Ran out of groceries and have zero time to cook dinner? Planning a cozy movie night in? Hungrily stepping out of the bar down the block at 3 a.m.? We’ve all been in these situations and can’t deny that pizza is always the answer. The simple combination of gooey cheese, fluffy dough, and flavorful marina is the perfect quick meal for any occasion. Except we all know that there’s one tiny caveat: Finding a good pizzeria can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Solution? Grab one of our best frozen pizza pies and bake it at home.
For those times that you’d rather not search for the best pizza spot in your state or even just step outside your front door, we tested five go-to cheese pies in the freezer aisle. Find out which is worth the fold hold in our exclusive taste test below.
Here are the four metrics we used to determine each pie’s final grade.
While it’s safe to say we aren’t indulging in a slice in efforts to slim down, pizza can actually be healthy. Think whole-grain crust, preservative-free tomato sauce, and quality cheese. That’s why we docked points for extra sodium, fat, and lack of fiber.
We look for quality olive oil over inflammatory oils, real tomatoes over added-sugar-filled sauce, and fresh herbs.
Does your pie look like it popped out of a brick oven by a Neapolitan pizzaiolo or does it resemble one of those wimpy dollar slices you’d find on an NYC corner? Is the crust a delight to bite or is the consistency closer to cardboard?
The cheese to sauce ratio is arguably the most significant determining factor. No one wants a pie that’s overflowing with mozzarella yet leaves tangy tomato to the imagination.
Nutrition: Per 1/3 pie (148 g): 390 calories, 17 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 670 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (5 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein
Ingredients: Gluten-free crust (water, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, white whole grain sorghum flour, potato starch, olive oil, cane sugar, milled flax seed, yeast, psyllium, sea salt, xanthan gum), tomato basil sauce (water, tomato paste, olive oil, onions, basil, salt, garlic, xanthan gum, spices), Daiya mild mozzarella and cheddar style shreds blend (filtered water, tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and/or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein isolate, inactive yeast, salt, vegan natural flavours, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, lactic acid (vegan), titanium dioxide, yeast extract, citric acid, annatto (for colour).
Appearance & Consistency: After cooking the pie for the recommended time, the vegan cheese still refused to melt. We were left with wonton-looking shreds atop a thick crust.
Taste: Unless you’re a fan of dairy-free cheese, you probably won’t entirely enjoy this option. The crust was overly sweetened with cane sugar and also tasted very buttery, which is ironic for a vegan pie. When we bit into the warm pie, we couldn’t help but notice how the greasy mozzarella- and cheddar-style shreds left an odd residue on our teeth and on our tongues.
Nutritionally speaking, Daiya’s dairy-, soy- and gluten-free pie packs in a solid amount of satiating fiber but overloads on bloating sodium. Taste-wise, the tangy tomato sauce helped balance out the buttery sweetness of the crust, but the pseudo cheese threw us off and lent the entire dish an off-putting artificial flavor. Only after allowing the pie to cool for about an hour were we able to somewhat enjoy this vegan swap. If you generally don’t mind cold pizza—or are a pro at delayed gratification—and have time to wait for this pick to cool off, you’ll likely tolerate this pie.
Nutrition: Per 1/2 pie (142 g): 340 calories, 16 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 680 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 12 g protein
Ingredients: Pizza crust (water, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, modified rice starch, egg whites, whey, palm oil, yeast, oil blend (canola oil, olive oil), cane sugar, salt, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate [added for freshness]), low moisture mozzarella cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), water, tomato paste, mozzarella cheese (cultured milk, enzymes, salt), tomato, canola oil, sugar, salt, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid.
Appearance & Consistency: The chunks of mozzarella took some time to fully melt and the crust didn’t thoroughly cook in the center although the edges were browned, rendering an inconsistent texture.
Taste: Udi’s piece tasted like what you would expect a frozen pizza to taste like: mediocre. The saltiness overpowered other flavors we would’ve liked to shine through such as cheese and basil—the latter nowhere to be found in the ingredient list.
No basil on a margherita pizza? Udi’s gluten-free pick was missing the bright herb, which led us to wonder why this pie was even dubbed “margherita.” Besides for the missing ingredient throwing us off, Udi’s clocked in at the highest sodium and sugar contents, which were reflected in every bite. If you suffer from celiac or follow a gluten-free diet, we say go for Caulipower’s offering instead.
