I've been exploring options for hot, healthy breakfasts that are as easy as humanly possible, since I don't like to make a lot of fuss in the kitchen early in the morning but I do like something warm and comforting on chilly mornings. Inspired by a recipe on LunchBox.com for a vegan breakfast hot pocket, I created a vegan version of my favorite breakfast scramble, and made a gluten-free peppery dough that has its own little kick. It's a delicious hot breakfast meal with a Southwestern flare.

Best of all, you can make this ahead of time and store individually wrapped pockets in the fridge to bake as needed over a few days. Just turn on the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, grab a wrapped pocket from the fridge, toss it onto a baking sheet and voila! In 15 minutes, you have a hot and crispy breakfast pocket with a bit of a spicy kick to fire up your taste buds for the day. Can't beat homemade fast food!

hot pocket

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Cook time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 45 minutes 

Yields: 6 Pockets

Southwest Style Breakfast Hot Pockets

Ingredients for Dough

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I use Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2-1 cup ice cold water (added in tablespoon increments)
Ingredients for Scramble
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • Taco seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Ingredients for Taco Seasoning

I adore this recipe for homemade taco seasoning from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I make it in bulk and keep it in a mason jar in the cupboard. I find it impossible to use too much, so plan on using this whole batch in your breakfast scramble. Just pour and stir the ingredients in a mixing container and set aside:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
The scramble ingredients

The scramble ingredients on some uncooked dough

Cooking directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder.
  2. Cut in the vegan margarine until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add the ice water in a tablespoon at a time, until you have a sticky but still workable ball of dough.
  4. Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place it into the fridge to chill while making the scramble.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute until just softened.
  6. Add the tofu and taco seasoning and stir a couple times until everything is coated.
  7. Add the spinach and stir until just barely wilted.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside.
  9. Remove the dough ball from the fridge. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Using a small or medium bowl, cut out rounds of dough. You may need to collect the trimmings and roll the dough out again to get all six (or more!) of your rounds.
  10. Now it's time to fill the pockets. I like the advice given by Kathy on her hot pocket recipe on LunchBox.com for getting the most filling in a pocket: "The goal is to stuff as much filling into the pocket as possible. Otherwise you are really just left with a lot of crust and a few bites of filling. Not good. So here is how I achieved this... Cut out a large circle of dough - about 5" across. Then take that circle and roll out (again) as evenly and thinly as possible. Now you have a perfectly thin piece of circle dough to work with! From here you can stuff and fold into a half circle pocket - or roll out a second slightly larger circle for the top layer. Seal edges with a fork, poke a hole in the top." I followed her advice and probably could have crammed even more stuffing in there had I followed the two-circle option rather than the fold-over option. Either way works, but the two-circle option probably leads to the fullest pockets.
  11. What is important to note is that gluten-free flour creates a dough that isn't as elastic as regular dough, so you need to be careful and patient with it. I used a spatula to help me fold the dough over the stuffing without cracking it. If it does tear, don't sweat it — just pinch it back together to seal and keep moving along.
  12. Place the pockets on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the dough is crispy and turning golden at the edges.
  13. Plate, serve and enjoy! You can store leftover baked pockets in the fridge for a few days, reheating them in the oven. You can also wrap raw pockets in foil or parchment paper and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days, baking them as needed.

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Southwest-Style Breakfast Hot Pockets
These pockets are easy to make in advance, keep cool in the fridge, and then heat up before you head out the door to start your day.