Tasty Tuesday: Sloppy Pockets and St. Patrick’s Day

Oh my, we have a lot to talk about today! I want to share the latest new thing in our kitchen and I also want to talk about the VERY important celebratory foods for St. Patrick’s Day. (What? you thought that with the name, Kelley, I might forget this VERY important food occasion?)

When my kids were little they were wildly jealous of the neighbor kids whose mom bought Hot Pockets® for them to snack on after school. Those little stuffed sandwiches which were supposedly easy for a kid to microwave just seemed like the ultimate in snack food to my boys. I never bought them, but over the years we’ve made a lot of our own “pockets”. Last night, we figured out yet another Mom-version of this snack. We used our sloppy joe filling!

Sloppy Pockets

Actually, Sloppy Joes have long been a quick and easy meal around here. More often than not, I end up with extra sloppy joe left and it rarely gets eaten the next day. Even though my boys are much bigger now, I still have two that require hearty snacks after hard swim practices or training runs. Recently I’ve been on the lookout for good ideas.

Last night as I was cleaning up from a dinner of Sloppy Joes, I stood there looking at a rather large pan of leftover meat. What a waste! As I put it into the fridge, I set the container right next to a large bucket of leftover pizza dough. And that’s when I had my brilliant idea. I could wrap that Sloppy Joe meat in the pizza dough and make pockets! And voila, we were on our way to Sloppy Pockets!

Sloppy Pockets

Start by making a batch of Sloppy Joes. As I’ve mentioned before, Sloppy Joe is one of those things that most of us realize that only our own moms ever make it quite right. I know that any other method than my own mom’s Sloppy Joes and they’re just not quite as good. I must confess that this winter, all of our Sloppy Joe meat is actually Sloppy DOE meat as I’m working my way through 5 deer in the deep freeze. Venison is a great meat to use in Sloppy Joes and usually folks can’t even tell the difference between it and ground beef.)

Also, make a batch of pizza dough. If you are running stuck on time or if making your own dough just isn’t your thing, you can use those little balls of dough that you can buy in the freezer section of the grocery store. If you’re in the High Country, the VERY good news is that Stick Boy Bread Co. carries pizza dough that you can buy either frozen or thawed and comes with directions.

Cut the dough into balls that are about 1.5 ounces in weight or about 1.5 inches in diameter.

dough balls for Sloppy Pockets

dough ball for sloppy pockets

Roll each ball of dough out into a circle that’s about 6 or 7 inches across.

Place a scoop of  Sloppy Joe (it’s fine if it’s cold because you just pulled leftovers out of the fridge) and a sprinkle of cheese on one half of the circle of dough. My boys agreed the these little pockets really are best with a little bit of cheese in them.

filling in sloppy pockets

Fold the dough over the top of the Sloppy Joe filling and press the edges together. Use a fork to press the dough together around the edges. Be sure to poke the top of each Sloppy Pocket with a fork to let the steam out as they’re baking.

shaping sloppy pocketscrimping the edges of sloppy pockets

Bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 35 minutes at 400°.

sloppy pockets ready for the oven

They should be golden brown all over.

baked sloppy pockets

After the Sloppy Pockets cooled down, I wrapped each one in foil and then put them in a ziplock bag. I plan to keep these (as long as I can) in the deep freeze. We’ve already tested one and they microwave up nicely in just a minute or two.

hot and cheesy Sloppy Pockets

Now, on to the next topic: St. Patrick’s Day!

With a name like Kelley, how can I not revisit this topic of St. Patrick’s Day recipes every year? I actually was tempted this year to skip this subject for one very simple reason: Why try to improve on awesome?  We love the special traditional dishes that we make for our St. Paddy’s Day dinner and just aren’t inclined to try to improve on what is already delicious!

I will, however, share those recipes with you again, just in case you’ve misplaced them.

Here are our favorites:


Reuben Sandwiches for lunch

Irish Lamb stew

Baked Corned Beef

Fried Peppered Cabbage

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Coffee

The one thing that I HATE about St. Patrick’s Day is the pinching, so I work really hard at wearing green! Everything else about St. Patrick’s Day? LOVE.


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