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The Good, The Bad, And The Bland — Trader Joe’s Frozen Pizzas, Ranked

Trader Joe’s is like a holy place for people on the go. A safe haven of food options for folks who don’t have the time to figure out dinner plans or those who simply don’t have the desire to. Plus it’s got a price-to-quality ratio that people adore — mostly thanks to negligible marketing budgets and a reliance on in-house brands.

The pre-packaged meal options at TJ’s are limitless, but they go particularly hard on one of the most hotly debated frozen foods in the game — frozen pizzas. It’s worth noting that we’re using that phrase a little loosely here to include a flatbread without tomato sauce and a French “tart” that doesn’t claim to be pizza at all, but sure looks the part. Sometimes you have to bend the rules a little in order to be comprehensive.

Obviously, this ranking is subjective since my tastebuds aren’t your tastebuds. I took the following qualities into consideration: crust texture, cheesiness, and overall flavor, with or without the sauce. I shared my tasting notes below, along with a grade ranging from A+ for excellent to F for major fail (note: no pizza scored an A+ because, yeah, frozen). Check out the ranking below and sound off on your favorite Trader Joe’s pizzas in the comments!

8. Organic 3 Cheese Pizza

Via Janice Williams

Price: $5

The Pizza:

Remember when we were in the seventh grade and the cafeteria lady would serve those weird square pizza slices with the film-like cheese and dry-as-cardboard crust?

Okay, so this isn’t quite that, but it’s not too much better either. This pizza taste like the middle school stuff they serve when your palate is underdeveloped and all that matters is getting enough fuel in your body for you to burn during P.E. dodgeball games.

The crust is thin and crunchy with a texture that deteriorates like chalk after a few chews. The pizza box boasts fontana, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses atop the pie, but none of them give any distinctive taste. Instead the cheeses—which are not necessarily thick, gooey, or stringy but kind of just… blotchy — taste perfectly nondescript. The sauce, however, is the winning component. It’s got a bit of a tangy yet sweet kick and is about the only reliable source of flavor on this pie.

Bottom Line:

This pizza gets a D+ and that’s only because it’s organic and the sauce is fresh and flavorful. But you need more than just sauce to make a pizza.

7. Organic Pesto Pizza with tomato and broccoli

Via Janice Williams

Price: $5

The Pizza:

The first thing that comes to mind when devouring a slice of this pizza is: interesting. The flavoring is, well, green. The pesto and the broccoli combine in a way that is slightly reminiscent of blended baby food. But mixed with olive oil and bright and briny tomatoes — it’s not all that bad.

The pizza crust is perfectly crisp on the outside but features a soft and pillowy center that appropriately soaks up the runny pesto and broccoli mixture which gels with the rich cheese. The only thing this pizza is missing is perhaps a pinch more of salt to lift up all that green.

Bottom Line:

This pizza gets a C. Although I firmly believe we should leave the pesto for the pasta, this is a unique option for those looking for something different. In short, it isn’t entirely horrible.

6. Pizza Margherita

Via Janice Williams

Price: $4

The Pizza:

Trader Joe’s organic cheese pizza gets the high school upgrade with its margherita pie. It’s considerably more flavorful with a rich and zesty tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella that coats the entire pie. As for the crust, it’s pillowy perfection with a crispy, wood-oven-baked plush center that melts in the mouth.

Bottom Line:

Could this pizza be better? Sure—a little seasoning of pepper and basil could have taken this one far. But overall it’s edible and not completely unsatisfying.

This gets a C+.

5. Arugula Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

Freezer Meal Frenzy

Price: $4

The Pizza:

Arugula, tomatoes, and a blend of cheese? Trader Joe’s hit the flavorful nail on the head with this one.

Yet another pizza with an unforgettable crust (for a frozen pizza, especially!), this pie brings the salt, fat acid, and heat that makes for one memorable meal. You won’t miss the pepperoni with the meaty flavors of arugula combining with ripe tomatoes and a melody of rich mozzarella, manchego, provolone, and pecorino cheese that smother a soft, doughy pizza.

