A leftover pizza sitting on top of a table

The Hands Down 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. Don’t let your leftovers sit in the fridge until they dry out, curl up, and turn downright disgusting. Instead, follow these simple tips to store and step-by-step directions to reheat leftover pizza to make sure it’s just as cheese-melty and delicious the second time around.

A pizza sitting on top of a table

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 pizza in a big hurry.

Stack and wrap

Place a single layer of slices on a dinner plate and top with a layer of wax, freezer, foil, or parchment paper. Keep stacking, alternating pizza and paper until all the slices are on the plate. Wrap the whole thing tightly 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 we have options for how to reheat leftover 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 one or 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.

Patience

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 a 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 and set it to low(Err on the side of setting it too low as you figure out your stove’s temperament).

Step 4

Set a 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 Low and not removing the lid for any reason until it’s done.

If eight minutes is too long for your stove’s heat set on Low, wait 5 minutes instead of 8, then check. It’s 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—the type of skillet and 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, and then follow the instructions above.

Reheating leftover 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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51 replies
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  1. Jenny says:

    I found a great microwave crisper called Reheatza on sale and took a chance on it. We like ours so much that we gave our friends one for Christmas….and they also love their Reheatza. I take leftover frozen right from the freezer and it reheats in minutes….and taste like fresh. Also good for grilled cheese and other things.

    Reply
  2. Ann Wiess says:

    My father, Linnington, used to use the deep fryer to reheat pizza. It always made a BIG MESS, but was so flavorful. Especially if he wrapped it in a tortilla filled with CHEESE!

    Reply
  3. Jean Marshall says:

    I use my toaster oven. There are just 2 of us. But I put a damp paper towel over the pizza slices and that works well.

    Reply
  4. Gena says:

    I used to do the oven… could not tolerate the microwave (gross). But now, the only way and the quickest is Air Fryer!!! This is also a good way to heat up left over fried foods, such as chicken, pork chops, etc… it makes them taste (almost) as good as fresh!!!

    Reply
  5. Suzanne says:

    I live in a senior residence and cannot use a skillet only a microwave. Do you have any way to stop it from being mushy?

    Reply
  6. Dylan Peterson says:

    I appreciate what you said about reheating leftover pizza on the stovetop. My sister has been telling me about a pizza party that she wants to have in a few weeks, and she wants to make sure that she can still enjoy the leftovers. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for reheating them this way.
    http://tmpizza.com

    Reply
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