Who doesn’t love pizza? That freshly-baked aroma, rich tomato sauce and stretchy, gooey melted cheese. If you enjoy baking your own pizza, you have to try this classic margherita pizza recipe by pizza maestro Ciro Salvo, of 50 Kalò in Naples.
But even for the most ardent pizza lover, there are times when you just couldn’t eat another slice. If you want to save those tasty leftovers for another day, take a look at our handy guide to freezing leftover pizza.
Can you freeze leftover pizza?
If you’re planning to eat your pizza leftovers within the next few days, refrigeration is the best option. Simply stack your pizza slices inside an airtight container with paper towels separating each slice, seal the container and place in the refrigerator. Stored in this way, pizza will keep for up to 4 days, but if you want to keep your leftovers for longer, or if you’ve baked a big batch of pizzas to eat over the next few months, you’ll need to use the freezer.
The good news is that pizza freezes very well, and will keep its flavour and texture once it has been thawed out and reheated. Most of us have enjoyed perfectly tasty store-bought frozen pizzas, after all. Freezing means your leftovers will keep for longer, and if you’re a home baker, you can stock up on as many homemade pizzas as your freezer will hold.
Best ways to freeze pizza
Whether you have a freshly-baked, whole pizza, or a few leftover slices, here’s how to make sure your pizza stays fresh and tasty in the freezer.
If you’re baking pizza to be eaten at a later date, there’s no need to fully cook it before freezing. Instead, try part-baking the crust so it holds its shape, then cooking the pizza fresh when you take it out of the freezer.
To follow this method, roll out your dough, place on a baking sheet, and cook at 450ºF for around 5 minutes. Let it cool completely, then add your tomato sauce, cheese and any toppings.
Once you have assembled your pizza, wrap it well with clingfilm to prevent any air getting inside. Avoid pressing down too hard though, as you don’t want to squash your pizza. Next, add a layer of aluminium foil to keep out moisture, and place the pizza into the freezer.
To freeze leftover pizza, separate it into individual slices and wrap each one in plastic wrap, bringing the wrap around twice to make sure it’s extra secure. Next, add a layer of aluminium foil, pressing down lightly to prevent gapping. Stack the slices on top of each other in the freezer, but don’t stack other food items either on top of or beneath them, as this may cause taste transfer.
How long does it last in the freezer?
If you freeze leftover pizza, it will stay at its best for 1 to 2 months. It should still be safe to eat after this point, so if you really hate waste, you don’t have to throw it out. It is best to try and eat it within 2 months however, as this is when it will be tastiest.
Best ways to reheat frozen pizza
There are a couple of different ways to reheat frozen pizza, but for best results, you should always thaw it out first. Take the pizza out of the freezer, still in its protective wrapping, and transfer to the refrigerator, then leave it for 3 to 4 hours until thoroughly defrosted.
In the oven
The conventional way to heat pizza is in the oven, and this is recommended for any part-baked homemade pizzas. Preheat your oven to 500ºF and bake the pizza for 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
In a skillet
This is a great method for a few slices of leftover pizza, as it should help to keep the base nice and crispy. Take a skillet with a lid and heat over a medium heat. Once the skillet is up to temperature, add the pizza and cook for a few minutes to crisp up the crust. Add a few drops of water to the side of the pan and cover to trap the steam. Leave for a few more minutes to allow the steam to cook the toppings.
Under the broiler
Another way to keep that crispy crust, this method is great for when you have a few extra slices and you can’t fit everything into one skillet. Place a baking sheet under the broiler for five minutes to heat it up, then add the pizza and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
If all this talk of pizza has made you hungry, treat yourself to the pizza everyone is talking about - the Detroit-style.