(Image credit: Casey Barber)

My husband, Dan, would eat a cheeseburger pretty much every day of the week if I let him. This is not conjecture; it's an established fact. It's his desert-island food, and should we ever be stuck on a magical cheeseburger-filled desert island, he's free to eat as many as he wants, as often as he wants.

It's also true that Dan works in Manhattan, which is in fact an island with no shortage of great burgers. But it's not always easy for him to run out and grab one on his dinner break, so we compromise with these savory cheeseburger pies, a glorious hybrid of a Hot Pocket and a Pop Tart. Stashing a few of these in the office freezer are way better than buying a box of either of those for reheating.

(Image credit: Casey Barber)

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Makes 6 pies

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
A few shakes Worcestershire sauce
2 9-inch pie crusts, store-bought or homemade (divided into 2 rounds if homemade)
6 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Make the filling: Brown the ground beef in a large, wide skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, breaking up any large chunks of beef with a spatula as it cooks. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. (The beef can be browned up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate and bring to room temperature when you're ready to assemble the pies.)

Stir the ketchup, relish, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce into the beef.

Assemble the pies: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Roll out one round of pie dough into a 12x12-inch rectangle.

Cut the dough into six 4x6-inch rectangles with a pizza cutter or pastry cutter. Three of these rectangles will be the bottom of your pies, and the remaining three will be the tops.

Place about 1/2 cup beef filling on each of the 3 "bottom" rectangles. Top each with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.

Brush the edges of the beef rectangles with egg wash, then cover with the 3 remaining "tops."

Tidy up the edges of each pie with the pizza or pastry cutter, then crimp shut with the tines of a fork. Poke the top of the pastry a few times to vent the pies.

Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash. Place on one of the prepared baking sheets.

Repeat with the remaining dough, beef filling, cheese, and egg wash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until each pie is gorgeously golden-brown. Cool to room temperature on a rack in preparation for freezing — or serve immediately!

Recipe Note

  • To freeze the hand pies: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper. Place the cooked pies in a single layer on the baking sheet — it's OK if they are close to one another, as long as they don't overlap. Freeze on the baking sheet for about 1 hour until the pies are completely frozen through. Transfer the frozen pies to a gallon-size freezer bag or wrap each individually in foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
  • To reheat frozen hand pies: Frozen pies can be heated in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or microwaved for 3 to 4 minutes.
(Image credit: Casey Barber)

Find Casey's Book:

Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food by Casey Barber

More posts in 5 Freezer Meals to Get You Through Fall