How to Reheat Leftover Pizza

Whatever you do, skip the microwave.

January 25, 2023

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Food Network Kitchenâ  s pizza croutons as seen on Food Network.

Food Network Kitchen’s pizza croutons as seen on Food Network.,Food Network Kitchen’s pizza croutons as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Some people love eating cold pizza straight from the box, but if you’d prefer your leftovers to taste like they were served by your house pizzaiolo, we have some piping-hot tips. When it comes to reheating, resist the urge to pop a slice in the microwave. Why? Dryness. Microwave leftover pizza, and it’ll not only dry out but also harden. G-r-o-s-s. Instead, follow our step-by-step reheating instructions below. And if you happen to have deep dish pizza on your hands, check out our story The Best Way to Reheat Deep-Dish Pizza.

How to Store Leftover Pizza

Fresh-tasting leftovers start with correct pie storage. While it’s tempting to just shove the entire box in the fridge, remember that pizza boxes are anything but airtight, so storing pizza this way practically guarantees it’ll dry out. And as every aficionado knows, dryness is the enemy of leftover pizza. Instead, take a few extra minutes to wrap each slice individually. Slip the slices into storage bags — ideally reusable, but resealable plastic bags will work — or tightly wrap a stack of slices in plastic wrap.

How Long Is Pizza Good In the Fridge?

Leftovers will last for up to three days in the fridge.


Photo by: Trong Nguyen / EyeEm/Getty Images

Trong Nguyen / EyeEm/Getty Images

The Best Way to Reheat Pizza: Reheating Pizza On the Stove

Reheating a slice on the stove is one of the fastest ways to achieve a crisp crust and gooey cheese. This is our favorite way to reheat pizza, but it only works for one slice of pizza at a time.

Step 1: Heat a Nonstick Skillet

Set a nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Step 2: Add the Pizza and Cover the Skillet

Add your slice of pizza and cover the skillet. Some people swear that adding a few drops of water to the skillet gets the cheese extra melty, but we’ve found that covering the skillet yields the same results by trapping steam.

Step 3: Cook the Pizza

Cook the pizza over medium heat until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melty, 6 to 8 minutes.

Pizza on square bread and Topped with chili sauce.


Pizza on square bread and Topped with chili sauce.

Photo by: Achisatha Khamsuwan/Getty Images

Achisatha Khamsuwan/Getty Images

Reheating Pizza In the Oven

This technique is ideal for reheating a bunch of slices of pizza at the same time. Because sometimes you want to have that pizza party all over again. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Preheat a Baking Sheet

For the crispest crust, preheat the oven with a foil-lined baking sheet in it.

Step 2: Pizza In the Oven Temperature

You’ll want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 3: Arrange the Pizza on the Baking Sheet

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully transfer the slices of pizza to it in a single layer. Wrap the baking sheet in foil, pulling it tight so it does not rest against the cheese (otherwise, as the cheese melts it’ll stick to the top layer of foil).

Step 4: How Long to Reheat Pizza In Oven

Cook them until the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.


Photo by: Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Other Ways to Make Leftover Pizza Taste Good

Once your pizza is hot and melty, it’s time to get creative by adding a few fresh toppings. Our number one favorite way to brighten up a slice is to add a smattering of tender herbs. Torn fresh basil is ideal, but chopped oregano, dill, parsley or even fennel stems will instantly perk up a slice. Adding fresh veggies in general is great way to boost freshness. Consider topping pizza with some thinly sliced cherry tomatoes. Or pile on lightly dressed greens (salad pizza is a magical dinner, people).

We love to add a bit of finely grated Parmesan cheese to our slices. Skip the store-bought canister and opt for a nice hunk of imported Parmesan. Then use the finest holes on a box grater to create a delicate powder that’ll instantly add aromatic, nutty flavor to leftover pizza without weighing it down. Avoid adding more melting cheese like mozzarella, which has a lot of moisture and could make the pizza soggy.

Reaching for the condiment drawer is always a brilliant way to do some doctoring up, too. Something as simple as a honey drizzle will instantly take a leftover dollar slice to the level of a gourmet pizzeria pie. And we’d encourage you to experiment. Think: chile oil, dill pickles, capers, pickled jalapenos, pepperoncini or ranch dressing.

Finally, if your leftover pizza is nearing the end of its shelf life, you can try transforming it into another dish all together. For example, you could slice it up it strips and bake it until crisp to create pizza croutons. Pretty darn brilliant.

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