This guide will have you strollin’ through the overloaded frozen pizza aisle with ease.
It was an exciting day in our test kitchen when 12 hot-out-the-oven pizzas were spread out on the lunch table. After a serious assessment of “Does This Spark Joy?,” our team of talented taste-testers gave their input for the best and worst pies. Our selections came from Whole Foods, Publix, and Piggly Wiggly to represent a solid sampling across the supermarket spectrum. To keep it fair, all testers tried the pizzas without any knowledge of the brand or price, although some of the more seasoned frozen pizza connoisseurs recognized Freschetta and DiGiorno on first glance (that rising crust, though).
There were some strict rules in play.
- MUST be a pure representation of pepperoni pizza. No extras, no half-and-halfs, no plain-ol’ cheese. This did rule out some worthy contenders (Amy’s, Trader Joe’s, California Pizza Kitchen—we’re looking at you). But we had to have some constants, right?
- Only the original crust varieties made the cut. We left out any thin-crust styles unless that’s the only way they come. Gluten-free friends were also included.
Now, here are the rankings for best freezer-aisle pepperoni pizza:
12) Full Circle Gluten Free Uncured Pepperoni Primo Hand-Crafted Pizza, $6.39
Most were surprised to hear that Piggly Wiggly carries gluten-free pizza options, though none were impressed with the product. The rice, potato, and tapioca crust lacked flavor while the mozzarella cheese had a rubbery texture. The price is fair, but keep in mind you’ll only get 2 servings out of this itty bitty pie.
“This isn’t good.”
11) GreenWise Organic Uncured Beef Pepperoni Pizza, $5.99
Publix’s signature organic pizza wasn’t a top choice on first glance. The pepperoni darkened in the oven giving the already bland-tasting topping an off-putting color. Some tasters liked the crispy crust while others compared it to the likes of cardboard. However, we respect organic ingredients at $5.99.
10) O That’s Good! Classic Crust Uncured Pepperoni Pizza, $7.99
We all know how Oprah loves her bread, which is why we were surprised to find out her line of specialty pizzas is following the low-carb cauliflower crust trend. Well, kind of. The box says it has a “twist of cauliflower” but promises it’s “so delicious you won’t taste the difference.” Our tasters weren’t having that. They took note of too much grease, an unappealing sauce and a crust that was far too fluffy for pizza. That’s okay, Oprah, we love you anyway.
“I do not like any of the flavors of this pizza.”
9) 365 Everyday Value® Thin Crust Pizza - Pepperoni, $4.99
Whole Food’s signature pepperoni pizza was far from wowing the judges. As for aesthetics, the cheese and uncured pepperoni appeared pretty sad and lifeless. Some thought the texture was good while the flavor was too sweet. Others thought the garlic and oregano-heavy tomato sauce had a flavor similar to “Gardetto’s seasoning… which in this case is a bad thing,” one editor wrote. Even if you don’t love the pizza, it’s hard to hate the price.
“Kind of like one big Bagel Bite.”
8) Three Bakers Mild Pepperoni Whole Grain Thin Crust Gluten-Free Pizza, $8.99
One of the two gluten-free contenders, this Whole Foods find wasn’t a huge hit, even with higher-quality ingredients. Surprisingly, the cracker-thin crust was the most appreciated element delivering a toasty, herby flavor and a satisfying crunch. However, that needed a sauce with more flavor and toppings that don’t taste like “chemicals and sadness.”
“I like thin crust in theory, but this lacks sauce.”
7) Home Run Inn Uncured Pepperoni Pizza, $8.99
Home Run Inn’s classic 1947 pizzeria recipe brought nostalgia will full force. With a thick, crunchy crust and blanket of thick, gooey cheese, our tasters were immediately taken back to Chuck E. Cheese, the middle school lunch line, or a roller rink birthday party. Despite the influx of good mems, it was difficult to get over the greasiness and overly-sweet sauce.
“Not the best quality, but a good experience.”
6) Newman's Own Thin & Crispy Uncured Pepperoni Pizza, $6.99
The tasting team seemed neither impressed nor disappointed by this all-natural ‘za. The thin, multigrain crust and light spread of sauce more closely resembled a flatbread than a pizza, but the crust and uncured pepperoni were equally well-seasoned. We could just use a little more cheese, please.
“Not the best, but easy to keep going.”
5) Tombstone Original Pepperoni Pizza, $5.27
The iconic no-box pizza got props for its extra little chunks of pepperoni. As far as toppings go, the pizza had an admirable amount of cheese and flavorful pepperoni. But all in all, tasters found the sauce way too sweet and the crust underdone and unfulfilling.
“I’m actually not mad at this pizza.”
4) DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza, $6.71
For a dough-tastic frozen pie, DiGiorno has you covered. But most tasters couldn’t get past the airy crust, calling it overwhelming, sauce-less, and even undercooked after a full bake. The cheese didn’t melt together as expected, which gave it a greasy and “weird” look. The flavor of the sauce was an unexpected redeeming quality.
“Sweet and doughy. Not my style.”
3) Red Baron Brick Oven Pepperoni Frozen Pizza, $4.79
Earning two crowd favorite nominations, this pizza offers the perfect balance of crust-cheese-sauce our editors were seeking. Some weren’t fans of the cheese, but couldn’t deny the harmonious distribution of toppings. Thick pepperoni added a nice amount of spice to every slice, and the sauce was “reasonably” sweet. For the price, we’re all about this pizza.
“Solid! Would buy.”
2) Freschetta® Naturally Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza, $5.24
Although a fan-favorite, the focaccia-like crust was a divisive factor for this naturally-rising crust pizza. While it definitely had eye-appeal, it wasn’t the top choice for those who don’t love a bready-base. Fluffy crust aside, tasters loved the generous amounts of mozzarella, Provolone, and preservative-free pepperonis—even if they were a bit greasy.
“10/10 will purchase one of these from the convenience store across from my house this weekend.”
1) Screamin’ Sicilian Holy Pepperoni Pizza, $9.29
Looks matched the flavor of this massive pie. The sweet and tart sauce paired with a heaping of Parmesan, Romano, cheddar, and two kinds of mozzarella cheese made the pizza an overall favorite. Tasters were satisfied with the crunch and toasty flavor of the crust and even agreed it had the all-around best pepperoni. Consider this your weekly splurge, but trust us, it’s worth it.
“What I would want to have on a crazy weeknight.”