“Can you freeze cooked pizza?”, “How to save your pizza for later?”, all of those questions were mine too. I used to have huge concerns about preserving my pizza after ordering too much of them just because I didn’t want to waste food.
Since pizza is one of the most prevalent comfort foods in half of this world, many people have similar questions. Fortunately, I have found my answer for that, and it’s my turn now to share it with you!
Freezing Cooked Pizza, Is It Possible?
Yes, it is. You can freeze your cooked pizza, leftover pizza, and other delicious pizza kinds for up to 2 months in the freezer. It’s a pretty long time, isn’t it? But, it only works if you know how to store it properly.
Do not rush to toss the whole box of your pizza into the freezer; let me tell you how to do it precisely.
How To Freeze Your Cooked Pizza Properly?
There are two main reasons for you to come here. First, you have a lot of leftover pizza. Second, you have home-pre-made pizzas and want to preserve them. Therefore, I will divide this part into two smaller ones and provide your requested answers.
How To Freeze Your Leftover Pizza
I am undeniably ordering pizza home every weekend because I am too lazy to cook after a week. As a result, there were always many leftovers after such times, and that became my concern.
You won’t need to meet the same concern as me. I am going to show you step by step how to store leftover pizza in the freezer.
You should skip the idea of stuffing your leftover pizzas into Ziploc bags and putting them straight into the freezer. It will still freeze your leftover pizzas, but they will become soggy when reheated because of freezer burn. Below are the proper steps you should not miss.
You need to prepare something here:
- Aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
- A Ziploc bag or an airtight container
- A cookie tray or a baking sheet
- Some sticky notes or labels
Why does a cookie tray or a baking sheet appear on this list? You will find out now.
Step 1: Make sure that you have already separated all the pizza slices apart. It is still fine letting them stick together, but it will annoy you when you want to have just a single piece at once.
Step 2: Wrap your pizzas tightly in plastic wrap first and then cover one layer more with aluminum foil. This double protection can both prevent freezer burn and keep the maximum moisture inside the pizza.
Check if your pizzas are all covered. A slight edge exposed to direct freezing temperatures might affect the quality.
Step 3: Put these wrapped pizzas on the cookie tray or baking sheet you have prepared, and place them in your freezer until you can feel they are frozen solidly. It might take 3 or 4 hours.
Step 4: Move your frozen pizzas into the Ziploc bags or the airtight container and put them back into the freezer (you don’t need to put them on trays anymore). After that, write the day you start to freeze them to track the expiry date later.
Follow these steps, and your cooked pizza will last for 2 months. If at the date of “2 months after” and your pizzas still don’t have any weird smell or strange color, you can still eat them. Yet, the quality might not be as good as you expected.
How To Freeze Your Homemade Pizza
You know how to make pizza at home but you don’t have time to make it from the batter, so you decided to make frozen pizza at home. It’s more convenient because you will only need to reheat them when you want to have a bite.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and put your pizza dough into it for 5 minutes. You are par-baking your pizza base so you won’t need it to be cooked; the dry surface is good enough.
Step 2: After 5 minutes, take your pizza base out and put your favorite toppings on it. Cooked or uncooked toppings are fine.
Step 3: From now on you will also do from step 1 of freezing leftover pizza.
Follow all these steps and you can also have your home-pre-made pizza for up to 2 months. When you want to recook it, you can also follow the instructions of thawing and recooking below.
Best Way To Thaw Your Pizza
After all the steps to freeze your pizza, the time until the next time you crave for it, how to thaw your pizzas quickly or conveniently, and of course, correctly?
The Right Way To Defrost Your Pizza
The perfect way to defrost nearly everything is to put them into the cooler compartment of the fridge for a while. This “while” of frozen pizza should be at least 3 hours or almost a day, so I suggest you thaw your pizzas from the night before.
You can put your pizzas into the cool compartment before going to sleep the evening before and having a delicious pizza lunch the day after. Thawing your pizza is a must since you don’t want your precious treat to become mushy or hard rock when you re-cook it.
When thawing your pizza, you can leave the wrap or foil as it is and just simply put it on the plate; it’s good. But I always unwrap it before putting it back into the fridge.
Do You Want To Eat Pizza Instantly? There Is Still A Way For That!
