Serious Eats: Recipes

Healthy & Delicious: DIY Hot Pockets

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

I have a confession to make: I have never eaten a Hot Pocket in my life. Not even in college. Not even at 3 a.m. after a night of Newcastles. Not even after watching Jim Gaffigan's Hot Pocket routine for the 347 millionth time.

So, when The Kitchn linked to Planet Green's Homemade Hot Pocket recipe, I'm not sure why it appealed to me. It could have been the whole-wheat crust angle, or the lack of decent calzones in my neighborhood. Probably it was the idea of reproducing an insanely processed meal out of ten or eleven actual food-like ingredients.

Whatever. I made them. And I loved them.

Each sizeable, 405-calorie turnover contained just the right amounts of cheese and vegetables—not too skimpy, not too overwhelming. The crust puffed up significantly and had an excellent crispy-on-the-out-side, chewy-on-the-inside texture. There was no mess when I scarfed one with my hands. All good things, none of which I hear are endemic to the mass-produced versions.

What's more, these guys are super customizable. Asparagus, turkey sausage, lean ham, 2% cheddar, and more can all go in place of the suggested fillings. Heck, you can even take Gaffigan's suggestion and stuff them with other Hot Pockets, like an edible Russian Doll.

Still, in the end, though this was a success, I'll probably never try a commercial Hot Pocket. KFC Bowls? That's another story.

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