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Absolutely the Best Way to Store and Reheat Leftover Pizza

By some miracle, you ended up with more pizza than you could eat—or you intentionally ordered a larger pie just to have leftovers. Read on for the very best way to store and reheat leftover pizza. Don’t let your leftovers sit in the fridge until they dry up, curl up, and turn downright disgusting. Enjoy your pizza just as much the second time around.

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Store leftover pizza

The best way to store leftover pizza is NOT to leave it in the box and shove the whole thing in the refrigerator. The cardboard and air freely circulating around the slices will dehydrate them in a big hurry.

The best way is to stack and wrap: Place a single layer of slices on a dinner plate, top with a layer of wax, freezer, foil, or parchment paper. Keep stacking, alternating pizza and paper, until all the pizza’s on the plate. Wrap the whole thing tightly up in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. That’s it! It’s not as easy as just throwing the box in the fridge, but you’ll end up with tastier leftover pizza to reheat.

Properly stored, leftover pizza will retain its best quality for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Reheat leftover pizza

While there are a few methods for reheating pizza, I find the oven is too involved for a couple of slices of pizza. The microwave produces a soggy, rubbery mess. I’ve settled on the hands-down best way to heat up a couple of slices is in a skillet—ideally my well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, although any non-stick skillet with a lid will do just fine.

This is not difficult as long as you know upfront that your most important ingredient here is patience. Just follow these steps precisely and I promise you crisp bottom crust; hot, melted cheese; and no sign whatsoever that it was made the day before.

Step 1

Place one or two slices cold pizza in the cold, dry skillet, crust side down.

Step 2

Place a lid on the skillet

Step 3

Set the skillet on a stovetop burner set to Low.

Step 4

Set timer for 8 minutes.

Step 5

Wait. Do not peek or remove that lid for any reason. Just don’t.

That’s it! No need to add water or oil or flip the slices or any other thing you may be wondering about. It’s all about keeping the temperature at Low and not removing the lid for any reason until it’s done. If 8 minutes is too long for your stove’s heat set on Low, wait 5 min. instead of 8 min., then check. Not long enough, continue on Low for a few more minutes. It won’t take long for you to learn the perfect amount of time for your stove.

NOTE: Because there are several variables here—type of skillet, your burner’s temperature when set to Low—you may need to adjust these instructions as needed.

Reheat frozen pizza

For frozen leftover pizza, let it thaw on the countertop for at least an hour then follow the instructions above.

Reheating pizza properly is all about starting out cold, keeping the temperature at Low to Medium (see above) and not removing the lid for any reason until it’s done.

Enjoy!

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First published: 5-11-17; Republished with revised and updated information: 10-17-19

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15 replies
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  1. Linda Pries says:

    I plan on having leftovers frequently with pizza. I place 2 or 3 slices in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate or freeze depending on how much I have. My toaster oven does a great job of reheating.

    Reply
  2. Susan says:

    I have never been able to re-read pizza to the point of it tasting like fresh until I tried my new air fryer. Wow! Just like picking it up at the pizza parlor! Just like fresh!

    Reply
  3. Rocky says:

    I’ve never stored leftover pizza in the freezer, so thank you for the instructions! For several years now I’ve been reheating leftover pizza in my toaster oven, using the “toast” function. I put one of two pieces right on the rack and press start. I keep an eye on the slices and turn the toaster oven off right before they look like they are going to singe. This has been working well for our family.

    Reply
  4. Vickie says:

    I happen to like cold, leftover pizza. And it doesn’t make me or anyone else who likes it pathetic. I do eat it hot the first time.

    Reply
  5. Suzanne Patterson says:

    I’ve used the skillet method since the first time you wrote about it and it works. In fact, we ate leftover pizza reheated this way last night. Yum.

    Reply
  6. Kim says:

    I agree that warming the oven for a few slices of pizza is too much bother but I will warm my toaster oven. It only takes a couple of minutes but it is hands down better than the microwave.

    Reply
  7. Janet says:

    Thanks for storage ideas!

    To reheat in oven we use a pizza grate with parchment paper. By the time toppings and cheese are hot the crust is all but same as fresh. The paper makes all the difference with the crust.

    Reply
  8. Deb R. says:

    I never gave freezing a leftover pizza a thought until our local pizza shop owner told me her mother freezes pizza all the time. The next leftover pizza was wrapped in foil (a few slices together) then placed in freezer bags. The foil-wrapped slices went directly in the oven and turned out surprisingly good but just not quite the same. I am eager to try your skillet method the next time we have leftover pizza.

    Reply
  9. Darlene says:

    We will enjoy this tip. I microwave reheated pizza and it was rubbery two days ago. Might save a slice just to try this next time. Thanks Mary.

    Reply
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