If you saw our post from earlier this week about how we made a vegan white bean dip for the Super Bowl, you know that we promised to share another game day recipe – and here it is! What we came up with here is a vegetarian, homemade take on Hot Pockets (which we know are technically a trademarked product, so please don’t sue us Nestlé!) We made these from scratch and, to be honest, they did take kind of a long time, since we had to craft the dough, the sauce, and the fillings and then assemble them all and bake them. But we thought this was worth it for a special occasion, because these were a great, fun, indulgent snack. So if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and put in some time and effort, let us walk you through our, uh, Not Pockets.
You’ll first want to start on the sauce: in a stock pot, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and place in 4 crushed garlic cloves to cook until they just begin to turn golden. Add in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and cook until the paste browns.
Place a colander over a bowl and then pull all of the tomatoes from their can and squeeze them out into the colander, so their juice collects in the bowl.
Put all of the tomatoes and a little bit of the tomato juice into the pot, along with a dash of dried oregano and a large handful of basil leaves. Place the pot into your stove and roast the sauce at 300°F for 40 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, make your dough by placing a teaspoon of yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water and letting it sit until it foams up. Then whisk in another 1 1/4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir in 4 cups of flour just until everything starts coming together, then use your hands to knead until you have a smooth ball of dough. Place the dough in a bowl, cover in plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until it’s roughly doubled in size.
While you’re waiting for the dough, cut all of your butter into cubes and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle them with 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of dried oregano, and some peppper.
Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the butter and use a rolling pin the roll the butter into a thin, flat square. Place this in your fridge.
Once your dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about 18 inches wide and 12 inches long. Unwrap the butter and place it in the middle of the dough in a diamond shape, like so:
Fold the dough in thirds over the butter, flip it 90 degrees, and fold into thirds again. Cover it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Once the sauce is done, cut the mozzarella and provolone into cubes and defrost your vegan salami slices by microwaving them for 45 seconds, then tear them into pieces. Place your vegan sausages into a small pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and cook them until they’re lightly browned, then chop them into bite-sized pieces. Slice up your spicy peppers, and mix all of this into the sauce and keep it warmed over low heat – this is one of your fillings.
For your second filling, chop the heads off your broccoli and cook them in the same small pan with another tablespoon of olive oil; and also cut the fontina into cubes.
Now you can roll out your dough on a floured surface until it’s 1/4-inch thick. Cut it into squares that are 6 inches wide and 4 inches long, and set half of these squares to the side. Place the rest of the squares on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. On 2/3 of these squares, spoon out the red sauce filling:
On the rest of the squares on the baking sheet, spoon out the broccoli filling.
Beat an egg and brush it around the edges of all the squares that have filling on them. Place the empty dough squares over each filling and press the edges together to seal the fillings inside. Use a fork to crimp the edges together, then brush more egg over the tops of each pocket and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese and dried oregano. Cut several slashes in the top of each hot pocket, then bake at 300°F for 30 minutes, until they’re browned on top.
Here’s what the red sauce one should look like:
And here’s the broccoli hot pocket:
And there you go – some pretty legit Hot Pockets knock-offs! As you probably noticed, it does take several hours to make the dough and prepare the butter and then roast the sauce, prep and cook the fillings, and bake the pockets. But these taste amazing: the butter gets nicely seasoned and adds some flakiness to the crust of each pocket when it’s rolled into the dough, plus the sauce becomes really complex when roasted and all the cheeses, veggies, and meaty fillings meld well together inside. These are probably not something you want to invest your time in to cook every week, but for a big event like the Super Bowl we think these are a phenomenal food to make for your guests.