How to Make Your Frozen Pizza Taste Better

By tank

Frozen pizza is great.  It's a quick, easy and convenient way to have pizza right at your fingertips, which is the next best place to having it in your mouth.  To make the best of your frozen pizza, there are many different ways you can add to the flavor.  Below are some pizza toppings to improve the taste of your frozen pizza or homemade pizza.

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Better Crust

Brush the crust of the pizza with olive oil, or garlic butter to help the crust brown on top while cooking. A little bit of pepper sprinkled on after the oil is applied also adds flavor.

To help brown the crust on the bottom, use some of the pizza stone cooking techniques mentioned here.

One thing to note, when using olive oil, take care to not let too much drip on the bottom of your stove or on the pizza stone.  A little is ok, but too much, and you'll soon be met with smoke.  This is because olive oil has a low smoke point, meaning it doesn't take long before it starts smoking once it hits a hot surface.

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Cheese

Cheese is tasty, flavorful, and who doesn't love some good melted gooey cheese that stretches when you pick up a piece of pizza.

The best cheeses for melting are: mozzarella, fontina, asiago, gouda, gruyere, and provolone.  

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Mozzarella is the most commonly used cheese for pizza, and likely the easiest cheese to find in the store.  It's usually sold in sandwich slices and shredded.  If you have your pick, shredded is usually the better way to go.  But if you look a bit more, possibly in the specialty cheese section of the store, you'll find soft mozzarella, usually sold in a ball that looks like a baseball or white marbles, or a white tube.  This is the good stuff.  It tastes better and I like the melt better.  With soft mozzarella, it's likely too soft to shred, so you can either cut it into slices or tear it off in chunks and put it on the pizza.

The other cheeses each have their own flavor and character that adds to the pizza.

Fontina: Buttery, a little nutty, a little fruity
Asiago: Smooth and mild
Gouda: Nutty, a little sweet
Gruyere: Earthy, a little sweet, a little salty
Provolone: Also fairly common, some varieties have a smoked flavor

Other not-so-melty cheeses to try are goat cheese and feta.

Toppings

Everyone has their favorite toppings for pizza.  To spice things up a bit, consider some new and alternative toppings to try

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Bacon - not really a new topping to try, but more bacon makes everything better, in my opinion.  If you have Bacon Bits, toss some on the pizza!

Banana Peppers, Giardinera - a little kick of heat

Artichokes, Hearts of Palm - these can be found jarred and canned, toss them on the pizza as a way of trying them out.  And veggies are always good!

Garlic (minced or in chunks) - Garlic adds flavor to everything, and they're a great way to kick your pizza up a notch.  Bigger chunks of garlic pack a kick, and might burn if it hits your tongue a certain way, so minced might be a safer bet.

Pesto spread - Stores usually have different varieties of pesto spreads.  Pesto is just a mix of garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.  All of these are great on pizza separate, so pesto lets you put them all on at the same time.  That's called love.  Also, if you get into making your own pizza, you can just put pesto on pizza dough, stick it in the oven, and you got yourself a pizza.

roasted red peppers, olives - Also canned and jarred, easy to toss a few on the pizza to up the flavor.

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Herbs

I love adding herbs to frozen pizza. Herbs are packed with flavor, and whether you have fresh herbs or dry herbs, they enhance flavor. Fresh herbs are usually better to put on the frozen pizza before it goes into the oven, and they have more intense flavor than dry herbs. But dry herbs can be put on before or after cooking.

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Thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary are my go-to herbs. They're usually used for making pizza sauce, so it stands that adding more of these herbs will make it taste better. A little bit goes a long way, so keep that in mind when sprinkling it on.

Leafy Greens (not lettuce)

Pizza has always been a way to "eat your vegetables", so why not throw some leafy greens on it too and call it a salad? 

Some leafy greens that work well on pizza are: fresh basil, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, rainbow chard, and broccoli rabe.

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Basil is sort of an herb, but it goes well on pizza before or after it goes in the oven, especially after. 

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Arugula is another one that goes well after the pizza has finished cooking. 

The others are probably good to put on before cooking. They stand up to heat, cook down nicely, and add flavor. As noted in the heading, I would not recommend lettuce, neither iceberg nor romaine. They wilt easily and don't add good flavor to the pizza.

Hot Sauce

This might not be a new thing to try, but it definitely belongs on the list. Crushed red peppers, Louisiana hot sauce, and tabasco are all staples, but my favorite is sriracha. Some people even carry sriracha on their keychains because it's pretty much good on anything.

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Be Adventurous

I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try new things to make your frozen pizza taste better.  The above ingredients are just some ideas for things to try, however there are some things that don't work so well.  Some of these include: mayonnaise, citrus fruits like lemon and orange, lettuce (as mentioned above) and raw meat (eww, precook first). They'll be covered in depth in another article.  Please share other ideas for things you've tried that work well on frozen pizza, or non-frozen pizza.