Forget those cardboard sleeves. The air fryer is hands-down the BEST way to get perfect, crispy, crunchy, flaky hot pockets – no matter whether you’re cooking them straight out of the freezer or making homemade versions with the kids. We’re talking extra crispy crust, evenly hot pizza sauce, and ooey, gooey, melty mozzarella cheese… all thanks to the air fryer.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- The air fryer gives you absolutely perfect crispy, crunchy, flaky hand pizzas. Seriously, the results are way better than microwaving them in those cardboard sleeves. The filling doesn’t ooze out the ends, they don’t deflate in the middle, and the dough is crisp and even. No more burnt corners and soggy undersides.
- With the homemade hot pockets, you can get really creative. Use all organic ingredients if that fits your lifestyle. Swap out the pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni for diced thick-cut ham and melty cheddar cheese (you can even toss in little pineapple if that’s your thing). Fill your hot pockets with chopped chicken and BBQ sauce or alfredo sauce. Anything goes!
- Not only is the air fryer great for cooking hot pockets the first time around, it’s also great for reheating hot pockets. It’s not often we have leftover hot pockets in my house, but it can happen, especially if we’re making them ourselves. If you happen to cook too many, just let them cool completely and then refrigerate them in an airtight container. Pop them back in the air fryer when you’re ready to eat and voila! They crisp right back up.
- The crescent roll dough can be tricky to work with, especially as it gets warm. I like to keep the dough squares in the fridge until I’m ready to work with one. When they’re chilled, they don’t stick to your hands or your work surface as badly.
- If you have trouble getting the perforation to close up, a little water will do the trick. Wet your fingers a little and then try pinching the dough together. The moisture should soften it some and help it stick together better.
- Cook in batches as needed based on the size of your hot pockets and the size of your air fryer. You can’t stack or overlap these – if you do, they absolutely will not cook the way they need to.
More Air Fryer Recipes You Should Try
- Air Fryer Hashbrowns with Chipotle Ketchup
- Air Fryer Canned Cinnamon Rolls with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
- Frozen Salmon in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A Style)
- Frozen Burgers in the Air Fryer with Special Burger Sauce
For the Frozen Hot Pockets
- 2-4 frozen hot pockets any brand, any flavor
For the Homemade Hot Pockets
- 1 8-count can crescent roll dough chilled, see Notes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella divided
- ¼ cup thick pizza sauce divided, see Notes
- ¼-½ cup chopped pepperoni divided, see Notes
- air fryer
- spatula (to remove hot pockets from basket)
- spray oil safe for air fryers
- cutting board (or other flat surface)
- 2 plates
- Wax paper
- fork (for homemade hot pockets)
For the Frozen Hot Pockets
- Preheat air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit. When preheated, lightly spray basket with spray oil and place frozen hot pockets in basket, being careful not to stack hot pockets or overcrowd basket. Spray top of hot pockets with spray oil, then place basket in air fryer.
- Air fry hot pockets for 6 minutes, then flip hot pockets over and cook another 6 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved. Carefully remove hot pockets from air fryer and serve immediately.
For the Homemade Hot Pockets
- Spray cutting board or work surface with spray oil. Open and unroll can of crescent roll dough. Dough should be perforated into 8 triangles; separate dough on center lines, forming 4 rectangles made of 2 triangles. Transfer 3 dough rectangles to plate, alternating dough and wax paper, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place remaining dough rectangle on oiled surface. Quickly but carefully pinch dough together at perforation to seal, and gently pull and press dough into square shape. Be careful not to overwork dough and make it too thin. Carefully flip dough square over and pinch together perforation on other side.
- Place ¾ to 1 tablespoon pizza sauce in horizontal line across center of dough, being careful not to get too close to edges. Top sauce with approximately ¼ cup shredded mozzarella and 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons chopped pepperoni, depending on size of dough square. Be careful not to overfill.
- Gently peel each edge of crescent roll dough up from work surface. Once all edges have been loosened, pick up dough by corners, bringing top corners to meet opposite bottom corners. Gently lift dough so that filling hangs like someone laying in a hammock. While keeping dough suspended, press top edge of dough together.
- Lay dough pocket down on work surface. Gently press tines of fork around edges of dough pocket to seal seams, then lightly press top of dough pocket to spread filling out. Be careful not to use too much pressure or perforation can split open.
- Transfer sealed hot pocket to plate and set aside. Repeat process with remaining 3 dough rectangles until all have been formed into filled hot pockets.
- Preheat air fryer to 350° Fahrenheit. When preheated, lightly spray air fryer basket with spray oil. Place 1 to 2 hot pockets in basket depending on size and lightly spray tops of hot pockets with spray oil. Return basket to air fryer and cook 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, remove basket and use spatula to carefully flip hot pockets over. Return to air fryer and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until desired doneness is reached.
- Carefully remove hot pockets from air fryer and set aside. Repeat with any remaining hot pockets, then serve immediately with dipping sauces if desired.
- Frozen Hot Pockets: Spraying the tops of the hot pockets with oil is totally optional, so feel free to skip it if you want to use less oil. I find that it makes the hot pockets extra crispy, but they crisp up nicely without it.
- Homemade Hot Pockets: Spray your work surface before rolling out the crescent roll dough, to prevent the dough from sticking to the cutting board or counter as much.
- Homemade Hot Pockets: The crescent roll dough is infinitely easier to work with when it’s chilled. When I separated my dough into 4 rectangles, I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to work with one. You’ll want to work quickly, as the heat from your hands will make the dough warm up and then it’ll be very sticky.
- Homemade Hot Pockets: If you have trouble getting the perforation to close up, wet your fingers with a little water before pinching the dough.
- Homemade Hot Pockets: We made pepperoni hot pockets, but you can use any fillings you like. Ham and cheese are my personal favorite. Chicken and a white sauce would be delicious, too.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.