The Best Way to Reheat Deep-Dish Pizza

Don't even think about using the microwave.

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Think there’s no such thing as fresh-from-the-oven pizza? Leftovers can taste just as good as a fresh pie — even when it’s a dish as ostentatiously cheesy and crisp as deep-dish pizza.

We can thank the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago for deep dish — a pizza that is more like a cake, featuring a deep and tall crust filled with toppings, cheese and then tomato sauce. It’s so loaded, the sauce is added last to keep the bottom crust from getting too soggy. It's epic and takes way longer to bake than thin-crust Neapolitan pizza (also known as New York-style). Plan on ordering some appetizers and drinks when you go out for one — there's pretty much always a wait while it cooks.

If you and your companions eat a whole pie in a single sitting, then congratulations (also, you may need a nap). But chances are you'll need a to-go box. Avoid a soggy mess and follow these tips for the best way to reheat deep-dish pizza:

The Best Way: Skillet

Ideal for 1 slice at a time.

Oil a cast-iron or regular (not nonstick) skillet and heat over medium-high. If your skillet is large enough to include more than one slice without any touching, it’s ok to heat multiple slices at a time. Otherwise, add the solo pizza slice crust-side down, lower the heat to medium and cover the skillet. Cook until heated through, 4 to 5 minutes.

Runner Up: Oven

Best for lots of leftover pizza.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (the lower temperature keeps the already-cooked and -golden crust from burning). Grease a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet and add your leftover slices. Mist or drizzle with a little water and cover loosely with foil. Bake until gooey, usually 15 to 20 minutes. (Make a salad while you wait for the pizza to reheat.)

Third Place: Toaster Oven

A solid option, only good for 1 to 2 slices at a time.

Perfect for college-dorm diners who don’t have access to a stove or oven. Set the toaster oven to medium and plan on 2 to 3 cycles until reheated.

Try to Avoid: Microwave

When you just need pizza.

Pizza purists will tell you it’s a crime to microwave leftover pizza, because it makes the crust super soggy. Unless you don’t mind — or you even like — a little sogginess.

Never: Reheat in the box


It’s a fire hazard so definitely not an option.

If Chicago-style deep-dish pizza isn’t available in your area, then make this version at home in a skillet you might already have on-hand.

Watch the video.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, sliced into thin rounds (about 8 links)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 pound fresh pizza dough, at room temperature

10 ounces whole milk low-moisture mozzarella, thinly sliced

1 cup your favorite marinara sauce or 1 1/2 cups crushed and strained San Marzano tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook the sausage rounds until they turn brown on each side, 8 to 10 minutes.

Grease the inside of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with the butter. Place the pizza dough in the center and spread evenly towards the bottom edge and 1 1/2 inches up the sides.

The order of topping layers is very important to achieving a crisp bottom pizza crust. Begin with the sausage. Evenly lay the sausage on the dough, followed by the mozzarella and marinara. Sprinkle the garlic and oregano on top. Finish with the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Place the skillet pizza on the bottom rack of the oven and cook until the edge of the crust is golden brown and crusty, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Other topping options:

  • In addition to the sausage you can add thinly sliced bell peppers and black olive slivers.
  • Try a meat-lovers’ version with pepperoni, ham and bacon.
  • Go veggie with sliced mushrooms, peppers and zucchini slices that have been salted and allowed to rest for 20 minutes (to remove some of their water).
  • Use up leftover eggplant or chicken parmesan — cut into small chunks and top with cheese and sauce.
  • Think of the popular hot dip and add thawed, drained and chopped frozen spinach and artichoke hearts.
  • Pile in frozen meatballs and finish with cheese and sauce.

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