Every Flavor Of Hot Pockets, Ranked Worst To Best

Hot Pockets have been burning the inside of our mouths with nuclear hot cheese since 1983, and in that time a lot of flavors and varieties have come and gone. Whether it's the old faithful buttery crispy crust or new iterations like croissant, pretzel, or garlic crusts, chances are there's a Hot Pocket just for you. For the health conscious, for as healthy as Hot Pockets can be, Lean Pockets are a tasty alternative. No matter which pocket you prefer, they're all made with 100 percent real cheese, no artificial flavors, and pack at least 10 grams of protein.The best part? They're ready in two minutes. Perfect for people who are busy, lazy, or somewhere in between.

But which Hot Pockets reign supreme? Which are the undeniable must-haves after soccer practice, during that gaming session, or when cooking dinner is just too much effort? Well, we have our opinions — do they match yours? Keep reading to find out.

16. Beef Taco Hot Pockets with seasoned crust

Look, we get it, you want a taco but you're unable to make tacos. Tacos can be a bit labor intensive, it's understandable. However, there's opting for something akin to a taco but simpler, like a taco salad... and then there's having a Hot Pocket taco. Just, no. 

The filling may be tasty and enough like a taco to suspend your disbelief, but the fact is that tacos don't belong in pastry. No, go get a tortilla or even some hard taco shells and have a proper taco. We understand what the powers that be behind Hot Pockets were trying to accomplish here, there definitely could be some more diverse flavor options in their product line, but maybe choose something that works better in a sandwich form? 

That said, it's not bad, if a bit overhanded with the spices. And if this is what you want in your life, go for it. We aren't going to stop you. We're just saying there's about 15 other better options to choose from, that's all. No shade.

15. Cheddar Cheeseburger Hot Pockets with crispy, buttery crust

Cheddar Cheeseburger Hot Pockets are a Hot Pocket you want to love. You want to enjoy it. But there's just something a bit off about it. The cheeseburger is more like meatballs, there's an inconsistency with the size of the onion chunks... and is that ketchup we taste? The cheese only makes it confusingly goopy, and not in a great way. Cheeseburgers are a staple of American cuisine, love it or not, but this seems like a disservice. Why, Hot Pockets, why did you do this to the cheeseburger?

Considering there's plenty of frozen cheeseburger options in the aisles of your favorite grocery store, we won't blame you for giving this a pass in favor of one of those. The idea of a cheeseburger Hot Pocket is a good one, but it's just not executed to its best potential. Cut back on the cheese, crumble the beef a bit more, and ax the ketchup on the inside, and this may be okay. Maybe.

14. Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets with croissant crust

The issue with the Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets is texture. A Philly Cheese Steak is a hearty sandwich. It's messy, yes, but it's not delicate and flaky. You know what are flaky? Croissants. Don't get us wrong, croissants are delicious and the Hot Pocket croissant crust is great, when paired with the right filling. Steak and cheese just isn't that filling. It's a contradiction in texture and taste, and while it doesn't taste bad (honestly, can a Hot Pocket truly taste bad when you've decided on eating a Hot Pocket?), there's just something not quite right about it.

If you're going to have a cheese steak in a pocket sandwich, at least decide on the other version with the heartier crust. You know, the one with the thick seasoned crust that is more reminiscent of an actual cheese steak. It's an interesting concept, but one that just doesn't work all that well. Sorry croissant cheese steak, it's a pass from us.

13. Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Hot Pockets with croissant crust

The only reason, really, that the Chicken, Broccoli and Cheddar Croissant Crust Hot Pocket is so low on this list is because of its crust. The flaky croissant crust does work with this flavor combination, but in comparison and lined up against all the other offerings, it falls a wee bit short. This flavor profile is a sneaky twist on a classic Hot Pocket. If you weren't having cheese or pepperoni pizza Hot Pockets back in the day, you were probably eating the chicken, broccoli and cheddar ones. Probably at your parents' insistence that it was better that the steady flow of pizza into your gullet.

It's a sly way to get people to eat their vegetables. Plus, who doesn't like anything drenched in cheese? The chicken is juicy, the cheese plentiful, and the broccoli offers a nice bite — but not a whole lot of broccoli flavor. It's good eating, and the croissant crust adds a sense of decadence to it. It's just not as good as some of the other choices out there.

