Sausage and Pepper Hot Pockets
This is the third post in a three part series called Expecting Nugget #2! I took the liberty to insanely stock our freezer with lots of good eats in preparation for our second baby. I figured I would share them all because everybody needs good freezer meals!
When I’m planning freezer meals for a big event (like a new baby), I always make sure to have some hearty lunches in the mix as well. Daytime can be as hectic as the nights and you can quickly get sick of foraging through the fridge in the middle of the day.
These sausage and pepper hot pockets were my answer this year! I made a big batch of them, tried not to eat them immediately, froze them, and now we have them ready when we are sleep-deprived and in need of a warming lunch.
I call these hot pockets, but they are also calzones. Basically it’s dough stuffed with deliciousness. No matter what you call them, they will be a hit.
Stir together flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in olive oil and then add water, mixing on medium speed with a dough hook. You can also mix the dough with a large spoon until it comes together and then knead it for about ten minutes until it’s smooth. If you’re using a dough hook, mix dough on medium for 8-10 minutes. If at any point the dough is very wet and sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. If the dough is very dry and cracking, add more water by the tablespoon.
When dough is ready, add to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for two hours.
- Add sausage (remove casing) to a large skillet over medium low heat. Cook until sausage is browned. Break it up as it cooks.
- Add sliced peppers, onions, and garlic to the skillet and continue to cook until veggies cook down, about 6-7 minutes. Stir regularly.
- Add tomato sauce to the skillet along with 1/4 cup water if it seems very dry. Season mixture with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
To Make Calzones:
- Divide dough into 6 even pieces. Working with one at a time, roll it out into about an 8-inch circle. Add some grated cheese to the center, followed by about 1/6 of the sausage filling, followed by a bit more cheese.
- Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash and fold it over. crimp the edges. Brush hot pocket with egg wash and slice a few steam vents in the top. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all hot pockets.
- Bake hot pockets at 375 degrees F. for 35 minutes until golden brown.
Freeze hot pockets by placing them on a baking sheet and freezing them. Once they are frozen, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and heavy duty foil. Keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat hot pockets in microwave or in oven (350 until center is warm).
Sausage and Pepper Hot Pockets
I started these bad boys with a batch of homemade dough. If you’ve made dough before, this will be an easy recipe for you. I like to make it the night before I plan to make the hot pockets and just let it rise slowly in the fridge overnight.
You could absolutely just use storebought pizza dough as well though. You’ll need about 2 pounds of it to get six large hot pockets.
I kept the filling for these simple and classic. Italian sausage (sweet or spicy) and loads of peppers and onions.
Cook the sausage first in a large skillet until it’s browned and then add in the peppers and onions. It’ll look like a lot but they cook down a lot.
After the veggies cook down, stir in the tomato sauce and a little water if it looks very dry. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste. It’s ready to go now!
Make a hot pocket by rolling out a dough ball until it’s about 8 inches in diameter. You can eyeball it.
Then pile on some cheese, about a sixth of the filling, and more cheese obviously!
Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water). Crimp the dough around the edges and brush the whole thing with more egg wash. Cut a few steam slits in the top as well.
Bake these suckers at 375 degrees F. for about 35 minutes. They should be bubbling hot in the center and browned all over.
Stuffed food perfection!
Of course, the best part about these is how well they freeze. Once they are cooled, transfer them to the freezer on the baking sheet and freeze them solid. Then wrap them in plastic wrap and foil. They will keep great in the freezer for 3 months.
I prefer to reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F. if you have time, but you can also just blast them in the microwave.
These sausage and pepper hot pockets are substantial and delicious. Betsy and I can actually split one for lunch with a side salad.