Lunchbox Treat: Pizza Pockets

My son’s favorite food is pizza. He could eat it every day and never get tired. It’s a little messy in a lunchbox, so I set out to make it a little more user-friendly for his teachers. I used the rushed pizza dough recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook This recipe has saved me so many times when the kids asked for pizza at 4 in the afternoon and it’s never let me down. Often I will split it up and make a pepperoni version for the kids and one with garlic-infused oil, cheese, and crushed red pepper that I top with lemon and olive oil-dressed arugula for myself and my husband. Trust me, you want this recipe in your back pocket. You can go from nothing to homemade pizza in about an hour! These pizza pockets provided my son with a main dish in his lunch every day for a short school week. You can make them smaller if your kiddo eats less, but mine eats more pizza than I do, so for this I quartered the dough and made 4 pizza pockets. Use whatever fillings you choose, you can customize for each family member!


  • ½ cup warm water (110 to 116 degrees)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (I also use instant yeast, no difference in recipe)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose or bread flour (I always use bread flour), plus more for the counter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil, for coating the bowl
  • For the pizza pockets: Pick any sauce or toppings you like, I used marinara, turkey pepperoni, and mozzarella

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Step 1

Turn on your oven to warm (200 to 225 degrees) for 5 minutes, then turn it off. Pour ½ cup warm water into the bowl of your mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add the flour, then salt, and mix with your dough hook at moderate speed until it forms a craggy mass.

Step 3

Reduce the speed to low and mix for 5 minutes, letting the dough hook knead the mass into a smooth, elastic dough. Remove dough and rub down the inside of the bowl with a little oil.

Step 4

Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Step 5

Place in previously warmed oven and let it sit for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 6

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Roll it out.

Step 7

Cut into the size you want, I quartered it. Remember that you are folding it in half, so don’t make the pieces too small. Place toppings on half the dough and fold it over.

Step 8

Pinch the edges together, I pressed them together with the tines of a fork. Place on a baking sheet.

Step 9

Bake at 400 for roughly 30 minutes, you will need to watch this the first time to check the bake time on your oven. Bag them up or serve them up with a salad for dinner!