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The Best Store-Bought Pizzas: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Dec 04, 2012 04:10PM ● By Erin Frisch

The Best Store-Bought Pizzas: A Side-by-Side Comparison

There are times when you just don’t feel like cooking. Whether it’s been a really long day at work or a really late night on the weekend, sometimes you need something quick and easy. These days, some frozen pizzas can rival those found at restaurants. Even if they don’t always measure up, store-bought pizzas are usually much less costly than their restaurant counterparts. And if you’re feeding a larger family, that makes all the difference. But the last thing you want is to be disappointed by a cardboard-textured, sub-par pizza. Here is a side-by-side comparison of some of the top sellers to help you decide which one should make the cut for your quick and easy store-bought pizza night.


Widely known among college students as the makers of the infamous Pizza Rolls (pizza ingredients in a tiny egg roll shell), Totino's offers an inexpensive, small pizza that packs a lot of flavor. For those who like a saucier pizza, this is the one for you. There tends to be more sauce and less cheese on Totino’s pizzas. And if you’re not a big fan of crust, this brand of pizza has a tiny outside crust, making it the perfect choice. These pizzas are on the smaller side (10 ounces compared to other brands at 12 ounces), but they pack a lot of flavor in their sauce and toppings. And with a price point of around $1.50 per pizza, how can you go wrong?


For the pizza eaters out there who like a distinguishable crust, Tombstone is the right one for you. Their thick and salty slices have a well-defined crust, with no cheese overlapping it. The sauce is slightly sweet and spiced with anise and oregano, and pies with toppings (like the pepperoni, for example) are generously topped. This pizza is cheesier than Totino’s, and the cheese is not overly salty. Tombstone tastes a lot like restaurant-style pizza, but at $3.00 to $4.00 a pie, it doesn’t break the bank. These pizzas are about 12 ounces, making them a good choice for two people to share.

Red Baron

Red Baron pizzas have a good amount of cheese and a pretty decent quality crust. Their pizzas with toppings tend to have an uneven distribution of toppings when you open the package, but they are easy enough to shift around to your liking. The sauce is slightly spicy, smoky, and peppery, and the crust puffs up on the top while the bottom stays crisp. The Red Baron I bought cost about $3.50, but I have often seen it on sale. These pies weigh in around 21 ounces, making this a plentiful meal for two or even three people. They also offer pizzas that come with sides (mozzarella sticks, wings, etc.). While Red Baron is a little pricier than some of its counterparts, at around $6.00 to $9.00, it still beats the price of a restaurant pizza.


These pies are frozen raw, not prebaked, so they cook completely in the home oven. When baked, the dough stays soft on the inside and crisps up on the outside. Compared to other brands, DiGiorno has a thicker crust. As for their topped varieties, the toppings are abundant, especially on the veggie and “supreme” varieties. They also use whole-milk mozzarella cheese that, while not friendly to your diet, melts just right and gives you that pizzeria-style stretchy effect when you pull the slices apart. The sauce is not too sweet and can be a little bit chunky. Sources say to cook this pizza on a cookie sheet for optimal crust texture (and considering that the dough is not prebaked, this makes sense). DiGiorno’s is also offering combo varieties like pizza with wings, breadsticks, and even cookies. It is a little pricier (around $8.00), but if you’re feeding a family, the sides can come in handy to make sure there is enough to go around.

What store bought brand is your favorite?

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