Not every time, you can have enough patience to wait a night and then eat your pizza. You and I, people, usually just want it right away. You just want it when you want it, right?
To do that, you can cheat the thawing. Put your frozen pizzas right in the oven or microwave and just reheat them. The microwave or oven should be set at the heat of 120 degrees F.
The drawbacks are you have to observe it after 1 or 2 minutes, or your pie will be rough and rubbery, and the final results can still be chewy with the soggy crust.
All in all, waiting is happiness!
Several Interesting Ways To Reheat Your Pizza
There are still some arguments about the best way to reheat your pizza, using a microwave, oven, or pan? To me, it depends on your preferences. So, I will show you how to use those 3 things to reheat your pizza in the upcoming section.
1. Microwave – The “Instant” Option
Usually, your starch-based or bread will end up soggy and unattractive after being reheated in the microwave. Now I will show you the way to avoid that. You need to find one of these two things in your kitchen first:
- A porcelain cup ( because it is durable under heat)
- Some absorbent paper towels
Use whichever one you feel is more convenient. Just don’t accidentally grab a ceramic cup instead. With the differences between ceramic and porcelain kitchenware, it might not be wise to replace porcelain with ceramic in this case. Now, let’s move to the steps!
Step 1: Thaw your pizza completely. You can follow the way I suggested above.
Step 2: Place your pizza onto a plate covered by a sheet of paper towel. (If you don’t have a paper towel for this, you can put it like that.)
Step 3: Use a damp paper towel (with no excess water) and gently wrap your pizza slice. Make sure that your pizza is fully covered.
(In the other way, put water into your cup and place it next to your pizza.)
Step 4: Put them into your microwave and set the timer around 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Step 5: Take your pizza out and enjoy!
With this method, you just need around 2 minutes to have your pizza on the table. Your pizza base will be soft and moist enough; the crust will also not be soggy or mushy.
The truth is it will taste average, a bit chewy with the crust, but you can not ask for anything more since it only needs 2 minutes to cook it.
Microwave tricks to reheat pizzas you should never miss! Watch this video to know:
2. Oven-Reheating Pizza
Besides the microwave, you can reheat pizzas in ovens with a few steps. Although this method is not as fast as the microwave, the outcome is definitely better. It’s also a great way to rewarm deep dish pizza, so if yours is a deep dish pizza, I recommend going for this method.
To do this, I need you to find something below:
- A tray, a good pizza pan, or a baking sheet
- A silicone brush
- A bit of freshwater
Yes, there are only 3 simple things you need to have, and let’s get to work now!
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 320 or 350 degrees F in 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 2: Turn back to your pizza, put your pizza on the tray, and use the silicone brush to put some water on the edge of your pizza. Remember to do it evenly.
Step 3: Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F before putting your pizza tray into the oven. Remember to check after 5 minutes. It also depends on your pizza slice size so that the time can be up to 10 minutes.
Step 4: When you see the cheese on top of the pizza is drizzling, and the pizza crust starts to turn darker, then it’s ready to eat. Take it out and enjoy!
With this method, your pizza does still contain moisture inside, but it doesn’t have the same taste as it actually is. Yet, the quality is still better than the microwave. Therefore, if you are not good with using a pan, you can consider this method.
Additionally, the oven is an ideal way to retain pizza’s warmth until served. This will come in handy when something crops up in the middle of the reheating process, and you can’t eat the pizza right away.
- Use a temperature of 550 degrees F if you want your pizza crust to be extra crispy. I know, it’s a bit risky because your pizza might burn in a matter of a few minutes.
As a reason, you’ll need to “care for” your pizza until you think it’s ready to eat, then take it out immediately.
Best guidance on how to reheat pizza by the oven! Must watch!
3. Most Recommended Way So Far, Pan-Reheating
The last method but also the most recommended way! Although it might be more challenging to make it right or deal with the pan, it’s worth your time doing it. All you need to prepare for this method is a flat pan with its lid; a non-stick flat pan is the best.
Step 1: Put your thawed pizza on the pan, turn on the medium-high heat and let it be there for a couple of minutes; I suggest you wait for 2 or 3 minutes.
Step 2: My personal tip for you here is: Put in a few drops of water alongside your water. The water will create useful steam to melt your cheese and also keep the moisture of your pizza.
