If you have shopped at Aldi for any length of time, you might be aware that the discount grocery store sells an array of very good take and bake pizzas that rival takeout restaurants such as Papa Murphy’s. These thin- or traditional-crust pizzas are sold under the Mama Cozzi’s Aldi private label and are stocked in the Aldi refrigerator or deli aisle. You can spot them easily with their large brown cardboard boxes. Aldi sells many types of deli pizzas year round, including supreme, pepperoni and sausage, mega meat, and a cauliflower crust pizza. Aldi also rotates limited-time specialty take and bake pizzas into its lineup, with recent ones including a green bean casserole pizza (it was surprisingly good). a kale and ricotta pizza.
These deli pizzas appeal to many shoppers because they convey an idea of freshness, since they are sold refrigerated and not frozen. Generally, take and bake pizzas like these need to be baked and eaten within a couple of days of purchasing. But what if you don’t have time to eat your pizza right away? Or what if your plans change?
Fortunately, you can freeze an Aldi Mama Cozzi’s take and bake pizza to enjoy later. It is perfectly safe.
With that said, there are a few things you should know.
What you should know:
- Aldi take and bake pizzas arrive in stores frozen. The take and bake pizza boxes state this on the upper front right corner, saying “previously handled frozen for your protection.” Some reddit users who say they have worked at Aldi also confirm that the take and bake pizzas are shipped frozen to stores. One person even said if you ask a manager, they might be able to grab some take and bakes still frozen from the back room for you if you prefer to buy ones that have not yet thawed. The pizzas are probably shipped frozen to help extend their shelf life. So just know that these pizzas aren’t as fresh as you might think given their location in the refrigerated area. They probably weren’t made yesterday.
- It’s a common misconception that you can’t refreeze food that has previously been frozen and thawed. It actually is safe to do so as long as the food has been kept cold in the refrigerator (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below). Refreezing food may change the texture or flavor, but as long as it’s been properly stored in the refrigerator and not left out at room temperature, it will not harm you to eat food that has been refrozen.
- A lot of Aldi shoppers freeze their take and bake pizzas. I found not just one or two but three separate reddit threads devoted to the subject. Apparently, this is a popular topic among Aldi fans. Some people allow their pizza to fully defrost in the refrigerator before baking. Others let it thaw on the counter for 10 minutes or so while the oven is preheating. Whatever you do, follow food safety guidelines and don’t defrost your pizza for a long time at room temperature on the kitchen counter. Another option some Aldi shoppers choose is to bake their take and bakes from frozen and simply add a little extra baking time. For smaller households or single people, it can also be useful to cut the unbaked take and bake pizza into smaller portions to freeze and bake as needed. Just about every Aldi shopper who commented on the reddit threads saying they regularly freeze take and bake pizzas also provided assurance that their pizzas turn out great every time.
How I baked an Aldi take and bake pizza that had been frozen:
To answer the question of whether you can freeze an Aldi take and bake pizza, I tried it myself. I bought a Mama Cozzi’s Take & Bake Five Cheese Extra Large Pizza just before the holidays and didn’t get around to baking it before my family did some Christmas traveling, so I put the pizza in my deep freezer for a couple of weeks. I have a mid-sized standalone chest freezer, and it was a little hard to fit the large take and bake pizza box into the freezer while keeping the pizza horizontal, so keep space constraints in mind if you want to freeze one of these pizzas.
On the day I wanted to bake my pizza, I took it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for about three hours to thaw. I wasn’t sure if it would be completely thawed, but it was soft and pliable by the time I removed it from the packaging and slid it onto a baking sheet.
It had a suggested baking time of 14-18 minutes, and I baked it for about 16 minutes, rotating it on the baking sheet a couple of times to prevent the crust from burning where it hangs off the edges. (Aldi take and bakes are huge pizzas, and my wall oven is small, which poses some not insurmountable challenges when baking them.)
Everyone in my house liked this pizza, and the fact that it had been refrozen at home didn’t seem to affect the taste or texture in any noticeable ways. It was not mushy or freezer burned and tasted like a pizza should. My family declared it a great cheese pizza, with flavorful sauce, plenty of cheese, and a puffy traditional crust similar to some pan pizzas we’ve eaten.
Yes, you can freeze an Aldi Mama Cozzi’s take and bake pizza. In fact, these pizzas are shipped to Aldi stores frozen to help prolong their shelf life. As long you keep the pizza refrigerated at a safe temperature and don’t leave it out at room temperature for a long time, it is safe to refreeze it, then thaw and bake it later. Refreezing a pizza that has already been frozen and thawed may affect texture and flavor somewhat, but it will be safe to eat.
Many Aldi shoppers do like to freeze their Mama Cozzi’s take and bake pizzas, and they are usually happy with the results. So if you’ve purchased an Aldi take and bake that you aren’t sure you’ll get around to baking and eating right away, go ahead and stick it in your freezer. It will be fine.