Yes, it’s called frozen pizza. But can you keep it in the fridge? Here’s why the answer isn’t a clear-cut yes or not.
You accidentally put frozen pizza in the fridge. Understandably, you found yourself wondering: can you still cook and eat it?
Or maybe you’re a college student, you live in a dorm building, and you have no freezer to begin with. But you don’t want to give up on your favorite food—pizza—and the only one you know how to cook properly.
Whatever your situation, we’ve got you. We know you’re here because you want to know the answer to one question, and one question only: can frozen pizza be left in the fridge?
Can Frozen Pizza Be Kept in the Fridge?
To give you the long story short, yes, some frozen pizzas can be stored in the fridge. But only for a few days because they’ll spoil and no longer be safe for you to eat (even after you cook them).
If the packaging says, “Keep frozen,” “Do not thaw,” or “Do not refrigerate,” which is usually the case with frozen pizzas topped with meat, this means that the pizza must be stored only in the freezer.
Generally speaking, the more toppings there are on the pizza, the less okay it is to keep it in the fridge instead of the freezer, even for a day or two.
It’s called frozen pizza—and not refrigerated pizza—for a reason!
How Long Does Uncooked Frozen Pizza Keep?
Frozen pizza should be stored in the freezer at 0°F (-18°C), where it will keep its best quality for 2-3 months. Since freezing stops any bacterial activity, pizza in the freezer stays safe to eat forever, but the longer you keep it there, the less tasty it will be.
Unlike the freezer, the refrigerator doesn’t put the bacteria that make food spoil on pause; it merely slows it down. So don’t expect an uncooked frozen pizza to last as long in the fridge as it will in the freezer.
Generally, uncooked frozen pizza will last 2-3 days in the fridge. Then it starts to spoil and becomes less and less safe for you to eat. If you suspect that the uncooked pizza in your fridge is older, play it safe and throw it away.
The risk just isn’t worth it if you ask me.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year. 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. So stay safe and keep yourself well away from the statistic.
What About Refrigerating Cooked Pizza?
If your pizza packaging says, “Keep frozen,” but you don’t have room in your freezer (or you have no freezer at all), try this trick.
The safer way to store frozen pizza in the fridge is to cook it. Cooked pizza and pizza leftovers, according to the USDA, can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days (and in the freezer for 3-4 months).
So if you’ve just unpacked your grocery bags and, now, you’re not sure what to do with that one or two packages of frozen pizza you bought too many of, crank up the oven and bake them. Let cool for 15-20 minutes, cut them, wrap them in plastic, and put them in the fridge, where they’ll keep for a few days.
Related: How to Make Frozen Pizza Taste Better
You can reheat the leftovers whenever you wish, and the slices will improve over time as the aromas and flavors of the toppings meld together during refrigeration. Just make sure to thaw away any slices that stay in your fridge for longer than the recommended time.
Don’t Keep the Pizza in the Fridge for Too Long
The thing about food safety that most people don’t know is that, in general, there are two types of bacteria that grow on your food.
There are the bacteria that make food spoil. When they grow to dangerous levels, they make the food sticky and yucky, which makes them easy to recognize. Then there are the bacteria that give you food poisoning. These have no smell at all, nor do they alter the flavor of the pizza.
Keep a pizza, uncooked or cooked, in the fridge for too long, and it will become a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria—the kind that makes you sick—even if it smells and tastes perfectly fine.
So if you suspect that the pizza has been sitting in your fridge a little too long, don’t risk it and throw it in the trash.
Frozen pizzas should be stored at 0°F (-18°F) in the freezer, not at 37°F (3°C) in the fridge. Although some pizzas, such as vegan pizzas, vegetarian pizzas, and those topped only with cured meats, can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, manufacturers advise against it.
If you bought more pizzas than you can store in the freezer, a better thing to do is to cook them right away, let them cool, slice them up, wrap them in plastic, and then put them in the fridge, where they’ll stay good for 3-4 days.
(Oh, and consider getting a mini-fridge!)