The Best Frozen Pizza You Can Buy at Costco
Pizza, pizza, along the wall, who's the fairest of them all?
When it comes to frozen pizzas, chances are you have your favorite and don't really spare a glance to other options, because why would you venture from what you know is good? There are too many bad options lurking out there, ready to ruin your frozen pizza and Netflix night with a mushy crust, bland sauce, or rubbery cheese.
As for me, Costco's gluten-free is my one-and-only frozen pizza. (Even though I usually do eat gluten!) I never even noticed they had much of anything else when I loaded up my cart with these yummy pies. But we tackle tough questions here at Kitchn, and when the question arose as to which Costco frozen pizza was the best, I was willing to pit my top pick against the rest of the offerings from our favorite warehouse store.
I picked up all half-dozen, prompting an "Are you having a pizza party?" from the check-out clerk.
Well, actually I kind of was. My neighbors, all voracious food-lovers, were nice enough to cross the street and come down the block to help us taste our way through a mountain of Costco pizzas. And they took their duties seriously, tasting and considering, making notes on little ballots I provided.
I've been trained and sworn in as a Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge (yes, you literally swear an oath), so I gave a crash course on some of the techniques I picked up there, such as judge each on its own merits, not compared to one another. It actually made for a super-fun weeknight party — one we kind of want to repeat with other products. (You'd be surprised how enthusiastic debates about frozen pizza crusts can get!)
Pizza's a very subjective thing, of course, or there would be no Chicago vs. New York wars. But there were some crowd favorites, and definite misses. I considered all the input, weighing it with my own choices, and hereby give you all of Costco frozen pizzas, ranked.
1. Kirkland Pepperoni Thin Crust, $12 for four
This was my biggest surprise, because I don't even generally like pepperoni pizza. But I was wowed by the flaky, buttery crust; the sauce, which hit just the right balance of sweet and savory; the decent cheese coverage; and, as one taster said, "awesome pepperoni!" It scored generally high, with just one low score of 6 that asked "Where's the cheese?" I'd take this over a mass market pizza delivery chain any day, and it's $3 (!) and no doorbell to freak out the dogs.
2. Sabatasso's Gluten-Free Four Cheese Pizza, $16 for three
This one's no surprise to me. We usually go through the three-pack once a month and it always hits the spot with its crisp and mildly sweet crust, savory sauce, and happy melding of four cheeses. What did surprise me was the vehement reaction to it from a few taste-testers. It got more below-7 scores than above, and the people who disliked it really disliked it. Meanwhile if you liked it, you really liked it. Like anything, pizza's a matter of preference, so I'm bucking the crowd consensus on this one, with a very close second place.
3. Milton's Craft Bakers Cauliflower Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizza, $13 for two
Gluten-free, non-GMO, and basically smothered in veggies, I gotta be honest, this pizza didn't sound like a crowd-pleaser. But it was the only one to get more than one perfect 10 score in our taste test (with two, plus a 9 and an 8). "It's my favorite cauliflower thing," one judge said (which makes me wonder if she's had the miracle that is Trader Joe's cauli gnocchi).
For me it breaks an important Rule of Pizza, which is vegetables belong only on top, not in the crust. Crusts are for dough, and this one tasted decidedly of cauliflower — a sulfury wet preparation, not roasted cauliflower — so it was my least favorite. But because it was so popular with our crowd, it lands third.
4. Kirkland Breadcrumb Crust Cheese Pizza, $9 for four
Okay, I think this touches on the Chicago vs. New York pizza thing because it was somewhat polarizing, earning both a highest and a lowest score among tasters. Best one-word tasting note? "Basic." It was among my least favorites, with its thicker, somewhat mealy, and too-sweet crust that one taster called "squishy," while another deemed it "fluffy and delightful." In my book, fluffy is for marshmallows, not cheese pizza, but it earned a couple of rave reviews, so I've placed it fourth.
5. Bellatoria Ultra Thin Crust Sausage Italia, $12 for three
This was the most run-of-the-mill pizza in the bunch, earning a bunch of 6 scores, with a couple 5s and 7s and one outlier 9 (because the taster liked the spice on the sausage). As for the rest of us, it wasn't actively offensive, just utterly unmemorable. Comments included "bland," "too soft," "not much cheese," and "nothing to write home about." I've never had pizza from a gas station, but I kind of imagine this is what it would taste like.
6. Sabatasso's Thin Crust Variety Pizza Singles, $10 for 12
Oh, the humiliation. This sad little pizza got the dreaded "tastes artificial" from one judge. It earned three ratings of 3, the rest were 4s to 6s (with a stray 8 from one fan who thought the crust was "crispy and firm in all the right ways!"). Comments included "sawdust" (on the cheese!), "rubbery," "cardboard," "almost sour" (sauce), "super-processed," and "no-go." I mean, any pizza that claims to be microwavable just isn't going for the heights of craftsmanship, so none of this comes as a surprise. And something has to come in last, after all!
Do you have a favorite frozen pizza at Costco? What is it?