Homemade pizza pockets are a simple, cost effective alternative to store bought pizza pockets. Customize your own pizza pockets with homemade fillings and fun shapes before freezing or baking them. Your kids are going to love the fun shapes and colors and you’re going to love knowing what you’re feeding your kids. Sneak in some extra veggies with toppings and hidden veggie sauces and get the kids in the kitchen with simple tips for how to have them make the homemade pizza pockets with you. No more microwaved pizza pockets from the store – make stars, dinosaurs, hearts – whatever shapes and colors please your kiddos and enjoy!
Growing up, I lived my my dad, a single father who literally had no idea how to cook, uh, anything. He eventually learned, but that being said we ate a lot of the typical 90’s/early 00’s cuisine of frozen meals and quick choices.
One of our favorites was frozen pizza pockets. You know, the flaky pie pastry wrapped around gooey cheese and sauce that you put into a weird paper slip and microwaved for a few minutes before burning every inch of your mouth trying to bite into it. The inside was basically lava, and no matter how you waited before you took a bite it was always going to be crazy hot
My kids love pizza as much as their momma did and does (exhibit a, b, and c) so I thought those pizza pockets would be a good choice for quick meals, but then I found out how much a single box of those are. And, not for nothing, they’re not the best for you.
So I did some experimenting, as any self respecting food blogger does (remember that time I made healthy frozen pizza bagels?) and figured that yes, not only is it possible to make homemade pizza pockets, but also make them cheaper and with less questionable ingredients. Win, win, win.
These homemade pizza pockets are still pizza wrapped in pie dough, so not necessarily the pinnacle of health foods, but for a quick food to keep in your freezer for those “I’m on the verge of ripping out my hair” nights, totally perfect. You can also use homemade pie dough, but yours truly is not the greatest at making homemade pie dough that rolls out smoothly, so honestly, store bought was the best, simplest option for me. Use what you know and what works for you and your family.
That being said, I wouldn’t suggest using typical pizza dough. The gluten makes it too hard to roll out and cut without it looking deformed, so it’s just not the most ideal option.
Tips for making homemade pizza pockets
- If it’s your first time, start with store bought dough. My first attempt was with homemade dough but it ended up being way too flaky. Unless you’re crazy good at making dough, test with the store bought dough to figure out the amounts.
- Under fill rather than over fill. You’ll be tempted to pack it with cheese and sauce, but keep it reasonable. if it’s too full it will leak and you’ll be left with a pizza flavored shell and a burned mess of goo.
- If using toppings (pepperoni, veggies, etc) chop everything tiny. I usually use the mini pepperonis when I’m making pepperoni pizza pockets, but you can also cut normal ones in fourths.
- Use homemade sauce – most jarred pizza sauces have an overwhelming “herb” taste that is just ugh. I use my hidden veggie spaghetti sauce to get some extra flavor and veggies in them.
Can I homemade pizza pockets be frozen?
Definitely! Assemble the pizza pockets, dock them (the hole to release the steam) and then freeze. When you’re ready to cook, brush with egg wash, and bake at 325 for about 5-10 minutes extra depending on how cold your freezer is.
These homemade pizza pockets are so fun to make – obviously you don’t have to make them dinosaur shaped, but show doesn’t love a fun shape? I did a Facebook live a while ago with how to use cookie cutter to make other fun shaped pizza pockets – here’s the video!
The fun shapes really started with these dinosaur ones, though. I saw a pin and scrolling too fast thought it was a dinosaur. It wasn’t, but it got my brain rolling thinking about ways I could appease my own little dino lovers. A little experimentation and boom: a stegosaurus you can play with AND eat.
If you want to make the dinosaur ones, they’re just as easy as using cookie cutters. First, lay out your dough and trace a circle. I used a cereal bowl as my ‘cutter’ but you could use a large circle cookie cutter. I also made some smaller ones with a smaller circle cutter. (I want to say it was 3 inches.)
Lay your circle on parchment on a cookie sheet. Add a thin layer (2-3 teaspoons depending on the size of your pizza pocket) to one half of the circle, leaving about an inch of dough exposed. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded cheese and whatever toppings. Press to make sure everything is tightly in place before brushing the empty dough with water and folding over itself.
Using a paring knife, make the shape of your dinosaur. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure you leave a little space between your lowest cut and the sauce/cheese. If you cut too far, it might all melt out while you bake. Use 2 of the triangles leftover to make feet, adhering them under the pizza pocket with water.
Seal with the tines of a fork and gently dock the pocket part to release steam when baking. Brush with egg wash – 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of water. If you want a colorful dinosaur, add a few drops of green dye to the egg wash and mix up before brushing.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve to hungry paleontologists.
It might seem like one of those silly things that only moms with “lots” of time do, but I promise it’s super simple. It would be a really fun activity to have your kids help with.
How to have kids help make homemade pizza pockets
Here are some tasks even little hands can help with..
- Choosing the cooking cutters and cutting the dough.
- Spreading sauce and adding cheese or toppings.
- Brushing water on edges and sealing the pizza pockets.
- Brushing with egg wash.
These pizza pockets are so simple – you’re never going to want to buy those frozen pizza pockets again! Not only are these more fun to eat, they’re want more affordable than a box of the store bought ones and you know exactly what’s going into them. Win, win.
Homemade Pizza Pockets
- Store bought pie dough
- Pizza sauce or homemade tomato sauce
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Toppings optional
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Food dye optional
Preheat the over to 350. Cut shapes (2 of each shape) from the pie dough.
Lay one shape on parchment on a cookie sheet. Add a thin layer (2-3 teaspoons, depending on the size of your pizza pocket.) to the center, leaving about an inch of dough exposed around the edged.
Top with 2-3 tablespoons of shredded cheese and whatever toppings. Press to make sure everything is tightly in place before brushing the edges with water and topping with the second shape.
Seal with the tines of a fork and gently dock the pocket part to release steam when baking.
Combine 1 tablespoon of water and the egg and brush with egg wash pizza pockets with egg wash.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
If you want a colorful pizza pocket, add a few drops of food dye to the egg wash and mix up before brushing.
Okay so tell me – did you like pizza pockets as a kid? What shape would your kids like best? Let me know in the comments!
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