Briefly, yes, pizza can be frozen, either cooked or uncooked, but it needs to be wrapped well and frozen the same day it was made to avoid freezer burn and loss of quality.
When it comes to comfort food, pizza takes the cake. Whether homemade, takeout, thin crust, deep dish, or stuffed, no one wants to see even a crumb of pizza go to waste. So how can you keep pizza leftovers tasting good for longer? Freeze it!
With a few simple steps, you can freeze leftover pizza for two to three months. This way you can save money, food waste, and have a meal or snack ready at the drop of a hat.
There are a few things to consider when freezing leftover pizza to make sure you get the best out of your cheesy pie. Here’s what you need to know to successfully freeze leftover pizza.
Can Pizza Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze leftover pizza to extend its shelf life. It can then easily be baked or reheated in the oven as a last-minute meal. Pizza can be frozen cooked or uncooked, with or without toppings.
To stop the formation of ice crystals and prevent freezer burn, pizza needs to be wrapped well and protected from air and moisture.
Never freeze pizza that is stale or old. Try to get leftovers, premade, or homemade pizza in the freezer the same day it was made to ensure the best quality once thawed and reheated.
How To Freeze Cooked Pizza
Step 1: Cool Completely and Slice
Make sure the pizza is completely cooled to room temperature before preparing for freezing. Wrapping or freezing warm pizza will result in the formation of ice crystals due to condensation which will spoil the texture and flavor. Cut the pizza into individual slices.
Step 2: Wrap
Wrap the pizza slices in a layer of plastic wrap, making sure all the edges are sealed well with no gaps. Wrap the pizza slices a second time in a layer of aluminum foil.
Step 3: Pack and Label
Place the wrapped pizza slices into a resealable freezer bag and label the bag with the date. Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
Step 4: Freeze
Place the freezer bag in the top of the freezer making sure that the slices will not get squashed by other heavy items.
How To Freeze Uncooked Pizza
Step 1: Prepare the Dough
Make the pizza dough as per your recipe and shape it into the desired size pizza base.
Step 2: Par-bake
Par-bake the crust for only 4 to 5 minutes on a greased baking sheet at 450 °F (230 °C). The dough should just start to puff and dry out. This step will prevent the crust from turning soggy on thawing. Do not bake it with toppings and do not let it bake fully.
Step 3: Cool and Top
Remove the pizza base from the oven and let it cool down completely. Add your pizza toppings.
If possible, refrain from using ingredients with high moisture content such as raw peppers, raw onions, and fresh tomatoes when freezing. Rather add these ingredients fresh just before baking.
Step 4: Pre-freeze
Place the par-cooked base with toppings on a lined baking sheet and place it in the freezer for a few hours just until frozen hard. This will allow the pizza to hold its shape once wrapped and prevents the toppings from sticking to the wrapping.
Step 5: Wrap
Once frozen, remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Wrap the frozen pizza in a double layer of plastic wrap, ensuring it is completely covered. Wrap the pizza in a layer of aluminum foil as an extra layer of protection to avoid freezer burn.
Step 6: Label and Freeze
Use a permanent marker to write the date on the wrapping. Place the pizza back into the freezer until needed.
How To Freeze Pizza Dough
Prepare the pizza dough as per your recipe and let it ferment. If the recipe requires proofing of the dough, skip this step when planning to freeze it. Shape the dough into a ball, 3 or 4 smaller balls, or roll it out into a crust as preferred.
To prevent the dough from sticking to the wrapping, dust it well with flour. Place the dough on a lined baking sheet and pop it into the freezer. Let the dough freeze to hold its shape before wrapping.
Once fully frozen, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and wrap the frozen dough thoroughly in plastic wrap.
As an extra layer of protection, place the wrapped dough into a resealable freezer bag, airtight container, or wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil. Label it with the date before placing it back into the freezer.
How To Thaw and Reheat Frozen Pizza
Pizza leftovers can be thawed in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours and then baked in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for 5 minutes to warm through. The oven is the best way to reheat pizza.
Par-baked pizza can be baked from frozen. Remove the wrapping and place the frozen pizza on a greased baking sheet. Bake it in a preheated oven at 500 °F (260 °C) until cooked through and the cheese has melted.
Raw pizza dough that has been frozen should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or left at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
If the dough ball still needs to undergo proofing, leave it to rise another 1 to 2 hours in a warm area, covered. Once defrosted and fully risen you can shape and assemble your pizza for baking.
Types of Pizza
Pizza is originally an Italian savory dish with a round, flat base of leavened wheat dough topped with tomatoes and cheese. Traditionally, pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature.
Over the years and as pizza became a popular dish worldwide, it started taking on many different forms and piled with an array of non-traditional toppings from pepperoni, pineapple, and avocado to mushrooms, butternut, and meat.
Pizza bases also vary from thin crust to deep-dish, stuffed, and even wheat-free.
Due to its popularity around the world, pizza is readily available from many takeout franchises and restaurants although it will likely not be the original Italian style.
Pizza can also be bought from grocery stores in its frozen form, fresh from the bakery section, or even just the raw dough can be purchased to create your own homemade version.
Whether you like to keep a prepared meal ready for lazy nights or want to save leftovers for a later time, freezing pizza is the answer to saving time and money. Pizza is a great all-in-one meal and perfect for sharing with friends or family.
When you are hungry, simply take it out of the freezer, pop it into the oven, heat, and eat! Comfort couldn’t be more convenient.
Up next: Can you freeze bagels?
*image by firstblood/depositphotos