Nutrition: Per 1/3 pie (123 g): 260 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 540 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein
Ingredients: Organic unbleached wheat flour, filtered water, organic tomato purée, whole milk mozzarella cheese (pasteurized whole milk, culture, vinegar, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), organic extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, culture, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), organic honey, organic basil, sea salt, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic garlic, organic cane sugar, yeast, spices.
Appearance & Consistency: Rather than a layer of shredded cheese gracing the crust, Amy’s pie contained circular chunks of mozzarella. Out of all the offerings tested, Amy’s dough was the thickest and overpowered the cheese and sauce.
Taste: This pie was in desperate need of more cheesy goodness and an extra double dose of flavorful herbs. We didn’t get any earthy hints from the olive oil or subtle sweetness from the basil. We also noticed that Amy’s opts for organic tomato puree rather than a spice-blended marinara in the recipe, which explains the lack of big-time flavor boosters such as oregano and garlic.
Amy’s pizza’s uber pillowy crust, an insufficient helping of cheese, and unimpressive flavor took us straight to our middle school cafeteria. While this pick was certainly nostalgic, it’s not one we’d choose for a weekly lunch.
Nutrition: Per 1/2 pie (165 g): 380 calories, 18 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 650 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 16 g protein
Ingredients: Cauliflower, tomato sauce (tomatoes, garlic, oregano, sea salt), mozzarella white cheddar cheese blend (pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), brown rice flour, corn starch, water, parmesan cheese (pasteurized whole milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), tapioca, sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, egg, xanthan gum, yeast, salt, vinegar, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate).
Appearance & Consistency: After slicing the baked pie in half, which is the suggested serving size, the crust wilted as we lifted the piece off the baking sheet. The cauliflower base was too raw for our liking, so we cooked it on high for an extra five minutes. There seemed to be a balanced amount of sauce and cheese, which melted evenly throughout.
Taste: Absolutely delicious. This pie required some more time in the oven if you like the crust crispy rather than on the doughy side.
You’d never guess that cauliflower is the first ingredient in this impressive pie. We love that the brand snuck the nutritious veggie so seamlessly into the crust. After a few extra minutes under the broiler, the oven rendered a delicious take on an otherwise nutritionally-void meal. One half-pie serving boasts a solid dose of muscle-maintaining protein, 45 percent of your daily value of calcium, 35 percent DV vitamin C, and 25 percent DV vitamin D. While there’s little room for improvement, we would love to see the sodium content lowered before this pie can be pegged the best frozen pizza.
Nutrition: Per slice (145 g): 260 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 500 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 11 g protein
Ingredients: Tomato sauce (vine-ripened fresh plum tomatoes, tomato juice, fresh basil leaf, salt and naturally derived citric acid), high gluten enriched bromated bleached flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, potassium bromate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, fontina cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan cheese (cultured milk, enzymes, salt), fresh mozzarella cheese (milk, rennet, salt), canola oil, eggs, 100% pure olive oil, basil, vegetable shortening (palm oil, cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, organic malt barley, yeast.
Appearance & Consistency: We loved that the pre-portioned slice came in a clear, vacuum-sealed packaging that highlighted the fresh mozzarella and bright basil leaves. The crust was thin and crispy: Just how we like it.
Taste: As if you’ve entered a garden and picked the basil yourself, this slice was aromatic and the epitome of thin-crust, New York-style pizza. The three-cheese blend added umami and depth while the vine-ripened tomatoes contributed the ideal amount of sweetness without overpowering the other ingredients.
Picture walking into a cozy pizzeria in the heart of Brooklyn and ordering the simplest thing on the menu, and this scrumptious slice is exactly what you’ll get. One bite reveals that it’s no secret why Table87’s frozen slices gained so much momentum after its debut on Shark Tank. The coal-fired crust adds the perfect amount of smokiness and crisp while the ample amount of cheese leaves your taste buds and tummy satisfied. Each ingredient—from the pure olive oil to the plum tomatoes to the buttery Fontina—tasted authentic.