Best Store-Bought Frozen Pizza: The Ultimate Taste Test
Comparison of Frozen Pizzas
These days, many frozen pizzas can rival those found at restaurants. Even if they don't always measure up, the store-bought pizzas are usually much cheaper than those from restaurants.
I love pizza, and over the years I have discovered several good store brands that satisfy my pizza crazing—many of which are as good as or better than expensive restaurant pizza. I recently tested several store-bought, mostly frozen, pizzas to compare. My evaluations are based on the number of ingredients as well as the price—but mostly, simply, the overall flavor.
For the purpose of equal comparisons, I tried the supreme version for all brands. Let's see the results!
Totino's offers an inexpensive, small pizza that packs a lot of flavor. When conducting my taste test, I went through the check-out line at Walmart with Totino's, Tony's, and Red Baron pizzas. The gal at the check-out said she just had to ask me if I was doing a comparison or if I just wanted different sized pizzas. When I told her I was doing a taste test, she asserted that Totino's was the best. Really, I asked? Totino's is pretty cheap, not much over a dollar, and the cheapest of the three pizzas I bought that day.
Her praise of Totino's was not off base. And later I remembered my sister-in-law's endorsement of Totino's, as well. This pizza, while not having lots of the "supreme" ingredients, had lots of cheese and plenty of sauce, with a flavor that kept me coming back for more. Thumbs up!
The same night I tested Totino's, I also baked the cheapest Aldi pizza, simply called Classics. Again, I chose the supreme version, one that I had actually had before but not put through any taste test with other pizzas. My brother and I both tested this Aldi's pizza along with the Totino's pizza and came to the same conclusions. Both of these pizzas have crusts with just the right amount of crispiness. While Totino's had perhaps better flavor, and definitely more cheese, the Aldi pizza packed more toppings and still had a great flavor. Ever since I tried this little pizza quite some time ago, I have enjoyed it and continued to buy it from time to time. And it costs only about 89 cents.
The Tony's pizza, costing roughly $2.50, was a disappointment. The supreme had enough ingredients, I guess, but not enough sauce. The worst thing was the flavor, of which it had very little. In this brand's defense, I do remember in the past eating the Mexican style or the Four Cheese, and they seemed much better. I just don't think that I'd shell out much money on any other flavor unless it was majorly marked down. I have a Four Cheese pizza in the freezer that I'm going to give a chance soon, but I'm steering clear of the supreme version.
Red Baron Pizza
The Red Baron pizza I bought was very good. Very tasty. It had a nice quality crust, enough ingredients of everything, but the best thing was just a very good flavor. I have had different kinds of Red Baron at my brother's house before, too, and was pleased then. The crust was just the right thickness—not too doughy and not too thin. There were more ingredients, including sauce and cheese, than the Freschetta and DiGiorno had. The Red Baron I bought cost about $3.50, but I have seen it often go on sale. Even at full price, it is a much better deal than either the Freschetta or the DiGiorno. We'll get to those.
I had never had Tombstone pizza before until this pizza taste test. This supreme pizza did have a lot of ingredients and tasted good. The Tombstone and the Red Baron were two of the few pizzas that had black olives. I thought all supreme pizzas had them...? Although this pizza resembled the Red Baron, the ratio of ingredients to crust wasn't as good, as the crust was too thick for the toppings. This crust lacked the crispy freshness of the Red Baron's crust. At $3.99, the Tombstone pizza was a worse deal than the Red Baron, which was about 50 cents less.
DiGiorno was just how I remembered it from years past, as I hadn't tasted it in a while. I remember thinking that this pizza was really good as far as ingredients went, but the crust was pretty thick, much more than what I wanted. I would eat until the ends of the thick crust on the edge and then stop. It seems that at the time that Digiorno came out with this type of "it's not delivery; it's DiGiorno" pizza, there wasn't much competition.
Now, there is a thinner crust, so I thought I'd try that one. The pizza was pretty good but not for the money. For five bucks, the pizza wasn't loaded with ingredients. The lack of sufficient pepperoni was surprising. And, again, don't supreme pizzas have black olives? This one does not. The flavor was good, not outstanding, but there wasn't very much sauce or cheese. For $4.99, this pizza was a little disappointing.
I've only had Freschetta pizza once before, I think, and it was as I remembered. In this one, I also got a thinner crust pizza. Again, even though I got the supreme, there were no black olives, and the amount of ingredients equaled the DiGiorno. I couldn't find the regular supreme on this one, except for this one that had sea salt listed as well as the claim to be a "zesty Italian style." The Italian style and sea salt did give the pizza extra kick, and perhaps bumped it up over the DiGiorno, but the flavor might prove to be too much after a piece or two. The Freschetta was about the same price as the DiGiorno on sale, but at times it costs a dollar or so more. It wasn't worth the cost to me.
Walmart Marketside Deli Pizza
And the winner is... Walmart's Marketside Pizza! Lots of folks have agreed with me on this one. I tried to purchase a supreme pizza for the purpose of this study, but Walmart was out of it, a testimony to this pizza's greatness. I've had the supreme before, though, and I remember its deliciousness. The crust is a happy medium—not too thick and not too thin, with the perfect amount of crispy. The sauce is tasty, the toppings are generous, as is the cheese. Basically, the pizza is loaded with ingredients as well as flavor.
Since Walmart was out of the supreme version, I tried a Hawaiian style with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and lots of cheese. It was divine. I've also tried the Tuscan Vegetable and their cheese sticks—all incredible tasting! You can buy these pizzas at Walmart or Sam's Club. The smaller size I got was about $5.00. Some are $6.00. Larger ones run around $8.00. These pizzas are more than worth the price.
Since Aldi had a great-tasting small pizza, I tried their deli-style pizza to compare with Walmart. It looked similar and had similar packaging, but it didn't compare in flavor or amount of ingredients.
Comparisons of Test Subjects
Tasty ingredients, recommended
Tasty, cheesy, recommended
Flavorless, not recommended
Tasty, good crust, recommended
Too thick crust, not enough toppings, not recommended
Insufficient ingredients, not recommended
Same as DiGiorno
Tasty, good crust, the BEST!
The Winners: Best Store-Bought Pizza
I'm glad I did this taste test. I love pizza, and now I know what to get. If I'm in a cheap mood, the Aldi Classics and Totino's are tasty little choices. Mid-priced Red Baron is also a delectable alternative, but the number-one pizza overall is the Marketside pizza from the Walmart deli. I would recommend trying different types besides the supreme version. Yummy. This was a fun and tasty article to write.