Whether you’re looking for a healthy make-ahead dinner for the whole family or a new way to serve up veggies to the kids, these Homemade Pizza Pockets with Broccoli and Cheese are a delish option. They are a super fun way to change up how you usually serve pizza AND are easier to make than you might think!
Homemade Pizza Pockets
My kids, like most children, love all things related to pizza and they seem more inclined to eat their veggies when they’re packaged up in a fun pizza-like form. These homemade pizza pockets have the flavors of classic cheese pizza with an incredibly soft dough and an interior with a nice portion of broccoli.
I love to make them ahead of time for fast dinners—because leftovers warm in about 30 seconds!—on nights when I otherwise don’t have time to cook. And when my kids go to school, it’s a great lunchbox option to pack in a thermos.
We often have a simple side of fruit or a veggie…or just a drink. They’re a fairly complete meal in themselves!
Ingredients You Need
To make these simple pizza pockets, you’ll need:
- Broccoli—frozen or fresh will work
- Pizza dough
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pizza sauce
- Parmesan cheese
TIP: You can use my homemade pizza dough recipe at the bottom of the post or use a ball of fresh store-bought dough.
How to Cook Broccoli for Homemade Pizza Pockets
I tend to use frozen broccoli when I make these since it’s easy to keep on hand in the freeze. If using frozen broccoli, place it into a bowl and simply pour boiling water over it. Since it’s already precooked, it just needs to thaw.
If you’re starting with fresh broccoli though, you can steam it lightly just until bright green or even saute it in butter or olive oil. Leftover broccoli, as long as it’s not super overcooked, will also work here!
Here’s a look at the process of making these healthy and homemade pizza pockets. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.
- Prepare the broccoli and squeeze dry with a clean towel.
- Cut the dough into even sections.
- Spread out flat.
- Add the fillings.
- Seal two sides.
- Fold over the remaining two sides and press well to seal. Use a little water, if needed, to make sure that the dough sticks together.
What’s the best way to store these homemade pizza pockets?
Simply let them cool and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or store in a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Warm 30-60 seconds in the microwave.
What other fillings can I do?
You could use some browned ground beef or turkey, lightly cooked cubes of zucchini or cauliflower, some fresh baby spinach (cut it into small pieces first) or even trade in pesto for the pizza sauce. It’s versatile! Ooh, you could also try adding some pepperoni or another favorite pizza topping!
Help! My cheese leaked out when I baked these!
Yes, sometimes that happens. Try to secure the seams really well and use a little water if needed to knead the seams together to secure tightly. And know that it’s not really that big of a deal if the cheese does seep out a little—the kids won’t mind eating it that way either! Poking the top of each pocket with a fork can help release some steam and reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Best Tips for Success
- Avoid the urge to add more filling than is called for. They may be too hard to securely close with more filling.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the top of each pocket to allow air to escape. This will help to prevent cheese from leaking out.
- Seal the seams securely, using a little water if needed to help the seam stick together.
- Try using different fillings according to your kid’s favorite pizza toppings.
- Use homemade pizza dough or a ball of fresh dough from your supermarket.
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe so please comment below with your feedback.
Pizza Pockets with Broccoli and Cheese
Homemade Pizza Dough (or use 16 ounces store-bought pizza dough)
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
To make the dough:
- Stir the yeast and sugar into 1 cup warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until puffy.
- Add the flours, salt, olive oil, and the water-yeast mixture to a medium bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together, then use clean hands to knead slightly to incorporate all of the flour. (Add a little extra water if needed if the dough is dry.) Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 1-2 hours or until about doubled in size. It should look puffy.
To make the pockets:
- Place the broccoli into a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 2-3 minute. Drain and place onto a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze dry.
- Divide the dough into 8 even sections. (I use a paring knife to cut it in half, then in half again and again, etc to make a pinwheel shape with 8 even triangles.)
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, coating with flour as needed if sticky, flatten into a disc that’s about 6 inches wide. (It doesn’t need to be precise!)
- Place 1 teaspoon pizza sauce and 2 heaping tablespoons each broccoli and cheese into the center. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan.
- Fold in the dough to enclose the fillings. The seams should press and hold together with slightly pressure and a little gentle pressing. Use a little water if needed to help secure the dough.
- Place pocket onto a lined baking sheet and use a fork to poke a few holes in the top of each to allow steam to escape.
- Repeat to make all 8. Set aside and cover with a towel while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the pizza pockets for 20-22 minutes or until firm to the touch. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
- To store: Let cool fully and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave or about 6 minutes in a 375 F oven. Freeze fully cooled meat buns in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Reheat in a 375 F oven for 8-10 minutes or until warmed through.
- Try to secure the seams really well and use a little water if needed to knead the seams together to secure tightly.
- Poke the top of each pocket with a fork to allow some steam to escape and reduce the chances that the cheese will leak out. (Though it’s really okay if that happens!)
- To use fresh broccoli, skip the boiling water step and simply dice up the tops of the florets (avoiding the stem) and add to the pockets. It will cook in the oven.