sale at my MIL, I warmed them up and put them in an insulated pan and we ate them an hour or so later. They are so good!
I’m joining in when I can. Right now is the end of the year’s ministry commitments so my time has to be shared.
Last week I just baked bread–4 loaves per day over 3 days. I was able to put 11 in my freezer. This week I made oatmeal bread to cover 4 weeks of breakfasts, three meals of Japanese style hamburg and three meals of meat for potato croquettes (korokke).
My next task will be to cut up sale-priced beef into small cubes for curry beef and pack (also sale priced) chicken thighs individually for the freezer.
After I got my baked goods done, my goal became filling my freezer with “meal starters” based on the sales flyer for each week. So far, so good.
Hi Crystal, thanks so much for introducing me to freezer cooking. I made the PBJ sandwiches today and am planning to make the burritos tomorrow. We were looking for ways to save $$ on my husband’s lunch (he buys lunch everyday; I’m not able to make him lunch everyday).
Rachel B says
We make these with crescent rolls. If you don’t have time to make dough, crescent rolls work too. We’ll fill them will more of a bbq filling as well. ground beef, bbq sauce, cheese, etc.
Well, I didn’t do any freezer cooking today, but a funny thing happened. I took a pan of the baked oatmeal out of the freezer that I had made last week and put it in the fridge to thaw. A couple hours later I got in the fridge for something else and noticed about 1/4 of the pan of uncooked oatmeal was gone. The kids liked it so much they didn’t even wait for it to cook! 😀
Sharla @ Slacker Saver says
I made and froze pizza pockets last fall, but they seemed like a whole lot of work for the amount of food I had. They didn’t pinch closed very well, either. It was a dough recipe I’d never used before, so that might have been part of the problem. I think if I were to do this again, I’d just make a couple big calzones. That’s not quite the portable lunch idea of the week, though.
My hubby saw this post over my shoulder and asked when I’m going to make them. LOL
We really like pizza at our house and I have made the pizza pockets before they are so good. I made some today and we kept some out for dinner. I am so glad to be doing some freezer cooking. I have not done any in a while.
RC @ Just Add Cayenne says
I love this. I know there’s a recipe out there for yeast free dough, if anyone feels it is too daunting to try and make a yeast dough. I posted my link above for a cold quinoa curry salad using different bags of frozen veggies. I love frozen veggies for cooking!
We love pizza pockets, and we use your family’s favorite dough recipe too. It’s so quick and easy to make.
I made whole wheat pigs in a blanket today. They turned out really good, they are definitely a keeper! Here’s the link if you wanna check it out. I’m glad we both had successful days.
I have to try those! They look great!
Oh my goodness!! I want one of those right now…..I could jump through the computer screen. 🙂 Those will definitely be on my freezer cooking menu next month!!!
Jody Susan says
What I want to know is how do you take all of these dough pics without trashing your camera?
Brandi @ Savvy Student Shopper says
These look yummy!
(Minus the cheese)
And your little helper is adorable!
I have to be honest, when this challenge first started I thought “Freezer cooking? Not for me” But the recipes just look oh so yummy and simple. Will be re-thinking freezer cooking over the next few days 🙂
Jessica Valentino says
Would you mind linking to your original list of what you will be making this month. I’d love to refer back to it. I really like what you have shared so far. Thank you!
All the posts in this series are linked at the bottom of each post in this series so you should be able to find all of the previous posts (and any in particular you are looking for) really easily that way. Let me know if you can’t find the specific one you’re looking for.
I am a novice when coming to using things with yeast and baking. I did not know how long to let the dough rise so I tried to look it up. I also did not do well with rolling the dough out or getting the right amount of mix on the dough. Finally my pinching closed did not succeed. In the end my pizza rolls were open and messy looking. I still wrapped them in foil and for the moment put them in the refrigerator. I have to rearrange my freezer but I am too tired. I think I did this recipe too late at night and did not take enough time to do it properly. I probably will skip the next recipe and find something easier to make that is not dough. I am not an experienced baker but thought I would give it a try. My pizza rolls turned out to be open and too big.
What is the trick to rolling them out and to getting them pinched together so the rolls cook as closed?
Did you only get 11 or so out of the recipe??? I got 13 or 14 not 18-24 as suggested.
I take my dough and divide it up. I take each ball and flatten it with the palm of my hand and then roll them out with a rolling pin until they are thin. If you leave the dough too thick it will expand while baking.
As far as closing them up I pull the dough over in half then I press it down and roll the edge up towards the top dough. This helps to seal it up and makes a pretty edge.
Don’t get discouraged with baking I have had plenty of my breads and rolls not turn out like they should have. Baking does get better with practice.
I can’t speak about the rolling out thing but I also am new to making dough from scratch and with this recipe I don’t think you even have to let it sit to rise. We made the pizza the other weekend and we just took it right from kneading it and laid it out on the greased pan. If we do have to let it rise I hope someone chimes in and lets us know! 🙂
I’ve learned so much about bread baking from Gina at Home Hoys. She gives very good instructions. Here is the link to her BREAD page: http://homejoys.blogspot.com/p/bread-baking.html
I would suggest you make the Miracle Bread first. I have never had a loaf of this flop for me and it has given me confidence in trying other things.
She also has a recipe for Hot Pockets that I have used with good success: http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2009/06/hot-pockets.html
I roll them out and fold them over like Crystal did on this post. These are really good!
Don’t give up on bread right away. It does take a bit of learning. But I’m sure you can do it!
I’m not very experienced with dough as well, and I decided to try and find and even easier recipe to use. I found this one, and it was SUPER easy! I worried every step of the way, yet never messed it up! She links to her pizza dough recipe through this recipe. I was so excited that it worked that I made a second batch right after! 🙂 http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/07/kids-week-homemade-hot-pockets/
A trick to getting dough to to stick together when sealing two edges is to dip your finger into a little bit of water, and rub it on the dough. That makes it stickier and “glues” the dough together. Also, if you put the seams on the bottom, it helps it from opening up, when it rises. Also, don’t fill it up completely the filling – leave a bit of room so as the dough expands, it filling doesn’t squish out! Hope some of that helps!
What a GREAT concept (4 weeks to fill your freezer). You have inspired me! I plan to do this during summer break from homeschooling. I have 7 kids (6 still at home) – ages 21 down to 2, and most of them are Celiac – so we do everything from scratch and gluten-free anyway. I’m going to modify your ideas to work for our larger-than-life G-free family! 🙂
Tera, mama to the WolfPackSeven
So glad you liked them! Thanks so much for the mention!
Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations says
I also make pizza pockets using my favorite bread machine pizza dough recipe! My husband loves them so much, they rarely make it to the freezer. Of course that is the same problem I have been having all month long. He keeps eating everything!
Victoria, could I please have your favorite bread machine pizza dough recipe? Thanks:)
Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations says
Sure its http://snailpacetransformations.com/2012/02/21/bread-machine-pizza-dough/ .
charity crawford says
Thanks for the inspiration on the cooking. I made the Brown Bag burritos for dinner tonight and we ate up 5 of them and I froze 13…These look great also and might be dinner tomorrow night.
Silas is so cute! 🙂
I used Amy’s recipe that you linked to earlier in the week and ate a few of them before throwing them into the freezer. They were so good! Happy to have found a new thing to keep in the freezer.