The Top Grocery Store Frozen Pizzas
As an Italian American who was born and raised in New Jersey, I'm a little embarassed to admit the following: I love frozen pizza. Having spent 6 of the past 10 years as a student outside of the NYC area, I've learned to embrace frozen pizza as an inexpensive, quick alternative to the real deal. In my last apartment, where I lived very far from the grocery store, I also loved its ability to stay in my freezer for a few weeks without spoiling.
There are a lot of frozen pizzas on the market, and some stand out more than others. Below, I'm highlighting five pizzas that hit the spot at different moments. Writers' note: when given the decision, I will do pizzeria pizza almost any night of the week, but these are a good substitue in a pinch!
Best Substitute for "Real" Pizza: CPK Original BBQ Recipe Chicken Pizza.
Let me just say - yum! California Pizza Kitchen has put together a delicious BBQ Chicken Recipe Pizza with rising honey wheat crust, red onion, bbq sauce, chicken and mozzarella cheese. I'm not usually a fan of meaty pizza, but this one is delish. It's as good as the restaurant variety which is why it gets my top pick.
Pros: Delicious and available at almost any grocery store.
Cons: A bit calorie rich - the "Pizza for One" variety has 500 calories
Best Pizza on a Shoestring Budget: Trader Giotto's Pizza Formaggio.
For those of you who love Trader Joe's as much as I do, we can agree that Trader Giotto's (TJ's Italian for "Joe's", though it should be Giuseppe's) Pizza Formaggio is off the hook. These smaller pizzas (they are about 5" in diameter) are the perfect snack or accompaniment to a salad, soup, or veggie side for the perfect lunch or dinner. They cook up in 10 minutes, and, because they're from Trader Joe's, are a total steal (A pack of 4 typically runs from $2 - $3, based on your TJ's location). Eating these pizzas stretched my dollar a long way through business school.
Pros: A great snack or part of a meal on the cheap!
Cons: Only available at Trader Joe's, which not everyone has nearby
Runner Up: Celeste Pizza for One - One serving of deliciousness for around $1!
Best Pizza when You're Watching Your Weight: DiGiorno 200 Calorie Portions, Chicken with Peppers and Onion.
I know that a lot of people out there think that pizza is right up there with Big Macs and movie popcorn in terms of nutrition. To those people, I say that not all pizzas are created equal! Many brands, like DiGiorno, have begun to come out with smaller, thin-crust portions so that you can satisfy your pizza craving without the guilt. Though the pizzas come in many varieites (cheese and tomato, pepperoni, etc.) my personal favorite is the chicken with peppers and onion - it's the perfect combination of some serious toppings without feeling like you've scarfed down a whole pie.
Pros: At 200 calories, how can you beat it?
Cons: Not as substantive as a real slice - which should be an occasional treat for even the healthiest of us :).
Best "Gimme PIZZA!" Pizza: Stouffer's French Bread Pizzas
So we've all had that moment where we're either SUPER hungry or just getting home from the bars, and all we want is a delicious, craving-satisfying, don't-care-what-it's-made-of-pizza. For this award, I recommend the motherload - Stouffer's French Bread Pizza. Just like when we were kids, this pizza packs a delightful combo of cheese, bready goodness and sauce that just makes us go "mmm".
Pros: This is absolutely yummy and hits the spot!
Cons: Not the most nutritious choice at 360 cals and 15g of fat per single slice! (You know you'll eat more than one...)
Next time you're at your grocery freezer I hope you'll think about some of these choices!