Step 3: Cover the pan lid and wait until your cheese is melted.
Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! With this method, your cheese is beautifully melted, the crust is super crispy, and the taste is 90% alike with the freshly made version. Highly recommend this!
This is how to pan-reheat your pizza, and it takes only 5 minutes! Watch this video to know:
I have found another way to reheat my pizza recently, which is to use the toaster. I put my unwrapped pizza into my toaster to try, and it turned out not very well. Therefore, I didn’t suggest it here. If you are curious, you can try and share with me the right way to do it.
Sneaky Tips To Refresh Your Frozen Cooked Pizza
I have to agree that even if you reheat pizza correctly, it will sometimes still bring the “old-food” taste. Hence, if you have a frozen pizza piece on hand, let’s start to spice it up.
1. Bake Your Pizza On A Pizza Stone
The pizza stone is specially made to distribute the heat evenly onto the pizza crust. If you have one, use it. But if you don’t, let’s skip it and move to the next tip.
2. Re-Season Your Crust
Pizza crust, besides the toppings, is the essential part of a pizza and might be very bland after freezing. To season it, don’t add salt! The pre-cooked pizza already had high sodium content. I suggest using herb-flavored oil and brushing the oil on the crust.
The flavored oil not only helps to keep the moisture of your pizza but also has the herbs’ flavors to lighten your taste up. You can use thyme, rosemary, parsley, fenugreek and its substitutes, or garlic-flavored oil to do that. I love garlic oil the most. You should try my suggestion.
If you don’t like to add more oil, herb butter is a good alternative. The buttery smell even gives better effects.
You can also use any low sodium seasoning mixes to season your crust; as long as it doesn’t contain much salt and you love it, it’s fine.
3. Add Some More Toppings
Fresher toppings can absolutely bring the revolution! In my opinion, you better check some of the following:
No problem if your meats are leftovers or freshly made; adding other toppings can add more flavor to the pizza. Chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, anything you want to put on your pizza. An egg? Just do it.
Fresh Vegetables, Fruits, And Herbs
The fresh vegetables and herbs are a must-have to refresh your pizza. Their fresh taste, aroma, and texture can help your pizza don’t taste old anymore.
You can start with some bell peppers, mushrooms together with some chives, arugula, or parsley. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs instead.
Maybe some of you might oppose the idea of fruits with pizza, but they can make an excellent combination. There are some fruit options that you can choose: apples, figs, or some peaches.
Always Add More Cheese
Cheese can never go wrong with pizza. If you love melted cheese toppings, you can add mozzarella before reheating or feta, parmesan, and blue cheese after reheating.
Or, if you have burrata cheese, putting it on your pizza will bring an “upper-class”, elegant taste to your humble frozen pizza.
4. Using The Broiler
After adding all the toppings and baking your pizza until it is cooked through to your preferences, let’s put it on the broiler for about 1 or 2 minutes. The heat from the broiler can make a beautiful golden brown color on your cheese without overcooking your crust.
5. Last Touch By Drizzling
The final touch is also essential to enhance the taste of your pizza. Just some drops of olive oil are good enough. Other options could be some balsamic glaze, hot honey, and some drops of lemon juice.
Now, your pizza is ready to serve. It’s time to think of something to go with your pizza because pizza is so much better when it has a companion dish. And with a side dish, your reheated pizza will seem much more like a hearty and fulfilling meal.
There might be some other problems about freezing cooked pizza or the way to deal with them when you want a piece. I will help you with that, so let’s scroll down and find your answers.
Save Some Pizza Now As A Small Gift For Your Future-Self!
You already know, “can you freeze cooked pizza or not” so don’t hesitate to order different new flavors from your favorite pizza store to try. The leftover pizzas can be your little gift later.
Pizza is always a special, convenient treat for my dinner and might be the same for you. Knowing how to freeze, thaw and reheat, or even spice them up properly will help you enjoy your pizza to the last pieces and save money.
I hope that you find my article valuable and try the tips that I have shared with you. Any experiences or contributive comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section.
- Ask.usda.gov. 2021. AskUSDA. [online] Available at: <https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-2-Hour-Rule-with-leaving-food-out>.