Sweet or Savory Vegan Hearty Hot Pockets (Spelt or Gluten-Free)

by Maria Theresa Maggi on October 10, 2015

sweet or savory hot pockets

pear heart pocket filling

Maybe the reason I’ve been baking since I was a little girl is that it’s in my blood. I’m sure that’s what my grandmothers would say. And my maternal grandmother would proudly remind me of her brothers, the Marcils, who ran a bakery in the small town back east where my mother grew up. Later, out in California, when I was growing up, my grandmother would show me the way her brothers taught her to make pie crust, and when she was pleased with my efforts, she bequeathed me a pastry cloth they used in their bakery. I still have it.

It’s been decades since I made pastry with crisco or butter, but I still love to bake. So when Kelly, my daughter-in-law, got into making vegan hot pockets, I caught the enthusiasm too. Like I always do when I want to try something out, I googled “spelt hot pocket dough” to see what would come up. I found this little gem of a post from Berlin By the Bay–Berlin Bites: Sweet Potato Hot Pockets.

Although when my search first coughed this entry up, I thought I might be surfing over to a German blog, it turns out that Berlin is a toddler living in the Bay Area, whose mother, Jordan, writes a blog about healthy food she makes for her daughter. I loved the ease and playfulness of the basic recipe, which I hope you’ll check out (she used a cookie cutter in the shape of a porcupine). I wanted to make my hot pocket dough oil free and lower fat, but I loved the idea of using cookie cutters for making small hot pockets. And as Jordan says, you can basically fill these with anything. Her filling is savory sweet potato-black bean-greens combo based on what Berlin will eat. I wanted to improvise on that with what I had on hand, and also try some fruit fillings. I’ll share 3 fillings and an oil free dough here, but please go on over and check out the original recipe, too.

If you are one of my many gluten free readers, have no fear, you will not be left out. I also made a batch of gluten-free hot pocket dough, and I’ll share that here too. You don’t have to be a toddler to enjoy these little bites of goodness, but if you have a toddler in your life, these sure seem like good healthy eats on the go for little ones.


Spelt dough on the left, gluten free dough on the right. No need for cookie cutter's either, you can also go free form!

Spelt dough on the left, gluten free dough on the right. No need for cookie cutters either, you can also go free form!


I was lucky enough to have one of my dearest long-time friends from Moscow come through Portland recently. She brought me pears from the tree at my old blue house, thoughtfully entrusted to her for me by the woman her lives there now. I wanted to do something special with them, so all the hearts I made I filled with that special fruit. The apple, too, came from a friend’s tree. Each bite reminds me of the gifts of Fall, and all the special people in my life, and how happy it makes me to be baking again, sharing a healthy twist on an old favorite. I didn’t get my great uncles’ pastry cloth out, but I did roll the dough on my grandmother’s old kitchen table, where I learned to roll dough, and make other treats my grandmother made at the holidays, like dates stuffed with peanut butter and rolled in sugar.

spelt hot pocket dough

Even though my ingredients have shifted away from sugar and fat, I like to think she’d be proud her table is still laden with the loving labor of making good things to eat, and sharing them with friends and neighbors.

Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debra Maslov October 11, 2015 at 7:32 am

Oh these look wonderful Maria…….versatile, hearty, tasty & ever so pretty too. Absolutely perfect for Fall & Winter – my head is swimming with fun, creative shape ideas. Thank you!


2 Maria Theresa Maggi October 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

You’re welcome Debra–I appreciate your kind words–and please share whatever creative shapes you come up with!


3 Marcia October 12, 2015 at 10:25 am

What timing! I’ve been dreaming about just this sort of dish but didn’t know where to start! They look/sound yummy and I can hardly wait to make them. I will try both savory and sweet as my honey has a sweet tooth and will REALLY appreciate them. Love the hearts!


4 Maria Theresa Maggi October 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Thank you Marcia! Hope you and your honey enjoy these–my son really loved the sweet-hearts!! šŸ™‚


5 Veronica October 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

Yum!! I love hot pockets! šŸ™‚ It definitely is a great way to bring in Fall, especially with the special fall fruits and veggies. It’s very sweet the person who bought your old house sent over some fruit! It does make it that much more delicious. I’m glad you’re baking again, too, and tinkering around to find just the right versions of old favorites. šŸ™‚


6 Maria Theresa Maggi October 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Thanks Veronica–yes, it was really sweet of her, and, to me, made them extra delicious. šŸ™‚ I bet you could come up with some killer fillings too. I miss seeing what you create on your blog! xo


7 Veronica October 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

I’ll get back to my blog at some point; I just haven’t been feeling it, you know? But I have a couple recipes for when I do finally get around to writing words again… šŸ™‚ xo


8 Maria Theresa Maggi October 13, 2015 at 11:26 am

I’ll look forward to that, Veronica. Blogging can take it out of you, and sometimes it’s good to have a break. šŸ™‚


9 Stephanie October 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

What a lovely recipe! Haven’t had one of these in ages.
Back in the old country we would call it a pasty. Traditionally they would be thick bread dough stuffed with whatever leftovers were on hand and baked up into a leak-proof meal shepherds could take out to pasture (hence the name.)
Never had a sweet pasty, but am anxious to try the pear and fig one.


