Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry is made with delicious crispy puff pastry sheets filled with cheese, ham, and arugula then baked until golden brown on the outside and melty and warm on the inside!
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Easy Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pockets
These versatile savory pastry pockets work just as well for a quick lunch or snack as they do as an appetizer for wedding and baby showers or a special occasion breakfast or brunch! For holidays you might want to use a high-quality boutique deli cheese and some leftover holiday ham, but it’ll be just as good with a simple slice of grocery store cheddar and deli ham!
These handheld pastry rollups certainly look fancy and impressive, but they’re really such an easy recipe to make with store-bought pastry dough, your favorite cheese, and even leftover ham if you’ve got some. It takes just 25 minutes from the time you start to the time you get to bite into one. Or in my case, three.
For a quick snack, I’ll eat these as is, but when it comes time to serve breakfast or brunch I’ll usually set out some ranch dressing or a honey mustard sauce for dipping. The best part is, none of it will break the bank!
I mean seriously, is there anything better than the sound of taking a bite out of buttery, flaky puff pastry?
What is the difference between puff pastry and phyllo dough?
Pastry dough contains layers upon layers of cold butter folded into leaves of thin pastry dough, making it flaky, yet buttery and quite soft. Phyllo dough contains no butter, but oil instead, and is quite hard and crispy once baked.
- Puff pastry: Two sheets of puff pastry dough from the freezer. Thaw them out but make sure to keep them cold.
- Ham: Sliced ham. If you’re using leftover ham, be sure not to slice it too thick or you’ll have a difficult time folding it.
- Swiss cheese: A popular pairing to the salty smoky ham is a good sharp swiss cheese. Feel free to swap it for your favorite kind of cheese.
- Arugula: A slightly bitter green on its own is so good with the flavors of ham, cheese, and of course the acidity from the lemon juice.
- Olive oil & lemon juice: A mix of both drizzled over the arugula adds so much flavor and brightens everything up.
- Egg: For the egg wash which gives the pastry a lovely golden brown crust.
- Sesame seeds: Adds a little garnish and extra crunch to the outside of the pastry. You can also use a bit of flaked sea salt or everything bagel seasoning if preferred.
How to Make this Puff Pastry Recipe
Here are the simple steps for making these warm pastries.
Step 1: Place one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured, clean flat surface. Use a flour-dusted rolling pin and roll it into a 10 x 12 rectangle about ⅛” thick.
Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the sheet down the middle and then across in thirds to make 6 even rectangles. Place each one on a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet.
Step 2: Add 1 slice of ham and 2 slices of cheese on each piece of puff pastry rectangle.
Step 3: Place the arugula into a small bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss it around to coat well. Put a little of that arugula on top of each slice of cheese.
Step 4: Fold over one set of opposite corners so they overlap each other as if the pastry is giving its fillings a bear hug. Press down to keep it closed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with your choice of garnish. I like to use a few sesame seeds on some, salt on others, and everything bagel seasoning on the rest!
Step 5: Repeat the above steps with the sheet you’ve got waiting in the fridge. Then bake them all for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
1: Substitute phyllo dough or croissant dough for the puff pastry. Crescent dough could also work, although it wouldn’t as flaky!
2: Use baby spinach or watercress instead of arugula.
3: Use a different cheese. Swap out the Swiss for any cheddar cheese, gruyere, American cheese, mozzarella, feta cheese, goat cheese, or even brie.
4: Swap out the ham for prosciutto (a salty cured Italian ham) or salami.
Tips for Making Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry
- Work with only 1 pastry sheet at a time. Keep the other one in the fridge so it stays cold so the butter contained in the dough doesn’t get too warm and start to melt which would make the dough sticky and harder to handle.
- Make your own honey mustard dipping sauce by using a blend of ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup regular or Dijon mustard.
- You’ll want to spray the parchment paper with cooking spray to ensure they don’t stick.
- Do not assemble these ahead of time. If you’re looking for ways to get ahead, the best thing you can do is to make sure to take out the dough from the freezer and thaw it overnight. Otherwise, if you assemble it without baking it, it’ll get soggy from the oil and lemon juice.
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Cover in an airtight container so they don’t dry out too quickly.
Yes! This is a great way to make them ahead of time. Bake them and cool them completely. Flash freeze them on a tray for at least 30 minutes until solid. This is so they don’t stick together when stored in the freezer in a freezer-friendly bag.
Pop them back in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. You could probably use an air fryer too if you have one.
If they’re frozen, no need to thaw them first. Bake them directly from frozen. The cheese will melt, the pastry will crisp up, and it will be like you just made them!
Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry
- 17.3 ounce package puff pastry sheets 2 sheets thawed but cold
- 12 slices ham
- 12 slices swiss cheese
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 large egg beaten
- Sesame seeds flakey salt, or everything bagel seasoning (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 425° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Working with one pastry at a time, unfold a puff pastry sheet and place on a lightly floured flat surface.
- Roll it into approximately an 10×12” rectangle about ⅛” thick. I lightly flour the roller as well so the dough will not stick to it. (keep the other thawed pastry sheet in the refrigerator to stay cold)
- Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut each puff pastry into 6 even rectangles. (I cut it down the middle first and then in thirds in the other direction)
- Place each piece of pastry on the baking sheet.
- Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each rectangle.
- Place the arugula in a small bowl and drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over top and gently stir to coat it well.
- Add a little arugula to the top of each slice of cheese.
- Fold one set of opposite corners so that they overlap each other and gently press down to keep closed.
- Brush the top of each puff with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning or coarse salt
- Repeat the above steps with the other sheet of puff pastry.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
- Enjoy as is or dip in ranch dressing, mustard or honey mustard (make your own honey mustard with ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup regular or Dijon mustard)
2. Use baby spinach or watercress instead of arugula.
3. Use a different cheese. Swap out the Swiss for any cheddar cheese, gruyere, American cheese, mozzarella, feta cheese, goat cheese or even brie.
4. Swap out the ham for prosciutto or salami.