12. BBQ Recipe Beef Hot Pockets with crispy, buttery crust

The internet really loves BBQ Recipe Beef Hot Pockets and we're going to agree with you on this, even though the picture on the box looks less than appetizing. BBQ Recipe Beef in a Hot Pocket. Right. What recipe? Brisket? Unlikely. The website just says premium beef, and we're not wholly certain what that means. Regardless, it's the barbecue sauce that's the real winner here. Tangy and flavorful, it's what has people coming back for more and more or buying them in bulk. 

There is something to be said for being able to get cheap and easy to eat barbecue on the go. It's not like you can walk around with a grill at the office. For that, these do get brownie points. Barbecue for all. If you're a barbecue connoisseur, chances are you're going to have some opinions about these sandwich pockets. We're right there with you, but the people want what the people want, an this one isn't too bad.

11. Chicken Pot Pie Hot Pockets with flaky crust

A real chicken pot pie takes time and care to make. The veggies have to be chopped just small enough, the gravy needs to be just thick enough, and the pie crust needs to get golden brown and not soggy at all. You could spend a few hours doing this, or you can take a short cut and get a Chicken Pot Pie Hot Pocket. They're not half bad. They've got everything you need in a pot pie: veggies, gravy, chicken, and a whole lot of flaky crust. It's the crust that really seals the deal here. It's smart of Hot Pockets to emulate pie crust, and it just works ever so well.

A lot of Hot Pockets are geared toward more snacky type food, but this is a meal. Eat two of these and you've practically had a pot pie. It's a traditional favorite in an innovative handheld pocket, a chicken pot pie on the go, if you will. Delicious.

10. Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets with croissant crust

This is one instance where the croissant crust actually really works. It might be because ham and cheddar is a popular crepe filling, and crepes are French and so are croissants and... okay, maybe it's a stretch, but it works, trust us! 

If you've never had a ham and cheese sandwich on a croissant, go make one this instant — or just enjoy these Hot Pockets. The lightness of the croissant pairs very well with the cuts of ham and the creaminess of the cheddar cheese. It's goopy in all the right ways, but it's not too heavy to weigh down the croissant crust.

Over all, we're not big fans of the croissant crust, but this is one croissant Hot Pocket we can't wait to get in the microwave and in our mouths. One wonders if maybe Hot Pocket will come out with dessert varieties that make use of the croissant crust. It just seems it'll work better. Hey Hot Pockets, are you listening?

9. Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Hot Pockets with crispy, buttery crust

Here it is, the superior chicken, broccoli, and cheddar Hot Pocket. This one ranks higher than the croissant option because of the crispy buttery crust. This crust pairs so much better with this flavor combination. It's a bit more robust, and the way it flakes when you eat it, mixed with the melty cheese is just a great bite. Sometimes there really is no need to improve on the old school product. Let this one be. No fancy crusts needed.

Broccoli and cheese is a classic combination. It's how parents get children of all ages to eat their vegetables, and mixing it in with chicken is a great way to add some protein to the mix. As an adult consumer of Hot Pockets, these are great for a healthier snack. Thanks to that green ingredient, you can just about convince yourself that they're healthy.

8. Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets with crispy crust

Pepperoni pizza. Much beloved in all its forms, Hot Pockets included. There are a few pepperoni pizza varieties on this list and in the product line at Nestle, but they are not all created equal. The crispy crust on this one is nice, but it doesn't add anything in terms of flavor, and that's where it falls short.

The crispy crust is, however, nice to have as far as texture. Usually everything comes out a bit soggy when it's been blasted, but not these. Hot Pockets come with a crisper that you cook everything in, and it does a pretty good job, especially with this version of Hot Pockets. The trick is to let it sit in the microwave after cooking for the recommended two minutes. It'll continue to cook and crisp up. Patience is a virtue, yes, even for Hot Pockets.

7. Five Cheese Pizza Hot Pockets with crispy crust

The Romano added into the Five Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket changes the flavor profile from the trusted and true Four Cheese Pizza version just enough to make it a touch overpowering. Romano is a strong flavor, and even in a small quantity, can overtake everything in its path. That tends to happen here. It's a cheese bomb and sometimes (believe it or not) there is such a thing as too much cheese. There is some pizza sauce in there, but the pocket would be served better by changing the ratio a bit more in the sauce's favor. Sure, we all love toppings on pizza, but the sauce holds the real flavor.

All that said, the Five Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket is a great choice, especially if you're a fan of cheese in all its varieties. If you're a fan of pizza, especially cheese pizza, you'll enjoy this Hot Pocket. There's no doubt about that. There are just better pizza pockets in the range.

6. Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza Hot Pockets with garlic buttery crust

Pepperoni and sausage in a pizza Hot Pocket? If you like Italian sausage and pepperoni on your pizza that this stuffed pocket is for you! The garlic buttery crust mimics pizza crust, though we wish the crust was a bit meatier to hold up to the fillings. There's a lot of filling in the Hot Pocket and you definitely won't be searching for flavor. In terms of getting all the components in a single bite however, that may prove to be an issue.

There is an inconsistency in the fillings. Some will be jam-packed and practically burst in the microwave (so be careful). Others are so skimpy on the sausage that it's practically just a pepperoni pizza Hot Pocket. If you're unfortunate enough to get one of those, we're sorry. Consider this a warning. There's nothing quite like being disappointed by a Hot Pocket.

5. Four Cheese Pizza Hot Pockets with garlic buttery crust

Four Cheese Pizza Hot Pockets are the childhood standard. The crème de la crème of after school snacks. Chances are this was the first Hot Pocket you ever had, and as such, it has a special place in your heart. It does in ours anyway. After all, how can you go wrong? Four ooey gooey cheeses melted inside of pastry? This is what kids dream of. Add in the fact that the garlic buttery crust is standard, and you've practically got yourself a mini calzone in a microwavable blanket. 

Sometimes there's a way to improve on the classics, but really, the Four Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket is leagues ahead of its Five Cheese cousin. It's simple, classic, and very tasty. Parmesan, cheddar, provolone for just a little bite, and good ole dependable mozzarella make this one of the best Hot Pockets out there. Add in 12 grams of protein and you can almost pretend it's good for you too.

4. Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets with seasoned crust

If you were going to put a Philly Cheese Steak in a pocket, this is how you do it. Not with flaky croissant crust, but with a heartier seasoned crust. Is it like a cheese steak you're going to find on the streets of Philadelphia? Well, no. You have to go to Philadelphia for that. However, if you want one straight from your freezer that also happens to be in a pocket form, this is what you need in your life.

It has all the fixings of a proper Philly cheese steak: peppers, onions, beef, and cheese. It also just makes more sense with this type of crust. No, it's not like the bread you'll get on a cheese steak, but it's got some body to it and the seasonings are a nice addition. This is a case where a little extra flavor helps out.

3. Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets with crispy, buttery crust

The chunks of hickory ham add a nice salt component to the Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets. They've got texture without being rubbery, and they break up the sheer amounts of cheese that happen to inhabit this Hot Pocket. We feel they're just one step away from being just a Cheese Hot Pocket, which granted, may not be a bad thing. That said, we do wish there was a bit more ham in these to balance things out, especially as more and more cheese seems to be getting added to these.

With extra cheese added in now (30 percent more, according to the package), these are primed to explode with cheddar goodness. Also, they may actually explode. Keep a close eye on your Hot Pocket as it's in the microwave. You may have a cheesesplosion on your hands. The best bet is to make sure it's cooled enough before biting into it, otherwise molten hot cheese is going to burn every bit of your mouth. Don't say we didn't warn you.

2. Meatballs and Mozzarella Hot Pockets with garlic buttery crust

You know what's delicious? Cheese. You know what else is delicious? Meatballs. So what better life choice could you make in the Hot Pocket world than to combine these two into an Italian delight in a pastry pocket? If there was a ranking of premium Hot Pockets, the ones that were on a pedestal when you were a kid (and maybe even now as an adult, hey, we're not judging), the Meatballs and Mozzarella Hot Pockets would definitely be up top. The meatballs play double duty here. They add body and texture and when you get a bite of them amidst the mozzarella, oh it's so tasty. That is, if you let it cool first. Eat it too fast and the meatballs may be dangerously hot.  

It's a meatball sub in a turnover sized package. You can't really walk around eating a meatball sub, after all. That's going to get all over you and everything else. What you can do, however, is eat a meatball and mozzarella Hot Pocket on the go. They're magic like that.

1. Premium Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets with garlic buttery crust

Premium Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets were the true premium Hot Pockets back in the day, and perhaps it's a heavy sense of nostalgia that edges them up to the number one spot, or perhaps it's just the fact they're truly the best. These were the Hot Pockets you fought your siblings over, the first ones to disappear from the freezer, and the ones you tried to sneak into your mom's cart when she wasn't looking.

Not only do you get the ooey gooey cheesy goodness of the cheese pizza, but you get some pepperoni thrown in there as well. Add in the garlic buttery crust, and you've got the king of all hot pockets. There's just something to be said for the bite the pepperoni offers. It adds some needed texture to just a plain cheese based Hot Pocket, as well as extra flavor.