Frozen pizza may not have the same gourmet appeal of artisanal varieties served at chic dine-in restaurants, but it can still bring its own set of advantages. By topping it with fresh vegetables and meats you can take it one step further.
Toppings should be added before or after baking depending on their water content and how their properties change in response to heat from cooking.
When to Add Veggies
Add something fresh if you want to elevate a frozen pizza beyond its typical pepperoni nuggets. Sliced vegetables such as kale, baby spinach and romaine provide a welcome crunch, while cherry tomatoes or roasted mushrooms make tasty additions as well. Pickled jalapeno slices also add spice and flavor – just be sure to remove their seeds and membranes first!
Watery vegetables like mushrooms and tomatoes should be thinly sliced before being added sparingly or par-cooked before they’re added to a pizza in order to prevent sogginess. Crispier veggies, such as asparagus spears, eggplant slices or potatoes should be added after taking out of the oven in order to retain their textures.
“Top Chef” contestant Jamie Lynch recently suggested adding pizza toppings after baking them (according to Insider). Not many people know about this trick, which can really enhance both texture and overall flavor of pizzas baked afterward. As an example of potential post-bake toppings: marinated artichokes, Parmesan cheese, olives or baby arugula may all add texture or depth of flavor depending on personal preferences.
An excellent way to elevate the flavor of frozen pizza is by adding herbs. From classic basil and rosemary, fresh rosemary or thyme – they all enhance its flavors significantly and dried versions are just as enjoyable!
Enhance your frozen pizza by drizzling it with oil – this will allow the crust to crisp up in the oven, creating a golden-brown hue. Use olive oil, cooking spray or even melted butter for this trick!
Salt and pepper add depth of flavor to any frozen pizza, but be wary when selecting ones with high sodium levels such as those containing processed meats. Always check nutrition labels prior to purchasing any frozen pizza and select one with lower sodium contents for comparison purposes.
When to Add Meat
Frozen pizza can be convenient, yet you can make it even more enticing by adding your desired toppings right before baking. When to add these delicious additions can depend on whether or not they require wet or dry preparation as well as how long the frozen pizza bakes for.
Before finishing baking a pizza, it’s best to add meat- or protein-based toppings, giving them time to fully cook through and develop an irresistibly flavorful crust. This applies particularly well when adding chicken, sausage, bacon, pepperoni or meatballs; but frozen pizza can also benefit from having slices eggs, deli-bought ham/salami/asparagus added before the final bake-time.
When adding wet ingredients, it is essential to remember that too much moisture can make your pizza soggy or soupy. So before adding anything such as marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled jalapeno slices or fresh spinach/kale to the pizza, set them aside and squeeze out excess liquid with paper towel before placing back into your pizza. Also saute onions briefly in olive oil prior to including them on your pizza in order to prevent becoming soggy and over-saturating its crust.
Watery vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplant slices or cherry tomatoes should also be cooked prior to being added to your pie. As Serious Eats suggests, herbs with high moisture levels should be sprinkled on after baking has completed so their leaves won’t turn brown and lose flavor.
Un easy and quick way to elevate a frozen pizza is adding finishing cheeses such as Parmesan or mozzarella as finishing touches. Not only will this add flair, but also allows the cheeses to melt more evenly when they melt together during baking.
When to Add Sauce
An array of ingredients can be added to frozen pizza to enhance its flavor and texture, some before baking while others after.
Before placing your pizza into the oven, any sauce-like ingredients such as basil pesto must be added so they can properly cook. According to Serious Eats, doing this will result in richer and fuller flavors when finished baking – pour it all over before placing the crust and cheese!
Frozen pizza cheese can sometimes be quite bland and needs something extra to make it edible. Shredded mozzarella works wonders in this regard; adding other types of cheese like Parmigiana Romano brings saltiness as well as some nuttiness and tartness into the equation.
Vegetables can greatly enhance the flavor of a frozen pizza. Watery veggies such as mushrooms or tomatoes should be added before baking; while more substantial additions such as eggplant slices, shaved asparagus spears, sauteed sweet corn kernels and roasted vegetables should be added afterward.
Frozen pizza often lacks in flavor, so this can be an opportunity to experiment with various condiments and spices. Some can be added before baking begins – for instance crushed red pepper flakes or Sriracha sauce are great choices – while other items should be sprinkled after cooking has taken place.
Prior to cutting your pizza, allow it to rest for two minutes so the melted cheese has time to set and become easier to cut. At this stage, brushing the crust with garlic butter or oil adds another dimension of flavor while making it crispier; and you may even drizzle some extra sauce as a final flourish!
When to Add Cheese
Nothing makes a frozen pizza more appetizing than adding fresh cheese! From mozzarella and pepper jack slices to whole slices and even ricotta – as well as more exotic options such as Gouda or Edam or even shredded blends of Parmesan and mozzarella – fresh cheese adds that special something.
if you have the time, add chopped fresh or dried herbs (dried is fine too!) before baking your pizza. Fresh herbs such as basil or cilantro tend to cook faster than their counterparts so it may be wise to sprinkle these last or near the end of baking time.
Serious Eats reports that adding various vegetables can turn a frozen pizza from average to Insta-worthy. Think beyond black olives and bell pepper slices; thin slices of raw zucchini, sauteed sweet corn, or roasted mushrooms make great toppings – just remember any veggies with high liquid content (such as mushrooms or onions) should be precooked prior to topping off your pizza pie!
Another easy way to add some flare to frozen pizza is to coat its crust in oil before baking. This will give it more intense flavor while helping it crisp up nicely in the oven – try brushing olive or vegetable oil onto it prior to adding toppings!
Frozen pizzas tend to come up short on cheese, so don’t be shy about adding an abundance of mozzarella for maximum taste and texture. Just a small tweak like this can have a profound impact on both texture and taste!
If you’re craving some added protein to complement your pizza, adding crumbled thick-cut bacon, small cubes of ham, or spicy pepperoni will do the trick. To spice things up even further and impress dinner guests, drape thin slices of prosciutto on top before baking – an added treat that will impress! For something truly original try cracking an egg onto a frozen pizza. When it is nearly complete cooking crack it open so the egg cooks fully while still staying soft in its center!