Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

CheesePepperoniPizza

Pepperoni pizza in your hand, literally! These pizza pockets are like your own personal hot pocket, but homemade. Think of them like a calzone, but with a much flakier crust.

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

When most people think of pie, they think of something sweet. However, I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, so I’m usually craving something savory.

Yes! Pie crust can be used for savory fillings like these Pepperoni Pizza Pockets! The crispy, browned crust paired with creamy mozzarella and tangy pizza sauce is a winner. It’s like a portable pizza, or a mini-calzone, or even those store-bought Hot Pockets—except flakier!

These are easy to make and great as a dinner served with a salad, or you can serve them for a hearty game day appetizer. Any way you serve them, they will be a hit.

Pepperoni Pizza Hand Pies

Homemade Pie Crust vs. Store-Bought 

I’m not a stickler on homemade vs. store-bought pie crust for recipes like this one. If I’m making an authentic full pie, I’m making homemade crust almost every time, following a recipe like this Perfect Pie Crust. But store-bought crust is generally easier to work with and is readily available.

Either is absolutely fine for this recipe, so use your preference! To make life easier, I used Pillsbury pie crusts for this version. Make sure they thaw well before you try to work with them, and feel free to re-roll them once to use as much crust as possible.

Filling the Pizza Pockets

I kept the fillings simple for this version, but you could turn any version of pizza into a hand pie like this! Just remember to keep the filling amounts under control. If you overfill the hand pies, they will explode in the oven, and you’ll have a big hand pie mess on your, well, hands.

Assuming you want to try my pepperoni pizza option, be sure to follow the amounts I give for each ingredient so you don’t overfill them.

If you fall in love with this concept, try combining Buffalo chicken and smoked Gouda or broccoli and cheddar.

Homemade Hot Pockets with Pepperoni

Sealing the Hand Pies

You want to make sure to get a good seal on these hand pies so they don’t bust open. I recommend using egg wash for this, as it creates a really sturdy seal. Just lightly brush the crust around the edges with your fingers, and then crimp the dough together.

Secret to Golden Brown Crust 

Many traditional pies, sweet or otherwise, bake for 45 to 60 minutes and get a super golden brown crust in that amount of time. These hand pies need much less time in the oven, which means they won’t brown as much without some help.

To help get that golden brown crust, I like to brush them with some egg wash. You should also use the egg wash to make sure the hand pies are sealed all the way.

The egg wash doesn’t change the flavor of the hand pies in any way, but just gives them a little extra crunch and a beautiful, glossy, golden brown exterior.

Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket Recipe

Freezing Your Pizza Pockets

If you want to freeze these hand pies, I recommend baking them first, letting them cool completely, then wrapping and freezing them in airtight containers. They will freeze great for a few months. To keep the crust flaky, reheat them in a 325°F oven for 20 minutes until thawed and the cheese is melty.

MORE WAYS TO GET YOUR PIZZA FIX!

Pepperoni Pizza Pockets Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 pockets

Ingredients

  • 2 (9-inch) pie crusts, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced pepperoni
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, for the egg wash

Method

1 Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

2 Roll and cut out the dough: Roll out your pie crust on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. If you are using store-bought crust, make sure it’s thawed before unrolling it.

Use a 6-inch round to cut circles out of the pie crust. (I use a 6-inch tortilla as a guide for mine; a pot lid of same size would work, too.) You should get 3 hand pies out of each pie crust, but you will probably have to re-roll the crust to get the last few.

Place the pie crust rounds on the baking sheet.

3 Fill the pizza pockets: The key to hand pies like these is to not overfill them while making sure they have enough filling to feel substantial. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of pizza sauce, followed by 2 tablespoons grated mozzarella (you can eyeball it), followed by 1 tablespoon diced pepperoni and a sprinkle of fresh basil to each circle of pie dough. Be sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the fillings to make sealing easier.

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets ingredientsPepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket Recipe fill the dough

4 Seal the pizza pockets: Brush a light coating of egg wash around the edges of the hand pie and fold it over. Seal the hand pie completely, either by pressing on the edge with a fork or by crimping the edge between your fingers. Poke a few holes in each hand pie with a fork, so steam can escape.

Pepperoni Pizza Hand Pies seal the pockets Homemade Hot Pockets with Pepperoni brush with egg wash

5 Bake the hand pies: Brush the hand pies with egg wash, and bake them for 20 minutes until the pie crust is golden brown. Some of the filling might be bubbling out of the pies, but that’s okay.

Let the pies cool briefly before serving.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and reheated in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Also, these pizza pockets can be assembled in advance and stored in the fridge until you need to bake them.

They freeze best once they are baked and have cooled. Reheat from frozen in a 325°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through.

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets bake the pizza pockets

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

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6 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Miranda

    I’ve never seen frozen pie crust that can be rolled out. Do you mean puff pastry?

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  2. Alice

    OMG I need to try this weekend.
    It looks like so tasty

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Jim

    What are known in the UK , that are filled with vegetables , as pasties . In a way like a cooked sandwich .

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Pepperoni Pizza Hand PiesPepperoni Pizza Pockets