It’s Friday at 6 p.m.—you’ve had a long week at work and that pizza you have stashed in the back of the freezer is calling your name. But is the convenience of that pizza enough to make up for the general lack of taste and nutritional value? Sadly, the “cardboard with a tiny bit of cheese on top” flavor profile and unhealthiness of frozen pizzas are big hurdles to overcome.
But, I assure you, it’s not impossible. With a little creativity you can make any frozen pizza healthier and taste a whole lot better.
Here’s what to do:
Get a Pizza Stone
A pizza stone is an easy way to transform your regular oven into a makeshift pizza oven. It heats up more than the oven itself, which ensures a great crust, and also helps distribute heat evenly so you don’t end up with burnt sections and still-cold sections in your pizza. Plus, pizza stones (or baking steels) can be stashed anywhere for you to use on a rainy day.
Emile Henry Pizza Stone, $49.95-$69.95 from Williams Sonoma
For super crisp crust, whether store-bought or homemade.
It’s time to pull that jar of olives out of the back of your pantry—this is their moment! Olives come on fresh pizza all the time, so why not add them to your frozen pizza, too? They add a salty kick and are also packed with healthy fats and other nutrients.
Related Reading: The Gourmet Extras You Should Always Stock in Your Pantry
Spice It Up
Adding some spicy ingredients to your pizza is the perfect way to supercharge the flavor without having to do a lot of work. You can add some chili oil (you can even make your own with this Easy Chili Oil recipe or I like this Spicy Chili Pizza Oil from Williams Sonoma) or cracked red pepper on top of your pizza before you bake it, or even better, you can also add thinly sliced jalapeños or even pickled jalapeños for a tangy topping. All of these items have a long shelf life, so you can keep them around for those frozen pizza kind of nights.
Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, $17.98 from Amazon
This is a favorite of Chowhound executive editor Hana Asbrink.
Add Extra Cheese
Pile on the Veggies
Piling fresh or roasted veggies onto your frozen pizza is a great way to make it healthier. Try adding sauteed mushrooms or spinach, roasted red peppers, or zucchini or yellow squash before you put your pizza in the oven. Alternatively, after it comes out of the oven, pile on some fresh arugula or basil for a green nutrition boost and extra taste.
Add a Drizzle to Dress It Up
A final drizzle of something can take your frozen pizza from just good to great. Depending on the topping already on your pizza and the ingredients you have laying around the house, you could try the following:
- High-quality extra-virgin olive oil: Do this while your pizza is cooling for some extra flavor and healthy fats and polyphenols, which olive oil has in droves.
- Balsamic glaze: A drizzle of balsamic glaze can add a sweetness that will bring your pizza to a whole new level. This is particularly good on top of an arugula and parmesan pizza, or pizzas with extra roasted veggies.
- Honey: You can drizzle honey on your pizza before or after it goes in the oven for a hint of sweetness. Don’t use a lot, just a light drizzle!
- Hot honey: Hot honey is one of the world’s best condiments. You can buy it at the store (I recommend and will always recommend Mike’s Hot Honey) or make your own with this Chile Infused Honey recipe.
Mike's Hot Honey, $8.48 from Walmart
Your pizza will never be the same.
We all have those nights when we just…can’t. For those moments, I always keep a frozen pizza on hand. And the good news is that with the tips above, you can have your frozen pizza and eat it too, without sacrificing nutrition or flavor.
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