Pizza is a steadfast dinner option when I simply can’t summon the energy to cook. Just give me dough slathered with sauce and melting cheese and I’ll eat it right out of the box, thank you so much. Though my favorite spots for takeout pie are just a short walk away, sometimes the farthest I feel like going is my own kitchen. Because what if I want pizza at midnight—or 9 a.m., for that matter—when the local slice shops are closed? Frozen pizza is the hero we all need. I checked in with some food professionals to get their suggestions for the best frozen pizzas the frozen-foods aisle—and the internet—can offer. Spoiler alert: There are some strong opinions in the mix.
From classic cheese pizzas and Chicago deep-dish to Bagel Bites (oh heck yes, they count!) and even a vegan option, here are the 12 best frozen pizzas, selected by folks who know their food.
A disclaimer needs to be made before the purists start complaining: To me, frozen slices are their own nostalgic genre and need to be celebrated as such. Oddly perfect pepperoni cubes and sugary tomato sauce aside, Jeno’s also gets extra points for that airy, cracker-like crust—a magical quality that won’t leave your stomach in pain after you down an entire pizza at 10:30 p.m. —Andrew Bui, food writer and photographer
2. Bagel Bites
I feel so strongly about this that it has even made it into my dating profile: Bagel Bites are the perfect food. Full stop. They have the perfect sauce to bread to cheese ratio. They’re snackable, easy to eat with one hand, and ideal for sharing. I always have them stocked in my freezer, and they’re my favorite party trick—a tray of Bagel Bites just out of the oven (never the microwave) is the best way to end a night. The only form of frozen pizza I care about. —Scott Loitsch, executive video producer, NYT Cooking
Manoushe is a Middle Eastern flatbread (basically a pizza) that comes in a variety of toppings, za’atar being my absolute favorite. Z&Z is a small family business based out of D.C., and they make an incredible frozen za’atar manoushe that’s not only delicious but also super convenient (it requires just 5 minutes in the oven). The za’atar blend is sourced directly from Palestine, supporting local farmers. The dough bakes up bubbly and crisp; just add some cucumber slices, olives, and parsley on top, and you’re good to go. —Noreen Wasti, food stylist and recipe developer
4. Gino’s East
I’m a Chicago native, so the only way to reconcile the pizza divide with some of my New York friends is to admit that Chicago-style pizza is a food group of its own—which happens to be one of the most amazing food groups out there. However, when we’re talking frozen pizza, the categorical lines blur. One of my all-time favorites is Gino’s East. —Drew Aichele, food stylist
I’ve been known to fly from Chicago to New York with a pie and a half tightly wrapped and insulated in my backpack. [Editor’s note: Flying to Chicago isn’t an option for dinner every week, but luckily Lou Malnati’s sells frozen pizza online.] —Drew Aichele, food stylist
I’m into this pepperoni pizza with a cauliflower crust. I’d long struggled to find a frozen cauli-crust that crisps up before I stumbled upon this one. —Ella Quittner, writer
CPK is the official pizza of being left home alone for dinner in the early aughts. These are frozen pies that actually get crispy-crusted in the oven, unlike some of the other big names in the aisle. My allegiance is to the BBQ chicken pizza, but I’ll give an honorable mention to the meat-fest “Sicilian” pie. —Becky Hughes, social media manager, NYT Cooking
It’s crisp enough and an easy dinner in a pinch. I also love the wild mushroom and black truffle flatbread: pizza-esque and feels kinda fancy, even though it’s frozen. They’re perfect with a light salad for a quick dinner or cut into slices as an app for TV-watching or having friends over…if that ever happens again. —Shannon Sarna, cookbook author and editor of The Nosher
This frozen pizza is technically a French-style flatbread, but it has a buttery crust, creamy béchamel-like sauce, lots of Gruyère, and is sprinkled with toppings (ham and caramelized onions), so I think it counts. —Gaby Scelzo, food writer, Sifted
It may be controversial to pick a pizza without any cheese or sauce, but with plenty of sweet, deeply caramelized onions, savory roasted shiitake mushrooms, and tangy peppers and artichoke hearts, there’s just nothing missing here! It’s been a comfort food for years, and I always keep one in my freezer. —Kelsey Youngman, associate food editor, Food & Wine
Honestly, sometimes I just want to eat like a small child and get a cheese pizza. And I always cut it up into slices like I’m not going to have the whole thing at once, but who am I kidding? I like the mushroom and olive one, too. But I think the best thing about Amy’s pizza is that it doesn’t give me any kind of sodium hangover like other frozen pizzas do. —Sarra Sedghi, assistant editor, MyRecipes
12. Table 87
I love Table 87’s coal-fired Margherita slices. The crust is a bit charred and comes out pretty crunchy for a frozen pizza! As a registered dietitian, I love the built-in portion control—these are especially great when you want a pizza but are dining solo. I usually pair a slice with a simple arugula salad for a satisfying and quick weeknight dinner. Ayla Gentiletti, registered dietitian
Which frozen pizza (or pizza-like product) do you reach for on a busy evening? Let us know in the comments!