This Air Fryer Hot Pocket recipe is great for those busy nights when you just don’t have the time or energy to put together a more complex meal. It will come straight from the freezer to your table in just twelve minutes! You really can’t beat that!
It’s hard to resist a classic Hot Pocket (hello, they’ve been around since the early 80’s) that gets golden brown and crispy on the outside while gooey on the inside compared to the microwave version we are all used to.
We all like to say our kids love them as a snack but hey, adults like these sometimes too!
🍽️ Why This Works
Fast – Drop these in the air fryer basket as you come home from a busy day, and they’ll be ready for the plate in just 12 minutes. The microwave time is less than 3 minutes but the end results are not the same. For a dinner, 12 minutes is fantastic!
Easy – Dump and Go is the key here! There is no need to mess with other ingredients and clean-up is a breeze!
Variety – There are a lot of different flavors to purchase from at the store. Find the ones that you enjoy and stock up with a box or two.
Easy on the budget – When counting in how much we all spend on our groceries, these frozen air fryer hot pocket.
Hot Pockets -I grabbed a box of Four Cheese Pizza and a box of Pepperoni since they were on sale. I was looking for the Philly Cheese Steak, but they were out! They come in Meatball and Mozzarella, Cheeseburger, Beef Taco and BBQ Beef.
This recipe and timing is for the standard version and not the Big and Bold ones that are 50% larger.
Options: Have you seen the Nestle Breakfast Hot Pockets? I love the bacon, egg, and cheese and the steak, egg, and cheese. I also saw that there is one that has a biscuit crust and one with a pancake crust.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer – I used the Ninja basket, but any variety will work great. If you are using a tray-style, make sure you check the hot pockets early, as that top tray always seems to cook a bit faster. These directions will work great if you are using a Pampered Chef, Cosori, Cuisinart or Phillips versions. You may just have to adjust the time the first time.
Silicone Air Fryer Liners – I LOVE these liners! Grab the ones that fit your make and model. Hot pockets will sometimes leak as they cook, and the liner catches and minimizes the mess. I am all about saving time during clean up too! The parchment papers work just as well so if you have those, use them to speed clean up! If you’ve never used them, I can’t wait to give you all the tips and tricks I found using them here!
🔥 How to Cook Hot Pockets in Air Fryer
Step One: Take the Hot Pockets out of the wrapper and crisper sleeve (toss as you don’t need these!) and place them in your air fryer. I used a silicone liner (or parchment paper) as you can see in the photo. You no longer need to spray with olive oil or non stick spray. I love saving calories and fat! Spraying the exterior will help achieve a crispy crust.
YES! You can put aluminum foil in the air fryer! I’ll teach you all the tips and tricks here!
Step Two: Set the temperature for 370 degrees and the timer for 12 minutes. If this is your first time making these, check them a few minutes early. Every air fryer cooks slightly different and you don’t want to burn them. Use the 12 minutes as an estimate the first time cooking.
Step Three: Cut them in half after they are done cooking. The mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce and toppings can get extremely hot, so be careful as you cut and eat.
Step Four: Serve and enjoy!
How Long to Cook Hot Pockets in Air Fryer
These will take about 12 minutes to cook from frozen at 370 degrees. This time is based on NOT preheating. If your machine preheats, check the time at 8-9 minutes to make sure it won’t over cook.
These were made in my Ninja AF101 Basket. Each fryer is calibrated differently with various wattages so test your fryer for each new recipe. When we use our Instant Vortex 10 Quart Air Fryer with the trays, the food cooks FASTER than my Ninja basket.
There is full nutritional information on the back of each frozen food box that lists calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, cholesterol, fiber and all the ingredients…even the ones we can’t pronounce.