Now I won’t say that a little meat wouldn’t have taken this pie to the next level. A couple pieces of ripped prosciutto could have launched this “pretty good” pizza to “pretty great” status. But overall, it delivers on all aspects of general frozen-pizza satisfaction.

Bottom Line:

A B- grade for a vegetarian pizza that is both fulfilling and flavorful.

4. Tart au Brie et aux Tomates

Via Janice Williams

Price: $4

The Pizza:

The box this pizza-looking non-pizza comes in proclaims that it is “a very French thin crust with brie cheese and tomatoes.” It’s an advantageous statement to make, considering how well the French do all things bread and cheese. And I’m happy to report that the packaging promise is met.

The crispy flatbread-style pizza is decadent and savory, with delicious brie that delivers the tastebuds creamy, buttery, earthy mushroom flavors. Meanwhile, cherry tomatoes add a layer of bright, snappy sweetness to counter all the richness of the cheese.

It’s a divine little treat that one can easily imagine eating while people-watching outside at a Parisian cafe with a bottle of wine. Okay… that might be a little far, but it’s very nice.

Bottom Line:

This pizza gets a B+ only because after one bite it’s almost too decadent. Luckily it’s small, but one slice too many could result in some dire digestive consequences.

3. Wood Fired Naples Style Uncured Pepperoni Pizza

Trader Joe

Price: $5

The Pizza:

Now here’s a frozen-pizza that gets the job done. It has just the right kind of crust that isn’t too tough on the outer shell nor too soft in the center. It’s a sturdy but easily chewable crust that has texture and density to hold up the weight of the flavorful, zingy tomato sauce, quality melted cheese, and meaty, greasy pepperonis.

Bottom Line:

There’s not much negative to say about this pizza. It looks like a pepperoni pizza, smells like a pepperoni pizza, and tastes like one too. The only qualm anyone could have about this is the number of actual pepperonis on the pie.

There could be more, so… B+

2. BBQ Chicken Pizza

Via Janice Williams

Price:$5

The Pizza:

This is one of those types of frozen-pizzas that will leave you salivating with anticipation while it’s baking in the oven. Your whole kitchen will be flooded with the scents of barbecue sauce and chicken! The smell is a great indicator of the taste, too.

Put this pizza in the Trader Joe’s hall of fame because it’s actually that good. The barbecue sauce is sweet and tangy while the chunks of white chicken are plump, juicy, and perfectly seasoned with black pepper a little bit of salt, and a hint of garlic that only seems to elevate the flavor of the red onions topping the pizza. The cheese—mozz and gouda are used here—serves as a blanket for the whole thing. Although, honestly, the cheese could be missing-in-action and this pie would still be just as tasty.

A few more pieces of chicken couldn’t hurt, but overall this is a pizza that is completely satisfying and full of flavor.

Bottom Line:

This pizza gets an A- because it legitimately tastes like something you could pick up by the slice at your local pizzeria. That’s saying a LOT.

1. Mushroom & Black Truffle Truffle Flatbread with Mozzarella Cheese

Via Janice Williams

Price: $5

The Pizza:

Is there any better combination than mushrooms, truffle oil, and cheese? There are none, and Trader Joe (is he real?) knows this. That’s why he came up with this absolute fire of a flatbread pizza that tastes nothing short of a gourmet meal.

There isn’t a shortage of mushroom chunks on this flatbread, and even those taste high quality. The truffle sauce is rich and creamy and blends seamlessly with the mushrooms and cheese to create one explosive flavor shock for your tastebuds. As for the crust, it’s the perfect crispy consistency with a little softness in the center soak up all that gloriousness up top.

Bottom Line:

This pizza is quite literally the bomb. The only reason it doesn’t have a higher grade is because there simply isn’t enough of it in the box. Seriously legit. A.

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