Freshmen year of college you’d often find my roommate Michelle and I down in the basement of our dorm at midnight buying hot pockets from the vending machine with our dining cards. Squatting on the floor in the basement complaining about this guy, laughing our heads off about that guy, and making plans on how we could possibly score this other guy who was most definitely, totally out of our league but omg I think he looked in my direction the other day. What I mean to say is: we were buried in our scholastic studies. I’m not sure the hot pockets helped us in our carefully laid out plans, but they certainly kept us good company in the process. I don’t think I’ve eaten them since but I’ve been trying to find easy lunch ideas for our family and thought it might be a yummy idea to try out an updated version of these old favorites.
Yum! Keep reading to see how we made them (with a total cheater method on the yummy herb dough!)…
Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sarah Iveson and Sara Albers
1. We started with Trader Joe’s pre-made herb pizza dough which is so yummy! We also tried it with regular pizza dough but found that not only did the herb dough taste better but it was easier to get it thinly rolled out and stay thin, which was harder with the regular pizza dough.
2. We rolled it out with lots of flour and cut circles out using a ramekin. A note about size: not too small that it doesn’t have enough room for filling. We erred on the bigger size.
3. Now the toppings! You can do so many combinations, really. We did ham and cheddar (a nod to my Lean Pocket reliable meal from college), a pizza version and a fancier pesto/chicken/mozzarella one. Or maybe something fancier and more adult like sauteed red onions and brie. Both the pesto and chicken were bought pre-prepared to make things easier.
4. Fill in a strip of toppings in the center. A lot of the cheese and sauce will absorb into the dough so add more than you think!
5. Fold them over and pinch along the edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash and put in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes (or until bubbly and brown).
We ate a few and then put the rest in the fridge for easy lunches on the go or for the lunchbox. They’re yummy cold too!
PS We were thinking that it might be nice to serve the pizza ones with extra marinara dipping sauce, just an idea