The table below gives you snapshot of all the flavors with calories and total fat.
|Hot Pocket Flavor||Calories||Total Fat|
|Ham and Cheese||250||7g|
|Meatballs and Mozzarella||260||9g|
|Sausage Egg and Cheese||260||10g|
|Jalapeño Steak and Cheese||260||10g|
❗ Expert Tips
Hot Pocket Cook Time – at 370 degrees, Hot Pockets will take about 12 minutes to heat from frozen. You’ll know they are done when the crust is a nice golden brown. Be careful not to use a hotter temperature as the outside will finish before the inside is fully heated.
Don’t Overcrowd – The air fryer needs to circulating air to cook the food evenly. Over-crowding the basket slows the airflow and will result in an uneven cook. You’re better off to cook two or three rounds of hot pockets instead of loading the basket too full.
It is best to only take out how many you plan on serving, and keeping the rest in the freezer. However, you may have leftover hot pockets. If you do, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
To reheat, remove from the fridge and place it back in the air fryer for a couple of minutes. Since it is not frozen, it will only need a few minutes to heat. Don’t try to reheat in the microwave as it will turn out soggy instead of air fryer crispy!
Vegetarian – While there are a few meatless varieties of Hot Pockets (like the Four Cheese Pizza), there are not many vegetarian options. However, Del Monte has a Veggieful brand of Pocket Pies (they are virtually identical to Hot Pockets, but branded differently). These include Broccoli Potato Cheddar and several Plant-Based meat substitutes.
Thrillist spent sometime and ranked all of the flavors for you.
Dipping Sauce – These are delicious by themselves, but they taste even better when you have a dipping sauce. I use a simple marinara or a ranch dressing. I know that sounds weird, but it is out of this world delish!
A nice, fast, and fresh salad works well with these.
Avocado Tomato Salad – It only takes 10 minutes to whip this up, which is less time than it takes to reheat the Hot Pockets.
Creamy Cucumber Salad – This is another 10 minute salad recipe. Just because you are short on time doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice a nice, healthy side dish.
Pasta Salad – I make this salad early in the week, especially if I know I am going to have some busy evenings. That way, the side dish is ready for me when I get home. Plus, pasta salad always tastes better after the first day, right?
Frozen Foods in the Air Fryer
Besides these gooey pockets of cheese, sauce and pepperoni, there are so many frozen foods that turn out simply delicious when using your fryer. Plus, they are so much faster.
Some of our favorites are:
Believe it or not, there are more than a dozen flavors. The most popular are the Four Cheese Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, Meatballs and Mozzarella, Philly Steak and Cheese, and Hickory Ham and Cheddar.
Don’t overlook the breakfast Hot Pockets too! These are great!
Marina, Ranch, BBQ Sauce are the most common. I have seen folks dip in plain mayonnaise and even a garlic butter.
They certainly aren’t broccoli and peppers but they could be a lot worse. They do make a healthier version called Lean Pockets that have less calories and less fat. Cook them the same way.
It is! Prior to using the fryer, it was recommended to pop them in the microwave the and then use your toaster oven to get the exterior crispy! Now it’s just one step!
It has been overcooked. Always cook air fryer food on the lowest time the first time you use them as all machines are slightly different.
When the filling starts coming out, it is because it is too hot for the pocket and will cook uneven. You can lower the temperature and cook a bit longer or my personal preference is to check on them at the half way point and shake them gently back and forth to jiggle the inside contents a bit to even out the cold and hot.
Allow them a couple minutes to come down in temperature or you will burn your mouth and fingers.
Related Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Hot Pockets
- Air Fryer Silicone Liners
- 2 Hot Pockets
- Dipping Sauce Ranch, Marinara, BBQ Sauce
- Unwrap the two hot pockets from the wrap and place air fryer.
- Turn the air fryer to AIR FRY at 370-375 (some won't heat at 370) for 12 minutes, flipping half way through. Extra crispy will need an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Cool for 3-4 minutes before eating.
- Optional: Add a dipping sauce like Ranch, Marinara or even a BBQ sauce.