When it comes to grocery store frozen pizza, I'm not willing to waste precious freezer space on a pie that's just ho-hum. Private Selection Frozen Pizzas from Kroger and Motor City Pizza Co.'s deep-dish offerings at Costco are my go-tos. Though there is one Trader Joe's pizza that has a reserved VIP freezer spot-more on that below-I find many of their novelty offerings hit-or-miss. But I was curious about a few that just keep earning buzz online.
I found it's wise to watch your temperature with TJ's pies--and, as a general rule, crank up the heat a little--and add a couple minutes for pies that are suggested to be cooked on a baking sheet or pizza stone. (TLDR: Know thy oven.) Below are my rankings of Trader Joe's pies-with an assist from pizza lovers aged three to 70.
Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza
I always keep this reliable workhorse of a pizza in our freezer for one reason: it does right by its veggies. If you're a parent, it can be a struggle to find a balance between healthy and appealing for kids, but the Trader Joe's Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza fits that bill, and then some. For starters, it's loaded with fresh, tender vegetables ranging from eggplant to squash (a stumbling block for so many produce-forward pies that rely on, say, just peppers). The sourdough crust mimics that of a delivery pie while adding an earthiness that plays well with the truly robust vegetable topping. Kids eat it, adults enjoy it, it's quick to make, and priced affordably. What's not to love?
Burrata, Arugula, and Prosciutto Flatbread Pizza
If you want to get fancy with your Trader Joe's pizza purchase, this is the one--and its success is all in the preparation method. Unlike most pop-it-in frozen pizzas, this flatbread rests at room temperature prior to going in the oven. Don't skip this step, as it gives the pie a crunchy-meets-pillowy crust texture that-out of all the TJ's options- comes the closest to restaurant-quality. The rich, creamy burrata bubbles up nicely against the arugula, and you add the prosciutto on top after the pizza is cooked-which works well to accommodate any vegetarians. Pro tip: this is a two-person, not a three-person pie, so don't listen to the box!
Maître Pierre Tarte d'Alsace Flatbread Pizza
With its paper-thin, puff-pastry-style crust and crème fraîche sauce base, purists might want to quibble that this "pizza" is more like a traditional French tarte flambée. And, sure, they might be technically right, but if you want to go full ooh-la-la! impressing guests on pizza night, make this your go-to starter pie--and make more than one. The just-sweet-enough caramelized onions and salty, chewy, generously portioned bits of ham play well against the Gruyère topping, but these frozen favorites are surprisingly small. They also require a bit more cooking time- at least in my oven- than 8-10 minutes. (Follow the instructions to the letter and your crust will be weighed down and soggy under the decadent toppings.) Pick this up as an impressive shared small bite for a dinner party, but not a weeknight old faithful.
If you're craving supreme-style pizza and happen to be doing your Trader Joe's run, the Pizza Parlanno fits the bill. Complete with classic pizzeria-style toppings--Italian sausage, uncured pepperoni, roasted peppers and onions--it checks all the boxes for a satisfying, if somewhat unremarkable, pie, with the sausage flavor overpowering other toppings in both aroma and chunky mouthfeel. The skimpy sauce-to-cheese ratio also leaves something to be desired, so don't go out of your way: a classic DiGiorno Traditional Crust Supreme Frozen Pizza from Target or WalMart is every bit as satisfying.
Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
This healthy-ish frozen pizza plays into the oh-so-popular cauliflower crust trend with mixed success. Definitely preheat your oven completely to get a crust that's fully crispy around the edges and toothsome in the middle--otherwise, a sad, soggy pizza awaits. On its own, the pizza leaves something to be desired in the flavor department. If you treat it as a base, though, and add your own fresh toppings, this could be a staple for gluten-free, pizza-loving folks who don't have a Costco nearby. (If you're a member there, the Milton's Four-Cheese Cauliflower Crust Frozen Pizza is exceptional--run, don't walk).
Trader Joe's Pizza To Avoid
Roasted Garlic and Pesto Pizza with Deep Fried Crust
It's gone viral on TikTok and has flown off the freezer shelves, but unless you like your novelty pizza to be a cakey, spongey crust, I can't recommend this much-hyped pie. The four-cheese blend (Parmigiano-Reggiano, burrata, mozzarella and provolone) is fine enough, but the globby, oily wells of pesto are an unappetizing shade of not-so-fresh green and the roasted garlic makes a cameo as, at most, a whisper of flavor. Trader Joe's boasts that customers have "never had anything quite like it!" and that's true--but not necessarily in a good way.
Trader Joe's Buffalo Chicken Pizza
The pizza's crust was cardboard-like: "crackery" would be a compliment I can't even award it. Smears of sticky-sweet barbecue sauce over shredded chicken were a mismatched combination for such a bland base. You'd be better off purchasing Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough-which is extremely versatile--and making your own version.