Special Report

6 Frozen Pizza Brands To Avoid

Beautiful young business woman takes frozen pizza from the fridge while shopping at a grocery store.
Tatiana Maksimova / Shutterstock.com

It’s hard to beat the convenience of frozen pizza. When the calendar is filled with work deadlines, school projects, piano recitals, basketball practices, and just general busyness, popping a frozen pizza in the oven is a quick and easy way to get the entire family fed. But that convenience is sometimes tempered by the undeniable truth that some frozen pizza brands aren’t all that tasty. Some of them, in fact, are just plain bad.

It’s one thing when you have to make your kids eat broccoli or Brussels sprouts. That’s the tough love of parenting, right? However, when you have to force-feed them pizza, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to find a better pizza. To help you eliminate this hassle, we have compiled a list of six frozen pizza brands to avoid.

Ranking frozen pizza brands is an admittedly subjective process. To assemble this list, 24/7 Wall St. consulted ten different food blogs and vlogs. Weighting each blog’s rankings equally, these six frozen pizza brands posted the lowest scores.

We only evaluated brands that are available nationwide. Regional pizzas were excluded. For example, Wegman’s frozen pizza scored near the bottom on multiple blogs. The grocery chain is only found in eight East Coast states, though, so it was excluded from our list. Celeste is another pizza brand that is restricted to regional markets. If it was available nationwide, it would score among the worst pizzas on the list. Not a single blogger had anything positive to say about it. Most of us should be grateful that it isn’t available in our markets.

We also excluded pizzas with crusts made of chicken, cauliflower, chickpea, or other non-traditional ingredients. Nothing against these alternatives, but comparing a chickpea crust to a traditional dough crust is hardly an apples-to-apples (or, maybe in this case, a tomato-to-tomato) comparison. Pizzas with alternative crusts ought to be measured against one another. For our purposes, we only evaluated frozen pizza in its most traditional form.

The Best Frozen Pizza Brands

Young woman and man buying frozen pizza at grocery store
Source: BearFotos / Shutterstock.com
Some frozen pizzas are actually quite good.

While almost no frozen pizza is on par with a freshly baked pie from a quality pizzeria, some are much better than others. In our search for the frozen pizza brands to avoid, we also discovered some that were consistently ranked as the best. Freschetta, Newman’s Own, Amy’s, Red Baron, and Tombstone all received consistently high marks in our search. We’d recommend you give one of these brands a shot on your next pizza night. (Speaking of pizzerias, here’s a list of the 15 oldest pizzerias in America.)

The Worst Frozen Pizza Brands

Thumbs down
Source: zakokor / iStock via Getty Images
These pizzas receive a hardy thumbs down.

By the same token, we’d recommend you steer clear of the brands listed below. These six frozen pizza brands were ranked among the worst on the market.

6. Screamin’ Sicilian

Here’s a look at the Screamin’ Sicilian “Bessie’s Revenge Cheese Pizza” prior to cooking.
  • Company: Palermo Villa
  • Expected Price: $7.26

The Screamin’ Sicilian brand received somewhat mixed reviews, which elevated it above some other brands that are just downright bad. The reviewers noted that there is ample cheese on this ‘za, placing it above the brands that noticeably skimp on the cheese.

However, reviewers noted that the “mediocre” sauce was less generously applied. They also found the crust “listless” and “[obviously] mass produced.”

At over seven bucks a pie, consumers understandably expect a better product than this. We’re not necessarily “screamin’” about how awful it is, but we won’t be shouting its praises, either.

5. Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe's exterior
Source: ablokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
Trader Joe’s frozen pizza fell surprisingly short of our expectations.
  • Company: Trader Joe’s
  • Expected Price: $5.99

The Trader Joe’s pizza box proudly states the pie was imported from Italy. Many of the reviewers wish TJ’s would have left it there. One blogger went as far as describing Trader Joe’s Organic Three-Cheese Pizza as “bowling alley-esque.” Another compared the taste of the sauce to that of SpaghettiOs.

While those statements may be a bit over-the-top, one thing is clear: this pizza definitely does not live up to the quality we have come to expect from Trader Joe’s. The sauce is a bit bland. The crust is kind of mushy. It’s just not very good.

4. California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen location
Source: mizoula / Getty Images
California Pizza Kitchen is a popular pizzeria, but their frozen pizza doesn’t measure up.
  • Company: Nestlé
  • Expected Price: $8.27

This was among the most surprising entries on this list. With nearly 200 restaurants worldwide, California Pizza Kitchen has a strong reputation in the pizzeria industry. However, that same quality hasn’t been replicated in the grocery store freezer section.

CPK’s frozen pizza elicited responses such as, “This hurts me and makes me sad.” Another person asked, “Why did someone do this? Do they hate people? Do they hate me, specifically?”

The perforated wafer-like crust was a common complaint among reviewers. Some also noted the “fake-tasting” cheese. The pepperoni received some positive feedback, but it wasn’t enough to salvage the pie itself.

This pizza from the Golden State is anything but golden.

3. Whole Foods 365

Whole Foods Market exterior
Source: anouchka / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
Whole Foods has many wonderful food options, but frozen pizza is not among them.
  • Company: Whole Foods Market
  • Expected Price: $5.29

Placing this entry from Whole Foods was a bit more difficult to calculate than some of the others. Some bloggers found a few positive things to say about it. Others did not, with one calling its crust “straight up garbage.” Again, pizza preferences are highly subjective. Overall, however, this pie was consistently criticized as sub-par on most of the blogs we consulted.