10 Maria Theresa Maggi October 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Thanks, Stephanie! I loveed hearing about the history of pasties as shephard’s food. That makes great sense. I hope you like the pear and fig combo! šŸ™‚


11 Stephanie October 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm

No, thank you! They were really delicious; no left-overs! : )


12 Maria Theresa Maggi October 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm

So glad to hear!! šŸ™‚


13 P October 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Do you have a recipe for the dough using whole wheat flour?


14 Maria Theresa Maggi October 12, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Hi P–thanks for your question. I don’t see any reason why you can’t make the recipe as is, just substituting whole wheat flour for the spelt. Should work just fine. šŸ™‚


15 P October 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Thank you!


16 Debi ford October 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm

These look divine! Thanks for the gluten free version-always helpful! I will make these very soon!


17 Maria Theresa Maggi October 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

You’re welcome, Debi–my pleasure–enjoy! šŸ™‚


18 Nancy October 13, 2015 at 7:04 am

Ooooh! I have been searching for something like this for weeks. I have been wanting to make some hot pocket type something or other, but the crust with the butter, shortening or oil kept me from doing so. I cannot wait to try this using some of the apples we picked from our trees.


19 Maria Theresa Maggi October 13, 2015 at 8:44 am

Welcome, Nancy! Glad I could help out–hope you enjoy these!! šŸ™‚


20 Danielle October 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

I’m going to make these on the next cooler day! They look fabulous.

What a great way to connect with the fruits from your old house, to bake them into hearts to be enjoyed while in your new location. You are the mistress of perfect concepts.


21 Maria Theresa Maggi October 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

Wow, “the mistress of perfect concepts”. . .I am going to savor that title, Danielle!! šŸ™‚ Thank you! šŸ™‚ And hope you enjoy them on an cool day when it’s cozy to turn the oven on. That’s what I’ve done too.


22 Gena October 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm

You posted them! And they look absolutely wonderful. I’m so impressed — I know you say it’s fine to keep ’em rustic, but they look awfully pretty to me, like something you could buy in a fancy bakery.

It has taken me a long time to warm up to baking, because for a while I associated it with my eating disorder (I used to bake a lot, but not eat what I made) in sad ways. I’ve rediscovered baking this fall with the cooler weather, and I’m having so much fun making a weekly batch of muffins for snacks. This post inspires me to try sweet hot pockets, and I think savory ones (with winter squash) would also be delightful. Great filling ideas, too!



23 Maria Theresa Maggi October 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Thank you Gena! I’m so happy to hear you have been venturing into baking again and that you’re able to have fun with baking some muffins at this point in your life–that’s so healing. I am glad this post inspires you to try sweet hot pockets. I know they look kind of fancy but it really is pretty darn easy and playful. And yes, the next time I cook a winter squash I hope to fill some with it–that is, if I don’t eat it all first! šŸ™‚ I bet you’ll come up with some great fillings too. šŸ™‚


24 Lee at Veggie Quest October 19, 2015 at 6:52 am

Hi Maria, thanks for including a gluten-free version! These look so delicious; I used to be a Hot Pocket (well, a Lean Pocket) addict before I went plant-based, so I’m really excited to try these. Like you, I also love to bake, and since we just had our first really cold snap, I’m itching for an excuse.

Thanks for posting the recipe!


25 Maria Theresa Maggi October 19, 2015 at 1:20 pm

You’re welcome Lee! I’m so glad you’re keen to try it. I really did think it was tasty. It, of course, has a little less “spring” to it when rolling out and shaping, so be aware of that. Sprinkling some brown rice flower on your surfaces will help. And go easier when making the fork tines. This dough is especially good with a pinch of cinnamon in it. Here’s to happy baking!! šŸ™‚


26 Joan November 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm

These look fantastic. I am going to make the spelt dough. Thank you so much for the great recipe.


27 Maria Theresa Maggi November 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm

You’re welcome Joan! Hope you enjoy– šŸ™‚


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