Do you often find yourself with leftover pizza, and cringe at the thought of binning those slices? Or, if you are like me, perhaps you like to make homemade pizza in advance and pop it in the microwave for a quick meal on cozy Friday nights? Freezing is one of the best ways to keep your pizza fresh for longer.
If you do it right, your cheesy snack can stay in the freezer for months and still come out tasting amazing. That said, there is more to it than just tossing a box of pizza in the freezer compartment. You must take safety measures to protect the dough and toppings from frost burn and air. We’ll get into that in a bit so keep reading to find out how to freeze pizza like a pro.
Supplies You Will Need
- Plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil
- Airtight container
Step-by-Step Guide To Freeze Pizza
Follow these easy steps to learn how to freeze uncooked pizza and leftover pizza.
How to Freeze Homemade Pizza
Making pizza ahead is a great way to save time, especially during busy work weeks. You can have a nice, warm meal in less than 15 minutes!
Step 1: Prepare dough
The best way to freeze pizza made at home is to par-bake the crust. This means baking the dough halfway before freezing. When you are ready to eat, you can pop it back into the oven to complete the baking process.
To get started, prepare the pizza dough using your favorite recipe. Roll it into shape and transfer it to a suitable baking sheet.
Pro Tip: Prick the dough with a fork to keep it from swelling up too much in the oven. You want a flat pizza base, not one that is puffed up.
Step 2: Bake the crust
Next, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking pan with the dough in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. The dough should look dry and puffy but not crusty. Remember, you want to bake the crust partially.
Parbaking has several advantages. First, when you are ready to serve your pizza, you can do it fast—just pop it in the oven, and it is ready in a few minutes.
More importantly, par-baking keeps the crust from becoming soggy when you remove the pizza from the freezer. No one wants a soggy, moisture-logged pizza base.
Step 3: Add toppings
After baking the crust for five minutes, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. It is best to wait until the crust is cool before sprinkling any toppings. This will keep the toppings fresh and crunchy.
Next, load up the crust with your favorite toppings and cheese too. Most common pizza toppings will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 months. If well baked, the crust will also stay firm and fresh for a couple of months until you are ready to serve.
Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap
The way you cover and store frozen pizza will contribute to the quality of the pizza when you remove it out of the freezer, and you are ready to serve.
Be diligent with your wrapping method and choice of wrapping material to protect the food from frost burns and air. These two elements will quickly cause the pizza to lose its taste, chewiness, and crunch.
While some people just cover using aluminum foil, I strongly recommend wrapping the pizza in a layer of plastic wrap first. This is because plastic wrap does an excellent job of keeping air out and maintaining the quality of frozen food. Food exposed to air goes bad quickly because oxygen provides just the right conditions for microbial growth.
To wrap the pizza, slide it out of the baking pan but keep the baking sheet intact for easy baking later on. Roll out the plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the pizza on top of this first layer of wrap.
Pull the roll of cling film tightly over the pizza. As you do this, be sure not to squash your toppings with plastic wrap. You want it to be just rightly tight—not too loose to protect food against air and frost burn and not too tight to be messy when you want to take it out to bake the pizza.
Wrap the pizza with another layer of cling film. I like wrapping in two layers of plastic cling film as assurance against frost burns.
Step 5: Cover with aluminum foil
Aluminum foil helps to keep food fresh for longer. It also protects against moisture, which, like oxygen, can accelerate the rate of food spoilage.
For this next step, roll out aluminum foil on a flat surface and place the plastic-wrapped pizza on the foil. Pull the roll of foil over the pizza to cover in one layer. Gently press the foil along the circular edges of the pizza to protect against moisture and from picking up smells from other foods in the freezer.
Step 6: Store in the freezer
Create enough storage space in the freezer. The pizza should lay flat with no other food placed on top of it.
When you are ready to serve, remove the pizza from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pizza for 10 minutes or until the crust turns golden and the cheese melts, then enjoy your delicious meal!
How to Freeze Leftover Pizza
Whether you are left with a box or a few slices, it can be tempting to just throw the pizza in the fridge for later consumption. Pizza can keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, after which its quality starts to deteriorate.
If you don’t plan to eat the pizza within 1 or 2 days, it is best to freeze it. Thankfully, freezing leftover pizza is a complete breeze.
Step 1: Separate the slices
The best way to freeze pizza that has been left over is to store individual pieces. Take the pizza out of the box and cut the crust to separate the individual slices.
Step 2: Wrap with cling film
Roll out cling film on a flat surface and place a slice on the film. Pull the plastic film over the slice twice for a moisture and odor-proof double wrap.
Make sure that the entire slice is covered and no space is left along the edges. This will protect against frost and keep moisture at bay. Repeat this process with the remaining slices.
Step 3: Wrap with aluminum foil
Cut a sheet of aluminum foil enough to wrap the slice of pizza. Wrap and gently press the foil against the slice to protect against moisture, odors, and frost burn.
An alternative to wrapping in aluminum foil is storing the pieces in an airtight container or freezer bag. I usually do this to avoid losing my leftover pizza somewhere in the freezer hidden underneath other foods.
For this to work, don’t just store the pizza in any plastic container. Opt for airtight Tupperware, which is the best for protecting food against oxygen and moisture.
Step 4: Store in the freezer
Place your pizza slices sitting flat in the freezer compartment. Save space by pilling them up one on top of the other but don’t place other foods on top of the slices.
- Pizza, whether pre-cooked or cooked, will keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. However, it is best to consume it within 1 month for maximum flavor. The pizza will not be dangerous to eat, but the longer it stays in the freezer, the less flavorful it will be. Food frozen for too long tends to lose its original texture and flavor.
- When you are ready to serve leftover pizza, thaw the slices in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours, then pop in the microwave and heat for 1 minute or until the cheese melts.
- If you are in a pinch, you can heat the pizza directly in the microwave, but there is a risk of crust hardening. Try defrosting the pizza in the microwave first before heating it.
- Consider baking leftover pizza in the oven. I found this method to be better at retaining the flavors and keeping the crust crunchy enough.
- Always put a label with a date on your frozen foods. Write the date directly on the foil or freezer bag, or if you store your pizza in a container, write the freezing date on masking tape and stick it to the container.
Freeze Your Pizza For Easy Quick Meals
No doubt freshly made pizza just tastes better. But, freezing is still an excellent alternative for keeping your pizza fresh for up to 3 months if you can’t eat it immediately.
As you can see, how to freeze pizza is a complete breeze, and you can do it in less than 15 minutes. Try it, and you will never have to throw away leftover pizza or not have some stashed in the freezer for those busy weeknights.