The sauce was described as “pasty.” The toppings were viewed as skimpy and “sad.” One writer noted that, since Amazon owns Whole Foods, maybe Jeff Bezos could spend a bit of his fortune on a few extra slices of pepperoni.

Of all the pizza’s different components, the crust received the lowest reviews from the critics, including the one that compared it to the refuse in his trash can. One slightly more magnanimous reviewer said it reminded them of a big “Bagel Bite.”

2. Tony’s

Beautiful young business woman takes frozen pizza from the fridge while shopping at a grocery store.
Source: Tatiana Maksimova / Shutterstock.com
In a world filled with so many frozen pizza options, don’t waste your time and money on Tony’s.
  • Company: Schwan’s Consumer Brands
  • Expected Price: $3.72

Tony’s was one of the nation’s first frozen pizzas, debuting in the 1960s. Pizza itself traces its roots back to Naples in the 17th century. It was introduced to America by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. However, the dish wasn’t fully embraced by Americans until the 1940s and 1950s. It was around that same time that home freezers became common, so frozen pizzas quickly rose in popularity, as well. Tony’s was among the first of those pizzas to find its way into Americans’ freezers.

Tony’s may be among the pioneers of frozen pizza, but it is certainly not among the tastiest brands today. Quite the opposite. It ranked well below almost every other national brand, earning it the second-to-lowest spot on our list.

Some adjectives used to describe the sauce included “watery,” “goopy,” “musty,” and “tasteless.” The sparse amount of cheese didn’t help matters. Neither did the subpar pepperoni.

The one saving grace for Tony’s is the low price point. At less than four bucks, it is certainly a budget-friendly option. But you’ll probably find that the old axiom also proves true yet again…you really do get what you pay for.

1. Totino’s

There are over 70(!) ingredients in this pizza.
  • Company: General Mills
  • Expected Price: $1.97

In the competition for the worst frozen pizza brand, there was a clear winner…or, more accurately, a clear loser. Totino’s easily took the crown as the absolute worst frozen pizza brand. Note: this is an evaluation of the brand’s “Party Pizza,” not their famous pizza rolls.

As one vlogger put it, “Everybody has had a Totino’s. If you haven’t, then you haven’t struggled enough.” A Totino’s “Party Pizza” costs less than two bucks. You probably have enough loose change in your car to score one of these pizzas, but we’d recommend you spend that change on something tastier. Styrofoam comes to mind.

Totino’s pepperoni pizza has 70+ ingredients, many of which sound like they would be more at home in a science experiment than in a pizza recipe. The third ingredient listed on the box is imitation mozzarella cheese. This “cheese” alone has 16 individual ingredients. And don’t even get us started on the “meat.”

One serving of this pepperoni pizza contains a whopping 750mg of sodium. Since these pizzas are small, however, most people will eat the whole thing. That brings their sodium intake to a staggering 1,500 mg! While none of the pizzas on this list could even remotely qualify as a health food, Totino’s is in an unhealthy category all its own.

And the taste? Imagine a root canal, a flat tire, and a bad break-up all had their own flavors. This pizza tastes like a combination of the three.

If this is a party pizza, then we can only hope that our invitation gets lost in the mail.

We Have No Idea What to Do With This One…

Man shrugging
Source: SanneBerg / Getty Images
Some pizzas defy categorization.

There was a general congruence among many of the blogs concerning the worst frozen pizza brands, with one very notable exception. Some reviewers ranked this brand among the worst on the market. Others considered it to be one of the best. A few even ranked it as their very favorite frozen pizza. Given this disparity, we are certainly not including it among the frozen pizza brands to avoid. In fact, it seems that you’ll have to to try it so you can decide for yourself. This bitterly divisive frozen pizza brand is…

DiGiorno

DiGiorno pizza, cooked
Source: jjsala / Wikimedia Commons
People can’t seem to agree on DiGiorno pizza.
  • Company: Nestlé
  • Expected Price: $6.96

You know the tagline by heart. “It’s not delivery. It’s DiGiorno.” This frozen pizza is purportedly on par with a pie that is delivered by a national pizza chain. Some of our reviewers completely agree with that sentiment. Others view it as near sacrilege.

One reviewer noted that the sauce is “way too sweet,” and also that there is too much of it. And, while the sauce was overabundant, some reviewers noted the cheese was lacking. The cheese that is found on the pizza was described as “waxy.” In one instance, this pizza was labeled as, “The Definitely Not Delivery DiGiorno.”

On the flip side, another reviewer called DiGiorno, “the best frozen pizza out there. Hands down.” Another called it “the quintessential grocery store frozen pizza,” saying that “it really is better than a typical delivery option.”

The further we dug into the DiGiorno debate, the more it felt like the blue dress/white dress or the Laurel/Yanni debates from the 2010s. Everyone perceives it differently and is fully convinced of the correctness of their position.

While we can confidently advise you to steer away from the six frozen pizza brands mentioned above, our advice for DiGiorno is the exact opposite. Steer directly into it. Will this pie, complete with its trademark rising crust, make you forego pizza delivery now and forevermore? Or will you scoff at the very idea and jump on Domino’s website to place an order? You’ll have to give it a try and find out for yourself.

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