How to Make Homemade Hot Pockets with Your Kids

This recipe for homemade Hot Pockets is something the whole family can have fun making together!

Who doesn’t love a Hot Pocket? The frozen snacks are great to have on hand for a quick treat when your family is feeling peckish. It’s convenient to pop one in the microwave—but it’s more fun to make them from scratch. This easy Hot Pocket copycat recipe is a perfect project for when the kids are restless.

See where the real Hot Pockets are made.

How to Make Homemade Hot Pockets

Taste of Home

This recipe for sloppy joe-inspired hot pockets is from Shelly Flye of Albion, Maine—a perfect combo of two kid favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tube (16.3 ounces) large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Editor’s tip: See what brand of biscuits won our Test Kitchen’s stamp of approval!

Step 1: Grown-ups cook the beef

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the beef, onions, celery and carrots for six to eight minutes until your vegetables get nice and tender and the beef is no longer pink. Be sure to break up the beef into small bits as you cook. Drain the excess fat.

Step 2: Kids add sauce, grown-ups work the stovetop

Next up is adding the tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, tomato paste and brown sugar. If you’re cooking with younger children, pre-measure these ingredients and let your kids add them to the skillet. Your older kids can measure and add the ingredients themselves.

Once everything is in the pan, bring the mix to a boil. Then reduce it to a gentle simmer and stir occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes or until things start to thicken up.

Step 3: Kids roll out the dough

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and have the kids roll out biscuits on a lightly floured surface. The biscuits should be flattened out to form a six-inch circle, so we recommend using a ruler as a guide.

Step 4: Fill the dough and sprinkle cheese together

Spoon a third-cup of beef over half of each circle, making sure not to go too close to the edges. Older children can handle this themselves. Younger kids might struggle with keeping this part neat and tidy, so if you’re worried about a mess, take their hand and spoon the mixture together.

Kids of all ages can sprinkle the cheese over the beef.

Step 5: Kids fold and seal

It’s time to assemble the pockets! Have your kids fold the dough over the filling. Give them a fork to press the edges of the dough together to form a seal.

Step 6: Bake together

Let your kids arrange the hot pockets on an ungreased baking sheet. You’ll want to cut three slits on top of each pocket. Older kids can place the tray in the oven. Bake the hot pockets for 18 to 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Serve warm!

More Hot Pocket Filling Ideas

We like taco meat, ham and cheese, chicken pot pie, pepperoni pizza, even cheeseburger pockets. There are so many options! You can even make breakfast versions of these hand-held delights for a quick bite in the AM.

What to Keep in Mind When Cooking with Kids

Yes, helping kids get comfortable in the kitchen is good thing. But it can be stressful for parents! Here are a few things to remember:

  • Be patient. There will be some trial and error as your kids learn how to cook. When mishaps happen, gently show them how to fix mistakes. Your budding chef will soon bloom into a cooking whiz!
  • Don’t stress about the mess. Let’s be real, things will probably (definitely) get messy. Once you’re finished cooking, enlist your kids’ help in cleaning up the kitchen.
  • Keep it age-appropriate. Give simpler tasks to your younger children. Think rolling dough, stirring and so on. Older kids can help with more complex tasks like measuring out ingredients, using the oven or even stirring on the stovetop—once you’ve taught them basic kitchen safety.

Here’s our guide to cooking with kids of every age. It may give parents some ideas!

Easy Dinners That Kids Can Help Make
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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.